Thule T2 Pro Xtr 2 Bike

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Thule T2 Pro Xtr And Pro X Review

etrailer | Thule T2 Pro XTR 2 Bike Rack Review

From main features to the tiniest details, the Thule T2 Pro racks are thoughtfully designed and executed for maximum durability, usability, and versatility.

As one of the few tray-based bike racks compatible with everything from fat bikes to 20 kids bikes the Pro XTR and Pro X are our favorite hitch platform racks for anyone with a wide array of bike sizes and styles in their stable.

But which Thule T2 Pro rack is the best option for you? Having tested all the major competitors including Yakima, Kuat, Saris, and Rockymounts we know a thing or two about bike racks and have experienced firsthand the pros and cons that come with each brand. So before we jump into the details of the two different T2 Pro models, well first break down who the T2 line is best forand who its not.

20 inch Bike and 26 inch Fat Bike on the Thule T2 Pro

Our Analysis And Test Results

Thule could easily have left the T2 Pro alone it was a great rack and our previous favorite. Instead, they took an amazing product and made it even better by increasing the spacing between the trays and growing the lateral tray adjustment range. These changes are barely noticeable without comparing the old and new versions of the model side by side but when we put the new T2 Pro XT to the test, the increased clearance between bikes was noticeable.

The T2 Pro XT maintains all of the groundbreaking features that established it as the benchmark hitch-mount rack remote tilt release handle, and a tool-free vehicle attachment system. Its innovative features are what vaulted it into the top position in our previous review. Our current round of testing includes some racks that have copied some of the Thule design features. Despite many other racks now employing the same features, Thule maintains the top spot due to its impeccable execution compared to its competitors.

Sliding Rear Wheel Cradles

The wheel trays have cradles with ratcheting straps to secure your rear wheel to the rack. The cradles slide along the tray to accommodate bikes with a variety of wheelbases. To secure your wheel, run the strap over the rim and back down through the strap buckle and pull tight. To remove your bike, press the quick-release button on the buckle and undo the strap.

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What Makes The Thule T2 Pro Xtr And X Stand Out From Other Platform Hitch Racks

While many nuances exist between the various brands, looking strictly at numbers, the Thule racks outperform other racks in three areas tray spacing, weight capacity per tray, and fat-tire capabilities.

Space Between Trays: While seemingly minor, the extra inches between the trays can make a big difference, especially when loading up mountain bikes with wide handlebars. Handlebars hitting saddles and shepherds hooks hitting derailleurs can quickly become a challenge. An extra inch quickly goes a long way to eliminating contact between bikes on a rack.

Max Tire Width: If you dont have a fat bike or dont plan on getting one, there really isnt a reason to fret over tire width.

Weight Capacity: Although the T2 Pro models dont have the highest total weight capacity , every tray on the Thule racks can hold a 50 lb. or 60 lb. bike.

While you should always load the heaviest bikes closest to the hitch on all bike racks, sometimes due to fitting issues, a heavy bike can end up on one of the extension trays. On the Thule, it isnt a problem, but could be problematic on the Saris or Rockymounts.

The T2 Pro racks are also built like a tank. Our rack has been through snow, rain, mud, and sand and we have never had to replace or repair a single part on our 5+ year-old rack.

Thule T2 Pro Xtr And X Bottom Line

Thule T2 Pro XTR 2"  2 Bike

Exceptional in every way, the Thule T2 Pro line is a highly versatile rack that is amazing for families. With the ability to easily haul 20 and 24 kids bikes as well as fat bikes, hauling your familys bikes is a breeze. With 12 of spacious room between each tray and 4 of offset available for each tray, the T2 Pro line is the most spacious, yet rugged, rack available on the market.

FTC Disclosure: Affiliate links are included in this review. No monetary compensation was provided for this review. All opinions and images are that of Two Wheeling Tots LLC. All content and images are copyrighted and should not be used or replicated in any way. View ourTerms of Use.

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Thule T2 Pro Xtr And X Overview

  • RATING: Exceptional

PROS:

  • With the add-on kit, can easily switch from 2 or 4 capacity as needed
  • Folding lever is located at the end of the rack
  • Accommodates 20 bikes and most fat bikes without any adapters
  • XTR can accommodate bike tires up to 5 wide without adapters
  • Provides 12 of space between each bike!
  • Trays shift up to 4 side to side to help offset bikes
  • Tool-free installation and integrated hitch pin
  • XTR has built-in locking cables for each bike

CONS:

  • Very Heavy but XTR has wheels to help move the rack around when not attached to the car
  • Does not fit with 27.5 fat bikes

**NOTE: This review is based on our experience and continued use of the older version of the Thule T2 Pro rack. The changes made to the current models the T2 Pro XTR and the T2 Pro X are minor. As a result, some images are labeled as the Pro, but unless noted, their features are the same as those on the Pro XTR.

