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Choice between 2 Thule roof bike racks

We just purchassed a 2016 Subaru Outback with a factory roof rack.  We need to purchase two bike racks.  The widest tire (between 4  bikes) is on a Trek 'hybrid' commuter.   We would like to know:

1) How the rear end of the Thule Outrider Fork Mount is secured to the car rail (that has no center channel).  Would it be a 'gravity' contact using a rubber pad or does the pad form an umovable (with a strap?) attachment? 

2)  Given the car we'll install these on, do you have an opinion whether one would allow better clearance to open the rear door with the rack and bikes mounted?

3) We're pleased that both the Outrider and the Circuit lock the bike fork to the rack and the bike rack to the roof rack.  No matter which rack we choose, we'll need one lock core/rack, correct?

1 Reply

Hello @Fishcamper,

     Welcome! Both racks are great fork mounts. One thing to consider is if any of your 4 bikes has a thru-axle rather than a quick release front wheel, as this will require an additional adaptor. In response to your questions:

1) The rear of the outride has a clamp that will tighten around the rear crossbar. The front also has the option to use a clamp, or the t-bolt system if you have a thule rack with a center rail. They are made to fit most, but not all, factory or aftermarket roof crossbars. 

2) The racks are nearly the same length (Outride is 54" long, Circuit is 55" long), so measuring from your front crossbar back should give you an estimation of any hatch interference. You can also stop by your local REI and we can let you see how they would sit on the crossbars. 

3) The circuit uses only one lock core/rack, but the outride actually needs two/rack- one locks the unit to the crossbar, and one locks the bike. So you'll need a 4-pack of locks for the outride. 

Hope this helps, and happy riding! 


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