Thule EasyFold XT 2 Electric Bike Platform Rack Review

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Review of the Thule EasyFold XT 2 Electric Bike Platform Rack


Speaker 1: Today we're going to take a look at the Thule EasyFold XT. This is a platform style, two bike, rack, designed for use with electric bikes. It works with inch and a quarter and two inch hitches. The part number is TH903202.Now, the EasyFold XT is quickly becoming one of the most popular bike racks offered. Basically it takes care of a lot of problems that we have, especially with eBikes becoming more and more popular. While this racks designed to carry just about any bike that you want to, it has a weight capacity of 65 pounds per bike.

That's gonna give us 130 pound total capacity, which is really quite high. Also to solve another issue with those heavier bikes, getting them loaded and getting them unloaded. We've got a ramp that we can put on each end and simply roll our bikes up and on, versus other styles of racks that have the center post that comes up here in the middle. We've gotta get that bike from the ground. We gotta lift it or maneuver it around that post and get it secured in.

This is just a much easier way of getting that done.Now, it's also been designed to tilt way back away from your vehicle even with bikes loaded. This gives us excellent access into that rear cargo area. It's easy to operate right here from the rear. You can either use your foot and step down on it or simply use your hand. As you can see that tilts well out and away from our vehicle.

It's going to give us pretty much unobstructed access into our rear hatch area. You'll notice in this position you're going to have a lot of room in between the rear of the vehicle and the base of that rack, making getting things in and out extremely easy. Now, when going back into the upright position, we just want to lift on the bikes until we hear the click. You can see at that point we're nice and secure, ready to get back on the road.Now, bikes these days come in a lot of different shapes and sizes. You can see here we've got our eBike installed, full suspension bike.

