Thule Space Station Older Bike Rack

Space Station

Space Station hitch rack system features interchangeable bases (sold separately) so you can easily transfer racks from one size receiver to another. Component design offers choice of several different modules (sold separately) to transport your bikes, skis and snowboards or luggage. Snug Tite(TM) creates a snug, anti-wobble fit and locks Space Station Base to receiver hitch. Quick-release gas strut tilt-down mechanism allows easy access to the rear of your vehicle. Anti-sway tie-down points with straps are built-in for bike carrying stability.

User Reviews (9)

Showing 1-9 of 9  
Brian   Cross Country Rider [Jun 30, 2003]
Strength:

Gas Strut, Locks

Weakness:

Wobbles bad, hitch pin broke, two bike mounts have broken, release mechanism/hinge for the fold down feature have worn badly contributing to even more wobble, and the metal near the hinge is cracking. There's rust all over and the plastic plugs that were inserted in the square tubing have been gone since about week two.

A Piece of junk for the money. The first bike mount broke when my car was hit head on while parked. I forgave the rack for that because it was an accident, but later on the hitch pin broke and I had to fabricate a new one out of titanium (not everyone has access to a machine shop, but I sure wasn't going to buy another one of the Thule pins). All along the wobble kept getting worse because of wear in the latch and cracking in the hinge parts. The last straw came when I was driving on the interstate and the bike mount broke with my full XTR Blur attached leaving it hanging by only the rear wheel! The only redeeming features on the rack are the locks and the strut, but when that fork mount broke my bike was still securely locked to something that was no longer even attached to the rack. Sorry Thule, I'm getting a Sportworks.

Similar Products Used: Saris and Thule roof racks.
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
1
Mauka Rider   Downhiller [Feb 10, 2002]
Strength:

Easy to use, stable at all times, can be removed at easily from your car, excellent if you own FS bikes, can be used with other accessories ie snowboards/skies, you never have to remove anything from the bike to mount.

Weakness:

If you overtighten the anti sway bolts to much, you can strip the bolts. If you have barndoor type of rear end, you may not be able to open the doors all the way.

Im not sure why those other reviews have such a problem with the swaying...proper set up with eliminate the sway. I've owned mine for over 3 years and have never have a problem. I highly recommend this product if you own a FS bike.

Similar Products Used: Yakima
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Gerald McMurray   Racer [Oct 30, 2001]
Strength:

Design, customer service

Weakness:

Crappy construction, poor materials, wobble, screws back out at highway frequencies.

Great design from the boys from Sweden but the construction and materials are terrible. Mine is now in the trash can after two years. I had multiple problems with the screws backing out and the trays falling out etc. Finally the screw that mounts to the 2 in mount broke and that is it for me.

2 Chilies overall just because their customer service was really good.

Similar Products Used: Yakima
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
1
Billy Brown   Weekend Warrior [Oct 15, 2000]
Strength:

easy to use.

Weakness:

Super amount of wobble. Scary when driving over speedbumps or entering driveways. Starting to see signs of rust.

I paid 280 bucks for the space station and the fork mount module. Good design, but I don't know if the wobble is really worth it though. I like the fact that I don't have to lift my bike 5 1/2 feet off the ground to secure my bike, but I don't like the anti-wobble lock. I tighten it all the way, yet I wince everytime I see my bike sway like a mother#$@%er when going over train tracks and the like. I guess I have to wrap duct tape or something around it to reduce this. The edges appear to be rounding off. Spots of rust beginning to appear. There is a big hole in my wallet...
5 beer turds for design
- 2.75 flamers for wobble
- .25 bad frozen dinners for rust
----------------------------------
= 2 red hot pieces of sphincter for getting reamed

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
Big Pete   Cross Country Rider [Aug 22, 2000]
Strength:

Gas Strut to assist lowering bikes
Versatility
Velo vise attachment holds bike securely

Weakness:

ONE !?!? Bolt that holds rack in hitch - MAJOR wobble!


