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Küat doesn’t have a design philosophy etched into the walls of its design center in springfield, Missouri, but simply strives to make amazing products. Its attention to finishing details is just as important as producing a high-quality, functioning rack system. The updated NV 2.0 not only embodies those goals but also looks as tasteful on the back of your car as it performs—day in and day out.
Peloton/Images: Jordan Clark Haggard
“ In all cases, we want to deliver a level of finish quality and aesthetic that Is unmatched by our competition.” —Luke Kuschmeader, Küat President.
Küat co-founder and president Luke Kuschmeader told us: “When we begin the design phase of a new product, we first discuss whether we can add value for the end- user. Usually, this is from a functional standpoint, but may also be product shape if the category is lacking in aesthetic. The process is subjective and we don’t always get it right, but we have become much better over the last few years at zeroing in on the right product.”
Regarding new features on an established product, Küat asks: “Is it just complicating things with innovation for innovation’s sake or is it truly better?” And besides looking at ways to make its racks more user-friendly, or perhaps diving deeper into its competitors’ products, the company asks questions such as: “Is there a feature that is being overlooked that we can offer to improve the experience?”
The new NV 2.0 is the ultimate expression of this philosophy. Added features and smart design make the hitch-mount
rack both easier to use and more functional. Problems that we assumed were givens for racks—such as wobbly, heavy, ugly—Küat has not just solved, but also made them strengths. Thanks to its robust structure and hitch lock, the NV 2.0 is the most stable rack we’ve ever used, in both two- and four-bike configurations. Yet, it is one of the lightest, with an easy, single-hand action to fold up or down thanks to a foot pedal.
Loading bikes is quick and easy. The wide platform accepts fat bikes; the front tire cradle is on a pivot to adjust for 20- to 29-inch wheels; and the built-in cable lock slides away when not in use. The integrated bike stand, called the trail doc, is just next level—we think it’s brilliant.
In addition to design and engineering skills, the Küat guys have great style, lavishing a gloss metallic powder coat on the pleasing shapes, with orange highlights and under-paint logos—no cheap stickers here. $629 (NV 2.0 Two Bike Rack); kuatracks.com