Videos are provided as a guide only. Refer to manufacturer
installation instructions and specs for complete information.
This premium rack's cradles absorb road shock to protect your bikes. The tool-free installation uses a built-in hitch pin and knob to eliminate rattle. Folding, arced arms hold bikes at varying heights, and the arm length gives bikes more space.
The sleek and stylish Thule Apex is just what the name says - the apex of all hitch-mounted bike racks. With unique arching arms, shock-absorbing cradles, and tool-free installation, this rack takes transporting your bikes to the next level.
The Apex features an innovative EasyMount system that lets you quickly and securely install the rack in a 2" trailer hitch without any tools. You'll no longer need to find a hitch bolt and clip to hold the rack in place or a wrench to install it. And best of all, you'll no longer need to take a knee while doing it. Once the integrated hitch pin snaps in place after you have slid the rack into your hitch receiver, simply turn the easily accessible knob to activate the anti-rattle. This takes all of the play out of the hitch-and-bike-rack connection. You can even lock the rack in place with the same key used to secure the cable lock.
The Apex also introduces Thule's new Hold Fast anti-sway cradles with Road Dampening Technology (RDT), designed for use with carbon-frame bikes. RDT is composed of two layers. The inner layers of the cradles are made of soft "fingers" that flex to absorb large shocks and jolts from the road. The second, upper layer is composed of thermoplastic elastomer (TPE), a gel-like substance that gently but firmly cups your bike frame and enables the cradles to both absorb road shock and reduce vibration for a smoother ride. The cradles also include No-Sway Cages that provide a third contact point for the bike, preventing sway and bike-to-bike contact. The cages also have TPE bumpers that protect your bike frames from scratches.
The arching dual arms of the rack stagger the Hold Fast cradles so that the bikes hang at varying heights. This is just one of the ways that the Apex prevents pedals and handlebars from hitting each other when you are loading your bikes and during transport. In addition to allowing different bike heights, the rack arms on the Apex are longer, adding more space between the cradles than standard dual-arm racks to protect your bikes even better. The arching arms, just like standard dual-arm racks, give great bike support, and it's less likely that you will need a bike adapter bar. However, adapter bars might be needed for smaller, alternative and women's frame bikes.
The upright bar - or mast - of the rack is taller than standard hitch-mounted racks and is arced slightly to offer your bikes greater clearance from both the ground and the back of your vehicle. A built-in handle in the mast also makes it easy to transport the rack to and from your vehicle and to install it in your hitch receiver.
The Apex includes ergonomic quick-release levers (HitchSwitches) that enable you to fold the rack in two places. The rack body tilts forward to allow easy access to your vehicle's rear cargo area (after the bikes have been removed), and the arms can be folded down for storage. Also, the levers audibly click to reassure you that the arms and mast are locked in place.
For security, the Apex offers a built-in cable lock along with the locking mechanism on the hitch connection. The cable secures to the end of one arm, locking all your bikes to the rack, and it stores inside the mast when not in use. Both locks use Thule's One Key System lock cores that make it easy to key all your Thule locks alike.
Video of Thule Apex 5 Bike Carrier for 2" Hitches - Tilting
Videos are provided as a guide only. Refer to manufacturer
installation instructions and specs for complete information.
Today were going to review part number TH9026 from Thule. This is an Apex 5 Bike Carrier. Some quick notes about this bicycle rack, it has duel arching arm design that allows for fast and easy bike loading. It includes the easy mount system with an integrated locking hitch pin and tool free anti-rail device. The hold fast cradles offer road dampening technology and the anti-sway arms are also detachable. The bike rack uses quick release levers, also known as hit switches to enable to you fold the rack down in two places, making for easy storage.
It also has a built in cable lock thats built into the mast that allows you to lock your bikes to the rack. This rack is made in the U.S.A. and does come with a limited lifetime warranty. This bike rack will carry five bikes. In that application, carrying five bikes you want to use it on a 2 x 2 trailer hitch application.
You can also use an inch and quarter application, however on a Class I receiver hitch you dont want to be putting more than two bikes on there, or no more than four bikes on a Class II receiver hitch. In this application were going to be using this with a two inch receiver hitch. Well go ahead and install the included spacer to accommodate the hitch. Use this hardware and the included tool to attach it. I can go ahead and install one of our lock cores.
