This is a well-made bike rack that improves on the lower FreeRide model in how the bike loads onto the rack and how the bike is restricted from wobbling. Loading on the bike to the frame is relatively easy. It’s quite a bit more expensive than the FreeRide model but offers protection for special carbon frames as well as a wider range of accessories over and above what are discussed in this review.
I need to get some external bike carrying thingy for my car. A rear rack won’t fit because of the spoiler, unless I fit a tow bar. I don’t have roof rails or those clever recessed fittings. Can I get a couple of roof bars and bike carriers that will clamp on and off in a few minutes with minimal hassle? Or is fitting a roof rack whenever we go away going to be a pain?
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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 managed to install one UpRide and 3 of the older style Thule bike racks simultaneously on one car (ie 4 bike racks). A total of 3 is relatively easy but adding the fourth bike required the pedals to be removed from the bikes and was quite a squeeze. If you are going to install 3 or 4 bike racks then you will need to alternate the direction in which they face (forward-back-forward-back) and you will need to ensure that the various closing mechanisms on each of the bike racks are relatively easily accessible. Good luck 😉 !
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.
I bought these Aero bars for my 2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. Also purchased the Thule 300R gutter low feet. Make sure you link out to the Thule site to determine the right combinations of feet/bars to fit your vehicle when placing your order. The bars are good quality but installation instructions are a joke. They reference the foot pack for installation instructions. The foot pack tells you nothing beyond a vague illustration on how to install. Here is what I found out after several attempts and gouging out flesh on my left thumb:
The lid has dual-layer construction, which adds stiffness for durability and ease-of-use while reducing drag for better MPG, as well as to lessen the noise. Spring-loaded hinges make accessing the box from either side of the vehicle a breeze, with lockable Smartlatch handles help make sure everything is shut up tight. Clamp mounts make the box compatible with most roof rack bar systems, though you’ll probably want to upgrade to one of Whispbar’s mounts to complete the look.
Whether you have a sedan, a truck or SUV, the interior cargo space can always fill up quicker than you think. And while the average person doesn’t need a roof rack 24/7, like winter tires, they are an incredibly useful asset to have on hand if you’re overlanding, going on a long road trip, moving to a new house or just going up to the lake for a day. If you’re going to be strapping things to the roof of your car, do the job right — don’t be that guy hauling a kayak that’s barely holding on with slowly loosening twine. Per Hendwood’s philosphy above, it’s best to use solid, lightweight hardwear that’s designed to carry loads — not barely roped-together guesswork.
I was (un)fortunate enough to get these a bit cheaper from Amazon Warehouse Deals which was the main reason for opting for the top of the range bars as opposed to a cheaper alternative, however I was stung when I realised that the keys and lock barrels are missing from the box - pretty much wipes out any discount I had! Naively, I did not realise they were missing until I had proudly installed the bars on the car, so I'll just cut my losses and purchase a new set in due course... I'll probably buy the same set as the ProRide 591's that I also purchased - if only they hadn't been lost by Hermes (on behalf of Amazon) who claim to have delivered them, but that's another story.
After a lot of looking and web browsing we came on Oak Orchard Canoe's Deluxe "J" cradles. It's a couple of hours to thier store and we went up and bought two pairs. They are nearly 3/16" thick brushed stainless steel and very well padded. The cradle is wider than the Thule. At 22" high they're 4" taller then the Thule and since they are, essentially, vertical they double as kayak stackers. They are even padded on the back. They come with straps that have sewn on buckle pads. The mounting bracket fits Thule or Yakima bars and some other racks. All-in-all, these are a little more money than the Thule but they appear to be as close to "bombproof" as any accessory I've seen. I'll post a review as soon as we've used them enough to do a fair appraisal.
With a roof box from Thule you can get even more out of your car and your journeys. The extra space in our world-leading car roof boxes means you can take everything you need on your travels. While the stylish designs make them ideal even for everyday use as they match the sleek, aerodynamic lines of your car. Our roof boxes fit Thule roof racks and most factory racks.
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!
The biggest criticism of the Tandem Carrier is a slight lack of stability due to the rack not having side stabilizer arms as found on competing tandem bike roof racks. To overcome this, one reviewer recommends securing the bike with an additional ratcheting tie down strap—check with your local hardware store—on the bike’s crossbar for extra stability.
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.
Part conservationists, part outdoorsman, part storyteller, Matt has devoted much of his life to environmentalism and that crafty, fleeting mistress known as writing. Having worked with over two-dozen brands and lifestyle publications, he’s carried out his passion for all things flora, fauna, and fiction through a litany of written mediums — one adventure, one sentence at a time.
Upright – As the name suggests, this type of rack will hold the bike upright. This is a very safe and secure method of transporting a bike. On the downside, a roof rack itself can have a negative impact on fuel performance though you can offset that a lot by selecting the best roof rack. It can also be harder to load these types of racks, especially with taller cars or heavier bikes. Speaking of taller cars by the way, if you do have an SUV or Minivan, just bare in mind the extra height you now have when driving!
No caps included. Really!?! Is this too much to ask? It is hard to believe that ordering Roof racks has so much deception involved. Yakima won't give parts numbers unless you go to a dealer, Thule leaves out pictured parts. Now I have to chase these caps down before installation. What else don't I know about this deal? Make sure you understand what I am saying: If ordering is not clear, it is NOT A QUALITY item. Go to a product that promotes honesty. I am open to suggestions. Right now I am considering sending the whole deal back.
Hitch Mounted – These types of the rack are connected up to the receiver hitch at the back of the vehicle. They tend to be very strong and stable, and often pack in more features than you may find on the other styles. The main benefit of these types is that they are lower and easier to load then the roof-mounted versions. They also largely keep the bike out of the vehicle airflow, helping minimize the impact on your fuel consumption. The negative is they can affect your rearview when driving, they can make trunk access difficult or even impossible and you must remember you have the rack mounted when you are reversing!
If you already own parts or just want a complete set of used roof bars, then use the roof bar guide to find your vehicle, then at the bottom of the page, if we have used equipment available. you will be able to order separate items. Do note even though you have some parts always double check that you have the right length of bars and foot pack. To do this just look at the relevent package options, we list the items in that package that you will require for that vehicle.
Strong Securing Points – The bike has to be attached to the rack somehow, and this can be one of the most important parts of the design. The securing points have to combine the strength to hold your bike whilst also being gentle enough to not damage the frame, wheels or paintwork. Don’t underestimate the holding power required either. As your vehicle barrels down the freeway, there can be quite a bit of wind buffeting the bike. It needs to be held securely so you don’t glance into the mirror to see your beloved two-wheel steed flying off the back of the car!
Caveat: I was thinking of replacing the Js with a rail rider or something that I could put an extended crossbar on in order to lay the boats flat. Figured less wind resistance would equal better gas mileage. I was surprised to find on this trip my mileage was better than expected (19+ with a big hemi V8, not great but hey, it goes!)I attribute this to mainly reduced speeds on many of the non interstate highways where we were running 60-65.
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