Thule Roof Rack Bike Rack

3.53/5 (93 Reviews)
MSRP : $199.95


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Product Description

Thule Roof Rack


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Reviews 1 - 15 (93 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by trekbiker89 a All Mountain Rider from Lodi, CA, USA

Date Reviewed: March 14, 2012

Strengths:    Good looking setup. Strong. Easy to use take on and off car. East to mount/unmount bikes. All around great product

Weaknesses:    The plastic roller thing in the head could use some updating.

Bottom Line:   
Thule makes a beautiful and strong rack system. I was skeptical at first about putting my new bikes on my roof, but after buying and installing my Thule system, I easily carry 4 bikes with no worry. I did buy mine from different people on craigslist, but the build quality Thule puts in these rack gave me the confidence to buy someone's used equipment.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Tahoe

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $400.00

Purchased At:   Craigslist

Bike Setup:   On my Audi A4 I have the 400XT feet, large load bars, 4 V2 racks, and 3 front wheel holders. I have never had any problems with my system and would highly recommend it for anyone looking for a roof rack.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by chefshope a Cross Country Rider from cleveland, tn U.S.

Date Reviewed: September 29, 2010

Strengths:    Built rock solid. looks great too


Weaknesses:    None, my rack has served it's purpose well many times and probably will for a long time.

Bottom Line:   
Lots of negative reviews here I don't understand. Some folks even saying it took 2 hours to put thier bake rack on thier vehicle. That could be the actual problem. They are all pretty simple in design four towers put them on tighten then put your bike on them. Never seen a bike rack that didn't allow the bike to sway some while driving on rough roads. They do make tie down straps for rugged terrain.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Clearcreek

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   craigslist

Similar Products Used:   Used a friends Yakima

Bike Setup:   Santa Cruz Superlight

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by h a Weekend Warrior from Natick, MA, USA

Date Reviewed: April 12, 2010

Weaknesses:    Horrible design for setup. Instructions are also poor.

Bottom Line:   
If you're looking for something that's easy to use and setup, this is not a good choice. Horrendous design for initial setup.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month


Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:5
Submitted by tednugent a Weekend Warrior from Northern NJ

Date Reviewed: June 30, 2009

Strengths:    Square makes it easy to install accessories.

Weaknesses:    1. Square bars are weak. The bars were actually bowed using using a ski holder to haul snowboard.

2. The rubber pads, the contours did not match the roof line, so that dirt easily got underneath destroying the paint under the pad.

3. The install brackets are a PITA to put over the pins on the roof, as well as removing.


Bottom Line:   
For a 1999.5 to 2005 VW Jetta & Golf, buy the OE Votex set up instead. The install & fit of the rubber pads are a joke. At least the Votex gives you some clear sheets to put under the feet for extra protection. If you still want an aftermarket Thule setup, put clear bra under the rubber pads.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Purchased At:   Bought used off a co

Similar Products Used:   OE Votex Cross Bars (made by Thule, sold by VW)


Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by chrisharjes a Weekend Warrior from Asheville, NC

Date Reviewed: November 9, 2008

Strengths:    Solid fit- vastly superior and more dependable than Yakima

Weaknesses:    Difficult installation- get Diamond Brand to do it for you unless you like to pull your hair out

Bottom Line:   
The Thule system is not as stylish-looking, and makes slightly more wind noise, but it stays on the car much better! I experienced catastrophic failure of my Yakima Q-tower system flying off my 2008 Honda Civic, and my wife's 2000 Honda CRV. So far, I've heard the same story fron eleven other people who drive low-profile, sleek vehicles without factory racks. Yakima's Q-clip system attempts to fit multiple cars with common clips that just don't work. Their tower system gradually loosens itself over time. Yakima will also put you through hell trying to warranty their product. Thule makes a custom clip for every car, with all metal (ugly but functional) tower pieces- if you like your gear in one peice, avoid Yakima at all cost!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Kitsuma

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $380.00

Purchased At:   Diamond Brand

Similar Products Used:   Yakima Q-tower system

Bike Setup:   Four or five bigass bikes tied every which way

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by wackywiddy a Cross Country Rider from rochester, ny usa

Date Reviewed: June 17, 2008

Strengths:    none

Weaknesses:    fit, cost, wind noise, customer support, dealer support...shall I go on?

