These car roof bars come with wordless (diagrams-only) fitting instructions that are difficult to comprehend and, in the case of a Peugeot 306 hatchback, specify the wrong assembly settings. The result is roof bars that cannot be fitted to the car or, at best, can be fitted only with extreme difficulty and at risk of damaging both the racks and the car body.
I wanted to carry my new bikes on the roof of my car. I didn't know anything about roof racks and bike carriers. I phoned Thule Store Botany and received very friendly and helpful advise. I discussed the purchase with my wife, then made an order online. I ordered the products at 12.13pm on a Wednesday. To my surprise, the order was delivered at 10.30am Thursday! I live 3 hours north of Melbourne! I am writing this review as I find this very hard to believe!.... Thanks guys! Simon
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After much reveiw and discussion with others, I decided on the Thule system for my touring kayaks and my Honda CRV. I had initially planned to get H2GO Saddles, while debating on trying the Malone of Maine J saddles, when this year Thule came out with the Hull-a-port Part #835 at around $85 a pair), a J shaped kayak carrier, at a lower cost and intuitively more rugged design (ie bulkier) than Malone's. The Thule guy (at the NE Paddlesports show in Durham NH Spring 2001) did not recommend the fairing that Mike mentions below, but I had considered one for noise control. The rep said Thule is not recommending it for kayaks as it increases the lift forces on the kayak. The rack alone makes a boat-load of noise (no pun intended) so I can only imagine what it's going to soundlike with the Hull-a-port standing up there, let alone with a kayak attached to it. I may get the fairing anyway but it's expensive.
The ProRide CAN be modified (without any additional new parts) so that the controls can be used on either the left-side or right-side of your car. It’s explained in the manual and take about 15 minutes to do for the first time. As a flavour of what you need to do here you can see that the end of the ProRide comes off and the mounts can then be slid off and turned around to face the other direction.
I am not sure if it would be possible to have 3 or 4 UpRide racks on one car. 2 is certainly possible. 3 probably is possible but I doubt if 4 would fit together as the UpRide is wider than the other Thule bike racks. The following image shows the UpRide as the third from the left – as you can see it takes up quite a bit more space (width) than the others. Then again, maybe your car is wider than my estate.
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.
I compared the parts list for the 815 with the parts list for the 835XTR Hull-a-Port that appears on Thule's website and they're almost identical. The only differences are that the carriage bolts and end caps, while the same size, have different part numbers, and the 815 does not include the two 1/4 inch Rope Ratchets that are included with the 835XTR. While the Rope Ratchets are nice for tightening and securing the bow and stern tie-downs, they're not really necessary if you can tie a decent knot.
A change of car has forced me to seek out a new set of roofbars. I wanted the best set of roof bars for my car without going silly on the cost. This time I have went for the Thule Wing bars. These are known as the Thule Aeroblades in some parts of the word. I love cars that can have a set of roof bars bolted to them, either to fittings hidden within the roof or roof rails. The new Unsponsored HQ paddle wagon/family transporter is a very sensible two litre 184bhp BMW 320d Sport.
In addition to looping the synch down straps around the factory rack, I run them through the rigging on my boat deck and through the bottom part of the "J bend/brackett" of the rack to get to the factory roof rack. I figure that this way if the Thule rack does give away at least it and the boat have a better chance staying with the truck longer until I can pull over. I hope this helps, overall I think the rack is really a good affordable option that requires some added attention and caution when using but overall it is well worth the money.
So far so good. Choosing to get matching sets of barrels was great move as only one key needs to be carried, and although briefly tempted by the new black anodised Wing bars I am really happy with the natural aluminium coloured. The finish will hide bumps, scrapes and scratches much better than the black anodised versions. The black versions are also around £20 more.
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!
Thule v. Yakima - few topics bring about more angry debate. I've had my Thule system for about 5 years. I've hauled mountain bikes, skis, and three kayaks on my roof. It has worked flawlessly, albeit noisily. Yes, Yakima fans, the support bars will probably bend if you put three kayaks on them regularly. But if you are hauling that much weight with any frequency, you need a trailer, not a roof top rack system. Normal mortals won't have problems with bicycles, surf/whitewater kayaks, or one touring boat with an occasional second.
Road tripping means you can bring pretty much anything — and you often do. Soon your trunk is full before you realize it. Then the back seat gets taken up, followed by the space at your feet. Next thing you know, you can’t even see out the rear-view mirror. That’s why a roof cargo box is a must-have for any sort of vehicular travel. Not only can it match your trunk’s storage capacity, but it's a secure place to stash dirty gear as well as snow-covered skis, snowboards, boots, and helmets.
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.
We are a main dealer and stockist for THULE related products in Birmingham and Coventry. We stock the whole variety of THULE products and if you can’t see them we can have them delivered directly to your door by THULE. Our range of THULE bike carriers will take you anywhere you want. We have a good range of cycle carriers and rack at our Catherine de Barnes Shop if you wish to view.
I bought this as an upgrade since we bought the Toyota Sequoia which is wider than my older Mercedes GL. I also ordered the Thule Outrigger which works nicely with the cross bar to load and unload our SUPs easier. The combination works very well. I offer a suggestion I did which also worked well with me. If you want kayaks or boards to roll easily over the cross bars and without scratching try this: Go to Home Depot and buy two 30-40" long (depending on the width of the car top) of 1.5" diameter PVC pipes and two-2" pipes of the same length. The 1.5" will fit inside the 2" pipe nicely and the cross bar will fit into the combination (through the 1.5" of course) very well. This will give you a very nice set of rollers for the two cross bars and if you buy the black color of pipes they will look very professional at a cost of less than $15. I tried so many commercial covers and rollers and nothing worked better than this home made one.
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'm really glad that these are made of a strong material. Review would probably be five stars but they showed up with a dent. I don't know if it happened in shipping or from the factory. The inner product box inside of the shipping box has a dent that seems to line up with the dent on the bar. I'm really irritated by this blemish, but it showed up five days late from it's expected delivery date anyways, which negatively impact my plans for a charity bike ride since I didn't have the rack for my bikes on the car.
Fitting the ProRide was pleasingly simple. I’d prepared myself for a long and frustrating afternoon of shouting at the instructions booklet but instead had it all in place in less than 15 minutes. Once the T-screw is in place (in the roof bars) you simply slide the two base plates in to position, feed the T-screw through the holes in the base plate and clamp them down with the cam levers. One of which is locked in place so the whole system can’t be taken off without the provided key.
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.
It can be nice to just get out and ride from your front door but there’s no doubt that at some point you’re going to want to take your bike further afield. There are a few options for transporting your bike but if you don’t want the faff of taking the train and you want to keep the inside of your car clean then a bike rack has to be the obvious choice.
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.