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Locking Cables – These are essentially built-in security devices that wrap a sturdy chain around your bike and lock it into place. This has the obvious advantage of protecting your bike from any opportunistic thieves who could look to steal it straight off the rack. Bear in mind that typically you’re only going to see this feature included as standard on the more premium models. Some of the products we looked at above did have a locking cable as an option to buy separately, so check if the rack comes pre-equipped if you want a cable.
Car Attachment Points – Just as the rack must have a method of attaching to your bike, it has to attach to the car. How it does this will depend on the style of rack that has been used (more on that in a moment). Generally speaking though, you want all the points the rack touches your car to be ideally padded, or at the very least tipped or coated in plastic. This is going to protect your car paintwork from damage.

Strong Securing Points – The bike has to be attached to the rack somehow, and this can be one of the most important parts of the design. The securing points have to combine the strength to hold your bike whilst also being gentle enough to not damage the frame, wheels or paintwork. Don’t underestimate the holding power required either. As your vehicle barrels down the freeway, there can be quite a bit of wind buffeting the bike. It needs to be held securely so you don’t glance into the mirror to see your beloved two-wheel steed flying off the back of the car!
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.
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.
There are a few other things that are important to me, and no doubt many of you will have your own requirements depending on car and lifestyle. I for example like a rack that won’t take up much space when off the car – which pretty much rules out boot or tow bar mounted racks. I’d also rather leave it in situ for most of the time due to the amount of use.

You see we've already got our front rail installed. Just use a reference mark here to make sure we have that in line. You're going to do the same thing here in the backside.Once we have that position from both sides, we want to check the overhang that we have on our bars. We'll just add as well. The overhang's going to be this portion here. I just want to make sure we have equal overhang on both sides. It doesn't have to be perfect, but it certainly looks better if it is. All right. Once we've got that where we want it, you want to grab the tool that is provided. This is a torque limiting tool, so basically it's going to tell us when we have our bars tightened down all the way. This is a four nanometer tool. Right here it says Ford inaudible 00:02:09 Newton meter, this is a Ford Newton meter clamp. So, we'll just start tightening this up. I like to snug this one down pretty well. Make sure that this portion here comes over and makes contact with my race side rail there. Once I get that pretty snug, I'm going to go over and do that other side.Now, these roof rack systems are going to be an excellent way to free up some space inside your vehicle of course. Bike racks, cargo carriers, rooftop cargo boxes, kayak carriers, just all kinds of different accessories that you can put up here on the roof line. Ski and snowboard carriers or really the enclosed ones, even if you want to transport some luggage and stuff like that, keep them out of the elements. Now I'm gonna go ahead and torque this one down until my tool indicates, you see that's just like a gas cap basically. Once it's tight enough, it's just going to click. Same thing here.Now with the Evo Bar, something I do like, you see this cap is going to come right open. That allows us to get into our T-slot accessory and no longer do we have to remove the long rubber strip and cut it. Our accessory can slide right in that gap and almost self seals right around it. Makes it really easy to use. Just pop that back down like that. To finish up our install though, we do want to cap off our end caps here. Tab here is going to go on the top, push that bottom in and at that point, you'll just rotate this 180 degrees into it's locked position to lock that cap on. These are just plastic cores. You can do these using a screwdriver, so if you wanted additional security, you want it to be able to lock and we do have the Thule locking keys you can put in there and then actually have a key lock to keep that nice and protected.The bars do come in a black or a silver, so if you wanted something to blend in with the Cherokee, I'd go with the silver. You want something to stand out, I'd go with the black and then I'll show you on that front bar here on the bottom side, once we get everything in position, we've got a little tab right here. We pull that tab over to our foot pack. That's going to eliminate any gaps in the bottom of that crossbar. Really going to help to eliminate wind noise. You can see right here, just gonna pull that over. It's going to close up that gap. Same thing on our front bar. Th
The covers for the the TK8 fit kit do not sit flush on the car. There is a rather substantial gap on the inside edge of the cover. This allows water to get under the trim. Thule recommended smearing a heavy layer of grease on the metal under the rail twice a year so that the metal does not rust. This is a problem. The gap is obvious and also does not look good. Thule has been aware of this problem for a couple of years and have chosen not to rectify it.
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Looking at some recent reviews, you might come to the conclusion that Thule heard all the complaints here about the end caps being shown in the picture, but not actually being in the box and rectified this problem. Some people claim to have gotten end caps. However, like me, you would be wrong in this conclusion. As of June 2015, they still don't include end caps. Maybe these people saying they got end caps got them with a foot purchase? At least in my case when I was just buying the bars to replace the rusty ones on my car, no end caps.
Car Attachment Points – Just as the rack must have a method of attaching to your bike, it has to attach to the car. How it does this will depend on the style of rack that has been used (more on that in a moment). Generally speaking though, you want all the points the rack touches your car to be ideally padded, or at the very least tipped or coated in plastic. This is going to protect your car paintwork from damage.

