Thule T2 Pro XT vs. XTR: Showdown Between the Two Competent Hitch Bike Racks!

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As a bicycle enthusiast, I always look out for the best possible things for my bikes. While searching high and low to transport my bicycles safely during a long drive into the wilderness, I have come across various roof-mounted and fork-mounted racks.

It’s not like I have something against those types of carriers, but every once in a while, we all like to or have to carry more than one bike. It can be either your best friend’s, your partner’s, or your second bike for a different riding experience.

I, on the other hand, wanted to take two of my favorite bikes on a journey to the mountains, which made me look into the Thule T2 Pro XT and XTR hitch bike racks.

I have tested and used these two carriers for quite a few months and found an obvious winner among the two. So, if you want to know which one is better between the Thule T2 Pro XT vs. XTR hitch bike rack, then mate— it’s your lucky day.

Thule T2 Pro XT vs. XTR: Quick Comparison Table

Below comparison table will make it easier for you to decide what to purchase. Let’s start!

Thule T2 Pro XTThule T2 Pro XTR
TypePlatform hitch rackPlatform hitch rack
Bike Capacity22
ExpandableYes, to 4 bikesYes, to 4 bikes
Load Capacity120 lbs120 lbs
Hitch Sizes1.25″ & 2″ hitches1.25″ & 2″ hitches
Item Weight51 lbs52.04 lbs
Integrated WheelsNoYes
Distance Between Bikes12.5 inch12.5 inch
Max Tire Width5”5”
Wheel Base1270 mm1270 mm
Wheel Size20” to 29”20” to 29”
Bike lock includedYesYes
Tilt FunctionYesYes
PriceBuy From AmazonBuy From Amazon

My Experience of the Two Hitch Bike Racks

My time with the two carriers was a pleasant one. I would’ve jumped into the differences; however, I believe if you have a look at a detailed review of the racks, you will find it easier to comprehend the things that are in common and not. So, without further ado, let’s hop right into it.

Thule T2 Pro XT Hitch Bike Rack

Before shifting my interest to hitch-mount racks, I did try out a few roof and fork-mounted carriers. Nonetheless, they were single-mount racks, but this time I needed something that could carry two or more bikes; hence, the Thule T2 Pro XT hitch bike rack.

I was already a fan of Thule; therefore, I decided to get a hitch rack from them as well. The first hitch-mounted carrier I tried out was the Thule T2 Pro XT, and as you can already guess, it can carry up to two bikes without any adapters.

It was very much different from the roof-mounted racks I used before, The UpRide and ProRide. For the roof carriers, I needed a crossbar which was already there on my car; however, for the T2 Pro XT, I needed a 2-inch hitch receiver, but my vehicle didn’t feature it. There is a another T2 Pro XT model for 1.25″ Receiver.

I installed a hitch receiver which wasn’t a big deal, to be honest.

Once my vehicle was upgraded to support hitch-mounted racks, it was a piece of cake to install the carrier. The carrier features tool-free installation, so I didn’t need any screwdrivers or wrenches to attach it.

Furthermore, it takes about the same time to install and remove the rack, which is only a few minutes.

It would’ve taken me less if the rack was lighter. It weighs around 51 pounds, so lifting up and moving the carrier was a little challenging. However, there is a good side to the weight: due to its heavy body, the rack is able to carry two bikes of 60lbs each.

On my first trip with the carrier, I took the Yeti SB130 and the VanMoofS3. The former is a mountain bike and weighs only 29lbs. The latter, on the other hand, is an e-bike and has a weight of 46.3 pounds. The rack was able to accommodate them easily without any trouble whatsoever.

Honestly, I was a little worried at first as my VanMoof S3 is quite heavy and comes with fat tires of almost 28-inches in diameter. However, there was nothing to worry about because the rack supported fat bike tires of 5-inches and wheels of 20 to 29-inches.

One time I decided to take my two kids and my wife on a cycling trip, so I was in need of a rack that could carry up to four bikes at least.

Much to my surprise, the Thule T2 Pro XT carrier allows you to take as many as four bicycles with the help of a Thule T2 Pro XT Add-on adapter. The adapter didn’t come with the rack, so I had to purchase it separately, but it was totally worth the money.

As for keeping the bikes secured, the carrier comes with ratcheting arms, one for each bicycle, to hold the bikes in place firmly. The distance between the two bike slots is also quite generous and about 12.5-inches.

There hasn’t been any contact with the frame or between the bicycles during my long drives, so I was pleased with it.

There was a 24-inch cable that came out of the ratcheting arm, which helped me lock the bike to the rack in case someone tried to steal it.

Finally, I was able to tilt the rack up and down with the HitchSwitch lever, which I felt was very convenient because it gave me easy access to the rear of my car without having to remove the entire thing.

Things that I Found Interesting

  • The rack had a massive weight capacity of 120lbs, so I had no problem carrying heavy bikes
  • There was no frame contact as the ratcheting arms stuck to the wheels only
  • I was able to tilt the rack up with the lever when I wasn’t using it
  • The locking cable made sure petty burglars had a tough time stealing my bikes
  • The carrier was easy to install and remove

Things that Could’ve Been Better

  • Moving the carrier from one place to another was quite a challenge

Thule T2 Pro XTR Hitch Bike Rack

Thule T2 Pro XTR

After using the Thule T2 Pro XT carrier for a few months, I found out that there is a newer and better version of it, which is the Thule T2 Pro XTR hitch bike rack.

Now, I wasn’t sure if the latter was better or not because you can’t believe everything you hear, so I decided to try it out myself and see the difference.