Bottom Line:   
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.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $550.00

Purchased At:   park ave bike

Similar Products Used:   saris

Bike Setup:   Kona Dawg FS

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Gui a Cross Country Rider from Belo Horizonte, MG - Brazil

Date Reviewed: July 25, 2007

Strengths:    Easy to use, keep bikes locked while mounted
Can be fitted to other vehicles with minor additional parts


Weaknesses:    Durability
Reliability


Bottom Line:   
This review is for the Velo Vise system mounted in Thule Aero bars.
After three years of little use I have experienced just too much trouble with this rack system. I have seen that the problems are the same as the ones reported in this review board, which makes me believe that the Velo vise system has yet to improve a lot to be considered worthwhile.
1o - Breakage ! The head unit in secured in the bars with a single bolt and it just cant take the continuous side to side loading when driving in unpaved roads (this unit is designed for disk brakes, used in MOUNTAIN BIKES, which trails sometimes required driving in unpaved roads to get to, no surprise here Thule !).Even driving carefuly, my head unit has cracked TWICE and the third time it was the bolt itself that snapped. Almost had the bike flying on the highway...

2o - The plastic roller adjuster seizes, compromising proper securing of the fork. Mine actually failed and unexpectedly realeased the fork dropouts while driving, almost resulting in a catastrophic event.

After all this trouble, I just cant trust this sytem anymore. Nothing is worse than drive to trailhaed constantly worring if the rack is going to fail. Cant recomned this. I wish I could find Yakima here in Brazil...

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   Trip Aventura

Similar Products Used:   None

Bike Setup:   Titus Racer-X

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Jared a Weekend Warrior from Auburn

Date Reviewed: June 7, 2007

Strengths:    The rack system fits well on my car, and transports my bikes safely and securely everywhere I go. I use the velo vise fork mount for for my two bikes. I also use two wheel on mounts, which also seem pretty secure. I've gone on several multi hour trips without a hitch.

Weaknesses:    I don't like the design of the aero foot handle assembly which is used to secure the aero feet and load bars down. the handle is made of plastic, and when I tried to engage the assembly, the plastic tab broke off. Thule should have used steel there. The peice was taken care of under warranty without hassle. Another weakness I've noticed is the carriage bolts which are used to secure my velo vise and wheel ons to the load bars. These bolts have a black finish of some sort, which immediately started to rust after a partial summer of use. These bolts should have been made out of stainless steel or some other more resiliant metal. One other item to note is that while assembling the product, the instructions indicate that you "squeeze" the tensioning came to secure it to the load bar (the instructions even show a picture of one hand completing the task). Right away I realized my inadequacies in strength. I had to use a half of a brick and a peice of wood to clamp that bugger down right.

Bottom Line:   
The bottom line is that this is a pretty decent rack, and secure for your bikes and secure to your car if you follow the directions. Also, you are going to hear some noise from it while driving. I don't own the fairing because of the placement of the antenna on my Focus, so that may quiet things down for other drivers. A few things can be done by Thule to get this just right as noted in weaknesses.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Bear Swamp State Forest, NY

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $600.00

Purchased At:   Geneva Bicycle Center

Similar Products Used:   none

Bike Setup:   Giant Rainier for me and Giant Boulder SE for wife

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:2
Submitted by ryan from St. louis

Date Reviewed: May 23, 2007

Strengths:    disk brake compatible

Weaknesses:    the plastic roller adjustment mechanism froze up and eventually broke on one of my 2 V2 trays. Thule sent me a new one free of charge....now i think my other one is about to break too. It starts to get very hard to tighten the fork mount roller adjustment then it staps when you lower the metal locking plate. Be careful!

