We received the KUAT Innovations NV Hitch Mount rack a few months ago and after a few thousand miles being hitched to my minivan, I’ve got a review just for you!
If you recall, the NV is a nice looking rack with some standard features as well as a couple of unique pieces that makes it stand out from the rest. I’ll get into that stuff later. But for now we’ll go ahead with some of the meat of the review. Prices start around $470 and you can find deals all through out the Internet.
The KUAT NV that I received is the 2″ hitch model. But they do have a 1.25″ receiver option available. It was mounted onto my Hyundai Entourage Minivan. I am using a Valley 2″ hitch that Moe helped me install.
The NV has a lever system that allows you to tilt up the rack, lay flat or tilt forward so you can access your trunk.
The NV is a 2 bike capacity rack. It can take anything from 29er/700c to 20″ wheeled bikes (adapter needed). In the photos below, we have 2 26″ beach cruisers on the rack.
My Soma Double Cross (rear) with 700c wheels and my daughter’s Manhattan Hot Rod with 20″ wheels. Adapter for 20″ wheels is included with the rack. Notice the deep channels on the front wheel trays, it can accept skinny road tires to the big mountain bike tires without any fit problems.
20″ adapter. Only one is included.
Wheel holder will grab the tire nice and tight. But if you have a front fender on your bike, you’ll come across this problem. The holder will have to rest on your fender, which means the bike isn’t as secure. What I had to do was place a soft rag between the fender and holder so it wouldn’t scratch it.
One of the things that I really enjoy about this rack is the built in work stand. I know that you can essentially work on your bike while it’s standing up. But if you need to do anything where the wheels and cranks need to spin in order to make an adjustment, then this workstand becomes a blessing. The only problem with the work stand, its not secure. It’s only held in place by a QR lever, so that means someone could actually steal this thing when I’m not looking.
The KUAT NV as this really cool anti-sway/rocking device that’s build in. Basically what you do is insert the rack to the hitch, lock the rack. Then with the turn of that knob you see in the photo, a cam will come out and push against the hitch, causing it to become more secure. This prevents some side to side swaying or rocking that most hitch mount racks are known for. If you have less movement on the rack, the safer and more secure the bikes are.
Built in lock and cable keeps your bikes secure. My only complaint about it would be that the cable is too short. I think that if the cable was at least 6″-8″ longer, then it gives more options on how to route the cable for better security.
Over a course of a few weeks, we left the rack mounted to our van during a very rainy Spring season. The rack was exposed to the elements and the only issue I had with it was the lock. The male to female connections needed to be lubricated in order for it to go in and stay locked.
I absolutely love how well the KUAT NV Rack works. I think its well built, very stable and great features that other racks don’t have. Such as the cam that tightens the rack against your hitch, and the built in workstand. I’ve found that the KUAT NV rack is pretty easy to use and very stylish. I like the anodized orange parts and the greyish paint on the bulk of the rack. It looks way better than the traditional black racks.
I’ve never experience any problems with the rack and it has kept my bikes safe and secure even while I was traveling over 80mph on the freeway. So what are you waiting for, get one!