Caveat: I was thinking of replacing the Js with a rail rider or something that I could put an extended crossbar on in order to lay the boats flat. Figured less wind resistance would equal better gas mileage. I was surprised to find on this trip my mileage was better than expected (19+ with a big hemi V8, not great but hey, it goes!)I attribute this to mainly reduced speeds on many of the non interstate highways where we were running 60-65.
There were a few types of bar I could have chosen. Firstly the bog standard square bars, which are pretty good but they don’t have the T channel for quick attachment of bike carriers and roof boxes. They still work really well but I have a few bits that use the T bolt system and I really like it for ease and security. The second is the Aero bars system which I have used a great deal in the past. They are again good, but I found them to be a little noisy on the cars I have had in the past. This may have been down to the bars or the foot system, or the way I had fitted them. The Aero bars do have the T channel which still makes them a contender. OEM bars tend to be very similar to the Thule Aero bars anyway. However for a little bit more cash the Thule Wing bars offer a lower profile, a reported 55% reduction in drag compared to the Aero bars and a possibility of an overall quieter system. After a hunt around (see below) I got the Wing bars for the price of a set of Aero bars
Hitch Mounted – These types of the rack are connected up to the receiver hitch at the back of the vehicle. They tend to be very strong and stable, and often pack in more features than you may find on the other styles. The main benefit of these types is that they are lower and easier to load then the roof-mounted versions. They also largely keep the bike out of the vehicle airflow, helping minimize the impact on your fuel consumption. The negative is they can affect your rearview when driving, they can make trunk access difficult or even impossible and you must remember you have the rack mounted when you are reversing!
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.
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.
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
THEFT: A determined and well-prepared thief will have the tools to steal your bike in any case. I would imagine that, with an expensive bike, the thief might not be too concerned about prizing open the frame clamp and damaging the frame as the re-sale value of untraceable and expensive bike parts would more than compensate them for their efforts. The Thule FreeRide 532’s anti-theft mechanisms are sufficient to prevent the casual thief. Use your own bike lock when parked to better deter would-be thieves ie lock the bike to the roof bars with a motorbike lock or similar
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.
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 own a 1989 Jeep Wrangler with a soft top. Awkward at best to find a roof rack. My wife and I are "Fun Hogs", the Jeep fills the bill but is short on hauling room. Thule to the rescue. The extensive listing of brackets and attachments have allowed us to fit the Thule rack to the roll bar. As we go topless during the spring through fall, we now can carry two kayaks & paddles and two bycicles w/spare wheels. As a testament to the durability, we have done the Rubicon two years running with bikes and our sea kayaks aboard. Routine trips into Baja, no problem. Thule's rectangular cross tubing is far superior to the competitions round tube. Although not recomended, at 220lbs. I've stood on the rack to scout trails and beach areas without fear of falling. One tough rack.
Thule v. Yakima - few topics bring about more angry debate. I've had my Thule system for about 5 years. I've hauled mountain bikes, skis, and three kayaks on my roof. It has worked flawlessly, albeit noisily. Yes, Yakima fans, the support bars will probably bend if you put three kayaks on them regularly. But if you are hauling that much weight with any frequency, you need a trailer, not a roof top rack system. Normal mortals won't have problems with bicycles, surf/whitewater kayaks, or one touring boat with an occasional second.
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.
Each roof bike rack from Thule ensures your bike will get where you’re going without damage. Plus it is easy to load and unload even when you’re on your own. There is also a choice to suit your bike and how you want to transport it. Choose from fork-mounted carriers that include thru-axle options to wheel-mounted or “frame-hold” designed roof bike racks for a quick, precise hold and a more stable ride.
Usually two bars that run across the width of the vehicle roof, which you then mount your activity-specific racks to; whether it’s ski racks, bike racks, cargo boxes, kayak racks, etc. Crossbars support the weight of all the gear you’re adding to the roof and transfer the weight to the towers/feet. The major crossbar types include: round (Yakima), square (Thule, Inno), aerodynamic (Thule, Yakima, Whispbar, others), and factory.
Whether you have a sedan, a truck or SUV, the interior cargo space can always fill up quicker than you think. And while the average person doesn’t need a roof rack 24/7, like winter tires, they are an incredibly useful asset to have on hand if you’re overlanding, going on a long road trip, moving to a new house or just going up to the lake for a day. If you’re going to be strapping things to the roof of your car, do the job right — don’t be that guy hauling a kayak that’s barely holding on with slowly loosening twine. Per Hendwood’s philosphy above, it’s best to use solid, lightweight hardwear that’s designed to carry loads — not barely roped-together guesswork.
The Thule VeloCompact 92501 is one of the Swedish company's most affordable towball racks and it's really easy to use. It has a wide range of adjustment to suit different types of bikes, and it's very solid and secure. When it's fitted you can still get into your car boot, and it folds flat for storage. It's a good investment for anyone who regularly transports bicycles on a car.
Whispbar made a name for itself by introducing some of the industry’s most aerodynamic and sleek cross bars before moving onto sport-specific mounts for things such as bikes and kayaks. This attention to design-forward aerodynamics continues with their Aero Compact Cargo Carrier. Available in either black or silver high-gloss finish, this box has been intentionally designed for smaller, more compact vehicles, proffering 10.8 cubic feet of storage that can accommodate skis up to 155 centimeters in length.
Bought for use on my van's roof to hold a 9'1 longboard - already had roof bars up there which turned out to be too thick for the supplied fixings but wasn't too difficult to make it work. Really quick and easy to use. Haven't tried it with two boards but, as some of the other reviews say, it could be a bit tight to fit another board in with the size of strap supplied.