You’ve taken the time to research the perfect bike and spent your hard-earned cash to bring said bike home, but you may have forgotten one crucial part of the equation: how are you going to transport your noble steed safely?
Look no further than the Thule T2 Pro XT. I have had a number of bike racks throughout my cycling career, and have never trusted a rack as much as I trust the Thule T2 Pro XT.
Review in a Nutshell
- Fits a wide range of wheel sizes and tire widths (including 20″ wheels)
- High carrying capacity (60 lbs per bike)
- HitchSwitch allows easy full trunk access
- Integrated locks aren’t robust enough
Price (MSRP) & Where to Buy:
Why I Chose The Thule T2 Pro XT
After several recommendations and hours of research, here’s how I decided on the Thule T2 Pro XT rack:
Versatility & Adjustability
As someone who takes the “n+1” rule very literally, versatility is important to me. I have a lot of bikes, and finding a rack suitable for all of them can be difficult. I don’t want to have to pick a side on “The Great Mountain Bike Wheel Size Debate”, and Thule didn’t want to either.
The T2 Pro XT rack is able to transport bikes with 20” to 29” wheels without any additional adapters. There are not too many racks out there that fit 20” bikes without adapters, or even at all, so this rack is a great option for families with little shredders.
The rear closure is also incredibly adjustable. The mount slides seamlessly along the tray to fit a wide range of wheelbases.
The ratchet straps are adjustable as well and can fit 700 x 23 road tires with the same confidence as 26 x 5.0” fat bike tires, and again, without additional parts.
Thule does say that this rack will not fit a 27.5” fat bike, the limiter would be the front ratcheting arm. I have fit bikes with 27.5” x 3.0” wheels and tires, but can see how anything larger might pose a problem.
Weight & Carrying Capacity
Hitch racks are heavy, and this rack is no exception. Coming in at around 52 pounds, this rack is not the lightest on the market, but since I am a “set it and forget it” type of rack user, this was not a huge concern for me.
I much prefer durability to lightweight. I previously owned a four-bike rack that weighed less than the Thule T2 Pro XT 2-bike rack, but that rack only made it two trips before I ran into issues. My Thule has been on my car for the last six months, and I have not even had to tighten anything yet.
This hefty rack is not overbuilt for no reason – this rack has one of the higher carrying capacities on the market. Along with adjustability, this was one of the most important factors that led to my decision.
Most of my bikes weigh over 30 pounds, and my e-bikes top out close to 50 pounds. The T2 Pro XT has an impressive weight limit of 60 pounds per bike for both the 2” and 1-1/4” receiver options.
There is a 2-bike add on available to bring the carrying capacity up to four bikes, but only for the 2” receiver.
Thule T2 Pro XT rack photoed with a 2017 Stumpjumper Pro with 27.5” x 3.0” tires.
The Thule T2 Pro XT has some really cool features, and now that I know they exist, I will never be able to live without.
The HitchSwitch might be my favorite feature on this rack. The HitchSwitch is a handle positioned at the end of the rack. This handle is easy to grab with one hand and allows you to tilt the rack up when not in use, or tilt down when you need to access the trunk.
Other racks hide the release lever under the bike trays, making it especially difficult to lower the rack when bikes are loaded. Even with 800mm wide mountain bike handlebars, when the rack is tiled down, I am able to fully open the trunk of my SUV.
Another unique feature to the Thule T2 Pro XT is the lateral adjustability of the trays. This is the first bike rack I have owned that gives you mounting options for the trays.
I have some wide handlebars on my mountain bikes, and I tend to transport two at a time. I was able to set the rack up where the trays are slightly offset so the handlebars do not get in the way of the other bike’s seat / post.
Not unique to Thule, but another huge perk is the integrated locks. The rack has a cable lock on each ratcheting arm to secure the bikes to the rack. The rack also has a lock at the hitch so the rack cannot be taken off the car without a key.
The HitchSwitch allows the user to raise and lower the rack easily with one hand.
…and what’s not.
Surprisingly, the integrated locks. While the locks are nice to have in case you need to grab some Pop-Tarts on the way to the trail, the cables are much too short to trust for a long period of time.
I understand there are limiting factors when creating a fully integrated lock, but it would be nice to have a couple of extra inches to work with. I leave a cable lock in my car to supplement the integrated locks if I know I will need to leave the bikes unattended.
Now, I might be dreaming here, but this rack would be absolutely perfect with the addition of a work stand. I didn’t think I would ever use the work stand attachment on the Kuat NV, but after a few rough days at the bike park, I became a big fan of the Trail Doc.
However, based on the way the Trail Doc is installed on the NV, the addition of a work stand on the Thule might have to replace the HitchSwitch, and I am not sure that is something I would be willing to give up. Work stands don’t take up too much space in a car, so this definitely was not a deal-breaker for me, it just would have been a nice perk.
The integrated cable locks are great in a pinch, but bring an additional cable lock if you plan to leave bikes unattended.
I love this rack and recommend it to anyone who asks. I have so much confidence that this rack will get my bikes where they need to go without issue.
Thule racks are known to last and based on my initial impressions, the T2 Pro XT will live up to this reputation. The versatility of this rack is impressive, and the price point ($599.95 MSRP) is competitive for what the rack has to offer.
See more details on the Thule T2 Pro XT here.
Kira Maicke has been an avid cyclist since 2010. She started racing road bikes in college for the University of Georgia and switched over to mountain biking after graduating and moving out west. When she’s not on one of her bikes, she’s out playing in the mountains with her husky, Semenuk.