This is an update to my earlier post - I returned this rack. Why? Well, the rack works okay except.... they use a single bolt to hold it to the hitch! This sounds like it should be okay, but it isnt. When you load up the rack and two bikes, it's like a 80 lb weight on the end of the rack, tourqing on the rack/hitch connection. What was, at first a minor case of "sway" when I first bought the bike turned into a major case!!! Pretty unerving to see your expensive toys flopping around behind you.

In fact, there was so much play that the lower edge of the rack that was fit into the reciever was actually starting to "round off" from the constant friction of the swaying! The metal was GRINDING DOWN! I had everything installed properly and would tighten the system as hard as it would go, but to no avail. I returned the rack to REI (who were as helpful as a stump during this whole process.. absolutely clueless..) and went out and purchased a Hollywood Pro rack. No gas strut assist and it's bicycles only.... but their anti-wobble device is EXCELLENT and the rack folds up nicely behind my poseur SUV, so I don't have to even take it off (something you will need to do everytime with the Thule, unless you like driving around town with an empty rack sticking 3-4 ft. off the back of your SUV/car....).

If it's bikes only that you are interested in carrying, check out the Hollywood rack.

Similar Products Used: Hollywood Pro Rider
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
2
CJ   Weekend Warrior [May 12, 2000]
Strength:

Ease of use. When folded forward, I can fully open my tailgate even with two bikes on the carrier.

Weakness:

Price.

(I use the Velo Vise carrier on the Space Station.)

If you're paranoid about forgetting your bike's on top of your car when driving into your garage, get this thing. Another plus, at the end of a ride when you can barely walk, you have to lift the bikes about three feet up instead of over your head for some SUV's. No danger of dropping the bike on your roof either.

It takes me two minutes to plug it into the hitch receiver and load up the bikes. It fits my 2" receiver perfectly and when the anti-wobble/lock is installed, doesn't move or make any noise at all.

You will have to get used to looking through your bike out the back window. Just get a good looking bike to look through!

I knocked off one value point for the cost which ran me ~$330 at Rocky Mounts in Boulder.

Similar Products Used: None.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Big Pete   Cross Country Rider [Apr 11, 2000]
Strength:

Hydraulic arm for easy pivot of rack, thule name, versatility (able to convert to ski rack, etc.). Solid fork mount, don't have to pay extra for locks!

Weakness:

Anti-Wobble device - will it work??? Box didn't come with all parts/directions (although REI took care of me right away and it may have been previously opened...) kinda spendy.

Well,

I bought this rack over the Hollywood rack based on it's versatility and the fact it was on sale for 20% off. The Tule rep assured me that their anti-wobble device would work great, but to this point I am skeptical as the Space Station base still has some play (both horizontal and vertical) even with the bolt tightened all the way down.

It will get its first major tryout tonight, I will report back in a month or so to let you know how it's going....

Oh yeah - I am using the velo vise tray with the space station - fork mounts just seem much more solid, and taking off my front wheel is no big deal.

Big Pete

Similar Products Used: none
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
Art   Cross-Country Rider [May 14, 1999]

The review I wrote on the Mission Control unit would apply to the Space Station. When I ordered it, Sports Rack wasn't sure what Thule was finally going to name it! So, I guess it's a Space Station... whatever they call it, it works well!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Chris   Weekend Warrior [Mar 30, 2002]
Strength:

Excellent fit in the 2" receiver, no wobble even at highway speed
Locking hitch pin keeps it totally safe
Works awesome with Rack n lock classic

Weakness:

None

I've used this rack with my bike for the last week, and it is awesome. There's no wobble, even at highway speed, I don't have to take it off my car cause it locks in place, and overall seems to be excellent value for the money. Bottom line, this is a great rack setup for people who have valuable equipment to transport. This isn't one of those cheap little racks that look and sound like they're going to bail on the highway. This thing is beefy and tough, well worth the bucks.

Similar Products Used: First hitch mount rack
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-9 of 9  

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