Roof bars are an essential item if you want to fit a roof mounted cycle rack to your car. Designed to work with a car roof rail system roof bars are the base for attaching a range of car roof storage systems including cycle roof racks. Roof bars like the Thule Gutterless Rapid System are available for cars with normal roofs that don’t feature roof rails.
Ironically, after posting my review of the Thule J-racks, I just about lost a kayak this past weekend coming back from Maine, due to the cheap mounting hardware included with the Thule J-rack. One of the plastic mounting bars split- where the bolt is held in place by the recessed nut- and the front rack was only held on by the one remaining mounting bar. It was not pleasant to see my kayak sliding towards the outside of the roof rack, going down I95 in Maine. Unless Thule changes the mounting hardware from plastic to metal, this rack is a dangerous. Cheap mounting seems to be a theme with Thule.
With such a high number of SUVs on the market, finding a one-size-fits-all roof rack is nearly impossible. But if there is one rack that towers above others in design and usability, it’s Front Runner Outfitters’ Grab-On Slimline. “We have installed several of these Slimline racks on late-model Land Rovers, and their clean, classy look seems well-suited to most SUVs, especially the Land Rover LR4. Front Runner has a ton of bolt-on accessories as well, so you can carry your axe and shovel — or even a slide-out stainless prep table — in secure style.
The sleek, aerodynamic design cuts down on drag and wind noise, and the quick-release hardware makes it easy to mount; it works with most round, square, and aerodynamic bars, with a minimum/maximum cross bar spread between 24 to 42 inches. As with most Yakima boxes, it’s made in the United States with up to 80 percent recycled material, and you can add a cargo net (separate purchase) that attaches to built-in tie-down points and divides the storage space into four-foot squares. The Skybox comes in five sizes, from 12 cubic feet up to a cavernous 21 cubic feet.
Wobble – This is probably the most important point. I think I’m reasonably good at looking at things and then extrapolating how I think they will work. To me the UpRide design looked like the bike would wobble like crazy. However IT DOES NOT WOBBLE LIKE CRAZY. I would say that I was surprised to find that there is LESS wobble than with the other, cheaper Thule bike roof racks. It seems that fixing the front wheel absolutely solidly is the thing to do.
TYRE DEFLATION: This has never happened to me. In theory if this happened during transport then the bike would become considerably more loosely attached. I don’t think it would fall off as the two front arms are locked together in place. If you purposefully deflated the tyres before attaching the bike to the UpRide then I would guess that vibration during transport WOULD damage your wheel rims to a small degree. Thieves MAY deflate your tyres to make the bike OR WHEEL more easy to remove – remember they can easily take out your wheel skewers.
Wobble – At speed your front wheel will wobble. I doubt you will stop all of the wobbling. However you want the frame NOT to wobble much at all. In my opinion this design is better at wobble control than the cheaper FreeRide (then again, I’ve used the FreeRide for over 10 years on motorways, admittedly with occasionally worried glances up through the car’s sunroof)
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!
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.
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.
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.
Cycling Plus is the manual for the modern road cyclist. Whether you're cycling weekly, an occasional new rider or a Tour de France fan you’ll find everything you need. Every issue is packed with expert reviews of the latest road bikes and gear, inspirational routes and rides, evocative features that take you inside every aspect of cycling and unmatched nutrition, fitness and training advice.
For those in need of some serious hauling capability, this roof cargo bag from Rightline has an hefty capacity of 18 cubic feet and is rated as being 100 percent waterproof. Beware with any fabric roof cargo bags — if not completely filled, leaving the bag to flap in the wind can definitely lead to premature failure. But if you're looking for an affordable option and don't have crossbars, this will do the trick.
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.
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.
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Thule roof boxes are regularly voted “best-in-test” for safety, security and ease of use by leading testing agencies and driver associations. It’s proof that we’re living up to our concern for the safety of you and others on the road, and that our hard work at the Thule Test Center™ has paid off. We only approve our roof boxes when they’ve passed every test in the book – including a few we’ve written ourselves!
Just about every roof rack company offers a standard bike mount for their racks, but not many offer a storage combo setup like the folks at Küat. The Skinny is designed to allow for a combination of a single bike mount and space for up to 160 pounds of gear, leaving the second half of the roof open for anything else you might want to pack on your adventure.
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 😉 !
Thule cargo carriers are an ideal way to make sure you have everything with you on your travels without feeling loaded down. Choose between an extra-secure roof box or an open basket that’s perfect for bulkier cargo. Alternatively, you can go for a towbar-mounted cargo carrier that fits on the rear of the car and still gives you access to the boot. You could even combine a rooftop and a towbar carrier to take your carrying capacity to a new level. Whatever you decide, you’ll get a strong, safe, and stylish space for your extra gear. Thule’s number one priority is safety – for you and the people around you. Our cargo carriers are designed to carry your gear and fit your car as safely and securely as possible. Nevertheless, at the Thule Test Center™, we also make sure they can withstand multiple crash tests, wear and tear simulations, as well as extreme heat, cold, damp, sunlight and chemicals.
I was stubborn about getting to the bottom of the noise and tried moving the bar's locations around - test drive, whistle. Tried only the front bar - test drive, whistle. Only the rear - test drive, whistle. Covered the footings in microfiber cloths - test drive, whistle. Covered the Aerobars in microfiber cloth - the very thing/design that Thule markets as being the answer to quiet cross bars... surely the Aerobars were not the culprit... Test drive, silence.
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!
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 UpRide 599 and find the bags of various components. Once you’ve installed the UpRide 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.
Finding the perfect Thule water sport rack couldn’t be simpler. Whether you want to carry a kayak, canoe, surfboard, SUP or windsurfer, you can find what you need for your vehicle’s make, model and year. Whatever your passion you can be sure of smart, safe and secure transportation of your precious gear. We test every water sport rack to the limits and beyond, making sure it withstands everything the road and the elements throw at you.
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.
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
Aluminium bars include T-track slots which allow you to use the full length of the bars for load carrying. The WingBar not only looks good but more importantly includes a device which reduces wind noise to the minimum, as well as reducing drag. Many customers leave their Thule WingBars in place from week to week, especially if they are taller vehicles and fitting is awkward.