Best Thule Bike Racks

Updated September 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

11 Models Considered
5 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
208 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best Thule bike racks

Last Updated September 2020

When you travel, you take your essentials. For many active individuals, a bike is one of those essentials. However, there lies a challenge in safely getting your bike to your destination without causing damage to the bike or your vehicle. The solution: a Thule bike rack.

Thule is a company that has been helping individuals on the road to adventure for well over 75 years. Thule’s focus is on developing transportation products that are not only safe, stylish, and effortless to use but are also kind to the environment. Thule manufactures some of the most respected and revered transportation products in the industry.

If you've come to this page, you are likely curious about Thule bike racks. To learn how to make the best purchase for your bike transportation needs, keep reading.

Thule bike racks have a maximum overall weight capacity and a weight limit for each bike. Both requirements must be met in all circumstances.

Buying the right Thule bike rack

When purchasing a Thule bike rack, you have four options as to where on your vehicle the rack will be mounted: the roof, hitch, trunk, or truck bed.

Roof

A roof-mounted bike rack from Thule can cost between $150 and $240, with a $500 outlier for tandem bikes. Each rack only holds one bike, which is fastened in place by the wheels, the frame, or the fork. If your vehicle has a factory-installed crossbar system on the roof and you'd like to have access to your trunk or hatchback, this may be the model for you. Just remember to be careful when approaching a low bridge.

DID YOU KNOW?

Your vehicle has a maximum load limit. (Check the owner's manual for your vehicle to find that limit.) You cannot safely transport bikes if the rack, bikes, and gear cause your vehicle to exceed that limit.

Hitch

A Thule hitch-mounted bike rack can cost between $270 and $780. For many, it is the most desirable option because it provides the best protection for the bikes and the vehicle. Hitch-mounted racks can transport up to five bikes at once, but you must already have a Class 1 – 5 receiver hitch on your vehicle (or be planning to install one). This model is the easiest to load and has the most versatility for accepting bikes with a variety of frames. Notably, it also sports the highest price tag.

Trunk

A Thule trunk-mounted bike rack can cost between $150 and $480. This rack works on cars that do not have a roof rack or hitch. It installs quickly and is easy to store when not in use. These types of bike racks can hold one to three bikes and are designed for the casual rider who only needs to transport bikes occasionally. The downside of this design: it’s the most likely Thule rack to cause minor damage to your vehicle.

Depending on the model, a Thule bike rack will extend the length or height of your vehicle. Use caution when backing up or driving under overhead obstacles, such as bridges and branches.

FAQ

Q. What is Thule's plan for sustainability?
A.
At the top of Thule's list is creating products that last. The company’s position is that “products that last longer are better for the environment." Thule bike racks are also designed to save fuel by creating less wind-drag on your vehicle. In terms of manufacturing, the company is aggressively incorporating renewable energy sources with the goal of meeting 100% of its renewable energy goals by the end of 2020.
 

Q. Will a Thule bike rack fit my bike?
A.
While Thule is a leader in the industry and has designed its racks to be adaptable to a vast number of bikes, there are too many products available worldwide for the company to put out a blanket statement saying their product fits every bike that was ever manufactured. However, Thule bike racks do fit almost every bike. In most instances, you can buy with confidence. If you have any reason to think it might not work for your needs, it's best to talk to someone in the company, voicing your specific concerns.


Q. My bike has a carbon frame. What options does Thule offer?
A.
If your bike has a special transport concern, such as it being manufactured with carbon fibers, Thule does offer some options. A carbon frame protector would be best in this example, but the company also has other solutions, such as frameless contact racks. Before purchasing a Thule bike rack, check with your bike manufacturer to see if there are any transportation recommendations or guidelines you need to follow.

When loading multiple bikes, the heaviest bike should always be closest to your vehicle.

Other Products We Considered
The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.
The team that worked on this review
  • Allen
    Allen
    Writer
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor

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