Ironically, after posting my review of the Thule J-racks, I just about lost a kayak this past weekend coming back from Maine, due to the cheap mounting hardware included with the Thule J-rack. One of the plastic mounting bars split- where the bolt is held in place by the recessed nut- and the front rack was only held on by the one remaining mounting bar. It was not pleasant to see my kayak sliding towards the outside of the roof rack, going down I95 in Maine. Unless Thule changes the mounting hardware from plastic to metal, this rack is a dangerous. Cheap mounting seems to be a theme with Thule.
[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.
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Long road trips and overlanding adventures are only done right when you pack until your vehicle is almost overflowing. But if you’re playing Tetris with bags and your truck is bursting at the welds, chances are you won’t be able to see anything out the rear window — and that’s not safe. Roof racks are great for spreading gear to the often unused and underutilized space on the roof, but also for storing gear that won’t fit in your car to begin with. Paddleboards, mountain bikes and kayaks should all ride topside, especially after a long weekend of hard use.
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.
If you’re looking for a serious overland adventure or #vanlife upgrade, the Aluminess Roof Rack is the only way to go. It handles any gear and cargo you can think to throw up there. Moreover, outfits like Main Line Overland can customize it to fit A/C units, solar panels and satellite TV. “A full-length Aluminess Mercedes Sprinter Roof Rack is highly customizable and provides a massive amount of storage capacity. The optional side ladder makes it easy to mount the walk-on roof for strapping on loads and enhancing your perspective at roadside stops. You could probably even host a Bushwick rooftop party on one of them.”
I recently put my Thule J-racks on for their second season of use, only to fine that the mounting hardware is not for its second summer of use. The mounting bars (plastic) are cheap and split easily. There is a bolt inside the mounting bar that is supposed to stay stationary so that the bolt may tighten the rack to the rack. When plastic mounting bar splits, which doesn't take much, the bolt moves around making the hardware useless. Also, the bolts included with the racks rust at the mere mention of water. (Probably not the best thing for a kayak rack). The upside is that the J-rack itself is great, its just the mounting hardware that stinks- which can be replaced. I've yet to do it so I can't speak to how easy that is. Its not a bad rack for $85, just be prepared to replace and be careful witht the mounting hardware aspect of it.
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:
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 UpRide 599 and find the bags of various components. Once you’ve installed the UpRide all of the steps you took will be ‘obvious…in hindsight‘. In the future, mounting and unmounting the BIKE RACK will then only take about 5 minutes per bike rack.
I use the rapid traverse foot pack and aero blade bars. The foot pack was simple to install and stays rock solid, I check and tighten periodically but they've never been close to loose. The bars are very strong and nearly silent at freeway speeds, which start at 65 in CA. I can easily transport my 2 yaks, I use a cheap j rack bought on Amazon for my smaller lighter kayak and the Yakima even keel for the big heavy one, obviously not a symmetrical setup but they both fit easily in that configuration and I don't have much other choice, my lifetime sportfisher will not fit in J racks. For toting a couple miles to local beaches it's never an issue. I don't bother with nose straps if I'm not going more than 10 miles, but I have for longer trips. In each case there's never been a problem or any movement.
The Skybox Carbonite is a long carbo box that can handle camping gear for up to four travelers, as well as skis and snowboards up to 215 centimeters long. Designed with internal lid stiffeners, it’s both durable and easy to open and close from either side, with a tapered design to reduce hinge interface and increase internal space for awkwardly-shaped gear. SKS locks come included, and the Superlatch tech ensures that the lid will lock securely to the base to protect your gear.
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
We have various models of Thule Cycle Carrier to suit any specification of vehicle. Whether it’s just you or a car full of friends and family, get your bikes to wherever you’re going with a Thule bike rack – quickly, easily and safely. With a bike rack from Thule, you’ll be able to cycle on distant roads or bike far from home through wild terrain. Thule’s car bike racks come in different types and can be mounted on your roof, hitch, towbar, or on your boot. If you already own a roof rack, a roof bike rack could be the simplest solution, however a boot or hitch mounted carrier is often easier to load and unload and suits heavier bikes, even e-bikes. These Cycle carriers can carry up to 4 bikes, Use Thule’s buyer’s guide to find the most suitable cycle carrier for your vehicle. Thule’s range of bike racks continuously win multiple industry awards for design, safety and innovation.
They seem solid and well made. I'm just surprised at the way that the coating ends on the bars and the bare steel is open to the elements. I guess I assumed these would come with the end caps, as it doesn't specify that they don't and the photo includes the end caps, while graying out the feet - which I knew weren't included. Seems kinda skimpy to leave that little piece out.
I bought this as an upgrade since we bought the Toyota Sequoia which is wider than my older Mercedes GL. I also ordered the Thule Outrigger which works nicely with the cross bar to load and unload our SUPs easier. The combination works very well. I offer a suggestion I did which also worked well with me. If you want kayaks or boards to roll easily over the cross bars and without scratching try this: Go to Home Depot and buy two 30-40" long (depending on the width of the car top) of 1.5" diameter PVC pipes and two-2" pipes of the same length. The 1.5" will fit inside the 2" pipe nicely and the cross bar will fit into the combination (through the 1.5" of course) very well. This will give you a very nice set of rollers for the two cross bars and if you buy the black color of pipes they will look very professional at a cost of less than $15. I tried so many commercial covers and rollers and nothing worked better than this home made one.
With a roof box from Thule you can get even more out of your car and your journeys. The extra space in our world-leading car roof boxes means you can take everything you need on your travels. While the stylish designs make them ideal even for everyday use as they match the sleek, aerodynamic lines of your car. Our roof boxes fit Thule roof racks and most factory racks.
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.
I was (un)fortunate enough to get these a bit cheaper from Amazon Warehouse Deals which was the main reason for opting for the top of the range bars as opposed to a cheaper alternative, however I was stung when I realised that the keys and lock barrels are missing from the box - pretty much wipes out any discount I had! Naively, I did not realise they were missing until I had proudly installed the bars on the car, so I'll just cut my losses and purchase a new set in due course... I'll probably buy the same set as the ProRide 591's that I also purchased - if only they hadn't been lost by Hermes (on behalf of Amazon) who claim to have delivered them, but that's another story.
The WBT31 comes fully built and ready to use. Optional extras include a wall storage hook (£10) if you want to keep it off the floor, a dust/rain cover (£20), good for storing in a hostile environment, and a ramp (£35) for loading heavy bikes or if you aren't happy lifting them vertically onto the rack. The ramp fits all four bike positions on either side and stows securely in a holder on the rack, ready to use at your destination. I always used the ramp for getting our 30kg (plus whatever's in the panniers) Workcycles FR8 Dutch bike on and off the rack – it's fast to use and minimises the risk of slipping and dropping a very heavy bike.
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