Thule T2 and T2 Pro XT Bike Racks: An In-Depth Review

The Thule T2 line of hitch-based bicycle racksgo (classic and Pro XT), are strong, durable and will last a long time. The Thule T2 models will not disappoint, even though the price tag is higher than we would like.

Thule T2 Pro XT


Thule T2&T2 ProXT Overview

Thule T2 Classic

Thule’s car bike carriers are a favorite of ours because they are sturdy and easy to use, even for those who are new to biking. Although they are more expensive, car bike carriers can be a great investment. If you don’t invest in a bike carrier, your bike will be riding on a lightweight frame while you travel 65 mph.

Premium pricing is due to Thule’s brand, build quality and reputation for durability. But what you get for it? A premium product. You will get a lot more for a Thule if you decide to sell it second-hand than for a Chinese rack.

It is obvious that the cost of a damaged or lost bike depends on its value, so serious cyclists who have made significant investments in their bikes should also invest in racks to transport them. This means that you should avoid the cheap racks at the mega-competitive department-grocery or discount tool supply and instead choose a rack made by a trusted brand. Thule, pronounced “TOO-lee”), is a trusted brand that offers quality racks and carrier solutions. Thule’s current collection, dating back to the 1960s features carriers for everything, from skis and stand-up paddleboards to their most sophisticated bike racks.

The T2 bike rack range is a favorite of ours.

Thule T2 Features

Thule’s T2 range is the perfect configuration for cyclists: tow-hitch mount, with trays that securely hold bikes by their wheels. The hitch mount attaches a rack to the vehicle frame. The tray system secures bikes only by the wheels. This prevents damage to carbon fiber frames and delicate finishes. While rubber bands may be useful on some racks, the Thule T2’s steel and composite construction provides an undeniable advantage. The T2 is a variation of the T1. Two bikes are standard in the default configuration. Additional two-bike add-ons can be purchased.

Thule T2 Pro XT

Both the Thule T2 Classic model and T2 Pro XT model share the same 2-bike hitch mount and tray-secured design. They also have the same basic operation. While both are priced higher than Thule’s more economical frame-hanging or clamping options, the T2 Classic offers a substantial savings over the T2 Pro XT. Although the Pro XT’s frame uses 8 lbs more aluminum than the Classic, the weight difference between the two is only 52 and 60 lbs. The XT offers greater stability and strength than the Classic’s rectangular-shaped steel tubes. The XT’s adjustment point are significantly larger and more ergonomic, particularly the tilting function. An exposed steel linkage on the Classic’s car end and a small latch at the Classic’s rear are now replaced by a large handle for the XT. It is conveniently
located at the rear of the rack. The tilt can be used on both models to allow for a slight tilt of bikes that are mounted for hatch access or folded away completely when not being in use.

Thule T2 Classic vs. T2Pro XT

Let’s talk about one elephant in this room: Thule’s T2 is available in two popular versions – the Classic and the Pro XT. Which one is better?

Thule shoppers will need to consider their budget when choosing between T2’s Classic or Pro XT flavors. The quality of Thule’s add on system for 4-bikes might be a concern to those who are interested. Owners of the T2 proXT extension report numerous quality issues, including broken welds and parts that aren’t aligned correctly for installation. Even though current production is better, the extension unit’s size and weight are still a problem. Two adults are required to operate the unit. It is difficult to change between 2 and 4 bikes at once, according to owners. However, there have not been any such issues with the T2 Classic’s extended unit.

The Thule T2 Pro XT and Thule T2 Classic are excellent options for cyclists looking for a rack that is both durable and versatile. Even if a price is a concern, shoppers who are still able to afford a rack should consider upgrading. They can expect years of use on all types of vehicles and a quality rack.

Thule Access add on

Hitch size is the only restriction to compatibility. You can choose between a light-duty passenger car (1.25") or a more heavy-duty truck (2.5"). Your vehicle may already have a receiver for a hitch, so you won’t need to worry about which one to choose. When installing hitches, it is important to consult a professional. Some hitches may require modifications to the vehicle’s frame. Manufacturer load ratings will assume proper installation. Do-it-yourself projects are not advisable for anything that could be used to pull a trailer or any other vessel. The benefits of safe and secure bicycle transportation are worth the cost, especially compared to some less durable alternatives.

The Thule Access is compatible with both models. This add-on allows the bike racks of the two models to swing to one side, allowing you to make full use your vehicle’s back hatch. It is a great option if you drive an SUV or Subaru Outback.

Thule T2 vs. Kuat NV vs. Saris SuperClamp vs. Yakima Holdup

We think Thule’s foldability and easy grip is the best feature of all the products.

T2’s lineup of products is a compelling choice, particularly with the T2 Classic’s affordable entry price and the Pro XT’s higher-end functionality. They offer a wide range of options and are a top choice in terms of their price points.

Yakima’s Holdup EVO and the Saris SuperClamp EX offer similar layouts and prices, while maintaining a 120 lb weight limit. Although Saris and Yakima models claim to be lighter than the T2 Classic, this could lead to a reduction of around 10 lbs. However, it could also mean that stability, longevity or both may be compromised. A slightly heavier model might offer added stability if your roads are frequently rough.

While the Superclamp is more expensive than most, the Yakima Holdup can often be found for less.

The Kuat NV Base is the most prominent competitor in the T2 Pro XT range. The Kuat NV Base is a strong competitor from a quality manufacturer, and the user reviews are excellent. The Kuat has been a positive experience. Some minor differences in spec can be important for individual users. For example, the Thule T2 Pro XT can fit tires up to 5" (meaning it can accommodate your fatbike and its wider tires), while a Kuat NV Basis 2.0 requires an additional “Phat Bicycle Kit.” There are many options available through local dealers who may be able help with setup and installation. Inventory availability may influence a final decision. The Thule
and Kuat are the best bike racks available. You can take a look at the Kuat >by clicking here.

What about the Thule Apex XT

The Thule Apex XT might also be a popular choice for bike racks. The Thule Apex XT is one of our favorites. However, it’s a hanging rack. The wheel-mounted racks are our favorite. They make the bike much more stable and keep it stationary.

Most importantly, most bikes can fit on a bike-mounted rack. It is often more difficult for children’s bikes and women’s bikes to fit on the hanging racks.

The Thule T2 Pro XT models are worth the extra money.


Both the Thule T2 Classic&T2 Pro XT are great choices for their respective price ranges. They are not cheap but you won’t regret them for the rest of your life. These models are recommended if you have the money.

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