Bottom Line:   
Works nice but sucks if it fails while you're on the road with your bike. Also, when did roof racks get so expensive??

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Similar Products Used:   Saris


Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Mike R a Cross Country Rider from Akron, OH

Date Reviewed: December 16, 2006

Strengths:    Strong, Fast, Straight-forward set-up and removal. No scratchs on my car hood or door jam. Seemingly secure locking system for bike forks (haven't tried to steal my own bike, but never heard of any failures)

Weaknesses:    Expense, End cap on tray fell off. Wind noise whistles unless you buy air dam. Removal/installation of trays to rack could be easier

Bottom Line:   
Only minor problems after two years. The end cap on the bike trays just clips on--great for installation, but it fell off on highway, and this allowed the wheel strap (not in use) to slide off too--cost $25.00 total to replace.
Horizontal bars are strong--handled 100 lb.BBQ grill easily
Once system is in place, you never have to worry about anything until end of season.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Laurel Highlands PA

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   Akron Racks

Similar Products Used:   Yackima


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by malarkey a Weekend Warrior from Tempe, Arizona

Date Reviewed: August 12, 2006

Strengths:    very sturdy

Weaknesses:    On bike trays, the ratchet straps for the rear wheel are a little short

Bottom Line:   
I have the rack on a 96 Civic hatchback. I found the entire rack used including two bike trays for $45 and then had to pay $50 for the fit kit. I chose not to buy a stretch kit, but it still works great. I had a yakima before, but didn't like it. Before I could get the Yakima tightened to a comfortable tension, one of the plastic latch clips broke off. I would definitely recommend the Thule rack.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $95.00

Purchased At:   bought used

Similar Products Used:   Yakima

Bike Setup:   n/a

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Dave a Racer from Portland, OR

Date Reviewed: July 3, 2006

Strengths:    Good looking, easy to work with

Weaknesses:    Bad design when used with OEM crossbars

Bottom Line:   
I had a pair of Thule V2 trays mounted on the OEM crossbars for my car (the only ones available to fit it). Installation was easy, as long as you're remotely mechanically inclined, and everything worked as advertised.

However, the OEM "aero bars" have a fatal flaw: unlike other systems (including Thule's own square bars), your bike and tray are ultimately held in place by a single steel bolt, centered under the bike. If you only use it to carry a road bike on the highway, this is fine, but take a mountain bike on a rough road a few times and it becomes a problem. The bike generates a ton of torque going over bumps and potholes, bending out the bottom of the tray head until no amount of tightening will stop it swinging side to side. Once this happens it is only a matter of time until that bolt breaks, and your bike is ejected onto the freeway in spectacular fashion. Be forewarned!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   dealer / rack attack


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Jimmy Cazares a Cross Country Rider from San Diego

Date Reviewed: June 6, 2006

Strengths:    Great all around rack...took me about 2 hours to install. Fits my car like a glove. Also cheaper than the Yakima! I have 2 bikes on top all the time...never a sense of unsecurity at high speeds. Build like a rock...not cheaply made like others.

Weaknesses:    Prob my fault...but i tried to jam the key lock cylinder and i broke a small piece of plastic that holds the lock from coming out. Other than that...never had a prob up to date

Bottom Line:   
My friends all have Thule Racks...so i went with it...its awesome. I dont understand the problems im reading in the previous post about these racks not living up to the hype. If you unstall it right...it will work right! Yes it took me 2 hours to install but i made sure if was done right and had a glove like fit to my car. I have 2 bikes on the system with the 594 Sidearm Bike Carriers...i love these (keep your wheels on). The base system was about 300 bucks plus the 594 Sidearm Bike Carriers were 149.00 each...i spend about 600.00 total. Well worth it!!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Otay Lakes

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $600.00

Purchased At:   Performance Bicycle

Similar Products Used:   Hollywood Trunk Rack. Great trunk rack...just hated removing it!

