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Review of Kuat Bike Racks

Zach Nehr

Kuat bike rack review

Kuat bike racks are known for their excellent aesthetics and pristine quality, but are they any good?

The answer is a resounding yes, as each rack comes with a list of impressive features, some of which you probably didn’t even think of when you pictured a bike rack. This is what makes Kuat bike racks so special. 

We’re going to tell you a little bit more about Kuat and its bike racks, including what makes Kuat bike racks stand out in a saturated market.

Let’s get started with our Kuat bike rack review.


Kuat Bike Racks

The dawn of Küat Racks was in 2007 when co-founder and president, Luke Kuschmeader, designed Kuat’s first lightweight aluminum bike rack.

Having grown frustrated with the current offerings, Kucshmeader teamed up with his business partner, Brian Atkinson, to create the first Kuat bike rack. (The name “Küat” is a combination of the co-founders’ names, Kuschmeader and Atkinson.)

Kuat was born in Missouri, USA, but quickly formed a partnership with factories in Asia to streamline the manufacturing process and keep their racks affordable.

Over the years, Kuat has evolved into more of a high-end outdoorsy brand than an affordable bike rack company. Kuschmeader realized that bike racks are a car accessory that people leave on their vehicles, and so they need to look good. 

Along the way, Kuat added more accessories and features to their bike racks. In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at the main bike racks currently on offer at Kuat. 


Standout Features

One of the best features of Kuat bike racks is that they often come with integrated security cables. Specifically, the NV 2.0, Sherpa 2.0, Transfer V2, and Piston Pro X all include integrated or semi-integrated security cables. 

Another important note is that Kuat bike racks – and most other bike racks – often come in two different hitch sizes: 1.25” or 2”. This refers to the size of the hitch to which the bike rack attaches to. In general, a 2” hitch can carry slightly more weight than a 1.25” hitch. 

There are additional Kuat bike rack parts available, namely the 1-bike and 2-bike add-ons that are available with most Kuat hitch racks. These bike add-ons allow you to put an additional bike on your Kuat rack, meaning you can turn a 2-bike rack into a 3-bike or 4-bike Kuat rack. 

Related: Bike Racks and Carriers – How to Choose?

Let’s jump into our list of Kuat bike racks which includes six different racks in various styles, plus even more add-ons. 


Kuat NV 2.0

Kuat NV 2.0

Bikes: 2 (1-bike and 2-bike add-ons available)
Weight limit: 60 lbs per tray
Features: integrated cable locks, repair stand, adjustable front cradle system, and no-tool install hand-tight hitch cam system

The Kuat NV 2.0 bike hitch rack is perhaps the most well-known of all Kuat racks. Built with premium gloss metallic powder and water-transferred logos, the Kuat NV 2.0 2-bike hitch rack is the mid-to-high-range model from Kuat.

Standout features of the Kuat NV 2.0 bike rack include integrated cable locks and a built-in repair stand. The repair stand is what put the NV 2.0 on the map for many cyclists, seeing that you could now fix your bike at the trailhead, in the driveway, or on the side of the road. 

NV 2.0 holds your bikes using an intuitive front tire ratchet and co-molded tire strap. The entire front tire cradle system is adjustable, and there is even a pivot with an optional foot assist. Trail Doc is included, plus a no-tool install for the hand-tight hitch cam system.

Fully integrated cable locks and hitch lock will keep both your bikes and rack safe and secure. The NV 2.0 is perfect for any and all cyclists, as the entire rack can use its fast-fit adjustments to fit nearly any bike. 


Kuat Transfer v2 1-Bike Rack

Kuat Transfer V2

Bikes: 1 (1-bike add-on available)
Weight limit: 60 lbs (1.25”)
Features: FlatLock™ hitch cam system, external cable with a semi-integrated lock, and automotive-grade 750-hour salt spray hardware

The most affordable hitch rack on our list is the Kuat Transfer v2 1-bike hitch rack. Made of steel rather than aluminum, the Transfer V2 is heavier than compatible hitch racks, albeit no less sturdy. 

Being the most affordable rack of the bunch, the Transfer is not as easy to use as other Kuat racks. However, it does include a spring-loaded foot pedal pivot and PerfectFit™ adjustment system that ensures an ideal bike fit. 

Unlike other Kuat hitch racks, the Transfer V2 doesn’t include a locking hitch pin, but it does have a semi-integrated cable lock. As for the hitch, Transfer V2 is built with tamper-resistant hitch security. 

Impressively, the Transfer V2 holds tires up to 5” with Kuat’s Phat Bike Kit, and includes better clearance for leading fat bikes. With a weight limit of 60 lbs, you can fit almost any bike on the Kuat Transfer V2, perfect for bike rack buyers on a budget. 


