After assembling the rack, it was time to attach the unit to the back of my truck. The unit comes with a nice locking hitch pin, and a cinch tight cam system that wedges the rack’s arm tightly into the receiver. Inserting the rack into the trailer hitch was easy, although I did find that a quick spritz of greaseless lube (I used LPS 1) inside the hitch receiver, and on the rack’s main arm aided greatly in working with the two entities. The hitch receiver tends to get pretty dried out and dirty with time, and just a tad of the lube really helps.
Aligning the holes so that the receiver pin could be inserted, took some finesse, but that’s the same with any trailer hitch work. The pin’s lock easily snapped on, and the lock’s key hole cover fit snugly, and has stayed on over 4 months of hard use. Once the pin and lock are set, then turn the black cinch tight cam system knob to get the rack from slopping around in the receiver. I forgot to do that once, and I had to pull over, and tighten it down, since I could see the bike jostling around in my rear view mirror. During a 2 foot snowstorm, I drove off a curb into a very deep ditch and broke off the cinch tight knob. The knob is not user replaceable, and the lower hitch section must be returned to the factory for replacement (under warranty).
The NV is a 2 bike rack (future option for 4), that holds a bike with a front tire cradle with an adjustable clamp arm, and a rear tire ratchet strap system, so nothing is contacting the frame. This beefy, yet light rack (48lbs) is made of heat treated 6061 T6 aluminum, and can carry up to 55 lbs bikes. The rack accommodates a variety of bike styles, and holds wheel sizes from 20 to 29 inches, with up to a 3 inch wide tire.
The holding system does a great job of securing bikes during transport, as my multiple test trips over 4 months have acknowledged. I have made a few 6+ hour road trips with the rack, with speeds up to 75mph, in extremely winding conditions, and all were done with my typical aggressive styled driving. The bikes stayed stable, and did not show any adverse issues. The rack has gotten the joy of being in some severe snowstorms, so the rack got its first treat of road grime, salt and gravel. It has also done fine on the typically rutted and bumpy fire roads.
Attaching a bike was very straight forward. Just undo the strap by loosening the ratchet, and pull the clamp arm out as far as possible. Pick up the bike, swing the bikes rear wheel under the strap, center the front wheel in the cradle, rotate the clamp arm up and towards the fork, and give a slight snug down. Ratchet the strap tightly, and then give a good push on the clamp arm and your done. I drive like a crazy man (my Wife would concur), and the bike stayed nice and secure with all my nutty aggressive driving habits.
Removing the bikes is straight forward, just reverse the process. Push the arms in when done, and ratchet in the straps, and then pull the lower gold lever and push the rack up vertical for space saving.