Why We Like The T2 Pro Xtr Hitch Rack

Taking off the front wheel and stuffing your bike into your trunk is a speedy solution when time isn’t on your side, but this quickly becomes irritating when you travel with your bike every weekend. Stop struggling to find the missing quick-release skewer, and upgrade to the Thule T2 Pro XT Hitch Rack to make your life a little easier. When you just want to get your bike to the trailhead and ride, this easy-to-use rack will accommodate two bikes with a stable arm around the fork, and a lock around your frame without taking all afternoon to set up. When you don’t want to rack occupying space on your rig, the tool-free AutoAttach system allows you to remove the carrier for easy storage until you need it again.

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Pivoting Arms With Ratcheting Hooks

The T2 Pro XTR has ratcheting hooks that grab your bikes firmly by the front wheel, so it won’t scratch or scuff the paint. To load a bike, simply place your front wheel in the cradle, rotate the arm up and over the wheel, and press down firmly on the ratcheting hook. To unload your bike, press the gray button on the upright arm to release the ratcheting hook, and slide the hook up.

Integrated Wheels On Thule T2 Pro Xtr

Thule T2 Pro XTR Bike Rack Demonstration

Although the actual installation of the rack is easy, lifting the rack on and off can be a challenge. As a 4-tray system, the T2 Pro XTR weighs almost 100pounds!

In addition to lifting the rack up to load onto the car, moving it around the garage as well as to and from your car can be a challenge. To help in transport, the T2 Pro XTR comes with wheels along the base of the rack to allow you to easily roll it from place to place. The Pro X does not have these wheels.

Even with the wheels, both T2 Pro models are still pretty heavy, so if you plan on taking your bike rack on and off frequently, the Thule T2 Pro line likely isnt the best choice for you. The much lighter RockyMounts SplitRail or Saris SuperClamp are worth taking a look at.

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Who Is The Thule T2 Pro Line Best For

  • Anyone looking to haul multiple bikes, especially those with a wide variety of wheel or tire sizes
  • Families who need to transport bikes 20 and up
  • Those who want a higher-set rack that is less likely to interfere with a cars backup camera while folded up on the car
  • Those who need a rack that is easy to fold while on the car no reaching across or under the rack, the lever is easily accessible at the end of the rack
  • Fat bike riders fits tires up to 5 wide on the Pro XTR model. Pro X fits 3, but fat tire cups can be purchased separately to bump it up to 5
  • People who tend to forget tools while on the go the T2 Pro models do not need any tools to install! Their unique mounting system also eliminates a hitch pin that can easily be misplaced.

Thule T2 Pro Xtr 2 Bike 125 Inch Hitch Bike Rack Black

Part Number:
9035XTR

Thule T2 Pro XTR is a premium bike rack for demanding bike enthusiasts. With time-tested durability and award-winning design, this robust bike rack is ready for a wide variety of bike styles, including e-bikes.Hassle-free designThule T2 Pro XTR has loads of features that make it easy to attach, use, remove, and store. From the tool-free AutoAttach system to the integrated wheels that help maneuver the rack to and from the vehicle, each detail has been carefully engineered, allowing you to focus on getting out and enjoying the ride.Extreme testingAt our state-of-the-art Thule Test Center, we put the Thule T2 Pro XTR through the most demanding tests on the market. After using our specially designed test equipment to simulate the rack driving around the world twice, we then expose it to extreme heat, cold, and real-world road tests to ensure we deliver the most durable rack out there.

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Thule T2 Pro Rack Height

In addition to being longer , both the T2 Pro XTR and X models also sit higher on the hitch than other racks. As a result, compared to other brands, you will need to lift your bikes up higher to load them onto the T2 Pro. In the image below you can see how the T2 extends several inches higher off the hitch as compared to the RockyMounts SplitRail.

RockyMounts SplitRail vs. Thule T2 Pro XTR

As a result, the T2 Pros can be slightly harder to load for shorter adults as compared to other racks.

In the comparison image below, you can see how much higher the same bike sits on the Thule T2 Pro as compared to the Rockymounts. Granted, these racks are mounted on different cars , but the difference is pretty clear.

On the flip side, the higher-set Thule T2 Pro models interfered much less with backup cameras on our cars as compared to the lower-set RockyMounts. While the position of the backup camera on cars varies widely, if you plan on keeping the rack folded up on your car fairly often, the higher position of the T2 Pro will be to your benefit.

Folding And Unfolding The T2 Pro Xtr And Pro X

Thule T2 Pro XTR 2"  2 Bike  Campmor

One of our favorite features of the T2 Pro models is the ease with which they fold up. Unlike other racks which place the folding lever underneath the rack, the T2 Pro XTRs lever and XS lever is right at the end of the main mast of the rack. Simply squeeze the lever and push up.

