The product looks fine but the installation instruction is complete junk!! I went to the Thule website to get all the parts, it's a rather confusing and frustrating experience, but at least I got that part right. When all the different component arrived, I looked for installation instructions, which is extremely poorly written, I have to say worse than those chinese knock off products because there isn't even an attempt to write a description for the diagrams. I got the 53 in aeroblade for my Jetta, which looks like it's too long and overhanging the sides, so I referred to the diagram that is vehicle specific. It says front is 39-3/8" and the rear is 38". Taking my measuring tape to the car to double check the numbers, and found that these dimensions are way off. Not only are these numbers meaningless, what they suppose to mean is nowhere to be found in a clear manner. How does one use those numbers? If the numbers are off, does it mean I got the vehicle wrong? Or is it simply a mis- print?
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.
Disclosure: The Adventure Junkies is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost for you. We also use other affiliate programs like REI, LeisurePro, Diviac and Liveaboard.com.
I am an avid outdoorsman with experience in naturalist education, outside adventure education, ski instruction, and writing. In addition to my outdoor hobbies, I’m a huge fan of punk rock. I have launched several start-ups. (or business ventures) When exploring the backcountry, I usually carry less than 10 pounds of gear. Years of experience have taught me to pack light. I enjoy sharing my experiences of backcountry education teaching and guiding through writing.
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.
Less physically strong riders may find its heft a bit much. There are wheels to roll it on flat surfaces, but you wouldn't want to carry it very far. It locks securely to your tow hitch and carries up to three bikes. The bikes are held in place with ratchet straps round the bottom of the wheels and a clamp for the top tube or, for carbon bikes, one of Thule's 982 frame adapters.
We spoke to Tom Henwood of Main Line Overland to see what the pros are using and what’s popular on today’s market. “The best roof rack is the best design for a given application, rather than a particular brand. We help customers select racks and storage systems based on what they intend to carry on their travels, where they intend to go, etc. We look for componentry that maintains a low profile and low center of gravity for off-road driving, so we often choose aluminum roof racks to keep weight down up top.”
Within Thule’s lineup of rooftop bike racks, cyclists across all disciplines will find a rack that works with the specific bikes they ride and the vehicles they drive. Whether you’re a hard-core road warrior racking up miles on skinny tires, or a bruised-up mountain biker running steep trails and hitting fat jumps, this article will help you choose the right Thule bike rack for you.
So, minus one star for false advertising about the end caps. And minus one star for claiming they don't rust, when I'm replacing them because the old ones are rusted. Otherwise, these things are super solid. I've had at least 2 stand up paddleboards and 2 surfboards on the car at once and there's no question these bars can withstand the strain from wind. If something were to break or bend in the whole car/rack combination, it's not going to be these bars in my opinion.
Shortly after we bought the rack, our little mazda 2 was rear ended by a texting idiot. Before the car was repaired, I decided to try and test the rack to see if I could damage the tailgate with the rack. I tightened it up really hard and grabbed the mounting arms and shook the car around on it's suspension and it did not bend or damage the tailgates panel edges at all.
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:
Bought these for use on my Kia Ceed. Very easy to fit following the instructions on youtube. I wanted my roof bars to be as silent as possible and these definitely fit the bill. The only time I actually heard them above normal road noise was when they were covered in dirt and frost which caused them to whistle (which is understandable as theyre not as aerodynamic). Personally I think the thule bars are worth the additional cost.