There's a lot of obstacles that need to be overcome in order for this to work properly with a bike rack. With the EasyFold XT, you're going to have arms that are fully adjustable. We can move these, which you'll see in a minute here, all the way around this bracket here on the back. That allows us to conform it to many different applications. Something else really helpful with this rack is that we don't have those wheel hooks. Traditionally, we have hooks on a lot of the platform style racks. They're going to go right over here. They kind of compressed down. That's how the bike's held. They do a good job, but if you have any type of fenders on your bikes or if you have a rack on the back, that's going to cause you issues. This is gonna hold your bike on a portion of your frame depending on the bikes that you've got loaded up, and it's going to eliminate that issue.Another nice thing I like about the rack, generally with a platform style rack, once you get this fully loaded, as you can see, you really can't see that license plate on the back of the vehicle. We've got accommodations right here on the back, so you can take that plate off, place it on here, so we remain legal. Now, since we had the two bikes loaded up already, we're going to head down to the test course. We're gonna take a look at how it looks in action. Something you want to keep in mind, when you're loading multiple bikes, you always want that heavier one closer to your vehicle.Here on our test course. We'll start by going through the slalom. This is going to show us the side to side action. This simulates turning corners or evasive maneuvering. Once we get to the full speed bumps, we'll see the up and down action. This will be just like driving in and out of a parking lot, parking garage, or driveway. As you can see, it really performed pretty well. I was expecting more side to side movement on it when we got through those alternating speed bumps, so I think all in all it stacks up about equal or even better than a lot of platform racks I've seen.Now, something I really like, and it's a pretty simple thing, but basically our strap, it's not going to be left hanging here. Right at the tip where it connects to the rack, there's a slot, we can bring that around, and we can tuck it in and get it out of the way. Now again, that's not a huge thing, but with as many bike racks as we deal with, these straps are all the time all over the place. It's nice to be able to get them secured.Now, let's go over a few of the specs required for your bikes, so we can make sure this is going to work for your application. The wheelbase of your bike can be up to 48 inches. That's going to cover a wide range of the bikes. As far as the frame diameters and what the clamps are designed to work with. We can go just over three quarters of an inch in diameter all the way up to just over three inches, so you're going to have a really wide range there. If you've got wider tubes on your bike, kind of like what we've got here, or if they're a little bit more narrow like something we see up here, should work out really well for you.Now, as far as tire size that you can use, let's take a look at our cradles here. You can see we've got the narrow groove right here to help out with those road bike tires. Then as they get larger, they're going to sit on top. Now with the strap that comes with it, we can go up to a three inch tire. It's going to be just a little bit larger than what we have here, and if you need to go beyond that, you can go all the way up to four and 11 sixteenths. You just need to pick up the fat tire strap. That part number is TH985101.Now, something they've introduced to the cradles. It's going to help out a lot when it comes to the more sensitive frames we find on bikes. It's going to be road dampening technology. You see, while it's not super soft and it's not going to allow your bike to move a whole lot, the entire cradle all the way around the outside here and also in each of these little grooves that you see, it's a slightly softer material. As it grabs a hold of the bike as we're going down the road, it decreases the amount of that force that's being put into the frame of the bike. Now for additional protection, maybe you've got a high end carbon bike or maybe you want the ultimate in protection for your paint finish, we do have the carbon frame protector available. Part number is TH984101.Another area where Thule's really gone above and beyond on this rack is going to be in the reflectors. You can see these are nice and large. We're going to have one on each corner to help improve visibility. Where this differs from a lot of other racks is, generally, they're just going to have maybe a little piece of tape here that has some reflective property to it or something like that, whereas here we have a nice salad acrylic reflecting.Now, when it comes time to load up your bikes, if you want to use the ramp to make it a little bit easier, we want to push down on our tilt lever. We'll tilt the rack back, and that's going to be stored right in here. Unlike the old EasyFold, this is going to be part of the rack and not something you have to store in your vehicle. Just going to lift that up and out. Tilt our rack back forward, and we're ready to fold down each of our cradles there. Then just unfold the ramp. Once we've got that clicked into position, we want to take our tab, we're going to slide it right in the slot. You'll feel it click, and it'll come down, giving us her angle. At that point, we'll just ride their bikes on up. We'll get them positioned how we want. Then we'll bring our frame clamps up and begin to tighten it down.Now, there's going to be, almost like a gas cap, some clicks, once it's secure enough. You'll just want to make sure that clicks a couple times and then we can move on to our wheel straps. We'll bring that around our wheel, down into the ratchet, then we can pull up there just a couple of times to get it nice and secure. Do the same thing for the rear wheel. Once we have everything secure, can remove our ramp and slide it in either this end where it'll go in both of the other ends. Once all of our bikes are loaded, we want to get this folded back up, just like that, and store it back underneath. You'll want to ensure that the black arrow on the ramp, and the white arrow on rack are in line. Press down firmly and it's going to clip right into place.Now, we've talked about how much adjustability that we have with this bike rack and being able to carry many different types of bikes. Basically, this arm is fully adjustable. We loosen the knob. That allows our clamps are open, but it also allows us to slide this part of the arm rearward. See As we do that, this is going to open up for us. Once that's opened, it can be positioned anywhere along this tube that we need, whether we want it facing up, maybe we want it facing down, to accommodate all those different types of bikes and make sure that we can get multiple bikes and multiple configurations loaded up.Now, not only can we lock the bike rack to the vehicle, but we're able to lock our bikes to the rack. With the tumbler facing the unlock position, that allows us to secure our bike. Then we can move that into the lock position, and no matter how many times we turn this knob, it's not going to loosen up any at all, so that'll prevent that bike from being removed. Now a couple measurements we like to give you the help insurance gonna work for your vehicle, is gonna be from the center of your hitch pin hole to the upright portion of the rack here. It's about eight inches. Then from that same point, to the very backside, it's going to be about 35. Now, in the stored position from the very outside edge, not including the plate of course, but from the edge of the rack to the edge of the rack, it's very slim, at only 10 inches.Now, Thule's really thought about a lot on this rack. They make it easy to get tension to your vehicle so it's not moving around. They make it easy to get the bikes attached. They make it easy to tilt away, but they also make it extremely easy to store. Once we have this loosened up, we'll pull our pen. Of course, that's going to allow us to remove it from the vehicle, but as we do we've got a little lever down here. We pull down on that, you can see how we can kind of tilt that towards our vehicle. Let's continue to remove it. We'll place it right down on the ground. Now this stinger is going to come up into a stored position. Now, from this position, you can either grab it by the easy handles here, lift it up, and carry it, or if weight's an issue for you, they've got wheels right on the front so you can just kind of tilt it and walk it along.Now of course you can see, being this compact, it's going to be easy to store and it's not going to take up a lot of room in your garage. Now in the stored position, we've got about 12 inches of width. From the front to the back of the rack, it's about 26 inches. Then from the ground to the top, about 28. The EasyFold XT also receives really good reviews. It's kind of like Mary said, "This is the best bike rack. We have electric bikes, which are heavier than most. eBikes can weigh in at approximately 50 pounds. This bike rack has a ramp, which allows us to easily roll our bikes right up to the rack, and we do not have to do the usual heavy lift. The tilt away feature makes it so easy for us to remove items from our vehicle without the need to remove the bikes from the rack. Finally, what makes this incomparable to any other rack, is that we can easily fold it up and carry it into the garage. No more ramps or wheel holders sticking out and consuming the space in our garage. This is an excellent product.".Now, one thing I really like about this bike rack, unlike a lot of others that require a lot of assembly and a lot of time once you get them, basically you open the box, you're gonna pull out the upper cover. Then we're just going to lift the bike rack up and out. Here you can see we've got our keys, so let's hang onto those. We just need to remove the packaging material. Once we have that packaging material off, we just want to push our stinger down until we hear the click, and at that point it's ready to install on our vehicle. Here at the top we've got the two handles we want to grab a hold. We'll grab a hold of our stinger, and we're going to press out on our black bar. With that open, we'll slide it into our hitch, and will want to ensure that that pin goes into the hole on our receiver tube. Now we'll want to put our knob in the engaged position, and we're just going to turn that clockwise to tighten.Now, when I do this, I like to move this rack up and down. I like to move it side to side. It's going to help us get all of the play out of it. Once you've got that nice and secure, we'll use the lock here. That's going to disengage that not knob. Now at this point, we can turn this handle as much as we want and our rack's not gonna loosen. That's going to make sure that it doesn't go anywhere.That's gonna complete our look at the Thule EasyFold XT. Part number TH903202.


