by julierfromHeavy, bulky, and brokenPurchased the product from an REI store. Once I got home and opened the package I could see the rack had been previously used. The tray would not stay locked in the up position. Having the tray swinging down combined with the extreme heaviness of the product made it impossible for one person to even balance the thing to install it to the car. But once I realized how many contact points there are with the car and how heavy it was I was afraid it would damage my vehicle. I will return it rather than exchanging for a new one.
Date published: 2011-11-14
Rated 1out of5
by NM Ski VetfromDamaged my car within 30 daysThis rack was installed on my 2006 Volvo V50 wagon by a Thule represetentative and used with 2 Specialized full carbon road bikes only 3 times, mostly it sat on the car unused or only carried one of those bikes. According to the Thule fit guide, it is supposed to fit on my car.
The rack has damaged my car through normal use in the first 30 days that I have owned it. The rubber attachment strap covers have created dents in the top of the hatch door and scratched the paint, and the rubber coated metal hooks that actually hook on the hatch door have dug into my roof panel when the hatch is opened. Obviously I am returning the rack to REI, I only hope I can somehow recover the cost of getting my hatch and roof fixed as well.
Aside from the damage to my car, the rack has some significant design flaws:
1) the rack hooks to the car by 4 ratcheting cables. That ratchet system is independant on each side of the rack, however it locks on only 1 side, so you can completely unhook the cables from the car on one side without any effort.
2) there is a latch that locks the platform down in the open position when you are putting bikes on it, but there is no latch to keep the platform up the in the collapsed position when you are not using the rack. I had to use a nylon strap to keep it up out of the way.
The plus side is the rack is very easy to use and is very stable on the car and the bikes are very secure in the rack. The armiture that grabs the top tube is very easy to lock onto the bike, although if your top tube is not round but oval, theoretically someone could rotate the bike in the jaws and it would easily slide of the locked jaws.
Date published: 2012-06-16
Rated 4out of5
by sTiVofromSo far so goodOK, I've only just taken it out of the box. I mounted it on the car with bikes. Was pretty easy to do once I figured out the tip below - even in the rain. Looks pretty solid, will add more info and a bottom line after I've used it.
One problem I had which Thule did warn not me of in the instructions was that it seemed at first impossible to insert the clips behind the bottom of the hatchback on my Toyota Prius without opening the hatchback - which is almost impossible to do with the rack on given the heavy weight of the rack. At that point I was ready to take the thing back to REI. However, I eventually figured out that the plastic clip covers slide back so you can then finagle the clips into the space under the hatchback without opening it and then slide the covers back into place. With that understood, mounting wasn't so hard.
I like the numbered fit system. Thule appears to have done a good job defining the settings for each model of car, so it's not a hit-and-miss thing as it is with cheaper racks.
It's heavy, but maybe that's also a good thing? We'll see how it performs on the road and update when we do.
Date published: 2011-09-02
Rated 4out of5
by sTiVofromNow that I've actually used it ...[Too bad this review site doesn't let you edit your reviews. This is really an extension of my previous review, instead you will have two reviews here, skewing the stats. Maybe you could delete my earlier one?]
I chose this rack primarily for the stability aspect of it. I've previously only used roof racks and not trusted rear racks because of too many horror stories from friends. I've seen too many rear racks with wheels spinning as their drivers speed along the highway. NO THANKS!
In this regard, I was very pleased with this rack. If you want a solid, stable rack similar to what can be achieved with a trailer hitch attachment for cars that won't accept one, this is a great choice.
However, its strength is also its weakness. This stability is achieved at the cost of weight. This is a HEAVY rack. One person CAN install this rack by him or her self, but it's much easier with two. Thule has gone to great length to describe how to fit it to each model of car. They have taken one-size-fits-all to its best possible implementation. But you must follow these instructions. If you don't, you could well scratch or damage your car. But if you do follow the instructions, you will achieve a stability that's hard to beat. That's what you're paying for.
