Based out of Springfield Missouri, Kuat Innovations
is known for creating light, strong, and functional bike racks. The Beta rack
is no different. At under 15 pounds it's comfortably light, but not so light that it would make you wonder if it's solid, and while it's constructed out of Aluminum it may have some people wondering.
With an extremely simple design, the Beta rack features some unique additions to it. Using the classic connection method of the trailer hitch mount, the Beta rack uses a hand tightening cam adjustment to secure it in. With a lot of other racks, there is play between the hitch and the rack and it develops some play. Kuat uses a hand tightening cam to alter this effect. Simply tighten the cam down each time you put the rack in your car, and it removes all that wobble. Genius! It is available in both 2" and 1.25" sizes. Turning the dial expands the wedge and tightens the rack into your receiver. Follow that up with the locking pinInstalled and ready to rock
The Beta rack features a 45 degree drop head, meaning you can tilt the whole apparatus forward 45 degrees, making enough space to still open the hatch. Once the Beta rack is folded up completely it is very compact, and easily small enough to fit behind a seat or in a trunk. Each item flips opposite directions making the setup extremely easy, and take down the same way. Simply pull 2 pins and fold it up.
Watch the video and get better acquainted with Kuat racks
Kuat has also equipped their racks with adjustable carriages, meaning you can adjust how wide the carriages are, and the placement on the arms. This allows you to adjust the rack to fit your massive hucking beast and your track bike. The Beta rack is featured in a stylish Pearl color, and Kuat says "Your rack will look better on your hybrid, than your neighbor’s steel rack does on his Hummer". With such a lightweight design, and easy mounting system it is no wonder Kuat is making a name for themselves. Kuat even says that "9 out of 10 scientists agree, Kuat Racks are the best use of aluminum since the beer can*
*statistics may vary
New for '09 is the NV rack from Kuat
. Using the same hand tightening wedge to keep it tight, it should be able to hold onto any shaped bike. Something even more unique: The NV rack
features a fold out work stand for anything from a quick tire pump, to bottom bracket and crank installs, all at the trail head if an emergency pops up!
-Mike "Kakah" Levy
Catching with one hand an Alpha thrown from off-camera: VERY effective. Try doing that with my four-bike steel Thule.
Please tell me I'm not the only one who saw that.