As far as premium bike racks for ebikes go, many cyclists are torn between the Thule T2 Pro XT/XTR and the Kuat NV 2.0, which we’ve also reviewed. They’re not cheap, but you get what you pay for in terms of quality, dependability and features. We’ve broken down the key similarities and differences to help you decide.
Thule has been around since the early 1940s, when it was founded by Eric Thulin in Sweden. Although the company initially earned its reputation for building premium ski racks and rooftop cargo boxes, it eventually launched its first bike carrier in 1992. Since the classic towbar-mounted carrier first hit the market, Thule has gained an almost cult-like following among cyclists around the world for its high-quality products.
Both racks come in 1.25- and 2-inch hitch sizes and fit a wide range of vehicles. They also weigh around 52 pounds. Each carrier holds two bikes and can support up to four with add-ons that are sold separately.
The Thule rack holds two 60-pound bikes for a maximum 120-pound load capacity. It supports tires up to 5-inch-wide tires and a maximum 29-inch wheel. You can safely transport carbon fiber frames and fat tire e-bikes.
You’ll find the same bike and weight capacity on the NV 2.0. This Kuat bike rack also fits 20- to 29-inch tires, although you’ll need an adapter for wheels between 20 and 24 inches. It comfortably fits wheelbases up to 50 inches. Where the Thule naturally accommodates wide tires, you’ll need to use a Phat Bike Kit (sold separately) to carry tires that wide on the NV 2.0.
Attaching both e-bike racks to your vehicle is a pretty simple and straightforward process. The Thule doesn’t require extra tools to attach or remove the carrier. Kuat NV 2.0 also offers a keyless installation, but you’ll need a key to remove it. This could be an issue if you head out for the day and forget your key at home.
Loading and unloading heavy electric bikes can be a workout itself. Kuat has a slight edge over the Thule here, as you can purchase a ramp for easier loading. Both racks lock your precious cargo tightly in place and have reliable measures to keep bikes from moving once you’ve hit the road. On the Thule, long arms slide to accommodate different wheels. You’ll find swinging arms that slide out to hold bikes stable on the Kuat, along with adjustable to fit different wheel sizes.
Each rack has a unique feature that makes it particularly appealing. If you frequently repair flats and perform tune-ups on the fly, the Kuat’s integrated bike work stand might make more sense. Thule’s rack has rolling wheels for easier transport and storage.