Thule made some major updates to their hitch racks to improve usability and to accommodate the growing array of plus bikes and fat bikes. Quality seems more refined and the rack is now even easier to use.
One thing we learned in our conversation with them is how seriously they handle testing. Road tests in a closed course are regularly performed to subject the racks to extreme cornering and deceleration conditions. But the lab is really their crown jewel as they’ve designed many testing apparatus to abuse the racks. These tests are repeatable and adjustable as the video below shows.
The Thule T2 Pro Rack – From $550 for 2-bike system
The T2 Pro rack is available in a 2-bike hitch mount, with a 2-bike module that can be added to create a 4-bike hitch rack. The T2 Pro secures the bike via a front wheel hook, which compresses down on the front tire to hold the bike securely on to the tray. A ratchet strap holds the rear tire in place. The front tire is cradled by a large tray that can accommodate fat tires, 29er plus tires or even road tires.
A new feature of the T2 Pro is a lever placed at outermost area of the rack to allow tilting of the trays. The lever is very easy to reach and activate to fold up, lay the trays flat for use or tilt them to allow access to the hatch.
The previous design meant you had to reach through all the bikes on the rack to release the mechanism on the other side of the rack. Now you can simply squeeze the trigger on the handle, and use the leverage of the design to lower the bikes down onto the crown so you can access the back of your car. This may seem like a small detail but for a feature that is used regularly, it can make a huge difference over the years in terms of usability.
Thule ProRide Rack
Allowing cyclists to carry the bike on the roof without having to remove the wheels, the ProRide rack provides a good solution for the confusing arena of bikes with ever-changing front axle standards. The new G-clamp hold the bike in place with a well-defined hook, to clamp on to the frame. Soft traction rubber helps to increase grip on your bike, and protect the finish at the same time. At the other end of the locking arm, the twist-dial has been equipped with a clutch system to ensure that the user doesn’t clamp down too hard on the frame.
For more information visit www.thule.com.