Kuat Transfer vs Thule T2 Classic vs Saris Superclamp EX


Im in the market for my first bike rack. We will most often be carrying 2 Trek roadbikes. One of them is a carbon fiber. Mostly local driving, although I wouldnt rule out doing longer trips with them, but probably not often. Ive done a lot of reading and watching videos on eTrailer very helpful, thank you. Ive narrowed it down to the Kuat Transfer 2, Thule T2 Classic and Saris Superclamp EX. * Kuat - seems like a great rack for the price. Ive read it can have some issues with rusting due to water getting in through the end caps. Is this a known problem? Am I getting lower quality for the lower price? * Thule - well known and proven, but am I paying a premium because of the brand name over the Kuat? The Thule video makes it seem like its also more involved to tilt and fold. * Saris - the newer EX model is a pretty big jump in price for the ability to tilt and fold over the prior model. This rack differs from Kuat and Thule in that it has 2 clamps to hold both front and rear wheels. Does the 2 clamp design provide more reliability for holding the bike in place over the 1 clamp designs? Is it more complicated to get the clamps lined up with 2 clamps for 2 bikes? Thanks in advance for helping me with my final ion.


Helpful Expert Reply:

For this being your first bike rack purchase you have done a fantastic job at researching to narrow it down to some great choices!

Since you have done your research and watched our review videos I will avoid going over all of the features and focus on your specific questions for each bike rack. If you do end up having more questions though please let me know.

The Kuat Transfer # TS02G is a great, cost-effective option that only weighs in at 37 lbs. It also has a gunmetal gray powder coat on the steel frame which really helps the bike rack to last and resist corrosion. I reached out to my contact at Kuat about your concern with the end caps. He said that there have been a few times where the end caps may not have matched up exactly with the open end of the tubes but that has only happened about 6 times since the release of this bike rack 3 years ago (as of August 2018).

The tilting and folding features are much easier to use for the Transfer over a lot of other bike racks because Kuat has tried to make it easier on the consumer. Another thing to note is that this bike rack doesn't come with locks but they are easily added at a reasonable price with part # PTSCLK12.

Some of the extra price of the Thule T2 Classic # TH9044 does have to do with the brand name, but it also has to do with how the rack is built. You can actually install an additional 2 bike trays with the Add-On # TH9046 so the T2 Classic has to be a little more heavy duty (weighing in at 50 lbs) to accommodate the potential extra weight. This bike rack does come with a bike rack lock but you will need to order lock cores like part # TH450200 to lock your bikes to the rack. If you go this route though it would be better to wait until you got the bike rack and then just order individual lock cores that match what you currently have.

The Saris Freedom SuperClamp EX # SA4025F is another great bike rack that you have chosen to compare. When looking at this model next to the SuperClamp 2 there was an upgrade to the wheel trays that allow it to accommodate up to 4-1/2" tires, the addition of the tilting and folding features, as well as an upgrade to the integrated locks for the bikes. The 2 clamp design doesn't really make it that much more reliable than the 1 clamp designs because the first clamp basically holds the bike rack while the strap just helps to keep the wheel in the tray. As you can see in the attached review video, the SuperClamp EX easily holds 2 different bike styles.

If you are just carrying 2 bikes then the Transfer is the best bang for your buck. I do recommend going with the T2 Classic if you may end up carrying more than 2 bikes on a regular basis though. The SuperClamp EX is a great product if you are looking for lightweight (only 35 lbs) and a very compact appearance.

I did attach our basic review videos as well as the test course videos for each bike rack in case you hadn't checked them out yet.

helpful expert reply by:
Jon G

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