Similar to the XT carrier, this one also comes with a 1.25-inch and 2-inch hitch receiver. I had already upgraded my car, so you can guess that I didn’t have trouble finding the perfect size whatsoever. Installing and removing the rack is pretty simple as there was no tool involved in the process.

With the previous carrier, I had to work up a sweat because there wasn’t any feature to make the product portable, so I had to carry the 52-pound rack all the way from my living room to the garage. Nonetheless, the XTR comes with integrated wheels at the bottom.

Hence, taking it from one place to another was like moving a wheelchair.

The rack comes with two ratcheting arms and two straps to keep your bikes secured while they’re mounted. There was no sign of contact between the arms and the frames, and the distance from one slot to another was about 12.5-inches.

Most of the features of the rack are pretty similar to the ones of the Thule T2 Pro XT. I was able to carry the same bikes, and when I wanted to take more than two bicycles on the trips, I used the Add-on adapter that I bought for my previous carrier.

The Thule T2 Pro XTR also features a locking cable and a hitch lever to secure your bikes to the rack and tilt it up or down for rear vehicle access or when you’re not using it. Overall, the racks were pretty much the same in terms of design, weight capacity, and security.

Things that I Found Interesting

  • Due to integrated wheels, transporting the rack (while it is off the car) didn’t require any effort
  • I didn’t have to use any tools to attach or remove the carrier from my vehicle
  • It allowed me to carry my heaviest bikes
  • Ratcheting arms and wheels straps made sure my bicycles were mounted securely on the carrier
  • I was able to tilt the rack up and down with the hitch lever

Things that Could’ve Been Better

  • The locking cables seemed a little too thin, and anyone with a bit of experience could’ve sliced them up

Common Aspects Between the Two Hitch Mounted Racks

Thule T2 Pro XT vs. XTR

Now that I’ve told you about my run with the two carriers, it’s time I show you guys the similarities between them. Believe it or not, most of the features are quite similar between the racks.

Let’s start with the number of bikes they can carry. Unlike fork-mounted racks like the Thule TopRide and FastRide, these carriers can carry up to two bicycles.

The maximum weight capacity is 120lbs and 60lbs for each slot. If you want to carry more than two bikes, then you can use the same Thule T2 Pro XT Add-on adapter with both of the racks.

So not only do these carriers have a lot of things in common, but their additional accessories are also similar.

The racks are suitable for wheel sizes of 20 to 29-inches and can even accommodate tires that are as wide as 5-inches. So, no difference there as well.

You can carry the same bikes on both racks without having to worry about a proper fit. If your bike is suitable for the XT rack, then you can mount it on the XTR carrier too.

Moving on! Both racks have two ratcheting arms for the front wheel and two straps for the rear. The arms don’t come in contact with the frame, and straps are there to keep the bikes more secured.

The distance between the bike slots is 12.5-inches, and it is the same for both products. Afterward, both racks feature 24-inch locking cables, which you can use to secure the bikes, and they automatically retract back to the ratcheting arms when you’re not using them.

The way you have to install or attach the rack to the hitch is also pretty much the same. You don’t need any tools to set up the racks. The carriers feature a Tool-free AutoAttach knob that you can use to connect them to a vehicle.

Finally, both racks have the same type of hitch lever. You can use the lever to tilt the rack up when you’re not using it or down when you want to open your car’s rear without having to remove the entire thing.

The Differences Between the Thule T2 Pro XT and XTR Hitch Bike Racks

With everything out of the way, we can finally look at the differences between these carriers. I must admit, both racks are quite similar, and there isn’t much to talk about. I only found two differences that are worth mentioning because the rest are insignificant.

Integrated Wheels

I have to be honest; this is the only feature that the XTR has, and XT doesn’t, and this is the only significant difference between these two racks. I know I’ve mentioned two differences, but the second one is not a game-changer.

Thule T2 Pro XTR Integrated wheel
Thule T2 Pro XTR Integrated wheel

Anyways, the Thule T2 Pro XTR rack comes with integrated wheels, and the XT doesn’t. It is because the XTR carrier was developed after the XT. The manufacturers must’ve thought it would be a great addition to the rack, and they were right; it is very useful.

The wheels make the XTR carrier more convenient as you can move it around anywhere without having to strain your arms. If you come across a situation where your rack is far away from your vehicle, then these wheels can be a life saver.


There is a very slight difference between the price of these two racks. You may think that the T2 Pro XTR will cost more because it has integrated wheels, but for some unknown reason, it doesn’t. Apparently, the older model or the Thule Pro XT costs more than the XTR hitch bike rack.

I was also surprised to know that the XTR rack costs less than the XT, despite having an extra feature.

Announcing the Winner

After looking at the reviews, the similarities, and the differences, it’s pretty much clear that the Thule Pro XTR hitch bike rack is a better choice between the two.

Usually, I would say something like— if a certain carrier is more suitable for my needs, it doesn’t mean that it would be the same for you. However, it’s not the case this time.

There is a clear winner in the showdown between the Thule T2 Pro XT vs. XTR hitch bike rack, and it is the latter because the carrier has an additional feature and it costs less than the former.

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Jeff Phillips Racktutor
About the author

Jeff Phillips is the able founder of In his professional life, he has been offering Paintless Dent Repair and Hail Repair services in North Texas since 1990. He is the owner of DentMasters. He is still passionate about outdoor adventures with his family, bikes and cars. So he has first-hand experience on bike racks. He is regularly testing suitable racks for his upcoming trip. His aim is to create a user-friendly free website where bikers can easily read bike rack informations without any hassle.

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