Transfer v2 2-Bike Rack

Kuat Transfer V2 2-bike rack

Bikes: 2 (1-bike add-on available)
Weight limit: 40 lbs per tray (1.25”), 60 lbs per tray (2”)
Features: FlatLock™ hitch cam system, external cable with a semi-integrated lock, and automotive-grade 750-hour salt spray hardware

The Kuat Transfer v2 2-bike hitch rack includes all the same features as the Transfer v2 1-bike hitch rack, plus additional capabilities. Whereas the 1-bike version can hold 60 lbs, the 2-bike hitch rack can hold 40 lbs per tray, or 60 lbs per tray with a 2” flatlock cam hitch. 

Kuat’s 1-bike add-on is compatible with the 2” flatlock cam hitch. All of the other ratings are identical between this and the 1-bike hitch rack. 

This includes the tamper-resistance hitch security, semi-integrated cable lock, ballistic black powder coat, automotive-grade hardware, and ability to hold up to 5” tires with Kuat’s accessory strap. 


Kuat Transfer v2 3-Bike Rack

Kuat Transfer V2 3-bike rack

Bikes: 3 (1-bike add-on available)
Weight limit: 40 lbs per tray (2”)
Features: FlatLock™ hitch cam system, external cable with a semi-integrated lock, and automotive-grade 750-hour salt spray hardware

The Kuat Transfer v2 3 bike hitch rack includes all the same features as the Transfer v2 1-bike hitch rack and 2-bike hitch racks, plus additional capabilities. The 3-bike hitch rack can hold 40 lbs per tray and is only compatible with a 2” flatlock cam hitch. 

Kuat’s 1-bike add-on is available with the Kuat Transfer v2 3-bike hitch rack. All of the other ratings are identical between the Kuat Transfer v2 3 bike hitch racks, 2-bike hitch racks, and 1-bike hitch rack. 

This includes the tamper-resistance hitch security, semi-integrated cable lock, ballistic black powder coat, automotive-grade hardware, and ability to hold up to 5” tires with Kuat’s accessory strap. 


Kuat Sherpa 2.0 2-Bike Rack

Kuat Sherpa 2.0 2-bike rack

Bikes: 2
Weight limit: 40 lbs
Features: built with all-new aluminum, semi-integrated cable locks, foot-activated pivot lever, and folding front cradles

There is a reason that the NY Times rated the Kuat Sherpa 2.0 hitch rack as the “best option for carrying two bicycles.” Though it’s the mid-tier offering from Kuat, the Kuat Sherpa 2.0 2-bike hitch rack may offer the best value of any bike rack. 

Kuat Sherpa 2.0 bike rack is built with all-new aluminum that is more lightweight than other Kuat racks. One of the best features is its foot-activated pivot lever which allows you to move and unfold the rack with ease. 

Semi-integrated cable locks help keep your bikes protected from theft, while the low-profile arched design is more aesthetic than most comparable hitch racks. 

Kuat Sherpa bike rack comes with the same gloss metallic powder coat and color options as the NV 2.0, plus the hand-tight hitch cam system. On the Sherpa hitch rack, intuitive front tire ratchets combined with folding front tire cradles and co-molded rear tire straps keep your bikes secure on the go. 

Perhaps the biggest difference between the Sherpa and NV 2.0 is its hauling capability. While the NV 2.0 can handle 2, 3, or 4 bikes with 60 lbs per tray, the Sherpa has a carrying capacity of just 40 lbs.

While the NV 2.0 is ideal for mountain bikers and families, the Sherpa may be best for a road bike or hybrid-riding couple. 


Kuat Piston Pro X

Kuat Piston Pro X

Bikes: 2 (1-bike and 2-bike add-ons available)
Weight limit: 60 lbs per tray (1.25”), 67 lbs per tray (2”)
Features: genuine Kashima coated hydro-pneumatic arms, LED tail lights, tiered trays, stainless steel hitch lock, and semi-integrated 12mm cable lock 

The Kuat Piston Pro X is perhaps the best bike rack we’ve ever seen. Kuat has to justify the price tag, of course. The touchless arms on the Piston Pro X grab your bike’s tires and make loading and unloading a one-handed operation, according to Kuat. 

See more: Best Bike Racks For Cars

There are even low-profile integrated LED tail lights that synchronize with your vehicle to increase visibility and keep you safe. 

If you could ever describe a bike rack as luxurious, the Piston Pro X would be the one. The award-winning design is divinely pristine, meshing with your vehicle’s rear whilst also holding some serious weight.

Perhaps the biggest downside of the Piston Pro X is that it only holds two bikes, but it does offer 1-bike and 2-bike add-ons.

The list of features on the Kuat Piston Pro X is long and impressive, including a no-fade powder coat, FastFit Wheel Chock System, a Patented FlatLock Hitch Cam, and PedalPivot.  