Questions and Comments about this Video

Cher

We found out that with our 2015 Highlander, we needed to put an extension on it to use this rack because the standard Toyota receiver has its hole too close to the edge of the receiver box (less than 1.5"). apparently Subaru's also have this issue. We are trying to use it for two Como 3 Ebikes, but it is a struggle so far because its hard to get them on together with the pedals not causing issues. In fact we can use the ramp for the first bike but cannot roll the second bike on because the bikes can't pass each other -- have to lift it on to get the pedals to work.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

Yeah, some of those OEM hitches have that short receiver that can be a problem for some accessories. I would keep an eye on your setup when using an extension piece though because bike manufacturer's don't like those being used, and it will cause your bike rack to have extra movement. Depending on the size, shape, and weight of your bikes you might have a better time at loading them on the Kuat NV 2.0 Base # BA12B or # BA22B while using the Ramp Add-On # ANVBRB , and that's simply because you can adjust the wheel trays back and forth to help better accommodate your bikes.

Roger H.

I have this rack and my hitch is 1 1/4. Shlould I upgrade to a 2"? . Will be carrying 2 50lb+ Ebikes. Thanks.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

I always recommend going with a 2" hitch whenever possible just because it will be more sturdy and can handle more weight than a 1-1/4". With that being said, your 1-1/4" hitch should have a 200 lb tongue weight so even if you have this rack maxed out at 65 lbs per bike that means you'll only have 175 lbs of tongue weight when you factor in the 45 lbs of this carrier.

Rhonda

Will this bike rack work with 2020 Jeep Wrangler with backup camera ? On wheel on trunk; door opens to the side?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

The Thule EasyFold # TH903202 may partially block that backup camera (any hitch-mounted rack likely will) but I would be more concerned with the spare tire. Take a quick measurement from the hitch pin hole on your Jeep to the outermost edge of the spare - if this distance is less than 8" you're good to go. If not, let me know and I can make a different recommendation.

Larry

Will this work with a van, can I still open the back doors

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Rachael H.

It is possible if your van has a hatch style door that this bike rack may work. If your van has 2 door that open from a center latch on your van one to the right and one to the left, then it is likely that this bike rack would interfere with opening your doors on your van. However, I do have a solution for you if your van has Class 3 or above (2 inch hitch). I have confirmed with my contacts at Thule and you can use the Thule Easy Fold bike rack # TH903202 with Thule Access Swing Away hitch extender # TH903. This would allow you to swing the entire bike rack and bikes loaded away from the vehicle for full access to your van doors, just keep in mind the weights of the items involved, and the tongue weight rating of your hitch.

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