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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good rack I have three of these racks (on a single vehicle), and I use them for both road bikes & mountain bikes. They've proven to be reliable and effective for road trips of up to 1,000 miles. I've gotten into the habit of re-tightening the Allen screws and T-nuts prior to every drive; they can work loose over time. This has not been a problem, but I've noticed that the bikes start to shimmy if the bolts are slightly loose. As with any other roof rack, you have to remember that there are bikes on top of the car. Who doesn't have a horror story about forgetting this? Be careful about ATM's, drive-throughs, and parking spaces with overhanging trees. If anything, having the bikes on top makes me more careful and defensive as a driver ;)
Date published: 2013-06-11
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Mounting clamp is poorly designed The mounting clamp attaches to the head unit via a tab in the back and 2 bolts in the front. If you over tighten the bolts (which is pretty easy to do), it actually bends and pulls the tab out of the head. Driving down a bumpy road caused the tab to pull completely out and my bike bounced off my vehicle and down the road. I have since found similar stories on the internet. I highly recommend you do not purchase this model.
Date published: 2009-07-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Updated design works great Thule just replaced my broken Velo Vise V2's with new Echelons under warranty - the old racks lasted about 4 years of very frequent use (road, cross, mtb). I couldn't be happier, and I am impressed with the updated design. These new racks are much easier to adjust for different forks, and clamp solidly to the bars and the forks. I like the redundant mounting bolts. Also, whatever issue there was with key locks (noted in another review) seems to have been fixed - the clamps lock securely. In fact, because the fork locking cam action is so smooth and has only a slight detent, I would hesitate to use these without a key lock. But since I always seem to lock the heads when a bike it attached to them this is not an issue. Looking forward to using these for many years to come.
Date published: 2010-11-07
Rated 2 out of 5 by from A real shame... As mentioned in other reviews there is a known issue with the heads accepting lock cores. Supposedly the issue was corrected back in 2007...but August '08 three separate racks were ordered in to exchange out my bad unit, not one of them could the bike technicians get the lock cores to seat properly. I tried contacting Thule direct and they were not very helpful...I can't believe they've not recalled this product. If you don't need the locking feature, it's a great rack.
Date published: 2008-08-26
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Looks nice but... Nice looking but that is about it. Bought this item to fit on the aero bars and realized that it was not designed to fit but required a poorly designed adaptor kit with equally poor fitting parts. Very questionable if the adaptor kit could have held the carrier to the roof bars under wind load and stress forces of a moving car even without a bike mounted to it. I was certainly not going to chance it with my $5K+ bike mounted to it. In the end, I ended up sourcing better fitting stainless screws, nuts and other related parts, custom fabricated a bracket plate in order to firmly attach the carrier to the bars. The drop out mounting assembly just looks and feels cheap though I can get a firm lock on the front folk. Just to be safe, I always use straps to tie down the front end of the bike to the front roof bar. All in all, the assembly works but not without much improvising. For the price, the entire system could use a few more rounds of redesign.
Date published: 2012-11-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Solid and easy to use - locks work fine! Despite the negative reviews here and on mtbr, at REI I checked out the 517 Peloton and 518 Echelon and there is no question that the 518 is easier to use and much sturdier. I was worried about the locking core issue, but this seems to have been resolved. My locking cores work fine! Very happy - so easy to use and rock solid! Disregard negative feedback re: the locking cores, but make sure the date on the box is recent (mine was June '08).
Date published: 2008-09-03
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Be Aware of Known problem Both Echelon trays that I purchased have a problem with the passenger side lock mechanism. The key cannot be removed from the lock but works fine if installed on the drivers side. I got a poor response from Thule and finally got them to admit that it is a know problem. I will return the two trays that I have and will wait to reorder to ensure that the failed units have been taken out of stock. Today I would not recommend.
Date published: 2008-05-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great System This bike rack is a great system. It is very easy to install and use, looks great on my vehicle, and is very stable. When mounted properly, if you try to rock your bike, the car will rock instead. I had a cheap mountain bike mounted once and accidentally hit it with a tree. The front locking plate bent (which was easily replaced) but my bike was unscathed from the incident. In regards to some people saying that the plates bend easily when the mount bolts are tightened down, it could be intentional to protect the bike as I noted above. Also, not all bolts should be tightened all the way on a bike, so follow the same principle with the roof rack. My only complaint is that the plastic cup on the end of the tray came off at some point, it doesn't really hook on to any part of the tray. This part is not necessary and may give a bit of increased drag so I left it off.
Date published: 2011-06-20
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