The Thule Aeroblades are a great design and look great on the top of my Subaru Legacy. I went through and researched a lot about the Thule car rack before I spent over $400 for the complete rack. My best advice when buying a Thule rack is GO TO THE THULE.COM WEBSITE AND PUT IN YOUR VEHICLE INFORMATION TO DETERMINE ALL OF THE PRODUCTS YOU NEED!!! I went piece by piece between the blades, foot pack, foot pack secure kit, and the cylinder locks to protect the $400 investment. Be careful which secure kit and which foot pack you buy. Each is unique depending on which vehicle you have and if your vehicle has a roof rack or not. My Subaru does not have anything on the roof so I had to buy everything. Also be careful with the type of accessories you buy: ski rack, bike rack, canoe rack, etc. The Aeroblades are a newer design so make sure the accessories are made for the particular rack. Thule.com has an instruction video on how to install the complete rack and the foot pack will have the specs on how far the racks should be apart. Luckily Amazon is great about returning items but try them asap so you don't get stuck with a product that you mistakenly ordered. Amazon is a little cheaper than the Thule site so you can save some money here.
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The Outbound ties to your vehicle with heavy-duty, double-stitched webbing straps, while twin compression straps help secure the load to cause minimal friction and noise while driving. Made of double-coated IP-X2, phthalate-free TPE laminate material that’s been certified to be weather resistant, it’ll provide amply protection from all the elements. A three-sided zipper makes it easy to access, and a storm flap that covers the zipper seams reinforce weather protection.
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.
Always check the vehicle manufacturer's recommended maximum load rating for roof rails. The maximum load rating below is for the cross bars. The load rating for roof rails can vary depending on the vehicles manufacturer. As with all racks, you're going to need to be very aware of your sunroof. On some vehicles there will not be the clearance needed to open the sunroof ie. when the racks are on the roof stays closed.
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!
Part conservationists, part outdoorsman, part storyteller, Matt has devoted much of his life to environmentalism and that crafty, fleeting mistress known as writing. Having worked with over two-dozen brands and lifestyle publications, he’s carried out his passion for all things flora, fauna, and fiction through a litany of written mediums — one adventure, one sentence at a time.
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 ProRide 598 and find the bags of various components. Once you’ve installed the ProRide 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 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 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 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 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.
Solid square load bar for kayak/canoes. It fits my 9.5 ft kayak along with my 14 canoe old town next to each other with additional space left over. It would not fit 2 kayaks and canoes flat. It does not stick out any further than mid part of side mirrors on my yukon. It is compatible with the load bar from thull. Only complaints that I noticed is that the coating is not very durable as I have a huge gash across one of the bars (not sure if from the rounded part of canoe bolt end or from combo of heat/pressure); also the rack will make a whirling noise when traveling on highways (55mph and up) which is very noticeable unless radio is on; I remove the racks during off seasons so it does not bother me at all but I can see when you may consider their additional part that blocks the wind for it from thull. I know some mentioned end caps may fall out but I have not had that issue although I put silicone (same stuff for plumbing or pool o rings) around the inside part to keep out moisture which may have helped that issue.
These are ideal if you are carrying kayaks or bikes and know that lifting these into the centre of the roof will put a strain on your back. They're almost essential for safe loading on tall and / or wide vehicles. The bars slide out so you can load, for example, two bikes on the left side of your vehicle, then slide them the other way and load two more on the right. They're brilliant.