While all previous models of the T2 Pro had this feature, the T2 Classic did not! The folding lever on the retired Classic was just above the hitch of the car and was significantly harder to access.

When unfolding the rack to load bikes , the lever is easily accessible as well. With the 2-bike extension added to the rack, however, the lever is up pretty high and can be hard to reach, especially for shorter adults trying to fold down a rack mounted on a high hitch vehicle.

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Locking Mechanisms T2 Pro Xtr Only

To keep your bikes secure while on the go, each shepherds arm on the Thule T2 Pro XTR comes with a locking cable. The cable extends out of the arm and then wraps around the frame of the bike and locks back onto itself with the included locks.

This feature is only on the Thule T2 Pro XTR. The Pro X does not have individual locking cables for each bike, but like the XTR, the entire rack itself does lock onto the hitch to prevent theft of the entire rack.

Thule T2 Pro Rack Length

Compared to other hitch platform racks, the extra-wide bike spacing of the Thule T2 Pro models does make them longer than other racks, especially when the extension is added to make it 4-capacity. So in addition to extending farther out past the rear of the vehicle when loaded, the rack also extends taller up the rear of the vehicle when folded up.

Although the four different racks shown below are all on different cars, the Thule Pro shown is actually on the largest vehicle and still extends up to the top of the car.

The 4-capacity Saris Superclamp EX shown above is great for those who dont want their rearview obstructed. As a word of caution, however, we found the Saris Superclamp struggled to fit four 27.5 and 29 full-size mountain bikes without contact between the bikes.

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Ease Of Removal And Storage

The T2 Pro uses a tool-free system to secure the rack to a vehicle. Just slide the rack into the hitch receiver and release the stinger pin, which drops into the hole that traditionally would hold the locking pin. Then, a knob is turned on the body of the rack that secures the rack to the vehicle and prevents wobble. One of the included keys is used to secure the knob, preventing theft. This may seem like a trivial feature, but if you’re removing your rack from your vehicle on a regular basis it can be a huge time saver. Other racks, like the first generation Thule T2 Classic, use a threaded hitch pin to prevent wobble that requires a wrench for attachment and removal. While the threaded pin system works quite well, using a wrench can be frustrating and time-consuming due to the cramped working space.

The T2 Pro XT takes up a lot of space when stored, and moving it around on a regular basis is not all that enjoyable since it weighs 51 lbs. The Kuat Sherpa and the Yakima Dr. Tray are both lighter and easier to carry to and from the garage. If limited storage is an issue than the 1Up USA Heavy Duty Quick Rack packs up smaller than any other platform hitch rack in the test.

Bike Spacing On The Rack

My Thoughts on the Thule T2 Pro XTR

The Thule T2 Pro XTR and X provide an industry-leading 12 of space between each tray! If you have ever used a bike tray of any design, youve certainly experienced the frustration of trying to prevent the handlebars and saddles from rubbing together. With other racks offering as little as 8.5 between bikes, the Thule T2 Pro models are quite spacious!

**The image below shows our older T2 Pro model which only had 11, but the current Pro XTR and X both have 12 of spacing.

Need even more space? To prevent handlebars and saddles from touching, both models of the T2 Pro allow each individual bike mounting bar to slide 4 to the left or right of the bikes center mast. Adjusting these trays does require tools, but once they are set, you likely will never have to reset them.

Thule T2 Pros Offset Trays

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Tire Width Limitations Front Tire Tray

The front tire trays of the Thule T2 models determine the max tire width of the racks. The larger and wider XTR rack can hold all tire widths from road to 5 fat tires, while the narrower tray on the X can only hold standard tires up to 3 wide.

The tray on the Pro XTR is unique in that it has three separate slots for various width tires. A narrow slot at the bottom for thin road tires, a standard slot for tires up to 3 wide, and the widest outer slot designed to support tires up to 5 wide.

Thule T2 Pro XTR Front Tire Tray

The tire tray that comes standard on the Pro X only has slots for standard and road tires. Individual fat tire trays, however, can be purchased for the Pro X as an add-on to allow it to accommodate larger fat bike tires up to 5 wide.

Thule T2 Pro X Tire Tray

What About The Thule T2 Classic

Thules more affordable platform hitch bike rack, the Thule T2 Classic , has been retired and replaced by the T2 Pro X. Having used both the Pro and Classic models, we can honestly say that the Pro X is a big jump up from the Classic!

Unlike the Classic, the Pro X shares the same hinge and folding lever design as the T2 Pro XTR. As a result, the Pro X can be folded up or tilted down via the lever at the end of the rack as compared to the Classics hard-to-reach lever located at the base of the rack.

The Pro X, however, isnt a complete rebuild as it has the same narrower tire trays, shepherds hooks without locking cables, and non-ratcheting tire straps as the T2 Classic.

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