Kuat Hitch Bike Racks Review - 2021 Subaru Forester

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Review of the Kuat Hitch Bike Racks on a 2021 Subaru Forester


Ryan: Hey everybody, my name's Ryan, and today on our 2021 Subaru Forester. We're going to be taking a look at the Kuat NV 2.0 platform style bike rack.So right off the bat, there is going to be a few different combinations that you can get this rack in. So it's available on a two bike version like we have here today, as well as a four bike version, and each one of those are going to be available in three different colors. So you're going to have the gunmetal gray, like we have on the back of our Subaru, and it's also going to be available in gloss black and matte black. So it really does give you a lot of options, especially as far as the color combinations are concerned, you can get whichever one is your favorite or whichever one you think matches up the best with your Subaru.So my first impression of the rack on the back of the Forester is I think it looks really good. It has a really nice appearance to it and it should be really easy to use.

And a lot of our Forester customers, more or less Subaru customers in general, use their accessories a lot. They really do put some miles on them and a lot of them even like to leave them on the back of their vehicle. So you're going to want something that looks good and you want something that's well-built and reliable. And when it comes to Kuat, the quality of construction is top notch. It's very well-built so it's always going to work and always get the job done.

So if that's what you're looking for, it's the perfect solution for you.Now I will want to address one of the main questions that we get asked all the time in regards to these platform-style racks is if you're still going to be able to have full access to the back of your Subaru. And what's cool about this setup is you can actually tilt it down out of the way, even when you have your bikes on it. So you're going to be able to do that, super easy, you're just going to have a lever here. You can push down on it, tilt it down, and it's going to give you a pretty good amount of room actually to open up the back of your Forester and get anything you might need in and out of the back.And just a nice little touch that Kuat thought of is to actually put an integrated lock inside of each one of these wheel trays here. So whenever you have your bikes on, you can loop this around the wheel or the frame and keep it nice and secure.

So it'll give you a little more peace of mind whenever you're maybe swinging into a gas station or restaurants to get a bite to eat before or after the trails. You're not going to have to constantly look outside and keep an eye on things.The way the racks is going to hold a bike down and keep it secure is really simple actually. We're just going to have a wheel hook in front and a small strap on the back tire, which is this here, so no frame contact. This'll be a great way to carry around your carbon bikes that way you don't have to worry about damaging them or anything like that.That being said, let's go ahead and take our bike off the rack to have a better look at the rack itself. So let's push down on this lever and you always want to start at the back tire.

I'll take that one off first. You want to make sure you have a hold of your bike. That way when you're under the wheel hook, it's not going to fall over or off the rack. You can just push down on this button. You can lift that wheel hook up and push it down. That'll give us a ton of working room here, so it's going to be really easy to grab your bike and pull it off the rack. That way you can go hit the trails.Now it is always a good idea when you're not using the rack, just to make sure your wheel hook is kind of all the way down, and I like to fold it in that way it's not sticking out and everything is organized and easy to get to.Now one thing you do need to keep in mind is whenever you have the rack on the back of your Subaru, it is going to extend the overall length of it. So to find out exactly how much, you just go from the bumper to the very edge. Looks like it's going to be right at 31 inches. So although it's not taking up a ton of space, something you definitely want to think about when you go to pull into your garage or maybe even a tight parking spot. What's cool is this does fold up and frees up quite a bit of space, if you push on the lever here, you're able to swing it up, and now it sits up nice and tight and hardly takes up any room at all.So I'll measure from our bumper again to the furthest point, which looks like it'll be this knob here. And in this position, it's only going to add about 14 inches, so really don't see this giving you any issues at all whenever you do go to pull into your garage or that tight spot.Something that's really cool too you don't see too often is the fact that this rack actually gives us kind of a workstation, if you will. That's what this arm is here. When you open this up, what you're able to do is actually kind of pull this out to lock that down. We're going to rotate it first and then lock it down, and then if you loosen up this knob, what that's going to do is allow us to put our bike here so we can hang it by the frame, kind of cinch it tight, lock it down, and that's going to be really convenient say if you need to change a tire or put wheels on or tighten up a chain. Whatever it may be, it just gives you a good working spot to do your maintenance or whatever you're trying to repair.Now if you move down here, your rack is going to work with those two inch by two inch receiver tube openings like we have here today on our Forester, and it's also going to come included with a locking hitch pin. So one less thing you don't have to worry about picking up separately, you know it's going to lock the rack to your Subaru and you'll be good to go there.Now what's cool if you kind of work all the way out, there's actually going to be a knob right here and when you tighten this down, it's going to eliminate all that slop and play in the connection point, and so that's going to do a couple of different things. For one, provide a more quiet ride on the inside and provide your bikes a little more of a smooth ride as well.So to kind of give you an example on how it works, say if you're going down the road and hitting some bumps, you can see the rack is going to move with our Subaru and not on its own. And if you're anything like me, you always want to see the product you're interested in actually working or in action, so let's go ahead and load this thing up with some bikes, take it around the test course, and see how it does.First, we'll take it onto our slalom course. This will show you the side to side action, such as making turns or evasive maneuvers. Now we're at the alternating speed bumps. This will show you how it looks driving on uneven pavement or potholes. Finally, we're at the solid speed bumps, which simulates going into your driveway or parking lots.So at the end of the day, one of my favorite platform style bike racks. Not only is it super easy to use, but it has a lot of those really cool and neat features, and I think it looks really awesome. It's definitely a rack you could leave in the back of your Subaru and not really having to worry too much about it taking away from the looks or the appearance of it.And that'll finish up our look at of the Kuat NV 2.0 platform style bike rack on our 2021 Subaru Forester.


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