by jasskidaphfromModel 513 DomestiquePurchased this model for an '07 Jeep Patriot with factory rails and crossbars. The assembly went very smoothly thanks to the clear instructions provided by Thule! My complaint revolves around the loose fitting rear mounting plate that attaches to the tray via a t-slot. After tightening all the bolts, I shook the tray to test how secure it was. The rear of the tray felt loose and rattled against the rear mounting plate. I loaded my road bike onto the tray and secured it according to Thule's directions and took it out for a test spin that lasted maybe twenty minutes, both paved and gravel roads. During the drive I constantly heard the rattle as the tray vibrated against the rear mounting plate. Maybe I'm missing some parts, like rubber grommets to fit over the rear mounting plate ears (for lack of better word) that would take up the slack in the t-slot. For the price, I expected greater quality and am disappointed in the fit of this particular bike rack.
Date published: 2012-04-28
Rated 3out of5
by jdavidsefromCan still be stolenI have owned two 590 V2 racks since 2004 and am fed up with the problems from that particular model. I have been waiting for a suitable replacement from Thule, and was disappointed to read about the problems with the Echelon, particularly the safety issue with the mount coming loose.
So when I saw the Domestique in a store I was amazed by its looks and overjoyed that Thule finally came out with a design that seems like they can't mess it up. I bought them at the REI sale and immediately installed them. They look really really awesome, and the skewer design seems pretty bulletproof and should last forever, with the exception that the lever itself is plastic. This looks like a heavy nylon plastic so I'm not ready to say it's a bad idea to be using this plastic on that particular part. It would just inspire more confidence if it were metal. They are not as easy to adjust as the Yakima version, which has a dial right under the clamp. Instead, you have to adjust the nut on the far side of the fork, and there is only a small tolerance for the proper setting. In other words, you will spend a bit of time adjusting it by trial and error because it has to be just right, each time turning the nut and then attempting to clamp, all the while holding your bike from tipping.
I can live with all of that, but there are two problems I see with this bike mount. First is that the head itself is plastic and not metal. This is not that unusual, but I found that if you slide it all the way forward on the bars so that the head hangs 3-4 inches forward, there is an incredible amount of flex when your bike is on it. I mounted mine as far back as possible, which puts the skewer nearly right over the bar, which reduces the amount of flex.
The second problem is that there is NO WAY TO LOCK IT. That is, when your bike is not mounted. The lock mechanism is built in to the skewer, and the skewer itself obscures the mounting bolts for the head. So if there is a bike mounted, the skewer is clamped and the lock is locked then there is nothing that isn't locked down. But if there is no bike, you can simply unscrew the nut on the far side of the skewer, pull the skewer out, undo the bolts and make off with the entire tray. I spoke to a Thule representative and he acknowledged that there is no way to lock the system without a bike. If they made even a small spacer device that would replicate a fork, you would be able to clamp it down and secure it. But they don't. So if you buy this, you will just have to hope that nobody ever takes a liking to it in a parking lot. But they will, because it looks awesome.
One last thing I nearly forgot is that the rear tray mount, while secure to the bar, still allows the tray to rattle. The mount plate for the rear is a terrible design.
Date published: 2010-11-23
Rated 3out of5
by Scott the EzrafromCould be betterI have a Gary Fisher 15.5 inch 29er. The back strap barely fit over the rear tire. It locked in fine once I let some air out of the tire.
My 52cm Trek Madone fit on top of the car ok, but was too short to reach the back strap. I let some air out of the tire and then it locked in.
My buddies 52cm Cannondale Super Six would not fit, because the fork was to narrow. Also, if you drive without any bikes on the roof the back tire straps will fly off. I lost both on my road trip and consider this a design flaw. Hopfeully, REI or Thule will replace them. This rack is OK, but it's hard to get the bikes on the roof of your SUV. Also, it seems like it should fit most bikes, but this is not the case.
Date published: 2012-08-13
Rated 4out of5
by pjpiercefromnice rackgreat product, looks good too
Date published: 2012-05-16
Rated 4out of5
by justinkjohnsonfromGreat rooftop bike mountWe purchased this rooftop mount to go on our 2010 Toyota Matrix with factory rails and crossbars. Sales person at REI said we would have to install it backwards in order to still open the hatchback. Since the 2 mounts have been installed we have had no issues and have traveled with our bikes on several occations. One trip was into a strong headwind and we barely noticed the bikes were up on the roof.
In regards to theft that previous reviews have menitioned, simply buy a 1/2" nut and put it in between the lever and the rack, this will act as the bike's fork, once locked there is no way to remove the skewer.
Date published: 2012-06-28
Rated 5out of5
by Jerusalem JonesfromSolid Universal RackI found out about universal roof racks only recently and am so thankful. I never wanted to spend a lot on a roof system so I've been struggling mightily with a very, very old trunk rack for too long. Since my Forester already has factory bars I only needed something to transport my bike. And this beauty came along...couldn't be happier. The Domestique fits like a glove.
The rack is light, stable, a quick/easy install, and doesn't even make much noise on the highway. Plus it looks mighty sleek . I haven't owned the Domestique long enough to speak for its durability, but it seems solid and I have faith that it'll last a long time.
My only gripe is the fork lock. It's really only a minor inconvenience, albeit an annoying one at times. The spring system makes for a reassuring hold on your fork. Adjusting it for the right amount of tension can be a pain though. It's one of those things that gets easier with use...until then be prepared for a few moments of frustration.
I want to address the previous reviewer's major concern. I was also initially worried about the inability to lock the rack without a bike. No chance I want to risk someone stealing it or deal with taking it on and off as needed. But there's an easy fix! Any piece of metal (a nut, thick washer, or in my case a replacement part for a sink) that fits around the skewer and is a decent length (mine's 3/8") will create enough tension for the locking cylinder to work without a bike mounted. Just put it between the lever and the rack then tighten/lock it like you would normally. Simple to take off when you need to haul your bike too.
Date published: 2011-05-25
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