Now that everyone is buying fat bikes, rack manufacturers are coming out with more fat bike racks. They want to meet the needs of folks who want to transport the bikes to the trailhead or take them on vacation. But which rack should you get? We're here to help you.
Tire size isn't too important on racks that carry bikes by hanging them by the top tube. However, be very aware of the rack’s weight limit. The weight limit is a particular concern on trunk mounted racks, less so on hitch mounted racks. Keep in mind that, because fat bikes are heavier than other bikes, a rack designed for three or four standard bikes may only be strong enough for two or three fat bikes. The overall size of the bikes may also mean you'll need to skip spots in the rack. With these considerations, many hanging racks make good fat bike racks.
Truck Bed Mounts
If you have a pickup truck, consider a fork mount for the truck bed. They make great fat bike racks. With these mounts, you remove the front wheel and secure the fork to the mount. Mounts of this type come in a variety of sizes to accommodate different size forks. If your regular riding buddy has a different size fork, you'll need a different size mount for them. We have several in our store:
- The Dirtbag Phat 9 fits most standard 9 mm quick release fat bike forks. Buy Now
- The Dirtbag Phat 15 x 142 fits most 15 mm x 142 mm through axle fat bike forks. Buy Now
- The Dirtbag Phat 15 x 150 fits most 15 mm x 150 mm through axle fat bike forks. Buy Now
When considering a roof rack for your fat bike, you will need to look at tray width and, if it is the style that attaches to the bike's fork, at the mount size. As a result, you might find yourself swapping out parts between carrying your tri bike and carrying your fat bike. You may also wish to consider whether you really want to be lifting your heavy fat bike up to the roof of the car.
Platform Hitch Racks
For fat bike racks, hitch racks designed to carry bikes on platforms are the best option (unless you have a pickup truck and go with the truck bed mounted option). Several models out now are ready for fat bikes right out of the box, and a number racks require that you purchase an additional part before your fat bike will fit.
|Fat bike racks: Racks which carry fat bikes without adapters|
|Tire Width||Wheel Base||Weight/ Bike||Weight Total||# of Bikes||Hitch Size|
|Thule T2 Pro||5"||50.5"||60 lbs||120 lbs||2||1.25" or 2"||Buy Now|
|Thule T2 Pro with Add-On||5"||50.5"||60 lbs||160 lbs||4||2" only||Buy Now|
|Thule T2 Classic||5"||48"||60 lbs||100 lbs (1.25" hitch) 120 lbs (2" hitch)||2||1.25" or 2"||Buy Now|
|Thule T2 Classic with Add-On||5"||48"||60 lbs||160 lbs||4||2" only||Buy Now|
- The racks above do not require adapters to carry fat bikes.
- If you have an older model of Thule T2, the Thule T2 Fat Bike Adapter allows you to carry bicycles with fat tires. Buy Now
|Fat bike racks: Racks which carry fat bikes after an adapter is installed|
|Tire Width||Wheel Base||Weight/ Bike||Weight Total||# of Bikes||Hitch Size|
|Küat NV 2.0||4.8"||48"||60 lbs||120 lbs||2||1.25" or 2"||Buy Now|
|Küat NV 2.0 with Add-On||4.8"||48"||60 lbs||160 lbs||4||2" only||Buy Now|
|Küat NV Base 2.0||4.8"||48"||60 lbs||120 lbs||2||1.25" or 2"||Buy Now|
|Küat NV Base 2.0 with Add-On||4.8"||48"||40 lbs||140 lbs||2||2" only||Buy Now|
|Küat NV||4"||48"||60 lbs||120 lbs||2||1.25" or 2"||Buy Now|
|Küat NV with Add-On||4"||48"||60 lbs||160 lbs||4||2" only||Buy Now|
|Küat Transfer 2||4.5"||47"||40 lbs||80 lbs||2||1.25" or 2"||Buy Now|
|Küat Transfer 3||4.5"||47"||40 lbs||120 lbs||3||1.25" (not class 1) or 2"||Buy Now|
|Saris Freedom 2||5"||44.5"||60 lbs (1.25" hitch) 35 lbs (2" w/ plastic adapter) 60 lbs (2" w/ aluminum adapter)||120 lbs (1.25" hitch) 70 lbs (2" w/ plastic adapter) 120 lbs (2" w/ aluminum adapter)||2||1.25" or 2"||Buy Now|
|Saris Freedom 4||5"||44.5"||35 lbs||140 lbs||4||2" only||Buy Now|
|Saris Freedom SuperClamp 2||5"||n/a||60 lbs||120 lbs||2||1.25" or 2"||Buy Now|
|Saris Freedom SuperClamp 4||5"||n/a||60 lbs in two trays closest to vehicle 35 lbs for second two trays||190 lbs||4||2" only||Buy Now|
