Kuat Trio Fork Mount Bike Rack Review | 2018
If you’re looking for a fork mounted rack for your car, truck or SUV, look no further than the Kuat Trio Fork Mount Bike Rack. The Trio is Kuat’s answer for a rooftop fork mounted bike rack.
There are 4 main types of bike rack systems including
- Rooftop Mount
- Truck Bed Mount
- Hitch Mount
- Trunk Mount
Küat pronounced (Koo-at) are probably best known for their rear hitch mount racks, but some people prefer rooftop mounted system and Kuat’s solution is the Kuat Trio.
Kuat was established in 2008 to build better bike racks that are part bike rack and part masterpiece. Their functional elegant designs have made Küat an instant hit among bike enthusiasts, amateur and professional cyclists.
Kuat uses a 4 security nut setup to attach the front of the rail to a crossbar. The rear section of the rail uses 2 thumb screws to attach to the rear crossbar. While most roof racks have some type of theft locking system that locks the rail to the roof rack, Kuat relies on their 4 security nuts to provide theft protection. It does make the rack a bit more vulnerable to theft, over lockable racks, but from what I can see it works.
The Trio does come equipped with an integrated rear cable lock allowing you to lock your bike, but from my experience these type of locks can easily be cut should you leave your bike unattended for any length of time. Typically I like to use a 2 lock method, with at least one being a heavy chain and the other a u-lock. Even that though can be foiled if a thief has enough time and the right tools.
What makes the Kuat rack stand out is it’s minimalistic design and sharp looks. The Fork Mount comes standard with 3 adapters including a 9×100mm, 15×100mm, & 20×110 mm. Others can be purchased separately.
Here is the Kuat Trio on our 2013 Subaru Crosstrek with standard Subaru racks.
It a little hard to see, but the Trio has a much lower front profile than the Yakima rack that is next to it. The Trio also doesn’t stick out as far in front of the crossbar compared to the Yakima.
The Kuat Trio attaches to the front crossbar using 2 brackets and 4 security nuts.
Top shot of the Trio showing the security nuts and 9mm front skewer.
The bike’s front fork is securely fastened in.
Here we have the rear wheel straps. The Kuat Trio comes with 2 different size straps, a shorter one for road bikes and a longer one for mountain bikes or bikes with larger tires.
Kuat Trio Specs
- 1 Bike Capacity (45 lbs max)
- Gun Metal Gray or Black & Polished Chrome Powder Coat Finish
- 3 Way Mount – Fits 9×100, 15×100, & 20×110 mm forks
- 9mm x 135mm QR
- 12mm x 100mm Thru-Axle
- 15mm x 110mm Boost Thru-Axle
- 15mm x 142mm Thru-Axle
- 15mm x 150mm Thru-Axle
- Optional adapter kit for fat bikes
- Mounts to most factory & all aftermarket cross bars
- Integrated Cable Lock (locks both frame and rear wheel)
- Sliding rear tire strap
- Up to 4 feet between cross bars.
- Max crossbar size-3.5” wide by 1.5” thick
- Weight: 7 lbs
- Dims: 56” x 4” x 1 3/8”
- Retail: $189.00
Kuat Trio Setup
The Kaut Trio is a fork mount bike rack and it’s rail system will need crossbars to attach to. In my case I mounted the Trio to our Subaru Crosstrek’s standard roof rack. Those who don’t own roof racks will need to purchase them in order to attach the Trio. Many car manufactures offer roof rack options that can be used in conjunction with the Trio.
The Trio kit comes with 4 security nuts, 2 u-bolts, 2 rear thumb screws, 2 strap bolts, a u-bolt wrench and a skewer tube wrench. It also comes with a 9mm skewer, 15mm and 20mm skewer tubes, and rear strap.
When installing the Trio, you will want to make sure the rear bolts are on either side of the rear crossbar before installing the front of the rack. When I first setup the rack, I started at the front and then realized I hadn’t setup the rear properly, so had to start all over again.
Installing the front part of the Trio is really easy. Simply hand thread the 4 security bolts as shown and then use the Kuat 5 sided security wrench to tighten down the rail.
Once the rail has been installed, selecting the correct axle mount is as simple as popping one in and tightening it with the supplied skewer wrench . For instance most standard road bikes will used the 9mm skewer and tube.
I did run into an issue where one of my road bike fork’s didn’t work with any of the skewers. The problem pertained to the fork thickness being too wide. In most cases this shouldn’t be an issue, it just happened that I have a non-standard fork, which Kuat didn’t factor in. Unfortunately in speaking with their tech support, they don’t have a fix for my particular problem. One solution I think would work would be to purchase an extra 9mm skewer setup, cut the skewer and use a typical wheel skewer instead of the supplied Kuat one. In this case the the tube may need to be drilled as well.
Another minor issue is if you have 2 Trios mounted on your roof, the passenger side rail is realistically designed to have the skewer lever on the inside (There is a cutout on the left side of the rail – see above), rather than the outside, making it a little harder to access. The skewer lever can be reversed and positioned on the outside, but it doesn’t look as nice.
Bottom Line | Kuat Trio Review | 2018
The Kuat Trio is a pretty slick looking fork mount. Based on other racks I have reviewed, the Trio is one of the most aero and minimalistic fork mounts on the market. It looks fantastic on any vehicle and with Kuat’s sense of styling, you will look great cruising around town.
Switching between a mountain bike with a thru axel vs a road bike with a skewer, takes just a few minutes to setup and you’re ready to go.
The retail price of $189 is much less than a hitch mount of the same quality. Of course you will probably want 2, so the price tag is doubled. If you also need to buy a rack with crossbars, you might be better off buying a hitch mount instead. The Kuat NV™ 2.0 retails for $629.00 and might be a less expensive alternative.
It really boils down to taste and preference. Heck if you are really adventurous, get both and you will be all set and look pretty legit.