I originally purchased my Thule rack system in 1985 (for use on a Land Cruiser) and ‘upgraded’ in 1990 to the new style Thule racks (for a 4Runner), so I have a fair amount of experience with these racks. Although I have not purchased much new Thule gear lately, all of my 15-20 year old accessories work great. I use the 58” bars in the winter to hold my ski carrier and box. In the summer I use 78” bars to hold 2-3 canoes or kayaks, plus bikes. Given that most of my gear is so old, it is made of solid aluminum and steel and hasn’t given me one failure. Sure, I broke a fairing when I hit a flying rock at 60mph. And, I’ve lost a few of the nuts and nylon bar ends but these were easily replaced. But never have I had a fear of the rack coming off my truck. I’ve even caught a tree with one of my 78” bars, which bent the roof of my 4Runner pretty good. Still, the rack did not budge. My rack has spent a lot of time in Alaska and Minnesota winters and rust has never been much of a problem, either.
The Thule system is not as stylish-looking, and makes slightly more wind noise, but it stays on the car much better! I experienced catastrophic failure of my Yakima Q-tower system flying off my 2008 Honda Civic, and my wife's 2000 Honda CRV. So far, I've heard the same story fron eleven other people who drive low-profile, sleek vehicles without factory racks. Yakima's Q-clip system attempts to fit multiple cars with common clips that just don't work. Their tower system gradually loosens itself over time. Yakima will also put you through hell trying to warranty their product. Thule makes a custom clip for every car, with all metal (ugly but functional) tower pieces- if you like your gear in one peice, avoid Yakima at all cost!
At ReRack we only sell racks and parts from top-quality manufacturers like Yakima, Thule and Rhino-Rack. These roof racks are typically able to support more weight and gear than standard factory racks. The price of a base roof rack will depend on if you want new items or not, aerodynamic profile or not, and your vehicle year/make/model. There are complete roof rack setups starting under $150 for a used rack on older vehicles, all the way through $500+ for a new, aerodynamic top-of-the-line setup.
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A great way to take your hobby to the next level, however, is to get your car involved. Whilst that may sound a little strange, cars and bikes can have a positive partnership than many people assume – we’re thinking more PB & J rather than Tom and Jerry here. A car opens up the horizons for your bike-riding hobby, allowing you to ride in new, fun locations.
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I bought these Aero bars for my 2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. Also purchased the Thule 300R gutter low feet. Make sure you link out to the Thule site to determine the right combinations of feet/bars to fit your vehicle when placing your order. The bars are good quality but installation instructions are a joke. They reference the foot pack for installation instructions. The foot pack tells you nothing beyond a vague illustration on how to install. Here is what I found out after several attempts and gouging out flesh on my left thumb: