Thule EasyFold XT 2 Bike Rack Review - EBIKES WATCH ELECTRIC BIKE REVIEW
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Thule EasyFold XT 2 Bike Rack Review

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Thule EasyFold XT 2 Bike Rack Review

There are a lot of bicycle racks to chose from out there, so it is no surprise some attempt to go the distance to best the competition. Lucky for us as consumers, we reap the benefits, and such is the case with the Thule EasyFold XT 2 bicycle rack. This is the 2nd generation of the rack and packs a ton of features, so let’s start going over those now. The rack is strong and sturdy thanks to intelligent use of steel, light-weight aluminum alloy, and plastic. It is about 33.25” from the back of the hitch to the receiver and weighs about 42.5lbs. This overall weight is important because this is actually a rack you can fold up and carry around or push around like luggage since it has wheels (more on that later). At the tail end, you will find not only reflectors and an optional brake light plug in, but one of my favorite features, a license plate frame holder. This is great because I have actually been pulled over before with other bike racks as some municipalities will count it against you if the viewing of your license plate is obstructed, so I am really glad they put this into consideration here. The rack is more aero dynamic being placed back here, rather than a top rack. Also, there are some accessories you can get for it too like a door-swing so you can get the rack out of the way to reach the rear of your vehicle, or a bag for the rack itself when it is folded up for storage or transport. Included is this cool little accessory, a carbon fiber tube protector, with this you can wrap the section of the bike where it might strike another loaded bike frame and keep them from making contact and leaving scratches or scuffs. This is such a capable rack as well as more ebike rated than others. That is thanks to its 130lb weight capacity, ability to fit up to 4.7” fat-tires, and having an adapter piece to fit both 1.25” and 2” hitches on your car. The EasyFold XT 2 retails for about $750, which is quite a bit more than other racks, so let’s dig deeper and see how it compares.

thule easyfold xt 2 bike loading ramp 1200x800 c default
thule easyfold xt 2 bike loading ramp 1200×800 c default

Security and locking of the rack and bikes are made a priority here, and that is something I think is great. Ebikes can be quite expensive, so it is nice to have security as a consideration since it will really protect your investment. Overall, there are 3 locking cores in total. You get 1 on the short arm, 1 on the long arm, and a 3rd lock on the hitch knob so nobody can walk away with your nice bike rack too. Out of the box, it comes with two keys and it looks like the locking cores can even be ‘keyed-to-like’ with other Thule products, meaning you can get matching keys and potentially only need to carry around 1 key for all your Thule products.

thule easyfold xt 2 hitch lock 1200x800 c default
thule easyfold xt 2 hitch lock 1200×800 c default

Loading and unloading on the EasyFold XT2, is, as the name states, quite easy. You get a ramp that makes loading the bike on and off a breeze. The ramp is quite light and flexible, yet I am assuming it can hold 65lbs pretty easily as it worked with the ebikes we tested just fine. If you have an ebike with walk mode, you are in even more luck as this makes getting bikes up the ramp super easy! The ramp has a flexible tongue that allows you to mount it and remove it and is also foldable for storage. The ramp itself stores in a center pocket that you reach by tilting the rack forward with the large plastic button on the outside. Once tilted forward, you can stow the ramp by finding the arrow on the folded ramp and aligning it with the arrow on the pocket. Once snapped into place, you can tilt the rack back to its standard position. Once the bike is on the rack, you can secure the tires by using these ratchet straps. If unloading, once the straps are undone, they conveniently can be tucked away down in the center where they wont flap around while not in use. Other than the straps, securing the bike is done through these locking arms. These are really interesting as they mount to a larger bar rail, but they can be mounted anywhere on that bar rail leaving you with quite a number of configurations, unlike other racks where you only have 1 option that usually cuts into the fender if you have fenders on the bike. I love that these are super versatile and are engineered so that they cannot be over tightened, making sure you get the best grip on the bike possible. However, they can take some time to get positioned perfectly to your setup and can be a little finicky at first. As with any rack, once the bikes are loaded, you should spend some time with careful consideration as to how to configure your pedals, handlebars, and seat post when having two bikes close together.

thule easyfold xt 2 license plate holder tilting button 1200x800 c default
thule easyfold xt 2 license plate holder tilting button 1200×800 c default

A big win here is the folding and storage capabilities. As mentioned before, the ramp can be folded down and stowed in the center. The straps can be tucked away to prevent flapping around, and the grabber arms can be removed. In addition to all of this, the entire rack folds into itself starting with the platforms and the rest begins to fold into itself. Once folded, it is easy to carry thanks to that lightweight 42.5lbs. But carrying it around is only one form of transport since it has these nice wheels on the bottom. This way you can cart it around like luggage! This makes carrying it around very easy, this is also a great rack if you need to switch it from one car to another. When all folded up too, its very compact and can fit in the back of your car nicely. Although I am not as big of a fan of carrying around large metal parts in my car as I would hate to have it slide into me during an accident.

In conclusion, the EasyFold XT 2 is a feature rich electric bike rated rack that is well thought out and portable. It really is a fantastic accessory for anyone looking for an ebike rack. However, let’s go over some of the tradeoffs. Thule’s main competitor, Küat, has a quad rack option, while the Thule only as a triple rack option. Also, the Küat comes with a repair stand for your bike, whereas the Thule doesn’t. Probably the biggest tradeoff though is the price. $750 is a lot for a rack, but that cost could be worth it considering it is a pretty secure investment in your already expensive ebike purchase. Combine that with Thule’s wonderful reputation and their limited lifetime warranty, and you have a rack that just might check all your boxes. A big thanks to Thule for letting me check out this cool new rack!

Pros:

  • The EasyFold XT 2 is a feature rich electric bike rated rack that is well thought out and portable
  • Rack is strong and sturdy thanks to intelligent use of steel, light-weight aluminum alloy, and plastic
  • Weighs about 42.5lbs, this overall weight is important because this is actually a rack you can fold up and carry around or push around like luggage since it has wheels
  • The rear has reflectors on each end and an optional brake light plug in, a great safety feature I really appreciate
  • Has a rear license plate frame, this is great because I have actually been pulled over before with other bike racks as some municipalities will count it against you if the viewing of your license plate is obstructed
  • Available accessories like a door-swing so you can get the rack out of the way to reach the rear of your vehicle, or a bag for the rack itself when it is folded up for storage or transport
  • Included is a carbon fiber tube protector, with this you can wrap the section of the bike where it might strike another loaded bike frame and keep them from making contact and leaving scratches or scuffs
  • Ebike rated from its 130lb weight capacity, ability to fit up to 4.7” fat-tires, and having an adapter piece to fit both 1.25” and 2” hitches on your car
  • Locks with 3 cores, 1 on the short arm, 1 on the long arm, and 1 on the hitch knob to protect the rack itself
  • Ramps make loading and unloading easy, are flexible, strong, removable, foldable, and have their own storage space
  • Locking arms that mount to a larger bar rail, they can be mounted anywhere on that bar rail leaving you with quite a number of configurations, unlike other racks where you only have 1 option that usually cuts into the fender if you have fenders on the bike
  • It is easy to carry thanks to that lightweight 42.5lbs, carrying it around is only one form of transport since it has these nice wheels on the bottom, this way you can cart it around like luggage! This makes carrying it around very easy, this is also a great rack if you need to switch it from one car to another
  • If your ebike has a walk mode, getting it up and down the ramps takes ease a step further than is already here

Cons:

  • Thule’s main competitor, Küat, has a quad rack option, while the Thule only as a triple rack option
  • The Küat also comes with a repair stand for your bike, whereas the Thule does not have that option
  • The cost is a bit of a con, $750 is a lot for a rack, but that cost could be worth it considering it is a pretty secure investment in your already expensive ebike purchase
  • Folding it up is a fantastic feature, but I would still be worried about having it sitting in the back of my car, I would hate to have a big hunk of metal slide around and potentially bash me during a car accident
10 Comments
  • Jason
    Posted at 23:59h, 01 August

    Just a couple of comments I wanted to add about the Thule EasyFold XT 2 rack. I ordered mine on line and it arrived with the wheels damaged in shipping. Thule promptly replaced them at no charge for parts or shipping. When the rack is extended with the bikes parallel to the ground you can open the tailgate all the way on a 2016 Chevrolet Colorado. Also this rack will accommodate fat tire bikes if you purchase fat tire straps available on the Thule website for $20.00 a pair. I do protect the bike frames with foam pipe insulation where it looks like they might come in contact with other objects. I purchased Thule rack about six months ago and have used about 10 times, so far, I am very pleased with it.

  • Brian
    Posted at 23:59h, 01 August

    I have that model. When it’s connected to my hitch receiver it makes a good bike stand for working on your bike. Unfortunately, it’s not rated for most RVs, with the exception of class B’s.

  • Fred
    Posted at 23:59h, 01 August

    Purchased mine at Lone Star Bikes in Salado, Texas. They did a full demo and sample install. Once shown installed on my jeep, I told them to leave it there, I’m buying it now!

    To me its not ( a ) bike rack, it’s ( The only ) Bike Rack. Period. Goes back to “you get what you pay for in life,” and this Rack is simply essential.