Our roof bike racks are tested extensively in the Thule Test Center™ – a state-of-the-art facility for testing bike roof racks to the limit and beyond. They are also designed for maximum ease of use with many smart features added during development. You can be confident that your roof bike rack will carry your bike safely and securely wherever you want to go. And you’ll be in the saddle as quickly and easily as possible.


Trunk mounted styles like this one are usually easier to load than roof rack versions, however, this model takes that ease to a whole new level. Bikes simply slot on about a foot of the ground, with a set of well-designed ratchet arms locking them easily into place. It even boasts an integrated cable lock to lock the bikes to the rack for added security.
I took my time fitting the parts of the Thule Wing bar system together and making sure that they were positioned and setup on the car correctly. I made sure that when positioned I took a note of what the feet of the bars lined up with. In my case they lined up with a couple bits of trim near the B pillar and rear door. This did take some time to get just so, but was worth it as they can now be fitted to the car in a matter of minutes.
Anti-Sway Cages – There are a few different ways that racks can be designed to minimize sway, but an anti-sway cage is the most widely used. In particular, you’ll find these on rack designs that hold the top tube, but rear mounted designs that lock the wheels can also benefit from built-in anti-sway tech. In essence, it’s just going to help to keep the bike stable in the rack as you drive. This has the dual benefit of not allowing the bikes to affect vehicle handling (especially at highway speeds) and also stops the bikes knocking into each other.

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.
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.
Finding the perfect Thule roof rack couldn’t be simpler. Choose exactly what you need for your vehicle’s make, model and year. We’ll show you the perfect solution of strong, durable feet and roof bars plus fit kit. Or choose an all-in-one, pre-assembled roof rack that already matches your needs. Finally you can add options such as locks and locking straps so all your bases are covered. With a Thule roof rack, you’re all set to head off on your adventures and make sure you have everything you want with you. When combined with other Thule products, our roof racks are also a starting point for carrying the extra special gear that lets you live your passions – with holders for your bikes, your skis, your canoes or kayaks, and your surfboards. Not to mention extra-secure roof boxes and spacious carrier baskets for special cargos
Our roof bike racks are tested extensively in the Thule Test Center™ – a state-of-the-art facility for testing bike roof racks to the limit and beyond. They are also designed for maximum ease of use with many smart features added during development. You can be confident that your roof bike rack will carry your bike safely and securely wherever you want to go. And you’ll be in the saddle as quickly and easily as possible.
Every car model has its own roof shape. There are different racks to fit all roof types so you can find the transportation solution that meets your needs. Most vehicles will have either a normal roof, roof rails, fixing points or integrated roof rails. Some roofs are equipped with a T-nut profile or a rain gutter. If you have a car with roof rails, you only need roof bars (also called crossbars), which run across the car and connect the roof rails on either side. For vehicles with a normal roof, fixing points or integrated roof rails, you will need a vehicle-specific kit.
Now, just to complicate matters the Thule Wing bar system is available in two different flavours. You can go for the Thule Rapid system which involves purchasing the bars, a foot pack and clamp system to fit your car. Alternatively the Wing bar can also be purchased in the Wing Bar Edge format which gives an even lower profile and comes complete, but does narrow the amount of carrying space. I therefore went for the Rapid system to maximise the width of the bars.