One other question I have. The upper arms are kind of rigid, which is a good thing that contributes to stability. There's a tradeoff here too. You perhaps don't have as wide a choice of deployment positions as you might with a less rigid rack. There is an infinite range of possible accessories you can put on a bike. I came close to frustration as the drop handlebars of one bike were almost blocked by the rear pannier rack on the other bike. I had to remove an easy to remove rear seat pack in order to get the two bikes on. No biggie, but I can imagine that people might own bikes that might not fit so easily if they have stuff added to them. Of course you have some freedom in setting the left-to-right positioning of each bike, so you might be able to overcome this with enough finagling.
The installation instructions are very good, but could be better. I find that on my Toyota Prius 2007, I could not easily slide the bottom clips under bottom of the hatchback door. The shape of these clips precludes that. Once in the crack, though, they work fine. The instructions do not say how to overcome this, but the clips are easily removed from the rack and put back in later. This isn't documented.
So on this model car, the way to success is to remove the clips from the cables before installation. open the hatchback, temporarily tape them in place with some masking tape, then close the hatch and remove the tape. The clips should now slide freely. Then load the rack onto the hatch, put the top hooks in place (which easily fit into the groove), and then reattach the lower hooks to the cables.
Date published: 2011-09-25
Rated 5out of5
by MTBYKRfromGreat rackI was a little apprehensive about putting this on my Acura TL but I must say I am very happy with the fit and the way my bike rides on the rack. It doesn't scratch the car and the bike is very sturdy when driving. Most of all it is easy and fast to put the bike in the rack.
Date published: 2013-09-26
Rated 5out of5
by MarkM the travelerfromBest truck-mount bike rackThe entire unit weighs about 30lbs, but is easy to remove from the car when you don't need it. The steel cable hooks and ratchet system are secure. The platform trays can expand lengthwise to adjust for larger or smaller wheelbase bikes. The rack has a lock on the hub to secure the rack to the car. Additionally, the support arms clamp (and lock) to the top tube of each bike. This rack is a great alternative to a roof rack for those who live in the city (drive into parking decks frequently).
Date published: 2011-04-25
Rated 5out of5
by James MabfromMuch Better than expectedI was a little concerned if I would like this rack when reading reviews early on about the rack. After getting the rack and unpacking it, I was really surprised by what others were complaining about or considering it a con.
The weight of the rack is nothing different from any other rack that holds or carriers bikes in this matter. Yes its heavier than the traditional bike truck rakes but it's like comparing apples to oranges.
Reading that you need two people to install this of course I requested someone to help me attach it to my car but I put it all on by myself without any trouble.
If you need two people to put the bike rack on then you must have really weak upper body strength. It's simple. Before putting the rack on, you must dial the setting to fit your car and that's it. Pull the cables out to hook onto the top of your car and it's all super simple after that.
The aesthetic of this rack, yes it's odd at first but I've become to really like the look of the rack. The security the rack provides is much better than other truck racks but it's not theft proof. Thule also states that in the manual/instructions. The locking mechanism is to deter thieves and to better hold your rack down to your car.
The only thing I think Thule should've designed into the product was to lock both sides of where the cables pull out to hook to your car. It doesn't make any sense to just lock the cables down to the right side and not the left. What's the purpose of locking one side of the rack to your car and not the other side. Even if Thule did design it my way I guess a thieve would just cut the cables and bolt with the rack and bike. Like I said, this rack if a deterrent rather than a completely theft proof.
This is the exact same thing as I said on the Thule site as well. If you are concerned about reviews also then check out Thule website to see more peoples comments.
Date published: 2012-01-08
Rated 5out of5
by Never EnoughfromI lucked into this and am glad I did....I needed a bike rack. I was looking at cheap models because I thought they would get the job done. Talked to a lot of people and read a bunch on the internet. REI told me this model would not fit my car according to the catalog. Nevertheless, it fits great. It is a bit heavy....but I don't mind, since it adds to the sturdiness of the device. After 3 or 4 times of installing/removing, the weight isn't a big deal since you learn how to handle the device. One big thing I did not even think of when looking at bike racks was whether or not they are lockable. This one is....in two places and I use the heck out them. Also, having the platform for the bikes to sent on, eliminates sway and gives me peace of mind. If I was buying another bike rack....I would get this one in a heartbeat. Awesome. Plus, REI's warranty and service gives me peace of mind that I made the right decision.
Date published: 2012-04-11
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Thule Raceway Platform 2 Bike Trunk Rack Customer Reviews