IB13: New Colors and Even More Storage Possibilities from Rack Manufacturer Kuat

New Kuat Black and Silver ColorwayOver the past few years, Kuat has made a splash in the rack industry with their high quality and well thought out product line. At interbike 2013, they had a several new things and a cool new look to show off.

Their venerable NV and NV Core racks, which we’ve reviewed glowingly in the past, don’t see any major updates this year, but will now be available in stealth black with a touch of chrome. The OG silver and orange color scheme is still available for non Raider fans.

Drop past the break for the fat bike kit and more…

Kuat Trio Axle System

Kuat Fat Bike Trio Kit and Locking Mechanism

 

Kuat Trio with fat bike axle kit and extended strap

The Kuat Trio is a roof tray that has a quick and easy 3 axle conversion system. Stock the rack fits a 9mm QR, but pull off the QR axle and the rack accepts 15mm, and by removing the 15 mm hardware and inserting a 20mm axle kit, the rack will also accept the beefiest of forks.

As a small theft deterrent, the rack secures to roof bars via a set of bolts. A cable locking system is tucked neatly in the back of the rack tray. Kuat claims this integrated cable is long enough to wrap around your frame and rear wheel.

You like fat bikes? Kuat now has an extended strap kit to fit oversized tires. The kit also includes a 9mm and 15mm clamping kit for the front fork. MSRP on the Trio is $209.

Kuat Ritte Road Bike on Vagabon X Skinny

Ritte on Kuat Vagabond X SkinnyThe Skinny, the half pint version of the full size $490 Vagabond X roof basket, isn’t a new product but we snapped a few pictures anyways because the attached Ritte caught our attention from across the room. Back to the product, the Skinny retails for $390 and has an integrated fairing. It also has integrated cable locks and fits most standard roof bars.

For more, visit Kuat

Comments

RJ - 10/03/13 - 5:33pm

I have both the NV and the Trio (Rufee) and they are awesome! My only complaint on the Trio is that because of the way it attaches to your front cross bar so far forward on the tray it causes the rear of the rack to stick out far enough to where I can’t open my hatch on my Outback all the way so I have to run it mounted backwards to my crossbars. This is even with the stock rails slid forward as far as possible. Minor inconvenience however for a great bike rack

Mark - 10/03/13 - 6:29pm

I have the first gen nv with the bike maint. stand. I bought it because it was reported to be lighter than other racks. It is a total p.o.s. It is heavy and the pivot points are wore out. I have had two recalled parts shipped to me and the hook release button broke the first week. The end cap had to be glued in the hitch arm before I even used it. Reported to be designed by an engineer but this guy should have his degree revoked. The rack is fully manufactured in china by what could be possibly the worst quality control I have seen in years. Please don’t give your money to krapt rack company. Buy a thule rack instead. My girlfriend has used one for over ten years and nothing has ever broke on it.

Ryan - 10/03/13 - 8:12pm

I want the NV. Several of my peers have them and can’t stop raving about them.

Tom - 10/03/13 - 8:20pm

I haven’t been completely dissatisfied with my Kuat rack, but some of Mark’s comments don’t lie too far from my own experience. The pivot points are not good, always require tightening and loosen very quickly in addition to not being very smooth. On my Sherpa, I’ve had to replace two ratchet arms because they jammed up, and I had a piece of metal break off one arm during assembly (really bad manufacturing and QC in China). Also had the locking pin lock seize up while the rack was still on my car. Once I got it sorted, its been working alright I guess, but if I was in the market to buy another hitch, it would not be a Kuat and I’d strongly a 1UP USA rack.

harrochan - 10/03/13 - 8:36pm

The 1UP rack is bauce as f*ck. Light, compact and gets the job done.

5spot - 10/03/13 - 9:46pm

1 Up rules the roost. American made, aircraft grade machined aluminum. Had it since 2006, still going strong even with idiots backing into it, and this idiot backing into Aunts mini cooper ( a little to psyched to get to trail head!)crunching the hood. Rack did not budge.

jim - 10/04/13 - 5:28am

to Mark: yup, you got it exactly right. This Kuat stuff is mostly just trying to be different for sake of being different, not by good design. Their approach to design is like taking a nice simple ROUND wheel and thinking, “hey, let’s try making that silly boring wheel into an octagon and everyone will think it’s so cool”. Um, NO, it’s just goofy, but too many people don’t understand simple physics, so then they buy it for the cute orange bits.
How many separate parts and bits are in a Kuat rack anyway? More little bits equals more places for failure and other issues. How about replacing hardware….got a week for proprietary parts to arrive?

There are other big, and small companies out there with 10x better design. What Kuat should have done is taken the obvious good design ideas and made them better rather than ignoring pretty much all of it just to be different. Their stuff is a good study in how to make a simple concept unnecessarily complex for no real gain or benefit.

silverlining - 10/04/13 - 9:06am

Hmm. Girlfriend and I both have an NV on our 4wd suvs, live in CO. After almost 3 years in and many, many road trips, winters, offroading in rocks, mud, sand and snow: one cable lock replaced because I pulled on it while falling over, one arm replaced because all my mudding trashed the internal ratchet. Both items rushed to me from the nicest customer service I’ve had in the bike industry- for free. Our racks have functioned great. They usually hold $12k+ worth of bikes securely while bouncing all over rough back country routes and high country passes. We have beaten the hell out of ours and they are still just fine. And yes, they look pretty cool too.

satisFACTORYrider - 10/04/13 - 10:47am

agree w/the 1UP props. tried a kuat while waiting for a warranty part borrowed a friend’s 1UP. put kuat on crgslist before i got back with the 1UP.