|Yakima TwoTimer||4.5"||48"||45 lbs||90 lbs||2||1.25" or 2"||Buy Now|
|Yakima FourTimer||4.5"||48"||45 lbs||180 lbs||4||2" only||Buy Now|
We have the necessary adapters for the Küat, Saris, and Yakima racks in our store:
- The Küat Wheel Strap Extension lengthens the rear wheel strap to accommodate fat bikes and deep dish wheels. Buy Now
- The Küat Fat Bike Kit has two specialty straps: one to lengthen the rear wheel strap, the other to secure the front wheel. Buy Now
- Saris Freedom Fat Tire Wheel Holders allow you to carry your fat bike on any Saris Freedom rack, including the Freedom SuperClamp. Buy Now
- Yakima Fat Straps are longer than the standard straps, allowing you to carry a fat bike on the Yakima TwoTimer and FourTimer racks. Buy Now
Our Fat Bike Racks Experiences
We have racks and fat bikes in stock, so we put a few of these racks to the test.
Thule T2 Pro
The Thule T2 Pro is very easy to use with fat bikes. This rack comes out of the box with everything you need. The rear wheel strap is easily adjusted for length by switching mounting slots. The rack holds the bikes very close together, but it worked with the two fat bikes we tested. We could see some customers having compatibility issues with certain bikes. In our opinion, the best part about this rack is how easily it tilts. It has the best tilting method in the industry. The rack also feature a lock mechanism, but we found the locks hard to use and the cable did not retract very easily. However, the rack is very easy to mount and lock to your vehicle.
We have used one of these racks for almost a year now and it holds up pretty well in all weather conditions. Thule uses a powder coating and e-coating to ensure a long lasting finish.
Thule T2 Classic
Two fat bikes easily mounted to the Thule T2 Classic rack. The bikes took very little effort to attach and were spaced apart very adequately. The cable locks also worked very well. The pivot to get into the back hatch also worked, after a little difficulty reaching the lever and trying to hold the bikes up. Overall, this rack is a big winner for hauling two fat bikes, or four with the add-on.
Kuat NV 2.0
The Kuat NV 2.0 has every feature the original NV was missing. The rack can now carry most fat bikes without any problems (with the wheel strap extensions). The bikes are very easy to mount. The wheel trays are adjustable to fit almost any bike configuration. The new locks are now much longer and are far easier to work with. The rack is also very easy to mount and lock to the vehicle. The repair stand has also been significantly improved. The repair stand even locks into position while transporting. The only downside we can see with this rack is that the rear wheel still uses an extension strap. The rack is supposed to come with one extension strap, but ours did not.
Küat Transfer 3
The Küat Transfer (both 3 and 2) fits up to a 4.5” tire. The bike I was using was just slightly larger at 4.6”. This rack was extremely difficult to use, more than just a tenth-of-an-inch difficult. The front tire loop was next to impossible to get past the wide fat bike tire. It would have helped if the arm could extend farther. After fighting the rack for a few minutes, we got the bike mounted, but didn't have much desire to ride after that.
To secure the rear wheel you need an extension strap, and we also found that difficult to use. The strap was never in the right place and seemed like it might scratch the rear wheel. This rack was able to carry three fat bikes with a bit of maneuvering to get them to clear each other. We also mounted a 29 plus bike and it worked great, with the exception of the rear wheel extension strap.
The foot lever for tilting did make this rack one of the easiest to tilt for rear hatch access.
Overall, the NV 2.0 and the T2 Pro were Kyer's favorite racks and he would be happy to own either of them.
Fat Bike Racks Questions
We sincerely hope this guide has helped you sort through the process of choosing a rack that can carry your fat bike. If you have any more questions, stop by our retail store or leave a comment below.