The Thule EasyFold hitch-mount rack addresses a
number of long-running hitch-hauler shortcomings. First,
when easily folded up (to the size of a suitcase), it is both
light and compact, which makes it easy to store at home
or carry in the car until needed. Second, it mounts quickly
and securely with no hitch pin required. All you need to
do is slide the carrier into the receiver and simply tighten
the knob at the front. Continue to turn the knob and a
sliding wedge integrated into the carrier bar to lock the
mechanism tight so there is no rocking in the hitch or
rattling while on the road. A key locks the knob so it turns
uselessly until unlocked. Third, with a load capacity of 122
pounds combined with a wide and long deck, it can easily
carry a wide variety of e-bikes.
Although not as completely brain-dead simple as the
popular Thule T2 rack, if you have a standard-issue,
double-diamond frame, the EasyFold is easy to load.
But if you have heavy bikes with wide tires, or bikes with
unusual frame configurations or fenders, that’s when the
EasyFold really scores points. In fact, we have yet to find
a bike we could not clamp solidly down. We were able to
secure an electric-assist fat bike that would never have fit
on other racks we have tried. Once we had the method
dialed in, which occasionally required clamping to a pedal
or the crankarm, we were happy to find that the clamp’s
secure jaws were still easy on the bike’s finish. Best still,
the clamp knobs lock for security. Ratchet straps at each
end lightly secure the wheels in place.
What looks like a step on the outer end of the rack is
actually a release that angles both the carrier deck and
the bikes away from the car’s trunk/hatch so it can be
opened with the carrier mounted. Although the bikes
leaned at a radical angle, the rack still held onto them
strongly and securely. There is another release that allows
the empty rack to fold up toward the vehicle, and both
sides of the carrying deck also fold up, which is nice when
not carrying bikes. For safety and visibility, there are also
reflectors built into the deck.
E-bikes are frequently too heavy to secure or even
carry on a standard rack, but the EasyFold handles two
heavy bikes with nary a hitch (get it?!). At $699.95, the
EasyFold is on the pricey side, but if we were to put a
value on the level of confidence it gave us knowing that
our bikes were safely secured as we drove down the
highway, it was well worth the asking price.
For more information, see www.thule.com
or your Thule dealer. ■
Even with the carrier released to allow access to the van hatch,
the bikes stay securely fastened to the carrier.
(Above) The knobs for the hitch hardware and the
bike clamps can be locked. It would be nice to have
some articulation in other directions, but that would
make tying down less secure.
(Right) Handy, built-in straps secure the wheels to