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.
Last year I bought a Suburban (now I have two racked vehicles) and bought a set of Thule #450 Crossroads to mount to the factory rails. I was little concerned about the rack coming loose. Not that the rack would have a problem, but rather the factory rails would rip out of the Suburban’s roof. Happy to say, after several 1500 mile trips to Maine and Hilton Head my concerns have been but aside. This thing is as rock solid as I was used to.
Thule simply makes the best-engineered accessories (with the possible exception of the wheels that Yakima makes for kayaks). If you use square Thule bars, your kayak will not push the saddles forward (unlike Yakima, with its round bars). Thule bike trays have improved (the old ones had junky, tricky mounting hardware), and their new kayak saddles are elegant and attach with only one screw and can be removed quickly (unlike Yak's ugly, plastic saddles that are high, noisy, and have two difficult to turn thumbscrews on the bottom). Compare them and you'll see what I mean.
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 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:
Rather than going for a pack put together by a roof rack shop or supplier I decided to visit the Thule website, find the make, model and year of my car to create a shopping list of the parts required. This is a simple but crucial process as the different possible combinations of bars, foot pack and fitting kit is enormous. Once checked I sourced each of the parts from different suppliers on Amazon. This saved around 20% and as I have Amazon Prime included free delivery.
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!
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.
Although this item might be the only choice for putting a roof rack on some cars, I don't believe that it is much of an option. I'll admit that the dealer warned me that he didn't have a very high opinion of it. He also told me he wouldn't help with the installation and that furthermore, if I wasn't happy with it, everything else BUT the Thule 477 SRA was returnable. Being a hardheaded sort of fellow, I had to find out for myself. I'd like to blame the dealer because he probably should'a refused to sell the darn thing to me but truth is, that would'a made me even more madder!
Thule roof boxes are regularly voted “best-in-test” for safety, security and ease of use by leading testing agencies and driver associations. It’s proof that we’re living up to our concern for the safety of you and others on the road, and that our hard work at the Thule Test Center™ has paid off. We only approve our roof boxes when they’ve passed every test in the book – including a few we’ve written ourselves!
As a THULE 5-star dealer and winner of the prestigious ‘THULE DEALER OF THE YEAR’ award, The Journey Centre offers the full range of Thule products, including roof bars for all types of vehicles, roof boxes for the holiday season, plus a range of carriers for cycles, skis or water sports, along with the range of THULE luggage, backpacks and strollers.
As the family grows and outdoor activities become more frequent, you will slowly but surely run out of room in the car. One way to create extra storage space is to transport items on the roof. Roof racks offer a stable base for any load, and with the right accessories you can adapt and mount the racks in any way you need. Racks are constantly being improved and tested, but the basic principle always remains the same: create the perfect combination of suitability, reliability, safety and ease of use. Don't waste any time: mount your rack in just a couple of steps and you're ready to go.
These bars are very aesthetically pleasing, having a lower profile and sleek ends which integrate into your car's design well. You do need to buy a specific fitting kit for your vehicle as can be expected. Installation itself took a matter of minutes, however the pictorial instructions do require a bit of patience and imagination to interpret on occasion. They're easy enough to install as one person, but this may be more difficult if you have a van or 4x4. Don't do what I began to do and assume that the thinner edge of the bar faces forward, it's actually the other way around. These bars are very quiet on their own, understandably louder with accessories/roof boxes etc attached - but then the main benefit is that you don't need to remove the whole system to enjoy a quiet journey. If you don't need the accessory then take it off, the bars can stay on and not irritate you like some of the square bars do.
Also have two of the cheaper thule bike racks (maybe they dont even make them any more) ,and again these are mostly fine, the only complaint I have about these is that they are the clamp on type, and the T bolt siezes in the clamp, which most of the time is not a problem, as you should never need to adjust the clamp size. However If I want to use my rack on a friends roof bars (not thule), the clamp size needs altering, but is difficult to do as the T bolt has siezed in the clamp.
However I am going to comment on some of the installation steps and things to watch out for as it is a little daunting to open the FreeRide 532 and find the bags of various components. Once you’ve installed the FreeRide all of the steps you took will be ‘obvious…in hindsight‘. In the future, fitting and unmounting the BIKE RACK will then only take about 5 minutes per bike rack.
I can't comment on J carriers because I don't use them, but perhaps I should. The design weakness with Thule is the square bars, which only becomes a problem on curved roofs, but as the roof curves so must cradles cant away from each other, reducing contact between boat hull and cradle to inside edges. The cradle faces are absurdly small to start with; this rotational deviation from level makes it even smaller. Couple that with Thule's comically inadequate détente angle fixing clamp (for holding the saddle in the shape of your boat hull) and for support you are probably better off using foam blocks. So J carriers may work better on a curved roof, if I can lift that high. I've seen some people use them for composite boats so it might be OK.
Lots of negative reviews here I don't understand. Some folks even saying it took 2 hours to put thier bake rack on thier vehicle. That could be the actual problem. They are all pretty simple in design four towers put them on tighten then put your bike on them. Never seen a bike rack that didn't allow the bike to sway some while driving on rough roads. They do make tie down straps for rugged terrain.
Description: Replacement keys cut for Roof Racks, Roof Bars, Roof Boxes, Storage Boxes, Ski Racks, Cycle Racks, Tow Ball, Rear Mounted Bike Carriers etc.. We use the latest up to date electronic technology for cutting keys to code. Code Series from N001 - N250 Code Series from N001R - N200R Code Series from N001M - N200M Your lock code is located on the face of the lock Savings apply when you buy more then one key of the same code