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Reducing noise and lowering drag, the new Thule AeroBlade 53 in. load bars work with the rest of your Thule system to haul your gear safely, securely and quietly to your destination.
Aluminum bars feature a textured cover that diffuses airflow better than a smooth surface, greatly reducing wind noise
Bars also feature SwingBlade™ end caps that pivot open allowing full access to the T-slot for easy accessory installation
Another smart feature of the bars, the SmartSlide™ system is a tape-measure-free, hassle-free molded measurement system on the underbar for easy foot installation
Using a vertical load test, the AeroBlade bars can sustain over 800 lbs. of force
Thule AeroBlade bars work with all of the Thule Rapid Foot Packs and are just 1 component of a Thule car top rack system
These load bars are available in 4 different sizes, so be sure to refer to Thule's Fit Guide for the minimum size recommended for a specific vehicle
NOTE: The following products are not compatible with the AeroBlade: 503 Load Stops, 516 Prologue, 579XT Canoe Carrier, 558P Tandem Carrier, 597XT Hullavator, 847 Outrigger II, 870XT-873XT Fairings, 884 Roll Model
Please note: Thule products cannot be shipped to Canadian addresses.
Rated 5 out of
Love these bars.These bars are quality.
As the other reviewer stated, the instructions are not the best. That barely impacts my review.
I use the bars with a 480 Traverse foot pack for bike carriers. They have worked flawlessly thusfar.
The bars do not generate much noise or drag at all. After thorougly researching the options on the market, I was expecting some noise and fuel effeciency loss. To my surprise I really haven't noticed either.
Yakima's Whispbar has a protional "wind tunnel" video where they make Thule's Aeroblade seem like a noisy load bar. Don't be fooled by the marketing. These bars, when mounted on and actual car are very quiet and well engineered.
I like the T-slot mounting option and the overall appearance and performance of these bars.
I'm not impressed with the need to cut the rubber strip in order to utilize the T-slot. I chose to cut small holes in the strip instead of cutting the strip completely. Doing so enables me to avoid exposing a gap in the strip when an accessory (mounted into the T-slot via an X-adapter) is removed.
Don't hesitate to pull the trigger on these load bars. You won't be disappointed.
Date published: 2014-03-26
Rated 4 out of
Almost perfectCompared to standard Thule load bars, these are amazingly advanced - both serve a purpose, but these are the future of roof transportation. Stiff and versatile, these bars can carry all that you might want without adding much weight or noise, or losing much in aerodynamics (aka your gas mileage).
First off, installation is not as easy as it should be. If you're familiar with the instructions from that Swedish furniture company with the blue and yellow logo, it shouldn't surprise you that this other Swedish company follows a similar approach (sans the universal hex key). Because the instructions were meant for several applications at once, it is sometimes hard to decipher what you need from what is presented. My recommendation is to review the many installation videos available online, they are very helpful. Either way, with a bit of extra time, you'll eventually get there.
Once you figure out what to do, it's very apparent why these bars are so advanced. The built-in measuring guide for fitting to your vehicle, the twistable end caps for adding or removing various carriers on the fly, the aerodynamic rubber stripping on top and below the bars, and just the basic shape itself, all show a great attention to detail.
The only issue with the bars is the use of various carriers with them, because most require the use of adapters to slide onto the hidden rails. When you do this, you also have to cut the aerodynamic stripping in order to allow the adapter bolts to protrude. So, if you remove the carrier, you expose gaps in the stripping that create wind noise and just look odd. I suppose an alternative would be to just cut holes and use grommets, or buy another set of strips to use, when no carriers are present. I have opted for carriers that work with factory racks and clamp onto the AeroBlade bars without alteration, but I hope that more carriers will be created in the future that use the same approach so as to avoid altering the bars.
In the end, I believe these AeroBlade bars look far better on vehicles, and are worth the extra price. Plus, you'd have to buy the (expensive) faring to achieve similar aerodynamic properties from other square or round bars. If you take a bit of time at the start to learn how to install them properly, and pay attention to how other carriers attach to them (depending on your need to add or remove them), it will be worth it.
Date published: 2014-03-26
Rated 3 out of
Installation is nightmareThe AeroBlades are great, but the installation instructions (which actually come with the 'Fit Kit') are borderline useless. Almost no text, just pictures. They cover a variety of products making it difficult to filter out the majority of information that has no application for YOUR installation. I can't promise anything, but I'd bet the Yakima instructions are better, perhaps something gets lost in the translation from Swedish? I don't think there's much difference (quality/functionality, etc) between these and the yakima Whispbar products, if I had a do-over I'd buy yakima simply based on my installation experience.
Once on the blades are installed however they are very secure and silent, only a slight whistle (which might be the bike rack I have attached to it). Much improved over the square/circle tubes I had on a previous vehicle, no plastic windscreen needed w/these...
Just a heads up, I purchased the Thule 594XT Sidearm bike rack to mount on this. The thule website said it fit, which it did, but the metal connectors/bushings were definitely shaped for a circular/square tube, not the 'AeroBlade' style. I got them on, but I have concerns about long term use. I foresee rubbing of metal to metal which is going to cause premature wear and rust. I think Thule rushed this product to market.
Date published: 2014-03-26
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