Over the years, Thule has earned a reputation for being one of the industry’s leaders in the manufacturing of bike car racks. Thule are renowned for making easy to use and intuitive products, such as the Thule Easyfold XT 2 tow bar-mounted two-bike car rack.
When it comes to bike car racks, there are certain characteristics and features to look out for. One of the first factors to consider is how easy it is to use.
Thankfully, as we will discuss in greater detail below, the XT 2 arrives in the box ready to be fitted to your car. Therefore, you do not need to pre-assemble or mess about with it using bolts, straps, or Allen keys.
Today, we are going to guide you through our detailed review of the Thule Easyfold XT 2. We will look at the pros and cons of this product so you can make an informed decision on whether it is the right fit for you.
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When the Thule Easyfold XT 2 first arrives, there is obviously some excitement in the air. We have heard so many positive comments about this bike car rack, but does it live up to the hype? Well, find out below.
When you first take it out of its packaging, you are met with a sturdy box. Here, the XT 2 was in a folded position. Therefore, the two parts of the rack base are set into a vertical position to form a handle built-in.
Not only does this handle offer supreme practicality, but it is positioned so the full weight of the rack (17.9 kg) is precisely balanced for easy maneuverability. So, carrying it to your car and lifting it onto your tow hitch is a breeze.
When lifting it onto your car’s tow hitch, you can do so alone. Many others on the market are two person jobs, but this can be achieved with just one person.
Our first impressions of the Thule Easyfold XT 2 were overwhelmingly positive. We were impressed by the easy process of mounting it to the hitch, therefore making it a perfect choice for those who are new to using such racks.
After The Thule Easyfold XT 2 Has Been Mounted
Before you place the XT 2 onto your tow-bar, ensure that any grease from the bar has been removed, as this will give it the tightest grip possible. After you have the XT 2 resting on your tow-bar, it allows you to change the clamp action using a knurled adjuster.
Once you have adjusted it into a secure position, all you have to do is push the lever down to tighten it fully on the tow-bar. In truth, this required some serious elbow grease and muscle.
However, we found it easier to tighten using our feet to hold the rack in position properly. The good news is that the XT 2 sat level in its natural position without us needing to maneuver it all that much.
We just let it rest on the tow-bar whilst fixing the clamp surrounding it. Finally, for full security, an integrated lock fastens the rack into position.
Unfolding The Rack
Right, let’s get down to business. Before you fold the two sections of the rack down, you need to connect the electrics of the XT 2 to your vehicle. Fortunately, the Thule Easyfold rack arrives with a 13-pin socket that is compatible with the majority of vehicles.
If you find that it doesn’t fit your car, you may need to purchase a 7-pin adaptor separately.
When you are connected, you will notice the auxiliary lights of the XT 2 light up. Immediately, you will see how bright these are, adding some elegance and style that is so often missed with most bike racks.
The next step is to drop both sides of the XT 2 down carefully. In doing so, the registration plate holder should move into the correct position. This allows you to connect your plate with ease.
Therefore, you can move your XT 2 from one vehicle to another without any issues. Thanks to the two pop fasteners holding the plate holder in place, this will also mean you will not have to unscrew the registration plate every time you want to swap for another car.
Lifting A Bike On To The Thule Easyfold XT 2
When it’s time to lift your bike onto the Thule Easyfold XT 2 bike rack, it is pretty seamless. As you lift your bike on, the two tires will slot into dedicated tracks. These guide your bike into the center of the rack so that it is balanced correctly and securely.
As you can attach two bikes to this rack, you will find separate clamps for both bikes. These attach to the upper metal hoop of the XT 2 rack. You can dismount them quickly before locking the clamp into position onto your bike’s top tube.
These clamps possess their own unique key and locking mechanisms, and each use the same key. This results in an improved usability, something that is at the forefront of Thule’s design.
Once the clamps are locked, you can then strap your wheels to the bottom track. Again, this can be done quickly and easily due to Thule’s high quality ratchet action design.
However, reaching the ratchets can be a little tricky as they are situated at the back of the rack. Therefore, they are a little hard to move, whether you’re trying to use them through the wheel or around it.
But, this could be considered nitpicking in the grand scheme of Thule’s impressive design.
What Can The Thule Easyfold XT 2 Carry?
- Premium, high-load capacity bike rack ideal for e-bikes and heavy mountain bikes.Distance between bikes : 9 inch. Max wheelbase : 1300 mm..Max wheelbase : 1300 mm.
- Integrated folding bike loading ramp
- Fits 1.25" and 2" receivers
- Fast and effortless tool-free installation
- Quickly attach and secure bikes with torque limiting knobs and ratcheting wheel straps
Last update on 2023-11-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The Thule Easyfold XT 2 is capable of carrying two bikes weighing up to 60 kg together. Therefore, the XT 2 can transport e-bikes easily.
However, we found that it was a little difficult getting e-bikes onto the rack, but a bike ramp, which you can buy separately, can help take the strain off when loading and unloading the bikes.
You can also opt for a carry bag to keep your car’s interior clean. Whilst we think this should come with the XT 2 as part of the bundle, it’s only a minor complaint.
If you find the rack is dirty after use, it is super easy to clean down with a hose or a bucket of soapy water and a sponge.
When you consider the ease you can fit the Thule XT 2 rack to your vehicle and then swap it over to another car, it seems pointless complaining about the small things.
Its quality is of the highest standard and, compared to most two-bike tow car racks out there, the Thule Easyfold XT 2 is arguably one of the best we have ever used.
We found the Easyfold XT 2 is a pretty versatile bike rack. Thanks to its 60 kg weight limit and it’s easy loading ramp feature, you can transport both standard bikes and e-bikes with relative ease.
If you have trouble loading your bikes on to traditional bike racks, this may be what you need.
Moreover, the XT 2 is a compact bike rack when folded, meaning it can fit into smaller storage spaces in your car or at home. So, if you live in a small apartment or take your rack off and on regularly, the XT 2 will be perfect.
From testing this bike rack out, we found that it should be compatible with most bikes, whether they are for kids or adults. However, if your bike has a very long wheelbase, you may struggle to fit it on.
That being said, the tire tray’s widths fit a wide range of tires, whether they belong to skinnies or the larger 3-inch wide mountain bike wheels.
You can buy an additional XXL strap kit for bikes with longer wheelbases and fatter tires measuring up to 4.7 inches, though.
All in all, we found this bike car rack to be pleasingly versatile, with optional extras to suit just about anyone.
Here are some details that you should factor into your decision-making to ensure the Thule Easyfold XT 2 is the right bike car rack for you.
• Load capacity – 60 kg
• Weight – 17.9 kg
• Tire width (maximum) – 3 inches (although this can increase to 4.7 inches using the XXL wheel straps)
• Tipping angle (maximum) – 50 degrees
• The rack is lockable to keep your bikes secure at all times
• It is suitable for use on carbon frames, but only if you purchase the Thule Carbon Frame Protector separately
We love just about everything the Thule Easyfold XT 2 has to offer. It is easy to handle, especially when assembling and swapping between different vehicles.
Its fitting mechanism is well-designed, but bear in mind that one or two bikes may not fit the rack properly.
Whilst the spacing between the clamp arms and the clamps could have been a little wider, the design worked well with most of the bikes we tested.
All in all, the Thule Easyfold XT 2 is a high quality, easy to use bike car rack that we highly recommend.