Anyone who has owned a tray bike rack knows the pain of a bruised shin. There just seems to be no way around it – at some point you are going to forget it’s there (whether while unloading a bike, reaching past the rack it to put in some groceries, or just washing the car) and you are going to run into it. And apparently the team at Küat decided enough was enough (or possibly their shin guard budget was getting out of control). So, they decided to build a better way. Meet the Pivot – it’s not a bike rack, it’s what makes your bike rack better.
The Kuat Pivot
Simply put – the Pivot allows any 2” receiver-based bike rack to effortlessly swing away, providing ample clearance for tailgates, rear doors or just increasing your hatchback access. Need to get past those two loaded bikes to open your liftgate. Just swing it away. Washing the car and don’t want a bruised shin. Just swing it away.
To induce that aforementioned swing requires a two-step process. First you need to remove the safety pin, and then flip the red handle to open the latch. And then –swing away. Once it’s 90° to the right you reinsert the safety pin, so it does not bounce back. Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy.
The Pivot can accommodate up to 250 pounds of total weight, so it can accommodate Küat’s own NV 2.0 4-Bike and most of the other bike rack options out there. Though some of the 6 bike models fully loaded down may cross the threshold.
Building the Pivot is relatively painless. It comes almost completely built. You just need 4 bolts for the latch and then some tightening of the latch clamp itself. The one tricky part was the threaded hitch pin (which we had not encountered before). Getting that perfectly aligned took a bit of finagling. We have seen that others did it quicker with two people doing the work, but we were able to slowly get it together with just one. We suspect the hitch (and its build tolerances) itself will determine how easy the install is. Then simply install your bike rack to the Pivot as you normally would to the receiver and you are all set.
Once installed the Pivot is super easy to use. Pin, latch, swing … 1,2,3. Our one wish is that in a future design they can do away with the pin and move to a one step process (preferably with a foot pedal like on the Sherpa 2.0) to avoid the need to set groceries down before we swung it out of the way. But beyond that it is fantastic and simple to use. We never had a complain during it’s usage. On our test vehicle we didn’t notice any additional creaks or moans. Everything was held together sturdily (as we have come to expect from Küat products).
The one thing to note was that the Pivot does move the position of your bike rack. A little under 3” vertically and then roughly 10” or so back. For many this won’t be an issue (and even could be a benefit if your bars or pedals hit your car under normal circumstances). But for those that have a garage this may be a challenge since it may increase the length of your car\truck\SUV so much it no longer fits. Which was unfortunately the case we found ourselves in. We went from being able to garage our car (with a solo Küat NV and Sherpa 2.0) to making the choice of pulling the rack off or leaving the car outside permanently. (We chose the former which was a pain in the back – literally!)
At $295 this is not a cheap accessory (we did find though that it is in line with other similar products out there). But for those with a rear hatch that opens to the side (like on some Toyota’s and Jeep’s) or those with pickup trucks with a bed they regularly access, the Küat Pivot will be a huge win. We found that our shins were thanking us for the length of the review. And the only reason we have taken it off at the moment was so our SUV could get some much-needed time out of the elements. Oh, and speaking of that Küat Sherpa 2.0 we were testing the Pivot with – stay tuned for our upcoming review!