  • Stella
    Posted at 00:00h, 02 August

    A few comments. Used it for first time on hitch receiver of 2018 Silverado Z-71 to pick up two r-m Homage which are fairly large and heavy. 52 cm frame barely fits on track and tough reach to grab the seat post with the holder arm, just barely enough horizontal range on the arm holder. Both bikes together weigh close to the limit, so took out batteries to be safe. Mounted on hitch receiver ramps are too short to reach the ground at any reasonable angle so had to lift them up to the track, which is pretty high off the ground in this application. Not surprisingly tailgate on the Silverado wont fully open with the rack mounted. A little wobbly with the bikes loaded, so just to be safe, re-tightened and added a ratcheting strap to tie the frames together and to the rack. In the end it worked well, pleased, better than throwing them in the truck bed. Suggestions would be to add more range to the movement of the holder arms, perhaps ability to rotate the claw, and an XL version of the ramp.

  • Irene
    Posted at 00:01h, 02 August

    I need some Subaru and Thule Easyfold advice. Perhaps from @Alaskan since I see a Subaru in the photo in this thread. In late 2016 I had my Subaru dealer install a hitch on my Forester (1 1/4″). I bought the Thule and have only used it a few times for hauling my bike to the shop just here on residential streets. It did seem to me the Easyfold didn’t insert very far into the hitch and it gnawed at me that it just didn’t seem as stable as it should. But I pulled and wiggled and wasn’t able to remove it when clamped down so I went on about my way. Fortunately I never took to the highway.

    I hooked it up this weekend anticipating hauling my bike to my wife’s parking garage and riding from there. I got to wondering again about the hitch mount depth. So I re-watched the videos and confirmed they all seem to show the rack inserting much farther into the hitch than I can insert into mine. I downloaded the Thule user manual and checked. They have a diagram that shows if the hitchpin hole is not more than 1.5 inches on the hitch then you can’t use the Easyfold. Mine is about .5 inches which the Thule manual clearly warns against.

    Today I called my Subaru dealer. Not much help other than to say that is the only hitch rated for the Forester. Said maybe I could find something after-market but that might require having to modify vehicle suspension or other mods. Subaru dealer sells Thule racks but not the Easyfold. I figured maybe the dealer just installed the wrong hitch or I was missing an adaptor or something. But dealer said it is intended only for the racks that hang one or two lightweight bikes. Seems odd that Court can carry around e-bikes on a Toyota Prius but my Subaru dealer is telling me the Forester isn’t rated for this?

    Does this sound right? I’ve either got to figure out a new hitch option or a new rack option. I contemplated a 1-rack setup as I haven’t needed to carry two bikes. If we do transport two, one will be the Vektron which will easily fit inside. Thanks for any advice.

  • Chris Harris
    Posted at 00:27h, 02 August

    Looked seriously at this rack, just did not work well for us with two bikes. I felt the pkatforms could be a bit longer to give a wider platform and that the bar that the clamps are on could be a taller so more room with two bikes. After much thought and shopping bought a Yakima holdup 2 evo. Writing this response from Florida where we used the rack to travel 1300 miles and I must say worked very nicely. Like everything in life I would make some changes for my personal bikes but overall great experience for much less money. Check it out.

  • Cleveland Jones
    Posted at 00:28h, 02 August

    This is the best bike rack! We have electric bikes, which are heavier that most bikes. Ebikes can weigh in at approximately 50 lbs. This bike rack has a ramp, which allows us to easily roll our bikes right up to the rack, and 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 remove the bikes from the rack. Finally, what makes this rack incomparable than any other on the market, 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!!

  • Maggie
    Posted at 00:29h, 02 August

    This bike rack is very user friendly, well constructed, and well thought out. I can load my own bike easily using the side ramp and as a 70 year old female that’s freedom. The locks make everything so convenient and the click when tightened down is very reassuring when I get on the road and know all is secure. The large handles for tightening also helps at my age. And last but not least to kick to slant the bikes down is genius.

  • Karl
    Posted at 00:29h, 02 August

    Finding a bike rack suitable for two ebikes having fenders and rear rack was a challenge. Add in that one bike was a traditional mens bike with a top tube and the other was a traditional women’s frame (step through), it took us awhile to decide on the Thule EasyFold XT2 from etrailer who have been fantastic to deal with. The rack arrived on time, and in excellent condition. You can literally take it out of the box and mount it on your vehicle. It look a few minutes to figure out the best way to attach the frame support bars, but because those bars can be removed and repositioned it attaches solidly and there is no movement of the bikes once mounted. Positives: – the rack folds up on the vehicle into a small package when the bikes are not mounted; for storage purposes it is about the size of a suitcase; it is on rollers, when attached and bikes on it, it folds away from the vehicle in a big way and, etrailer had it on sale for $150 less than the original price during Labor Day. There are no negatives – Love it!

  • Cici
    Posted at 00:29h, 02 August

    Bike rack seems to be just what I need . Very nice. Easy on and off. etrailer is great and customer service is impeccable !!! Would HIGHLY recommend them. I have bought several different items from them and always them same service. Fantastic!

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