Choosing the perfect bike rack for your Tacoma means weighing out the pros and cons of different systems, brands, sizes, weights, colors, blah blah blah. Over the last few years, as my mountain bike obsession has really taken a hold of me, I have experimented with many different options to carry my bike(s) around. I can truthfully and very happily say that I have found the perfect bike rack system for a Tacoma. Well, at least for all of my needs.
I won’t beat around the tree here and just give away the gambit.
My setup consists of two pieces, both by KUAT:
Let’s talk about each piece and why this system is the shit.
KUAT NV 2.0 BIKE HITCH RACK
WHAT IS IT?
Kuat spent years overhauling its NV 2.0 Bike Hitch Rack and fine-tuning it to perfection, so you’d better believe that it’s ready to shuttle your treasured two-wheeled baby to and from the trailhead safely. Kuat managed to find room to improve just about every feature of the NV 2.0, all of which contributes to a stabler, more reliable tow than the NV 2.0’s already solid predecessor. Carry up to four bikes on the NV 2.0, using the adjustable cradles to accommodate different sizes, and enjoy peace of mind from this year’s reinforced individual bike cable locks.
Why do I love this rack?
First off, it’s sexy af. It looks sporty and meaty. You can tell how well built it is just by it’s look. And it is no facade. This rack is extremely well built and delivers rock-solid performance. I love the click it makes when you snap it back into it’s folded position.
Let’s talk about what Kuat does that most other rack manufacturers don’t – which is mind-numbing how it could be overlooked. The Hand tight hitch cam system that makes sure there is no wobble in the rack, even when fully loaded.
It’s also a big convenience to have pretty hefty built-in locks on a bike rack. Would I trust them for an extended time, nope, but will they deter many would be thieves in a pinch. Yup. I use two Kryptonite New York 1210’s when I am in a position where I have to leave my bikes on the rack when I am away from the truck. When possible, I also go so far as to cover my bikes with a black Bike Cover. My thinking is that it keeps my “kids” out of the line sight of prying eyes. Once again, just mitigating the chance of a shitty person doing something shitty.
I currently ride a 29″+ so my tires are big. Not as big as a fat bike, but good luck finding a rack that these will sit in beside the NV 2.0. The rack also has the ability to seat fat tires by swapping out the cradle and straps available at Kuat.
KUAT PIVOT 2
What is it? The Pivot v2 (version 2) will make sure your rack never gets in the way. Smoothly swing up to a 4-bike rack to the side for clear access to tailgates, rear doors, and hatchbacks. And when it’s time to load up, the locking mechanism makes sure your rack only moves when you want it to.
Why do I love this rack? I love being able to swing the entire rack out of the way to clear the tailgate giving me uninhibited access to rear cab. I don’t even need to remove the cover or unlock the bikes before moving it out of the way. It is also super secure and smooth – and it locks out in two positions.
Here are a list of some of the mods that I have done to my 2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road:
- Black Rhino Warlord Wheels
- BFGoodrich All Terrain T/A KO2
- KICKER 8″ 150W Hideaway Car Audio Powered Subwoofer Sub Enclosure
- A.R.E. V Series Classic Truck Cap
- GoTreadz – XL – 58 inches of traction. 5 inches of leveling. 9 inches wide. Self-feeding design.