Roof bars are an essential item if you want to fit a roof mounted cycle rack to your car. Designed to work with a car roof rail system roof bars are the base for attaching a range of car roof storage systems including cycle roof racks. Roof bars like the Thule Gutterless Rapid System are available for cars with normal roofs that don’t feature roof rails.
I was given my first Thule system back in 1992 when Thule was a sponsor of mine. I used that basic rack system along with numerous accessories up until the summer of 2015. The load bars were finally rusting [where I had drilled holes in them] and I felt I needed to replace them. My towers and my locks, however, are still my 1992 originals, and they're doing great.
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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.
If you're into kayaking, chances are you dream about living in a beach house, dragging your kayak through the fine sand to the water with ease. It will then be just a matter of minutes until you can start paddling away into the beautiful paradise. Now, let's wake up and face reality, most of us are not lucky enough to own such a place. In fact, you probably have to drive miles in order to enjoy this experience. Therefore, finding the best kayak roof rack is a must.
Ordered a rack as a Xmas present with heaps of time for delivery. Their email said it was sent. No it wasn't. Had to make other Xmas arrangements in the end. When I called to cancel I was told that they weren't actually sure if it had been sent or not so wait a few days. WTF??? Waited a few days and still no rack. They then agreed to refund but it took a while for the money to show up (admittedly this was probably due to Xmas shutdown).
But before you get a cargo box In almost all instances you’re going to need a roof rack system. These systems typically consist of two cross bars that bridge the width of your roof and can hold your box as well as other sport-specific carriers for bikes, skis, stand-up paddle boards, kayaks, and canoes — even a luxe rooftop camping tent. Depending on your vehicle, you may also need towers to attach the bars to your car and elevate them off your roof; get the same brand for both the cross bars and towers to assure compatibility. The variations on bar kits are staggering, but most major manufacturers have tools that help you narrow your options based on your car’s make, model, and year. The only time you don’t need bars? When you opt for a less-expensive cargo bag, which can sometimes be secured to factory mounts or rails found on some SUVs, trucks, and sedans.
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I used the rack with a standard road bike and a mountain bike with a big chunky downtube, both were clamped snuggly in place as the rubber lining of the clamp moulds around the tube whatever its shape. We got the quick release wheel straps over a set of Cannondale Knot 64mm deep section wheels and there was plenty of strap to spare. The design of the mounts also means any width of tyre will fit with the possible exception of fat bikes.
Thule roof racks & roof boxes are the leading brand of choice for carrying extra loads safely & securely. Need help deciding which Thule roof bars or roof box is right for your vehicle? Our staff have all the expertise to help you make the right choice. We also stock Thule ski carriers, transport / cargo management products and Thule accessories, giving you extra security and versatility.
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.
As cities grow denser, and the need for compact vehicles becomes more prevalent, the need for clever storage rapidly becomes essential. Over the years, many YouTube fail videos have shown us what can go wrong when your gear isn't properly strapped down. Thankfully, mainstay brands like Yakima and Thule continue to offer us smart and easy to use roof storage systems to prevent your next outdoor excursion from accidentally going viral. With that in mind, here are a few of our favorite roof racks and storage systems. We've compared more than 25 different storage solutions to help you find the most affordable, reliable, and easiest ones to install.
Don't get me wrong. I use Thule racks and locks and cradles and locking cable and straps… the whole kit. That's because security and convenience and bicycles and protecting the roof of my car are also important, and because I started with a used Thule rack, gradually accumulating a closet full of proprietary extrapolations and substitutions as needs changed. And it does work. It all works. It's just that every single bit of it is clumsily engineered and imprecisely manufactured, requiring brute force as well as wiggling and finagling to get it just right. Some parts fit loosely, some tightly, some are robust and some flimsy. Every change, every adjustment to a Thule rack is a project and a series of compromises. Admittedly, I change things around a lot, but as familiar as I've become with my rack, I still spend an inordinate amount of time getting all the parts straight and tight and solid before I reach for my boats.
To be honest I wasn’t expecting to have a system that was super quiet. But this system is. I have never used such a quiet set of bars. I have been using them for the last few months and they have been on the car without boats, with one, two and three boats and each time the noise has been so quiet that it is not really noticeable. There was no need to turn the music up to drown out whistling! Thule reckon there is a 90% reduction in noise compared to the Aero bars. I couldn’t say whether or not it’s 90% but it certainly is virtually silent.
Thule have done the hard work of figuring out how to best fit it to your car, though. You just dial in the angle between the arms, hang it on your car and tighten the straps. You can lock the ratchets, and there's a cable lock to secure the last bike in place so it's harder to steal rack and bike than is typical of boot racks. It folds tidily, but it's not light.
After a lot of looking and web browsing we came on Oak Orchard Canoe's Deluxe "J" cradles. It's a couple of hours to thier store and we went up and bought two pairs. They are nearly 3/16" thick brushed stainless steel and very well padded. The cradle is wider than the Thule. At 22" high they're 4" taller then the Thule and since they are, essentially, vertical they double as kayak stackers. They are even padded on the back. They come with straps that have sewn on buckle pads. The mounting bracket fits Thule or Yakima bars and some other racks. All-in-all, these are a little more money than the Thule but they appear to be as close to "bombproof" as any accessory I've seen. I'll post a review as soon as we've used them enough to do a fair appraisal.
What a nightmare...spent 4 hours the first day trying to install load bars on my Audi TT (this rack was "specialy designed" for this car...HA!). Returned to dealer several times and they could not do any better. Thule customer service is a joke. They verified the placement of the load bars and the wind deflector is getting in the way of my wipers, WTF! What really iritates me the most is that Yakima does not make a roof rack for my car and I am stuck with this. Going back to dealer one more time to get proper fit, will return and go with Yakima hitch rack if they cant help.
Once your base support roof rack is fitted, you can use accessories to adapt it for all kinds of transport storage--from covered roof boxes to racks for bicycles and winter sports equipment. It’s very important to check your vehicle’s maximum load capacity to ensure that you are not overloading it, and don’t forget to take into account the weight of the roof equipment itself.
The Thule WingBar Edge is the most safe and silent roof rack, and now available in a low fit. It is a universal fit (use selector tool above to see if available for your vehicle) by using telescopic feet. It's low profile and close fit to the roof creates a stunning look and is available in the following models 9581-9586, 9591-9596 in Black and Silver.