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Thule EasyFold XT 2 Electric Bike Rack Review

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Review of the Thule EasyFold XT 2 Electric Bike Rack


Adam here with etrailer. Today, we have an extremely popular bike rack. It's the Thule EasyFold XT. So this is gonna bring a couple unique features that other bike racks don't have. But ultimately, this is gonna be the easiest one to store, and it's gonna be the easiest one to hook up to your vehicle. And it does have a ramp to make it easier for your heavy bikes to get 'em all loaded up.

Next, we're going to show you a day in the life using the EasyFold XT. So give me 60 seconds, we're gonna show you how you're gonna live with the bike rack. We're also gonna do some other type of comparisons. And then of course, we're gonna go over some of the specs and the features. So stay tuned.

Whoo! Let's go! Well, that was super fun, and that's really what it's all about. But the bikes just don't show up in the woods magically. They get there with the Thule EasyFold. So let's take a look. We have to go over some specs and stuff sometimes, so might as well just get it done right now.

First things first, we can tilt it with the bikes installed. And how to do that Well, we do have a little step here. It's right next to our license plate holder, which is cool that they add one 'cause we do kinda block our license plate. So right below that is this little step. So you're gonna step on it like this.

And then, we're gonna tilt it all back. And we can leave the bikes installed when we do this. This way, we don't have take the bikes off or anything like that, and we can access the back of our hatch, which is really, really nice. But also when we tilt it away, it's gonna open the access to our ramp. It stores right with the rack, which is very unique to bikes with ramps. A lot of them don't have a place for it, but this one has one right here. The only other one that has a place for the ramp is gonna be the Yakima OnRamp. But this one stows away a little bit nicer than the other one. Just to make sure your hatch is gonna be able to open with the bikes tilted away, here's a measurement for you. Just measure from your center of the hitch pinhole on your hitch receiver. And from that point to here, which is the closest part, is about 25 inches. So open up your hatch and from the center of the hitch pinhole out to 25 inches. If the hatch is like this, which is less than 25, you're gonna be able to open it up no problem. And to put it back up into position, all you gotta do is just lift it up. And it'll snap into place, and we're ready to go. Whenever we're ready to take the bikes off, you do wanna start with the straps 'cause it doesn't really hold the bike upright. It just helps with the vertical movement. And what's unique about these is we have this little mechanism here. So instead of just pulling them down like the usual straps, we're gonna be able to pull this up, so we're gonna use less effort to get a tighter fit, and I love that. And then to release it, all we gotta do is push it down and we're good to go. And what's really unique about these straps, both on the strap side, it's gonna be able to rotate, but then also on the mechanism side, it's gonna rotate as well. So I do have it at a pretty decent angle just because we have a pretty big bike here. But this is gonna compensate for the differences in wheelbases. We aren't gonna be able to relocate these at all. With the back strap, it's the same exact thing. But notice how I have it on a pretty aggressive angle, and that's because this bike has a wheelbase of 52 inches, which is the max for the Thule EasyFold XT, but it fits. So for those really, really big bikes, it's gonna work. So let's just take this off. And now, we're done with the straps. The straps that come installed on the Thule EasyFold from the box are gonna compensate for tire widths up to three inches. But if you do have fat tire bikes, we do have a longer strap, which you can just replace this one, and it's going to be able to be compatible with tire widths up to 4 11/16 of an inch. Our AcuTight knobs is our third mounting point, and there's a lot of cool things going on here. One, whenever you're tightening it down, it's gonna give us a click, just to make sure we're not over-tightening everything. That's gonna be super convenient, especially when you're tightening down on carbon fiber frames. One thing that doesn't come with the kit that you're gonna need if you do have a carbon fiber frame is this little pad. This is gonna protect the frame from many scratches or damages. And I would definitely do this 'cause this is a high-end bike. We wanna protect our investment and just a simple pad like this is gonna do that for us. Another thing that's really cool about it, we have two keys with our kit. So if we lock this, maybe we're just going inside or whatever, it's not gonna allow us to loosen or tighten it. So that's always awesome. I really like locking features when it comes to bike racks, but when they're built in, it's not just a sloppy cable lock. I really, really like this. Between the extra pad we put on our carbon fiber frames and just the padding that comes on the inside of these clamps, whether you don't have a carbon fiber frame or not, it's just gonna protect any frame that you connect to the EasyFold, and that's something I like. Might as well grab a bike rack that's gonna protect your investment. Now that the bikes are almost undone, we still have the clamp on the frame. But now, we can take our ramp, which this ramp is 36 inches long. It's a little bit shorter than some of the other ones that come with some of the other bike racks that we have here, but Thule does give you an option for a longer ramp. So you can go from a 36-inch ramp