Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Bike Rack

 I blogged about bike racks a while back, when I had just purchased a new car.

After all that fuss I went with the basic Saris Bones 2-bike trunk rack, which I sold because I didn't like how it marred the paint.

Sam blogged about the Seasucker, which he put to use on a rental car in Nevada for D__'s go at the Silver State 508.  I'm psyched to see the Seasucker in use on Sam's Corvette.

I just switched vehicles and decided it was time for a roof rack. Not 100% because I needed a roof rack - the new vehicle is deliberately capacious enough to hold more than one bike on the inside. In truth, because I think the roof rack gives my old-man-looking car more of a Euro-athletic aesthetic.

As with most roof racks, there is the problem that everything would be better if you skipped the rack, skipped the car, and the bike itself had its wheels on the ground. No happy way around that I suppose.

This Thule rack works well with the thru-axle setup, which is ubiquitous in both mountain and road biking. It can also handle old school quick-release, however.

These are the Thule Thruride, ordered from Amazon. I put three on the car.

 The bars are ovular, theoretically to mitigate wind noise and wind resistance, but realistically to look good with modern car design specs. These are the 53" "Wingbar Evo", which I found for not too much on Amazon. It was actually important to me that the bars extended past the feet - the single-arc mount/bar combinations look a little too "urban SUV" for my liking.

I am also impressed with the clamp on the low-profile side rails. Thule has upped its game from the last clamp-on rack I purchased many years ago.

As with all these clamps, one must buy several pieces. Here are the two that combine for this mount:

The t-bolt channel and rubber gasket is also well designed. In particular, I like that the gasket is split down the middle, so it does not need to be removed to insert or remove a t-bolt.

Not a huge fan of that clamp-around back end on the rack (picture above). It would seem easy to run another t-bolt right through the middle of the bar with the hand-tightened nut above. Perhaps the problem in manufacture is knowing where to place the hole (i.e., not knowing the spacing between the bars). Maybe I will drill it now that I know where.

All-in-all pleased with the result. Will be much more pleased when I get a few road-trips in.


sam said...

That's a clean looking setup.

Some of the pictures appear to show that the bike tray can be removed with just some thumb screws.. I'm assuming there's a locking portion as well to prevent that?

Max said...

You assume correctly. There are Thule locks in three places (good if you are in the lock core business): on the siderail clamps, on the bike tray lock-down levers, but only in the front, and on the lever used to lock the thru-axle in place.