Today, riding a bike is one of the best forms of exercise and having fun, whether you are an adult or a small kid. Bike riding has become popular among families or groups of friends who want to have quality time together.
For this reason, most people have been traveling outside towns for outdoor excursions carrying along with their bikes for better outdoor experiences. The common problem that most bike enthusiasts face when going for such outdoor excursions is taking their bikes in their cars.
In the past, people had to tie or mount their bikes on the roof of their cars because they could not fit in the trunks of their vehicles, which might not have been secure and effective. Furthermore, since the bikes were not safely mounted and stable, they could scratch your car. Today, after various companies’ establishment of bike racks, bike enthusiasts can effectively haul their bikes in their vehicles.
In this article, we explore two of the most used bike racks, Thule Vs. Kuat, to distinguish between their features and conclude on the better option between the two.
Thule Vs. Kuat
Thule T2 Pro XT and Thule T2 Classic are among Thule company’s most widely accepted and trusted bike racks. On the other hand, Kuat NV 2.0, Kuat 2NV, and Kuat Sherpa 2.0 are the most popular and used bike racks from Kuat. Below is a list of features and factors that this article will use to distinguish between the bike racks from the two companies and determine the superior choice between the two.
When it comes to stability Thule T2 Pro XT is a suitable option to go for. This rack uses expandable cams to help maintain the bike in a tight position during movements. This fact means that the rack’s pivoting system does not sway because the rack is tightly mounted to the hitch. As a result, your bikes are safe from unnecessary swaying while driving. However, the Thule T2 rack may have ignored the Archimedes principle on its pivoting system, which means that the rack may not be too stable after a few months of using it.
When it comes to matters stability with Kuat NV 2.0 and Kuat 2NV, they also offer quality stability, and you can hence trust them. These two use the expandable cams that contribute to the crucial tightening that prevents the bikes you are carrying from swaying and making creaking sounds.
Comparing the two brands in terms of stability, all three brands, Thule T2 Pro XT, Kuat NV 2.0, and Kuat 2NV, are almost equal. They are all solid with the ability to comfortably carry the bikes with wide tires, tires as wide as five inches.
Assembly and ease of Use
Connecting the pre-assembled Thule T2 Pro XT parts might be complicated to some people, although there is an instruction manual to help you with that. However, once you have assembled the rack, it becomes pretty simple to mount it and disconnect it from the hitch. Thule T2 Pro XT uses a self-guiding self-locking pin that locks the expansion wheel and saves the time you spend mounting the rack on the hitch.
On the other hand, unlike the Thule racks, Kuat racks are pretty complicated when it comes to installation and ease of use. The assembly of Kuat 2 NV, in particular, becomes more difficult to assemble since you must ensure that the tray arms are bolted properly and facing a similar direction. Furthermore, putting the Kuat NV 2.0 and Kuat 2NV racks into their hitches becomes more complicated and awkward than their Thule counterparts.
Therefore, when the assembling and installation process becomes an issue, Thule bike racks are the better option between the two. Their installation process is more simplified.
The Thule T2 Pro XT bike rack has a maximum capacity of carrying two bikes, a maximum weight capacity of 120 pounds, with each bicycle having a maximum weight of 60 pounds. Even so, if you want to extend the capacity and carry more bikes on the rack, you can include a two-rack extender with the extra bikes having a maximum weight of 50 pounds each. In addition, this bike rack comfortably accepts all kinds of bicycles, from the skinny ones to the 5-inch tire ones and those whose tire sizes range from 20 to 29 inches.
On the other hand, a Kuat NV 2.0 can comfortably carry a maximum capacity of two bikes of any design and wheel size, each consisting of 60 pounds. However, it would be best to get an independent wheel adapter for bikes whose wheel size is between 20 and 24 inches. In addition, the extended rack is not as strong as that of the Thule T2 Pro XT bike rack since the extra two bikes it carries can only be 40 pounds each and below.
Therefore, comparing the two bike racks’ carrying capacity brands, the Thule brand comes out superior. Its racks carry both more weight and more diverse bikes in terms of sizes.
Design and Appearance
With the Thule bike racks, their design and appearance are plain. The Thule T2 Pro XT, for example, has been manufactured using plastic, standard aluminum, and steel, with no extra designs. That being said, Thule bike racks have always been colored using matte black and silver aluminum. The steel stinger is the only anodized part because it is coated in black.
On the other hand, the bike racks that Kuat has manufactured are often appealing and eye-catching. These racks’ finishing color is usually anodized copper and silver, making the bike racks more insusceptible to casual wear and tear. The only problem with the Kuat’s bike racks’ design is that the bolts joining the racks are susceptible to rust, affecting their functionality in the long run.
If you are the kind of person, who is more inclined on the design and appearance of the bike racks, Kuat NV 2.0 and Kuat 2NV racks are the options you should go for and ignore the Thule bike racks.
The security of your bikes is one of the major concerns when you are buying a bike rack. Bike racks from Thule have effective side locks that are constructed at the arms of each front wheel. These locks are usually steel cables that wrap through the front tires to the arm. If you have expensive bikes, you can add your locks for maximum security.
The security system that Kuat uses to keep your bikes safe is deemed more effective. Like the Thule bike rack system, the Kuat system employs steel cable locks, with the Kuat NV 2.0 having the thickest and most secure steel cable locks. This safety system wraps the steel cable locks around the bike’s frame instead of wheels, making it hard for any thief to unlock the bike and take it away quickly.
When it comes to security matters, Kuat bike racks are more secure than their Thule counterparts. However, it is vital to remember that no matter how safe, bike racks do not guarantee your bike’s safety if you are absent for too long. This is because an ambitious thief with the necessary toolset can break the locks and steal your bikes.
Although the Thule bike racks’ prices vary according to different retailers, they range between 500 US dollars and 650 US Dollars. For instance, a Thule T2 Pro Classic bike rack typically goes for 550 US Dollars, while the Thule T2 Pro XT goes for 630 US Dollars. If you want to add the two-bike extension, you will have to part with approximately 500 US Dollars.
On the other hand, if you want to buy Kuat Sherpa 2.0, you will have to part with 549 US Dollars; the Kuat2NV goes for 570 US Dollars, while the Kuat NV 2.0 bike rack is sold at 750 US Dollars. If you want to include the two-bike extension, you will have to part with an additional 539 US Dollars. In addition, since these racks do not support the wide 5-inch tires, you will have to buy a fat tire kit that goes for 18 Dollars.
Comparing the costs between these brands, the Thule bike racks come out as the cheaper version. For instance, if you compare Thule T2 Pro XT and Kuat NV 2.0, which are the best bike racks between the two brands, you find out that Thule T2 Pro XT is 120 US Dollars cheaper than the Kuat NV 2.0 bike rack.
Therefore, it is clear that each brand has its fair share of strengths and weaknesses. As a customer, choose the brand you find most suitable, the one with more desirable features you like.
After comparing Thule vs. Kuat, you are better positioned to make a wise decision on the kind of brand you prefer most. Therefore, utilize the above features next time you want to purchase a bike rack, and you can be assured of making an informed purchase.