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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.
Once your base support roof rack is fitted, you can use accessories to adapt it for all kinds of transport storage--from covered roof boxes to racks for bicycles and winter sports equipment. It’s very important to check your vehicle’s maximum load capacity to ensure that you are not overloading it, and don’t forget to take into account the weight of the roof equipment itself.
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.
Thule does classify the ProRide as “carbon frame friendly” but only by using the included frame protector. But let’s be honest: this little protective piece of rubber and plastic that secures to the frame is a good idea to use even if you have a steel or aluminum frame for maximum protection of your bike’s paint job. It’s included so why not use it?
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 ideal if you are carrying kayaks or bikes and know that lifting these into the centre of the roof will put a strain on your back. They're almost essential for safe loading on tall and / or wide vehicles. The bars slide out so you can load, for example, two bikes on the left side of your vehicle, then slide them the other way and load two more on the right. They're brilliant.
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