Bike Setup:   2005 Gary Fisher Cake 3dlx

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Steven Mancuso a Weekend Warrior from Haskell, New Jersey, USA

Date Reviewed: April 14, 2006

Strengths:    I don't know what to say. I have the same load bars on my 2003 Pathfinder that I put on my 1985 Chevy Cavaliere back in 1994 when I was in college. I have loaded everything you can imagine on them,, furniture,, 2x4's,etc. Everything.The bike rails are from 1994 too and I still use them to this day. I have had to replace footpacks because I am on my 4th Pathfinder since that Chevy and the different factory roof racks needed different adapters,, but the load bars and bike rails are perfect. Rust on the load bar a little,, plastic is cracked,, but hey,, 13 years almost,, across the country 2 times,, east coast from Vermont to West Virginia countless times,, I think they are doing damn good. Anyone that is having trouble with there THULE products is lying or just plain had bad luck. I have installed these racks on friends cars too and they have been great. I recomend them for sure

Weaknesses:    NONE

Bottom Line:   
THULE is a great rack,great company,great product.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Ringwood Skylands Manor

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $700.00

Purchased At:   Ski Barn Ramsey New Jersey

Similar Products Used:   NONE,, never would try another brand.

Bike Setup:   TREK carbon road,Trek 970 hard tail XC race, Trek Remedy6 All mountain

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by fred clari a Weekend Warrior from Saco

Date Reviewed: December 6, 2005

Strengths:    Easy to set up/easy to use/faultless

Weaknesses:    One vise head showing rust.

Bottom Line:   
The only reason I can see for those low ratings is the inability of the user(or whoever installed it for them) to install it correctly(no matter what they think). I've been using my roof rack since '00 and have had zero problems. Been all over the eastern seaboard and into eastern Canada. Speeds up to 80mph. No problems. It's likely a user malfunction and not an equipment malfunction. :-)

You can try to drive it into a garage, but in my case it didn't fit. ;-)

Buy it if you need a roof rack(it locks up tight).

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Bradbury Mtn

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $300.00

Purchased At:   Cyclemania

Similar Products Used:   Thule trunk rack.

Bike Setup:   Titus LocoMoto, Klein Adept Comp

Reviews 1 - 15 (93 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


Homemade roof rack IDEAS???

Het All, I'm heading to Arizona from Chicago next month and would like to attach my bikes to the standard roof rack on my Chevy Blazer. Just want to secure them on top and take them off when I get there. Maybe PVC or two by fours??? I don't care how it looks, just has to be functional and worry f ... Read More »

One arm or two for a roof rack?

It seems obvious that a wheels-on roof rack with two arms would be more secure than one with just one arm. What do you think? Would a Rocky Mounts Brass Knuckles or a Thule Sidearm be as secure as a 1up or an Inno Tire Hold? Does having just one arm stress the front wheel too much?Read More »

scion iq w/roof rack

I didnt feel like paying for a bike rack for my roof rack. I managed to fit 2 bikes easily and max of 3 bikes on this thule roof rack. Strapped on with quick straps, it doesnt move around and less than a min to strap on each bike. Save some money.. save time.. fit more bikes.. no need to take ... Read More »

Vw roof bike rack issues

So I got a oem vw roof rack and bike rack for my trek slash. The front strap doesn't fit! I'm thinking will have to carry a pump in the car and just take air out of the tire to fit in the rack and be able to strap it down. Anyone else have this issue or tips/solution?Read More »

Farley, Bluto & Custom Kuat Fork Mount Roof Rack

Not sure why I like fork mount rack but I do. However no one sells a fork mount adapter for a bluto fork. The good news is the Kuat rack has an interchangeable fork mount. It's also important to have friends that own a machine shop. [IMG]http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/08/20/typubady.jpg[/IMG ... Read More »

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