The ProRide meets requirement number three no problem and is no problem when left in situ. Thule do advise you take it off when not in use as it will affect your fuel consumption. But I found it to be negligible, happily staying around 62-64 mpg on long motorway drives. With a bike on it typically dropped to nearer 60mpg, but this number is affected more by the way you drive than having a bike on the roof.
Grip-friendly outer handles and supporting lid-lifters make it easy to open from either side of the vehicle even when wearing gloves, with a clever slide-lock system with separate locking and opening functions to let you know when the lid’s in place and closed securely. It marries nicely with most after-market bar kits and comes in black, gray, and white.
I started my ‘Roof Bar career’ with some cheap ones I used for windsurfing, and they lasted about 6 months before the powder coating started to split and corrosion set in. I then did what my brother told me to do from the start and buy Thule. That first set lasted about 8yrs as a permanent feature on my Vauxhall Nova and looked almost brand new when I removed them. I’ve never considered anything else since. They may appear expensive up front, but it’s not like a handbag where you’re paying for a brand name and nothing more, you’re paying for a proper quality engineered product.
These bars are very aesthetically pleasing, having a lower profile and sleek ends which integrate into your car's design well. You do need to buy a specific fitting kit for your vehicle as can be expected. Installation itself took a matter of minutes, however the pictorial instructions do require a bit of patience and imagination to interpret on occasion. They're easy enough to install as one person, but this may be more difficult if you have a van or 4x4. Don't do what I began to do and assume that the thinner edge of the bar faces forward, it's actually the other way around. These bars are very quiet on their own, understandably louder with accessories/roof boxes etc attached - but then the main benefit is that you don't need to remove the whole system to enjoy a quiet journey. If you don't need the accessory then take it off, the bars can stay on and not irritate you like some of the square bars do.
Shortly after we bought the rack, our little mazda 2 was rear ended by a texting idiot. Before the car was repaired, I decided to try and test the rack to see if I could damage the tailgate with the rack. I tightened it up really hard and grabbed the mounting arms and shook the car around on it's suspension and it did not bend or damage the tailgates panel edges at all.
"I have read reviews online on our product before, and fully understand your concern. For the most part I have interpreted that the people that have had bad experiences were not using the product correctly. Thule recommends using a 4-point tie-down. This is so that you equal out the pressure on the carrier, as well as, on the vehicle. I've seen reviews of people stating that they do not use any bow and stern tie-downs. These are the people that end up having their kayaks fly off. If the product is used correctly, there should be no problems while you are driving. So long as you use the product correctly, Thule will stand behind it. If you have any further questions on the matter, feel free to contact us. Thank you."
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 am an avid outdoorsman with experience in naturalist education, outside adventure education, ski instruction, and writing. In addition to my outdoor hobbies, I’m a huge fan of punk rock. I have launched several start-ups. (or business ventures) When exploring the backcountry, I usually carry less than 10 pounds of gear. Years of experience have taught me to pack light. I enjoy sharing my experiences of backcountry education teaching and guiding through writing.
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.
Thule’s number one priority is safety – for you and the people around you. Our fit kits ensure your roof rack fits your car as safely and securely as possible. Also, at the Thule Test Center™, our products are only given the official seal of approval once they’ve survived numerous crash tests, wear and tear simulations, as well as extreme heat, cold, damp, sunlight and even harsh chemicals. All so you’re free to concentrate on the adventures ahead.