Strengths: Heavy duty unit that includes room for four bikes without touching each other, configurable to hold kids bikes, 29ers, 26ers, cross and road bikes all together. My purchase included the locking hitch pin, cable lock for the bikes, and the standard non-locking hitch pin. Flexible platform positioning to stagger bikes. Set it up for your family/crew and forget it. Rack angles up slightly so the rack/bike wheels don't scrape the road when backing down the driveway to the street- no more dragging 29er wheels from hanging style racks. You can remove the 4th set of bike wheel tray hoops and hold down clamp to configure it as a 3 bike rack if you like.
Weaknesses: Needs a 2" receiver due to weight of the rack and its fully loaded carrying capacity, so the Jetta is out, but can be used on the SUV.
Most racks of this type do not fold down out of the way to open the hatch on the back of your SUV when the bikes are mounted. I've looked at most all of them (less expensive and more, much more, expensive). Solution is that the bikes go on last. The hold down hooks do touch the paint, but they are soft. My wife's Trek has top tube routed cables, so I cut up an old T-shirt into rags to fold up and place between the top tube, cables, and hook. I then applied the same folded rag solution for mounting my niner and my son's haro. That addressed any paint contact point concerns.
I have roof racks (yakima & VW), and a hanging type rack (old Swagman 3 bike) that I've used for years and years, and still do, although the old Swagman 3 will be retired now. This rack has them beat hands down. You set it an forget it. We're a multi-bike family and on our last trip we had the following mounted: 16" wheeled Haro kids BMX bike, my SIR9 29er, and my wife's Trek 4900 26er. Once the hoops were positioned and locked in (took about 5-10 minutes to configure the 1st time), it takes 5 minutes to load 3-4 bikes. Once loaded, they are locked solid and stay put on the back of the vehicle. No bouncing, wobbling, shaking, rubbing, flopping, etc. They come off as easily as they go on. This is the best value in an excellent rack that I've seen after searching all brands and models of tray racks. Of course it would be nice to have the 4 bike Kuat rack, but you can do a lot with the 500 dollars you'll save on a rack that does a fine job at flawlessly hauling your steeds. $279 including shipping from U-haul.com. I ordered it on a Friday night at 10:30 pm and it arrived on Wednesday morning. I should have bought this years ago.
Strengths: Once it's set up, it only takes two minutes to put up all four bikes.
Thick steel components. Rattle free. I have the latest one with the new tire carriers with straps (not shown in picture description). Works extremely well.
Fully adjustable for all sorts of different bikes.
Bikes lock on very solid.
Least costly 4 bike carrier that really works as advertised.
Cable supplied with rack to lock bikes with rack.
Weaknesses: Heavy. All manual set-up with-out mechanical levers to open main system. Cable for bike not built-in. Can't open hatch if bikes are on rack. Rack does not swing away or down. All these grips are minor for me but nonetheless they are shortcomings.
Even after mentioning any of the weaknesses, for the price IMHO it can't be beat. Gone on many trips with four bikes and always very secure. No rattle, no shaking, just tight.
I actually haven't taken the rack off my truck since I've bought the rack (6 months now). I actually cut main post mount in half to transport 2 or 4 bikes. (Not Part of instructions manual)
Only reason I didn't give 5 chilies on overall rating is because the manual characteristics.
You can see pic of rack in this forum: http://forums.mtbr.com/9276765-post11.html
Similar Products Used: Thule Vertex 4 Bike
Yakima Doubledown $
Bike Setup: Four 29er Bikes
a Weekend Warrior
from Elk Grove, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: March 4, 2011
Strengths: Very strong, feels solid. Can't complain about the price. Does not sway around like other racks I've seen being used by other people on the road.
Weaknesses: If I had to pick, I'd say a tad heavy but not too bad.
I had to switch from a roof rack to a hitch mount rack due to shoulder problems and this rack caught my eye. I have used this rack to transport my bike, my wife's Jamis Dakar, my son's bmx and daughter's beach cruiser approximately 90 miles. It took about 20-30 min of fiddling around to accommodate all the different shapes of our bikes but once I figured out the best way to do so, it has been very simple ever since. This rack had now issues whatsoever, while on the road. My son would keep an eye on it during trips and he says that it does not sway at all. Highly recommend this rack.
a Cross Country Rider
from Athens, OH, USA
Date Reviewed: June 2, 2010
Strengths: Solid build quality, adapts to any size/style frame, easy to use, no sway, no clanking, no bouncing
Weaknesses: If you want to lock the bikes on, you either need four separate smallish padlocks or a cable lock to run through the frames and then through the rack. Very minor complaint, however.
Boy, I wish I'd known this rack existed when we first decided to switch from roof trays to a hitch mount. This thing is brilliantly designed, solidly built, and half to a third the price of "comparable" Yakima/Thule stuff.
On first use, it took me about fifteen minutes to arrange the wheel carriers and ratchet hooks to accommodate four very differently sized mountain bikes. After that one-time setup, it now takes maybe 2 minutes to load or unload all four bikes, and there are no issues with cables or handlebars or pedals interfering with one another.
The unit folds up and down smoothly, rides close to the tailgate when stowed, doesn't rattle or bounce, and holds bikes with zero movement. If you need a hitch carrier, this is the ONE.
Similar Products Used: Thule and Rocky Mount fork mounts on roof, Yakima DoubleDown, an ancient Rhode Gear trailer mount/fork mount, etc.
Bike Setup: 2 Lefty-equipped Rushes, a Precaliber, an MT-60, plus various road, mountain and cyclocross bikes
a Weekend Warrior
from Bay Area, CA
Date Reviewed: October 28, 2009
Strengths: Works for 1 to 4 bikes without removing wheels.
Works on cruisers, ten speeds downhill bikes etc, in any combination.
Rubber coated ratcheting arm holds bikes very securely without scratching paint.
Folds up when bikes are removed.
Weaknesses: Heavy and bulky when not using.
This is a great rack that does what it's designed for. It is highly adjustable and will accomodate almost any bike - even large downhill specific rigs. It's not as nice as the latest platform racks from Thule or Yakima, but it costs about a third of their price.