I'm really glad that these are made of a strong material. Review would probably be five stars but they showed up with a dent. I don't know if it happened in shipping or from the factory. The inner product box inside of the shipping box has a dent that seems to line up with the dent on the bar. I'm really irritated by this blemish, but it showed up five days late from it's expected delivery date anyways, which negatively impact my plans for a charity bike ride since I didn't have the rack for my bikes on the car.
I can't comment on J carriers because I don't use them, but perhaps I should. The design weakness with Thule is the square bars, which only becomes a problem on curved roofs, but as the roof curves so must cradles cant away from each other, reducing contact between boat hull and cradle to inside edges. The cradle faces are absurdly small to start with; this rotational deviation from level makes it even smaller. Couple that with Thule's comically inadequate détente angle fixing clamp (for holding the saddle in the shape of your boat hull) and for support you are probably better off using foam blocks. So J carriers may work better on a curved roof, if I can lift that high. I've seen some people use them for composite boats so it might be OK.
The roof rack instructions are difficult to interpret. Here are tips from a sales person: The picture with the hand sqeezing does not mean completely secure, just means somewhat set in place. You completely secure,and hear the click, when on the car and screwing with the bolt/handle. Also, get the bolt/handle threaded properly into the foot before you shimmy it into the final position on your car, then tighten down. Also, Thule said that front and rear tie downs must be used on a verticle system because the wind force on long boats will tear almost anything off. Still, that piece of plastic is a crummy and dangerous attachment and needs replacing with something far more secure. Fyi Walden also makes a similar J system for kayaks but I haven't seen one up close.
Also have two of the cheaper thule bike racks (maybe they dont even make them any more) ,and again these are mostly fine, the only complaint I have about these is that they are the clamp on type, and the T bolt siezes in the clamp, which most of the time is not a problem, as you should never need to adjust the clamp size. However If I want to use my rack on a friends roof bars (not thule), the clamp size needs altering, but is difficult to do as the T bolt has siezed in the clamp.
The Showcase is constructed of high-quality, durable plastic, and the exterior comes with a high-gloss automotive-quality finish to deliver a decidedly more modern look. But the Showcase doesn’t just get by on appearances. The box opens from both sides, with a tapered tail to provide excellent tailgate clearance. The made-in-the-U.S. box comes with SKS locks, an intuitive push-button latch to securely close the lid and internal lid stiffeners that bolster the box’s overall strength and makes easy to open and close the lid.
Looking at some recent reviews, you might come to the conclusion that Thule heard all the complaints here about the end caps being shown in the picture, but not actually being in the box and rectified this problem. Some people claim to have gotten end caps. However, like me, you would be wrong in this conclusion. As of June 2015, they still don't include end caps. Maybe these people saying they got end caps got them with a foot purchase? At least in my case when I was just buying the bars to replace the rusty ones on my car, no end caps.
I put these on a 2012 VW Tiguan (using the Thule Rapid Crossroad Foot Pack) and probably should have gone with the 53" version for 2 kayaks. I only anticipated 1 kayak at time of purchase but the collection grew. Ended up getting a Takima J-Low to mount one on its side and one flat on the bars. Very tight squeeze (the J-Lows max weight for 2 kayaks isn't high enough if they are fishing kayaks - 110lbs). The J-Lows are VERY noisy and whistle when empty (gotta break out some duct tape and work on that...) but the bars - you won't notice they are there unless actively listening for them when unloaded.
I am not sure if it would be possible to have 3 or 4 UpRide racks on one car. 2 is certainly possible. 3 probably is possible but I doubt if 4 would fit together as the UpRide is wider than the other Thule bike racks. The following image shows the UpRide as the third from the left – as you can see it takes up quite a bit more space (width) than the others. Then again, maybe your car is wider than my estate.
Solid square load bar for kayak/canoes. It fits my 9.5 ft kayak along with my 14 canoe old town next to each other with additional space left over. It would not fit 2 kayaks and canoes flat. It does not stick out any further than mid part of side mirrors on my yukon. It is compatible with the load bar from thull. Only complaints that I noticed is that the coating is not very durable as I have a huge gash across one of the bars (not sure if from the rounded part of canoe bolt end or from combo of heat/pressure); also the rack will make a whirling noise when traveling on highways (55mph and up) which is very noticeable unless radio is on; I remove the racks during off seasons so it does not bother me at all but I can see when you may consider their additional part that blocks the wind for it from thull. I know some mentioned end caps may fall out but I have not had that issue although I put silicone (same stuff for plumbing or pool o rings) around the inside part to keep out moisture which may have helped that issue.
While most roof rack systems have some modular components, the year, make and model of your vehicle will determine what your specific options will be. Brands like Yakima and Thule have a current solution or two for most vehicles, but at ReRack we are able to offer a wide variety of choices, from now-discontinued styles to the latest and greatest racks. If you’re not sure what parts you need for your car, reach out to us! We’re happy to help. For an introduction to main types of roof racks, see our guide here.
I contacted Thule's tech services and was told that the aluminum mounting clamps would not hit the field until March 2003 and that it might be late March at that. They will still have the capability to clamp to bars up to 2.5" wide. They will still ship with 50mm and 60mm screws. They also stated that some (maybe all?) of the saddle type carriers would get a four position locking set-up that would allow them to lock nearly vertical for a shell on down to flat for a windsurfer.
I used the rack with a standard road bike and a mountain bike with a big chunky downtube, both were clamped snuggly in place as the rubber lining of the clamp moulds around the tube whatever its shape. We got the quick release wheel straps over a set of Cannondale Knot 64mm deep section wheels and there was plenty of strap to spare. The design of the mounts also means any width of tyre will fit with the possible exception of fat bikes.
Within Thule’s lineup of rooftop bike racks, cyclists across all disciplines will find a rack that works with the specific bikes they ride and the vehicles they drive. Whether you’re a hard-core road warrior racking up miles on skinny tires, or a bruised-up mountain biker running steep trails and hitting fat jumps, this article will help you choose the right Thule bike rack for you.
Rather than going for a pack put together by a roof rack shop or supplier I decided to visit the Thule website, find the make, model and year of my car to create a shopping list of the parts required. This is a simple but crucial process as the different possible combinations of bars, foot pack and fitting kit is enormous. Once checked I sourced each of the parts from different suppliers on Amazon. This saved around 20% and as I have Amazon Prime included free delivery.
There are a few other things that are important to me, and no doubt many of you will have your own requirements depending on car and lifestyle. I for example like a rack that won’t take up much space when off the car – which pretty much rules out boot or tow bar mounted racks. I’d also rather leave it in situ for most of the time due to the amount of use.
They seem solid and well made. I'm just surprised at the way that the coating ends on the bars and the bare steel is open to the elements. I guess I assumed these would come with the end caps, as it doesn't specify that they don't and the photo includes the end caps, while graying out the feet - which I knew weren't included. Seems kinda skimpy to leave that little piece out.
It all starts with a Thule roof rack. Once you have chosen the load bar of your choice the rest of the system will be pre-determined by the vehicle you drive. Thule roof racks are complete systems for transporting your gear safely, easily, and even stylishly. Thule pride themselves in providing the widest car solutions available on a global market.