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.

The car registration number will normally enable quick identification of the original year of first registration. Please be aware that although this will indicate the approximated date of vehicle registration it will not necessarily be the actual model year of the vehicle. If you are in doubt as to the correct model year, the vehicle’s chassis number should be checked with your garage before placing an order for a roof rack system.
You really don't want these on your car at eye/head level without end caps. First, I suspect they'll rust quickly (my old ones rusted even with end caps). Secondly, it's steel that's been cut with a saw- the ends are not jagged but neither are they gently rounded and the covering is shy of the ends by 1/8 inch or so. You hit your head/face on these things and there's a good chance you're coming away bleeding. Third, the ends are ugly without end caps.
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!
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As a final consideration, even though the UpRide will hold practically any bike you can hoist into its ratcheting hook arm, it really shines when securing bikes with wider tires inflated to lower pressures—i.e. mountain bikes, hybrids, cruisers, and fat bikes. Simply put, the hook can grip the bigger, softer tires easier than with the skinny, high-pressure tires found on road bikes.
I purchased a 2015 F150 and needed to upgrade my load bars for my Thule Kayak Hullavator system. I was using 58" bars on a 2013 F150 and they were just barely long enough. After measuring the old bars (58") on the new truck, I was worried they wouldn't be wide enough for my Hullavator system so I purchased the 65" bars (as suggested by Thule). I'm glad I did as the shorter bars would have allowed the kayak lift to hit the side of my truck.

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.
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
Please, whatever you use, tie down the bow and stern. It doesn't matter how many times you haven't and nothing bad happened. It doesn't matter how little it shifts in the wind. It doesn't matter that you're 15 minutes from home and only driving on pavement. The point is that if a strap breaks you could easily kill someone in a following car. I read somewhere that no boat is ready to drive away until it has 6 lines on it: two each across the midsection, triangulated from the bow and triangulated from the stern. Take it to heart.
I have been a long time fan of Thule racks and accessories. Then at sixty Mph my two week old Kayak departed the rack still attached to a new pair of Thule Hull-a-ports. Thule make a bomber rack system and the Hull-a-port is a great concept but why the plastic clamps?. The kayak landed safely in a snowbank but I worry about what might have happened.
Finally, a price tag of around 150 bucks is the pretty good value given the high-quality materials and design – though you will be able to find cheaper rear-mounted racks elsewhere if your budget is very tight. Also, don’t forget that this model only has the space to load up two bikes – again, there are options out there with a little more space if you need it.
Two areas of caution: These boats on their sides create a high profile and resistance. If your speed is 70 and you have a head wind of 20-30 (as we did) that's the same as 90-100...a bit much; I'd keep air resistance to 75 or so combined maximum. If the wind is to the side you'll feel strong buffeting at times, slow it down. Without wind we felt comfortable at 70. Kayaks were strapped according to instructions around J and under factory cross bars. Also had bow and stern tie downs to prevent sliding forward or aft.

The car registration number will normally enable quick identification of the original year of first registration. Please be aware that although this will indicate the approximated date of vehicle registration it will not necessarily be the actual model year of the vehicle. If you are in doubt as to the correct model year, the vehicle’s chassis number should be checked with your garage before placing an order for a roof rack system.
You really don't want these on your car at eye/head level without end caps. First, I suspect they'll rust quickly (my old ones rusted even with end caps). Secondly, it's steel that's been cut with a saw- the ends are not jagged but neither are they gently rounded and the covering is shy of the ends by 1/8 inch or so. You hit your head/face on these things and there's a good chance you're coming away bleeding. Third, the ends are ugly without end caps.
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.

Maybe you're vertically challenged. Maybe your roof is occupied with mountain bikes. Or maybe you're the worst at packing and you always bring way too much gear. Whatever the case, this heavy duty cargo rack attaches to your trailer hitch in a jiffy. Keep a few coolers here for easy access to snacks on the road, or load it up with muddy gear that you'd rather not bring inside the car. Let road trip season begin!
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