Thule makes a beautiful and strong rack system. I was skeptical at first about putting my new bikes on my roof, but after buying and installing my Thule system, I easily carry 4 bikes with no worry. I did buy mine from different people on craigslist, but the build quality Thule puts in these rack gave me the confidence to buy someone's used equipment.
I contacted Thule's tech services and was told that the aluminum mounting clamps would not hit the field until March 2003 and that it might be late March at that. They will still have the capability to clamp to bars up to 2.5" wide. They will still ship with 50mm and 60mm screws. They also stated that some (maybe all?) of the saddle type carriers would get a four position locking set-up that would allow them to lock nearly vertical for a shell on down to flat for a windsurfer.
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Once it’s in place you can lock the clamp to secure the bike. You don’t have to lock it to keep it closed, just to prevent anyone else from opening it. For anyone to steal it once this is locked they would need some serious equipment to break the clamp arm or the clamp itself. The times I did leave it unattended I ran a lock through the system just in case.
As expected. Installation was a little tricky. First I got the wrong 'foot kit' for my vehicle on accident. Once that was corrected, the measurements in the included instructions were wrong for my vehicle. I looked up my kit online, found that there was a new version of the manual with new measurements for my vehicle. This turned out to be a closer fit but still not quite right. I had to 'widen' the measurements slightly... in order to allow the "doors" on the "feet" to close (these are the doors where you use the tool to crank down the brackets to your vehicle body to ensure a snug fit). Once completed, I'm happy with the product, just wish the installation instructions were a little easier to follow. There is an online video available through the 'thule fit guide' which was helpful but also not entirely accurate. I like this product because it is "modular" in the sense that when ski season is over, I can remove the attached ski racks and replace with bike/kayak racks.
Generally speaking, you are going to see an increase in costs with the more features that you want on your rack. Here are some of the key features to keep an eye out for, you’ll find that some will be available on most models, whilst the Thule, as the truly premium item, comes closest to packing them all into one feature heavy bike rack – albeit with that premium price tag we mentioned!
4. The product information brags about the Smartslide system but installation instructions tell you nothing on how to use it. You can't even find good information on the Thule website. Just be warned that you have to move each foot independently but keeping the same Smartslide number the same on each side so that feet are evenly spaced from the outside of the bar.
Now we're going to bring it up to the roof line of our Cherokee. I like to put it across, get that side started over there and do the same thing over here. We want this edge to come below our side rail just like that. That's what's going to give us that good firm hold. Make sure that happens on both sides.Once we've got that position, we need to decide where we want our rail to be.
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.
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 😉 !
[Update] - there are two channels along the bottom of these bars. Having narrowed the whistling noise down to the bar, I tried running 2.5inch wide vinyl tape the entire bottom of the bar, making the two channels flush. Noise stopped immediately. It's a poor design by Thule (noise-wise). If you're ok with masking off the bottom of the bar, that is a viable solution for stopping the noise.
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.”
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.
There were a few types of bar I could have chosen. Firstly the bog standard square bars, which are pretty good but they don’t have the T channel for quick attachment of bike carriers and roof boxes. They still work really well but I have a few bits that use the T bolt system and I really like it for ease and security. The second is the Aero bars system which I have used a great deal in the past. They are again good, but I found them to be a little noisy on the cars I have had in the past. This may have been down to the bars or the foot system, or the way I had fitted them. The Aero bars do have the T channel which still makes them a contender. OEM bars tend to be very similar to the Thule Aero bars anyway. However for a little bit more cash the Thule Wing bars offer a lower profile, a reported 55% reduction in drag compared to the Aero bars and a possibility of an overall quieter system. After a hunt around (see below) I got the Wing bars for the price of a set of Aero bars
If you already own parts or just want a complete set of used roof bars, then use the roof bar guide to find your vehicle, then at the bottom of the page, if we have used equipment available. you will be able to order separate items. Do note even though you have some parts always double check that you have the right length of bars and foot pack. To do this just look at the relevent package options, we list the items in that package that you will require for that vehicle.
For your convenience The Rack Warehouse lists the most popular selling Thule rain gutter mounted 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 rain gutter mounted roof racks require either rain gutters or artificial rain gutters on the roof of your vehicle in order to attach. If you don't see your vehicle on this list, simply click on the Thule Fit Guide at the top of this page, enter your vehicle information and the Thule Fit Guide will do the rest. Once your Thule order is received, we will double check your selection to be sure you have ordered the right rack for your vehicle.