There are several options when it comes to carrying a bike on your vehicle, but not all of them are practical solutions. Your decision will depend on whether you need access to the trunk, have a tow hitch, and whether you need to use the tow hitch for anything else.
Ultimately a well-designed hitch bike rack is a real benefit, especially if you’re carrying 3 or 4 bikes. However, the roof is another option that provides convenience and practicality. If you’re looking for a roof bike rack from Thule then it’s worth taking a few moments to check out the Thule Upride.
Thule is a well-established company with a good reputation, and, don’t forget, using the Upride will still allow you to carry your kayak on the roof of your vehicle, you just need the right kayak roof rack.
You know this is a roof mounted system which means you’ll need to have cross bars fitted to your vehicle to support the Upride. If you don’t have these already there are several options available. The price of roof bars will vary depending on the style of your vehicle and the fitting kit required.
- Supports bikes up to 20kg.
- Rack locks to the car and your bike to the rack.
- Accommodates bikes between 20”-29” with tires up to 3”.
- Measures 163 x 31.5 x 10.5cm
- Weighs just 7.7kg
Let’s take a look at the benefits of using the Thule Upride.
Arrives almost completely assembled
It’s fantastic to see that the Upride arrives ready to install. The pieces that aren’t already attached are the locks, 3 levers and bolts, and a rear wheel protector. These can be added in moments as you decide which fitting system you’ll use.
The levers and bolts are to allow installation to a T-track if you’re fitting to a factory option or the Thule square bars you’ll need the separate adaptor kit.
One of the most concerning things is how easy and how long it will take you to fit the Upride to your roof. The good news is that it can be done in less than 15 minutes
You’ll need to lift the rack into position. IT will slide into your T-rails if you have them. If not, you’ll be using the clamps to secure around your existing bars and carefully tighten the nuts into place.
You can then use the lock supplied to secure your clamp, ensuring the rack cannot be removed without your permission. Tighten the front clamp and you’re good to go!
Can handle most frame designs
Many bike racks limit themselves by frame type. However, because this simply clamps to your wheel it can handle virtually any type of bike, the style of the frame really doesn’t matter.
It should be noted that fastening the wheel in place looks complicated but is actually very simple. Pull the extending clamp forward and lift the bike into position. All you have to do is slide the adjustable front clamp down to your tire and then lift the rear clamp up and into position. The clamp clicks as you move it, allowing you to find the perfect spot that ensures your bike tire is snugly clamped. The two bars should click together near the bottom, make sure they are locked into each other properly before you use the second lock to secure the adaptor.
The bike isn’t leaving your vehicle without the right key!
No contact with the bike frame.
When you send a small fortune on your bike you don’t want to get to the trail and find the paint has been rubbed off at the fastening point. This isn’t an issue for the Upride.
The cleverly designed clamping system wraps around your wheel, providing no frame contact and ensuring your bike arrives in the same condition as it was when you left, except perhaps for a few dead bugs.
The rear wheel sits on the tray and is strapped in place in seconds with the included ratchet strap.
Fits most roof bars
It doesn’t matter if you have a Thule roof bar system or a factory fit option, the Thule Upride is designed to slot straight into place and stay on your roof as you drive.
If you already have a roof bar system this can really help to minimize the cost of a premium quality bike rack.
As always with Thule products, there are plenty of accessories available, making the installation easier, regardless of your bar style. You can also get additional clamps, straps, and even locks; giving you complete peace of mind as you drive.
Thule Upride Cons
There are always things to be aware of, the Upride is no different!
Lifting bike onto the rack
This con is true of any roof bike rack system. You’re going to have to lift your bike onto the roof of your vehicle. If your bike is heavy or you have back issues you may find this difficult.
That’s worth thinking about before you commit to buy.
It’s important to be aware that the front tire is held in place with two clamps, creating a V effect around the wheel. However, for this to work there must be space between your front downtube and the tread of your tire. If there isn’t you may struggle to fit your bike into this rack. It’s worth checking first.
The Thule Upride is not the cheapest option on the market but it is extremely durable and likely to give you years of hassle-free service.
It doesn’t matter if you use your bike rack every weekend or twice a year, the Thule Upride will give your convenience and peace of mind you need.
The fact that it is small enough to leave on all the time makes loading and unloading faster, once you’ve attached it for the first time you simply need to check occasionally that everything is still secure.
If you’re serious about your bike then this is one rack you must consider.