Trio Fork Mount

Kuat Fork Mount

Bikes: 1
Weight limit: 45 lbs
Features: 3-way mount, sturdy roof rack, and integrated cable lock

Kuat’s Trio Fork Mount is the most affordable bike rack on our list, and that’s because it is a Kuat roof rack. Ideal for people with fewer bikes, smaller cars, and a tighter budget, the Trio Fork Mount can handle any bike you own.

Using Kuat’s own 3 Way™ fork mount system, the Trio fits 9, 12, 15, and 20 mm forks. There is even an optional adapter kit for fat bikes and has a 1-bike capacity of 45 lbs. 

The Trio includes an integrated cable lock and sliding rear tire strap to keep your bike in place.  Of all roof racks, the Trio is one of the best in terms of aesthetics and aerodynamics. 


Pivot v2

Pivot V2

Attaches to up to 4-bike rack
Hitch: 2” only
Compatibility: fully loaded 4-bike NV 2.0 family, Transfer family, Sherpa 2.0 family, and original NV 2” (two-bike only)

The Pivot v2 is an attachment for Kuat bike racks which allows you to swing the bike rack away from your vehicle to allow for more space and flexibility. Pivot v2 gives you access to your tailgates, trunks, hatchbacks, and rear doors, and you don’t even have to remove your bike to swing it open.

Pivot v2 comes with a sturdy locking mechanism that keeps the rack in place when you’re on the go. But once stopped, you can swing open the Pivot v2 using the quick-release 90 and 120-degree swing away feature.

Oversized stainless steel and aluminum thru-axle combined with Kuat’s patented FlatLock™ hitch cam means the Pivot v2 isn’t going anywhere once locked down. 

The Pivot v2 is perfect for cyclists who need frequent access to their tailgate or trunk. Compatible with up to fully loaded four-bike racks, the Pivot v2 is great for adventurers with multiple bikes to haul. 



Kuat bike racks are known for being rich with features and built to be of the highest quality. Their relatively high price tags also define the brand, but most Kuat bike racks include features that you won’t find in bike rack competitors.

Based in Springfield, Missouri, USA, Kuat Racks does its research and development at its American headquarters. Manufacturing is done in China and Taiwan before the product is shipped back to Kuat’s warehouse in Springfield.

Luke Kuschmeader is the President and co-founder of Kuat Racks.

Most Kuat bike racks can hold either 40 or 60 lbs per tray. This depends on the model of Kuat bike rack and how many bikes are being carried. You can check out Kuat’s Hitch Rack Comparison page for a complete breakdown on Kuat rack carrying capacities.

The maximum weight that a Kuat bike rack can hold is 67 lbs per tray, which is only available with the Piston Pro X 2-bike rack with a 2” hitch.

No, Kuat racks do not rust. Kuat racks are built for extreme, rough and tough conditions, including wind, rain, and mud.

Kuat bike racks are made from the best materials and finished with high-end coatings that protect them from the elements. It would take many years, perhaps even decades, for a Kuat bike rack to rust significantly.

Most Kuat bike racks use a combination of ratcheting systems, wheel trays, and touchless arms to hold each bike in place on the rack. The security systems differ between models, though all systems are resoundingly secure.

Most Kuat bike racks are hitch racks, which means they attach to the hitch of your vehicle which is located under the tailgate or trunk.

Kuat hitch racks firmly hold the bikes in aluminum or steel cradles several feet above the ground.

Each bike is locked into place using various tightening mechanisms which differ between Kuat bike rack models. Both the hitch and bike can be secured with additional locking methods and cables available on most Kuat bike rack models.

Kuat bike racks can hold an electric bike as long as it fits within the rack’s weight limit. Check the details throughout this post for further details. You can also head to Kuat for a more detailed look at each rack’s maximum carrying capacity.

Kuat bike racks fit with 1.25” or 2” hitches, but compatibility depends on the specific rack. Check out Kuat’s Hitch Rack Comparison page for more details.

Most Kuat bike racks are available in either 1.25” or 2” options, but many require adapters. If you are including a 1-bike or 2-bike add-on, you may need another hitch or adapter as well.


Final Verdict

suggestedOur main takeaway is that there is a Kuat bike rack for everyone.

From the affordable Transfer v2 to the prestigious Piston Pro X, you can find a Kuat that fits your style, needs, and budget. 

The Piston Pro X is the top-of-the-line bike rack from Kuat, and maybe even the best in the world. It’s a big price tag for a hitch bike rack, but the list of features may justify the cost.

Piston Pro X is packed with all-around quality and a wide range of capabilities. Plus, it looks sleek and stylish, perfect for serious adventurers and high-end travelers. 

But the Piston Pro X isn’t the only bike rack that Kuat offers. In fact, you can mix and match your perfect bike rack by combining Kuat products.

Kuat bike racks are perfect for families, mountain bikers, adventurers, and more. There is an option for every need and every budget, and they look good, too.