all the way up to a 53-inch ramp. So I'm on a flat surface right here, so you can see exactly what 36 inches gets ya. So with this, we're gonna take the tongue side, and we can do this on either side. You can either back it off or just roll it off the front. But it's gonna go in this little slot down low, and then once it's in there, just lay it down. Undo our bike clamp on top, and then just roll it on out. The pedals do get in the way sometimes, but that's with pretty much any bike rack. So positioning is gonna be key whenever you set this up for the first time. I'm gonna do the same exact thing for this bike, but this one's gonna be a little bit different just because the only way we can get both of those bikes on here is if we put this longer one through the frame. So pretty much, I'm just gonna have to unstrap everything and kinda just pull it out and rotate it around. So I will have to kinda lift this thing up. That's one thing I'm not necessarily a fan of, but you kinda get this with any type of bike rack that has a little center mast in the back. That's just kinda how it goes. So we're gonna be able to easily take one bike off for sure, But with the other one, it just all depends on your bike. This is a step-through bike. We'll be able to rotate this around and get it above, but it's not. So just something to take into consideration whenever you're setting up your bikes and putting them in either spot. Now, we can rotate that down and I'm probably just gonna, I might be able to bring it out to this outer cradle. Okay, so I can still use the ramp. I kinda have to lift it up a little bit. But then once that's done, we're good to go. One thing that we did with these clamps right out of the gate, we needed to swap them around. So this, these used to be switched up. So I'll show you how to do it. One, you gotta just take this knob completely off. And once the knob's off, you can slide this clamp out. And then, you can slide this tube out. And with the tube slid out, this is gonna open up just like that. So if you needed to do that, you can. And these will be able to slide. Since it's curved, it's not gonna able to slide completely, but that's how you do it. You're just gonna wrap it around like this, slide this down, and then put our clamps back into place. So you might have to do that, you might not. Again, it all just comes down to where you're putting your bikes. 'Cause there is a best setup for whatever bikes you throw on here. So as we're ready to pack this thing up, what I like to do with these straps is rotate them down, kinda go like that, so it's nice and clean. And then also, we're gonna have to take care of the ramp. So let's go ahead and take care of that. Folds into three. So we're gonna fold one way just like that. And notice this little arrow here. So let's step and open up the compartment. The arrow is gonna line up with this arrow right here. So right now, I have it folded wrong. There we go. So if it's not really fitting, don't force it. Just fold it the other way and you're good to go. So that's good. So let's go over some measurements with it folded out. From the edge of our reflector, the overall width's gonna be about 48 1/2 inches. I do like how they have reflectors on the back just because we are kinda blocking the reflectors on our vehicle we have it on right now. So this is just gonna make sure that people know that you're back here, and just keeping everybody safe on the road is the ultimate goal, right So that's always nice to have. And we can actually fold this in too. This is literally smaller than the luggage that I bring to the airport, which is crazy to me. So let's go with the width. At the skinnier part up top, it's about eight inches. And then when you come down low behind the license plate, it's about 10 inches wide. So this isn't gonna really block our tail lights. If you wanted to keep it like this, it's not gonna block anything. We will have a little bit of issues whenever we're backing up. But that's with bikes on or with the bikes off like this. But that's also for pretty much any other bike rack that you have. If you put something in your hitch, odds are we're not gonna be able to see fully when we are putting it in reverse. Notice our shank. We do have a significant rise, so it's just gonna help us get a little bit more ground clearance whenever we're going up steep driveways or just on uneven terrain. So this is just for the vehicle that we have right now, but basically from the bottom of the inside lip of your trailer hitch to the ground is gonna be what a straight shank bike rack would be, which is about 12 inches. But out here at the lowest point, it's about 17 inches from the ground. So you can just take that to see exactly how much ground clearance you're gonna have, but there is a decent amount of rise, which is something I like. Some of the other ones are just kinda flat and you really don't have a whole lot of ground clearance. We also have a knob down on our shank that's gonna be kinda the same as the one for our clamps for our bikes. It's gonna have the same locking core. So the keys that we use to lock our bikes, we can use those same ones to lock the rack to the vehicle. So that's good. And whenever it's locked, again, it's just not going to turn. If we wanted to unlock it, put the key in there, unlock it real quick. And with it unlocked, we can loosen this up and pretty much when we tighten it, it's just gonna expand this little arm. But then when we loosen it, it's gonna do the exact opposite, of course. Righty tighty, lefty loosey. Kinda give it a good shake, and then you can see what the anti-rattle system really does for ya. This is a lot of slack, but as I start to tighten this down, let's see, that'll tighten up. And whenever you are tightening it down, you do wanna kinda shake it to make