These are working great so far for a Cargo Box and Canoe mounts on top of our 2017 Subaru Forester. I was leery about these as they sit up a bit higher than the factory crossbars, but the AeroBlades live up to their namesake. Without a load on top, I don't hear any extra noise with them installed and our mileage appears to be spot on with what it was without any cross bars installed. The vehicle's computer calculated ~35.2 MPG doing 70 on the interstate with some front and tail end driving on the streets with a local commute. That's is right around what the vehicle gets without cross bars. If there is a difference, we're talking a difference of decimal points. I had thought for sure that the MPGs would take a beating at highway speeds in particular with cross bars. The only con that comes to mind is that with the Cargo Box (Thule Atlantis 1600) on top, we can't pull into our garage door as it's just a bit too tall. The factory bars, which would sit lower by about an inch or two would likely allow for it, but then we would lose the ability to mount the canoe as the width of the mounting space on the aluminum is significantly reduced with those. With these, you can use the full top of the bar for mounting with the T bolts as well as wraparound accessories. The factory Subaru cross bars only accommodate wraparound accessories as there is no slot/channel for T bolts. For our vehicle, at the foremost mounting point on the roof rails, the spacing between them is 39". The foot packs underneath the bars do come inward a bit, but the usable space between the foot packs for wraparound accessories on the front bar is right around 36" (less on the rear bar), which is more spacious than what the Subaru cross bars would allow for. So far, we are very pleased with this setup!
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.
However I am going to comment on some of the installation steps and things to watch out for as it is a little daunting to open the FreeRide 532 and find the bags of various components. Once you’ve installed the FreeRide all of the steps you took will be ‘obvious…in hindsight‘. In the future, fitting and unmounting the BIKE RACK will then only take about 5 minutes per bike rack.
I initially purchased 4 #875 Hydra Glides to carry my kayaks on. However, the area of the pads seem too small and were putting dents in the hull when the boats were loaded. I decided to eat the $220.00 and install 2 Hull-A-Ports. They seem to carry more of the kayaks weight on the side as well as supply more area of contact. While installing, I noticed that the flange in the base where the base pad fits into, was broken on one of the Hull-A-Ports. I emailed Thule's support and asked them to replace the broken one and asked if I could buy a spare as it's obviously the weak point if it was broken out of the box! Thule's response was that I should take the Hull-A-Port to my dealer and ask them to call Thule while I am there! It's 100 miles round trip. My response to Thule was that this was CRAP and I asked if Thule was going to pay my time and mileage! I would rate them zero, but one is as low as this site goes!
There are a number of roof rack manufacturers providing equipment that although suits a purpose, is not suitable for carrying canoes, kayaks or bikes as it cannot handle the weight of these items. We exclusively sell Thule roof racks and cycle carriers which are well designed and can handle the weight and bulk of modern sports equipment. We don't sell anything we wouldn't be happy using ourselves and we're a picky bunch!
However I am going to comment on some of the installation steps and things to watch out for as it is a little daunting to open the ProRide 598 and find the bags of various components. Once you’ve installed the ProRide all of the steps you took will be ‘obvious…in hindsight‘. In the future, mounting and unmounting the BIKE RACK will then only take about 5 minutes per bike rack.
Thule Base Rack System Reviewed by Chris K (Levittown, PA) Reviewed for a 2002 Jeep Liberty — 2007-11-30 07:02:02 After traveling quite a bit with the family i decided to upgrade and purchase the thule rack system to add to my factory rails. Once I received the package in the mail it took only minutes to install the mounts and crossbars. I was impressed with how well constructed this product was and I would definitely recommend this to anyone having an existing rails sytem to go forward and purchase this complete rack system by thule. It has a huge impact on how you travel and is well worth the money I paid for it. VIEW MORE REVIEWSShop Thule Base Rack System | Shop Thule
So, minus one star for false advertising about the end caps. And minus one star for claiming they don't rust, when I'm replacing them because the old ones are rusted. Otherwise, these things are super solid. I've had at least 2 stand up paddleboards and 2 surfboards on the car at once and there's no question these bars can withstand the strain from wind. If something were to break or bend in the whole car/rack combination, it's not going to be these bars in my opinion.
I was very pleased with my experience at Rack Solid. Customer service was professional, friendly, and very accommodating. The Rock Solid Company is ethical and practices honesty and fairness, as they didn’t try to sell me more rack locks than I needed, like other rack retailers do. (I needed 5 locks, but other retailers only sell packs of 4 or 6. Here, I was able to save money and buy exactly 5.) I was referred by a third party to visit Rock Solid, and now I see why others refer them. I will definitely encourage people to buy from this company, especially since they are a specialty store, and have a wide variety of rack systems, carriers, and accessories. They even do installations…it’s one-stop-shopping at it’s best!
I recently put my Thule J-racks on for their second season of use, only to fine that the mounting hardware is not for its second summer of use. The mounting bars (plastic) are cheap and split easily. There is a bolt inside the mounting bar that is supposed to stay stationary so that the bolt may tighten the rack to the rack. When plastic mounting bar splits, which doesn't take much, the bolt moves around making the hardware useless. Also, the bolts included with the racks rust at the mere mention of water. (Probably not the best thing for a kayak rack). The upside is that the J-rack itself is great, its just the mounting hardware that stinks- which can be replaced. I've yet to do it so I can't speak to how easy that is. Its not a bad rack for $85, just be prepared to replace and be careful witht the mounting hardware aspect of it.
As a final consideration, even though the UpRide will hold practically any bike you can hoist into its ratcheting hook arm, it really shines when securing bikes with wider tires inflated to lower pressures—i.e. mountain bikes, hybrids, cruisers, and fat bikes. Simply put, the hook can grip the bigger, softer tires easier than with the skinny, high-pressure tires found on road bikes.
Anti-Sway Cages – There are a few different ways that racks can be designed to minimize sway, but an anti-sway cage is the most widely used. In particular, you’ll find these on rack designs that hold the top tube, but rear mounted designs that lock the wheels can also benefit from built-in anti-sway tech. In essence, it’s just going to help to keep the bike stable in the rack as you drive. This has the dual benefit of not allowing the bikes to affect vehicle handling (especially at highway speeds) and also stops the bikes knocking into each other.
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.
The one addition I’d like to see made to this is a clip to hold the wheel straps out of the way when putting the bike in place. You can tuck them behind the wheel mount, but I found they would often flip back over and get in between the tyre and the mount meaning you had to put the bike down, tuck the strap out of the way again before picking the bike up to put in place. Not a big deal, just mildly annoying.
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.
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