White Miks - 10/04/13 - 11:40am

Kuat makes the best racks in the biz and also has the best customer service. I’ve had my NV for a long time now and it has performed flawlessly. All of my friends have them as well and have ZERO complaints. A local guy had his NV stolen and Kuat sent him a demo NV for free!!! Are you kidding me? That is above and beyond for sure.

Ajax - 10/04/13 - 11:46am

Who the hell is this 1Up people are raving about? I wonder if this is a fake marketing ploy by somebody at 1Up.

The biggest brands are Yakima and Thule who probably dominate 90% of the market. Then, there are some smaller brands out there like Saris. So, you would think that out of all the replies here, even if the ones that are badmouthing Kuat are real, then you would think that more people would recommend one of the bigger brands, yet all of the recommendations seem to be for this little company. Yeah, it’s great that it’s made in the USA, but something seems very fake with all these posts recommending them.

Patrick - 10/04/13 - 11:53am

I agree with both the positive and negative comments about the NV. I have 2 NVs – one just standard 2 bike rack and the other with the extension. A lot of things have gone wrong with both of the racks that NEVER seem to go wrong with a Thule rack. For instance, the security cables are way too short. They barely are long enough for one bike, let alone 2. The cables on the Thule T2 work great. The rear tire strap is also way too short. It doesn’t work with either my fat bike or my Zipp 808 wheel. I have to use a strap from my kayak rack to hold those down. The security cables / locks corrode like crazy and I don’t ever use the rack in the winter so why is this thing rusting? The hitch anti wobble thing corroded and broke. The pivot point loosens up and needs to be constantly retightened, which bent a part of the pivot frame. Now my rack is not level side to side. The supplied hitch lock also corroded quickly. The ratchets on the swing arms have also been a huge source of frustration as they frequently stop working. Sure, I can take them apart and lube them but why should I have to? Finally, the repair stand feature doesn’t clamp well and won’t hold my 26lb mountain bike.

Okay, got the complaints out of the way. Now for the good stuff. Kuat’s customer service is the best I have ever seen. Awesome. Love it. They get repair parts to me ASAP. I also like the look of the rack in that it doesn’t look like an erector set like the Thule T2. It is also very strong and doesn’t complain loaded down with 4 heavy downhill bikes.

Kris - 10/04/13 - 12:03pm

Kuat has came a long way… if you have the old NV rack consider upgrading. It’s worth it. Their QC has improved drastically. To you guys who have had trouble, that really sucks… I love mine! Oh! and 1Up racks are hideous!

Brian - 10/04/13 - 12:42pm

@Ajax… chill

When you’re at the point of even considering throwing down the quid for a Kuat rack, you’re already well past the point of considering anything from Thule or Yak.

1Up is a great company and the racks they make are awesome. Considering how nice the Kuat racks are, 1Up might be their only real competitor.

Chet Bredwell - 10/04/13 - 1:43pm

It’s nice to see that rooster struts for dominance at the trailhead are thriving in the Bike Rack Sector. Imagine pulling up to the trailhead without a $1500 bike rack? It’s enough to make a fellow’s manhood shrivel up.

Humorous naivete by “Ajax” — since “Ajax” knows of only 2 mfrs besides Kuat, there can be only two others. Hence if “Ajax” thinks 1-Up is “bogus,” then it’s fake. Remember folks, “Ajax” is the internet expert on all things bike rack. Ask him. He’ll tell you.

If the “expertise” shown on the internet matched the real-life knowledge & experience of the poster, most people would get laughed right off. But that’s not internet reality! On the internet it’s very important to have lots of bling, because you can’t dominate others on the internet without a photo of your hot shuttle rig with $1500 bike rack, preferably taken just outside your 4-car garage that has a Lamborghini, a Ferrari, a Hummer, and 4 different KTM motorcycles. That’s how you become an internet “bauce”(in harrochan-speak… “Boss” to you and me).

Patrick - 10/04/13 - 2:31pm

Chet – yep – it’s funny. I have $20k in bikes on my $1,000 bike rack on the back of my $2,000, beat up 30 year old Land Cruiser. Of course, I’ll probably have the rack for 20+ years as well, until I’m too old to ride seriously. Then I can sit back to relive my glory days :)

DaleC - 10/04/13 - 7:54pm

I have owned racks from Thule, Yakima amnd Rhode Gear. I shopped hard for my new rack, then I saw a Kuat NV at the trailhead and bought one the next day. It cost more than any rack I was shopping and I have never regretted buying it. Kuat’s customer service is outstanding.

Robo - 10/04/13 - 8:38pm

I can’t stand Ajax or anything he ever posts…

…but I LOVE my NV rack. Yeah, after about a year, I had to lube the pivot points but other than that, it’s been pretty much perfect. Ordered some strap extensions for 808′s and fat bikes and that’s it. I DO think it should come with longer straps to begin with but, meh.

Indiefab - 10/07/13 - 10:08pm

I have a first-gen NV which makes it about 4 years old. In fact, I bought it on the first day they were in retail stores because I had seen their alpha and beta racks and knew they were coming out with a tray rack for several months.
After installing their free upgrades to replace a couple recalled parts, it still looks and works like brand new. No greasing or tightening. It stays on my truck through most of the winter, too.

Post a comment:

Comment sections can be a beautiful source of knowledge, conversation and comedy. They can also get pretty ugly, which is why we've updated our Comments Policy. If your comment isn't showing up or suddenly disappears, you might want to check it out.