sure it seats real nice. But now the tight is one with our hitch, so there's not gonna be any play there, which I really like. On our other side, we're gonna have an auto pin, and what that does, it's a pin that is gonna slide in there automatically. So with this, you know, we have it in, you pull this out, we slide it in. Go like this, and then it finds the hole for ya, which is really, really nice, so it'll lineup really easily for you. One of the bread and butter features of the Thule EasyFold XT is we can condense it down into a tiny little package. So all we gotta do is there's a little latch down low. Let me see if I can get it for you guys. But this little latch right here, we're gonna pull this up, which then is going to rotate this shank in just like that. And then, we have a little suitcase-like bike rack, which is crazy. It's about 45 pounds. So you can put it in your house, apartment, or just in the back like this. And since it's 45 pounds, as long as you're not putting it on top of eggs, bread, or chips, I think everything underneath of it will be fine, but that is pretty neat. In this position, it's gonna be pretty small. So this length, and I go from our little knob for our shank all the way out to our little step for the tilting feature, it's gonna be about 26 3/4 of an inch. And then, the overall height is gonna be about 28 1/4 inches from the ground to these little knobs right here. And then the thickest part I would say is gonna be this little metal frame right here, so let's do that. And that's about 9 1/4 of an inch. So pretty small. We just had the Thule EasyFold XT in a two-inch hitch receiver, but it can fit in an inch and a quarter as well. And it can also go in a class one hitch. That's a big thing. A lot of questions are asked about which bikes can be used with a class one hitch, and this bike rack can. And the cool thing about it is, so Brad has a inch and a quarter hitch on his Fiesta. So what I'm gonna use is these little wheels, and I'm gonna wheel it on over there, convert it to an inch and a quarter, and show you how it works on one of the smaller hitches. I love these wheels. This is gonna be super convenient for getting your bike rack wherever you really need it. So I'm about a little shy of six foot, and it's a little low for me. I even tried kinda swooping it around like this and pushing it, which is actually a little bit easier 'cause I don't really have to hold it upright that well. I mean, the rollers are great. They really are. But this isn't really something you wanna, you know, walk a marathon with. It's gonna get a little annoying. But just to get it to your garage or from your garage into your hitch, it's gonna be very convenient, so you don't have to lift anything at all. This is Brad's car. Got a little tiny hitch receiver. So to convert the shank of the EasyFold XT over, there is a Allen key that comes with the kit and it's gonna be two little bolts. So we're gonna take that, take these out. And then once they're out, basically just the silver part that you see is is the only thing that really makes it compatible with the two inch. We'll take out our little auto pin, pull it out, and then this can just go away. You do wanna make sure and put this in a safe spot, especially if you plan on converting it back. But now, go ahead and put this down. This is up, and we can line it up. Slide it in, put that down, let that find its little home, which it did. And we'll just tighten it down just like before. No difference. Just no sleeve in a smaller hitch receiver. Done. If you have an inch and a quarter hitch, whether it's class one or class two, with the EasyFold XT, you're good to go. The EasyFold XT is also motor home-approved. So you've got a big old guy like this. We're gonna be able to put it in the back, and it's gonna be safe to use, which is awesome. So you can grab your e-bikes and stuff like that and bring 'em on the trip with ya. One thing to note, we did have a four-foot width, but from the center to the outside, of course it is two-foot. So if you do have a ladder like this, just make sure and measure from the center of your hitch pin or the center of your hitch all the way out. And as long as your ladder isn't less than two foot away from the center of your hitch, you should be good with that. And if the handlebars become an issue with this as well, you're gonna swap 'em around. Again, placement with the bikes is all just gonna come down to what bikes you have and what you're putting it on. Check this out. We can take it and in our motor home, you can make a little bit of room in your storage compartment for the EasyFold. We're probably gonna have to take this license plate off, but check that out. That's pretty slick. And now for the comparison section. So I was looking through all the bike racks on our website, and I think the best one to compare the EasyFold XT to is the Yakima OnRamp. So let's start with storage. It doesn't matter which bike rack that we're comparing the EasyFold XT to, the EasyFold will win when it comes to storage. It's the smallest, most compact bike rack on the market. Also, it has wheels, so it's gonna be the easiest one to get from your garage or your closet into your hitch. I really like that. And if you come over to the OnRamp, it's not really even gonna fit in my big hatch in my Tahoe. So this is gonna be a lot more difficult to store. And another thing is locks. So both have locks. I just don't like cable locks. That's just my opinion. I'm not a fan of them just because, and I don't necessarily love the fact that it goes all the way down to the anti-rattle bolt, which is another thing I don't necessarily love because you're gonna have to have a tool to be able to tighten that down every single time. But with the EasyFold XT, we don't have to worry about that one, no sloppy