Strap Mounted – Designed primarily for vehicles without a hitch receiver. The plus points for this type is that they are typically easier to mount than the other styles, making them perfect for occasional use as you can get them on and off quickly. They are also typically cheaper than the other styles of the rack. On the negative side, as they lack a truly solid attaching point they are not as secure, and you must ensure that you attach them properly before loading up the bikes.
We spoke to Tom Henwood of Main Line Overland to see what the pros are using and what’s popular on today’s market. “The best roof rack is the best design for a given application, rather than a particular brand. We help customers select racks and storage systems based on what they intend to carry on their travels, where they intend to go, etc. We look for componentry that maintains a low profile and low center of gravity for off-road driving, so we often choose aluminum roof racks to keep weight down up top.”
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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.
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!
To simplify your ordering process, The Rack Warehouse lists the most popular selling Thule 450 Crossroad Foot Complete Car Roof Rack fits alphabetically by Auto Manufacturer. You'll find perfect fitting roof racks for most of today's top selling vehicles on this list. Thule 450 Crossroad Foot Complete Car Roof Racks are designed for vehicles with raised railings. If you don't see your vehicle on this list, simply click on the Thule Fit Guide at the top of the page, enter your vehicle information and the Thule Fit Guide will do the rest.
If you want a cheap and easy roof rack solution for short trips look no further than this affordable option from Highland. Although they're rated for a capacity of up to 400 pound, we'd recommend them for lighter items like ladders, kayaks, skis or snowboards. You may want to add a couple extra straps for a bit more security, but if your usual paddling spot or local hill are just a few miles away, this option do the job just fine.
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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The most likely causes of excessive wobble at speed on a motorway are either that you have not placed the arm clamp sufficiently close to the chainring OR you have not tightened the clamp sufficiently. Having said that, there is a further cause where the clamp can slip UP the frame IF your frame gets thinner in that direction (eg My Cervelo S3 does precisely that). In that scenario you will need to put the arm clamp slightly further away from the chainrings at a thinner part of the frame.
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.
The car registration number will normally enable quick identification of the original year of first registration. Please be aware that although this will indicate the approximated date of vehicle registration it will not necessarily be the actual model year of the vehicle. If you are in doubt as to the correct model year, the vehicle’s chassis number should be checked with your garage before placing an order for a roof rack system.
On the other hand, it is very easy to use, with a pair of ratchet arms that securely lock the bike during transit, and are very simple to use – they also have a pretty wide loading range, and can accommodate up to 59cm frames. They also have a good load capacity of up to 35 pounds per bike position, which should be more than ample for the vast majority of bike types.
Thule simply makes the best-engineered accessories (with the possible exception of the wheels that Yakima makes for kayaks). If you use square Thule bars, your kayak will not push the saddles forward (unlike Yakima, with its round bars). Thule bike trays have improved (the old ones had junky, tricky mounting hardware), and their new kayak saddles are elegant and attach with only one screw and can be removed quickly (unlike Yak's ugly, plastic saddles that are high, noisy, and have two difficult to turn thumbscrews on the bottom). Compare them and you'll see what I mean.
I was given my first Thule system back in 1992 when Thule was a sponsor of mine. I used that basic rack system along with numerous accessories up until the summer of 2015. The load bars were finally rusting [where I had drilled holes in them] and I felt I needed to replace them. My towers and my locks, however, are still my 1992 originals, and they're doing great.
The rack was easier to install than I had thought, though I suspect your average Swede is much stronger than your average American... They show a one hand squeeze on the Aero Foot cam (that scrunches down on the cross bar, securing it). I had to stand and jump up and down on it (please don't void my warranty!) to get the darn thing to close and snap locked. It was almost a show stopper as I would not have been able to get it to close otherwise (I tried squeezing it for dear life with both hand and all my 205 lbs for over 15 minutes before I gave up and stood on the darn thing: closed right up and locked). Other than that, it went in likity-split, and exactly like the fit kit said it would! It took about 45 minutes, counting the isometirc exercises with the cam. I purchased the lock cylinders: I wanted to make those hard to install, but it could not have been easier. The installation instructions are well written and specific for my car (from the fit kit). I do think there should be no charge for the fit kits...
To save you time, The Rack Warehouse lists the most popular selling Thule 480R Rapid Traverse Foot Complete Car Roof Rack fits alphabetically by Auto Manufacturer. You'll find perfect fitting roof racks for most of today's top selling vehicles on this list. Thule 480R Rapid Traverse Foot Complete Car Roof Racks are designed for vehicles with smooth of naked rooflines (no racks or attachments). If you don't see your vehicle on this list, simply click on the Thule Fit Guide at the top of the page, enter your vehicle information and the Thule Fit Guide will do the rest.
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!