cables. Two, we're gonna have just these little knobs, which is gonna be very, very easy to lock down. Nothing to really cut or anything. But then also, we're gonna have one also down by the shank, so we don't need a tool to install this. I really like that. With the EasyFold, we're gonna be able to fit it into two different hitches, a two inch and an inch and a quarter. But with the Yakima OnRamp, you're gonna have to choose. You can either get the two-inch version or you can get the inch and a quarter version. It is all up to you. But the nice thing about the OnRamp is you can put it on anything: Flat-towed vehicles, motor homes, travel trailers, campers, all of that. With the EasyFold, it's only gonna be able to go on motor homes like that big boy that you see back there. When it comes to mounting, we did have a little bit more trouble with the Thule EasyFold XT, but that all just comes down to your bike. I mean, we don't really have a whole lot of pivot this way with the clamps. So you can see with the angle of our frame and where the clamp is, it's not really completely perfect. And also, we've got a lot of stuff going on down here. So trying to get this through the bike is kind of difficult. So this bike, if we we're to haul two with the EasyFold, we're gonna have to put this one on the outside, and then put another bike there. But we did actually try to do two of the same exact bikes on the EasyFold, and we couldn't figure it out. There was no way to situate them for them to really work. So that's something that the EasyFold kinda lacks a little bit. You're kinda limited when it comes to mounting points. And I think the reason that is an issue is because the little center mast down here is super low, and this bike's extremely tall. But if you look over at the OnRamp, the OnRamp has a massive center mast. It' really, really tall. Almost as tall as the seat on our bike. And we can kinda pivot this and rotate it and slide this all the way up, so I can get it on this top tube. So we can get both of these nice fancy e-bikes on the OnRamp. And it wasn't near as hard as the Thule EasyFold. But again, that all comes down to which bikes you plan on putting 'em on. With the second bike as well, it's not gonna have to go through the other bikes just because the center mast is in the middle of the two bikes and not behind it. So that was a lot more easier too to get another bike on here. The OnRamp does have a little bit more distance. It's about 12 inches from the center of each tray, which is a little bit more than the EasyFold. And it all really just depends on like how big your pegs are and how wide your handlebars are. We had a little bit of issues, but it didn't really prevent us from getting our bikes on here, but this is about nine inches on the EasyFold. Both racks are gonna come with ramps and both racks are gonna have a place to put them. I really like that, but the Thule is gonna have a little bit smaller of a ramp and the OnRamp is gonna have about a 52-inch ramp. But Thule does give you an option to grab a longer ramp, but it's not gonna be able to store in the bike rack. So that's one thing that the OnRamp has over the Thule, and you don't have to buy an extra ramp. But it all just comes down to which bike or which vehicle you're using just to see how tall it is. So my Tahoe is a little bit taller than the CRV, so the longer ramp is definitely gonna be a necessity. Let's just say that the Thule was on my car, put that in there, like that's just pretty steep and aggressive. So you'd probably wanna get the longer ramp if you go with the Thule EasyFold XT and you have a vehicle that sits up around the standard height of a pickup truck. Both are gonna be able to tilt away. The EasyFold is a little bit easier to do that though, 'cause it has just the little step. So with this one on our CRV, we're able to open up the rear hatch. No problem. There's a little bit more room with the EasyFold, but then with the OnRamp, it is a little bit more difficult 'cause you've got to get down and grab this to tilt it. With the OnRamp, when we have it tilted back, all that weight is gonna be on this piece here. So it's not gonna be on the strap, so you know it's not gonna come undone. With the EasyFold XT, the opening is on this side. So that's something I noticed. I was like, ugh, I don't know if it'll work. But if you just make sure that you put it down and make sure that the gap is gonna be smaller than the width of your frame, you'll be fine. But that is something to kinda think about 'cause since the opening's over here, if it isn't tightened down enough, it will probably fall. So just be extra careful and just make sure you get it on the perfect part of the frame, just to make sure you can get it tightened down nice and tight and you make sure that you hear that click. So that'll give you an idea of which one you think you'll be happiest with. So it all just depends on what you're really wanting. If you're wanting one that's gonna take up the least amount of space in your garage, the easiest one to hook up, then the EasyFold XT is gonna be for you. If you have some odd-shaped bikes, just different style frames that are a little out of the norm, the OnRamp is definitely gonna be the way to go, just because you have a lot more adjustments when it comes to clamping it down, and you just wanna make sure that they're nice and secure. So odd-shaped bikes and you don't really care about storage and stuff like that, go with the OnRamp. And if you do care about that stuff, go with the Thule EasyFold. I really do think that the EasyFold brings a lot of good things to the table and it is gonna be a really good choice for ya. So that's pretty much it for our look at the Thule EasyFold XT. And I'm Adam with etrailer..


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