It goes on the end of the arm right here. Take the key out, put the core key in and then just line it up with the tumblers and just push into place. Hold the core and pull out the key. Then just check for operation. You should be able to pull it out.
Repeat the same process for a knob right here. Pull out the stop in the middle. Make sure the core stays all the way inside and then pull it out. The install, when you actually lock the knob its actually free spinning and doesnt activate the anti-sway part. When its unlocked then it starts to activate the anti-sway. At this point the bike rack is ready to install the hitch. Theres a nice carrying handle built into the track on top here as well, which is nice. Before we install it, make sure the pin is pulled out, line up the hitch pin holes and snap it back into place. Take up the anti-rattle knob and tighten it down, then lock it. You can tilt the bike rack back using the hitch switch at the bottom. Same thing to put it back up. Theres a hitch switch on top. We use that one to unfold the arms. At this point you can see the arch design in the hitch. You can see how the arms have the arch built into them, making it a little easier to load up. You can see that the mast in the center has the same arch design, bows out a little bit and give you more curve between the bikes and the vehicle. The cradles here have straps and you can use them both sides of the cradle, whichever works better for your bike. Each pair comes with one anti-sway cage. It has its own strap as well, and is easily removable as you can see. If you dont want it, or you do, just put it back in place. This blue material right here is part of Thules road gapping technology. This upgrade in the bike rack was designed with carbon fiber bike frames in mine. It makes it a little more easier on the frames, a little bit less vibration going through the bikes. As you can see it does have grooves built into it to accommodate the bicycle cables, too. At this point, lets go ahead and load up a bike. In this demonstration well actually be using the cradles at the end of the rack just for clarity. However when you load the bike rack up you always want to load your bikes from your front and work your way to the back, If you just have one bike you want to put it all the way up toward the front. Balance the bike out on the cradles. Well take the anti-sway part of the cradle, run it over to the C tube and strap it down first, and then our top tube strap. Next we can go ahead and lock it to the bicycle rack. Theres a built-in cable thats inside the mast. Just pull it out, run it to the lock thats at the end of the arm. Push it all the way in and use your keyed lock. Well take a second to run our safety strap around the bike frame and around the mast, throughout buckle. It doesn't have to be super tight, just enough to have one more extra layer of protection on the bike to keep it from moving around. Take up our slack and well tuck it behind the strap. In just a few seconds the bike is already loaded up and ready to go. With that that will finish it for our review of part number TH9026 from Thule, the Apex 5 bicycle rack.
Average Customer Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (18 Customer Reviews)
by: Katrina K.06/19/2013
The Thule Apex 5 has been amazing! It was very easy to install on our Odyssey by myself. We have taken two trips out of state with it hauling 2 adult and 2 kids bikes and could not be happier. The bikes are secure and it is easy to use.85318
by: Dan O.06/25/2013
Wasn't sure if I needed 4-bike or 5. Found bikes to be a little close together, so was glad I got the 5 bike model. I can slide the bike holders apart to give the bikes more room. It is a little heavier than I expected, but overall functionality and quality is exceptional. Wish it came factory for a 2" receiver, don't love the adapter, but not a big deal. Overall highly recommend it.85969
by: Dan M.08/11/2012
I am extremely picky, but the quality of this rack is very good. I installed it on a 2009 Buick Enclave with the factory 2" towing package. It fits pretty well. You have to lift up on the rack and really crank on the knob to get it tight in the receiver. I ride mountain bikes with suspension and found that this 5 bike rack will hold 3 mountain bikes without trouble. 5 bikes are impossible. The tilt and locking levers are very easy to use and very strong. It comes fully assembled except for 2 allen bolts and 2 locks. The allen wrench is provided. Both locks install in 5 seconds. The knob lock instructions are not clear, but you must remove a plug to install the lock. The plug only needs a 1/4 turn to remove it. -It does not unscrew. Turn it CCW a 1/4 turn and pop it out. On SUV's with a power hatch, make sure you turn off the function or you will have major hatch damage. This rack works very well with some sway and minimal rattle. I have aluminum bike frames and the mounts protect the tube and paint very well. The security lock cable is easy to defeat, but it adds a little security against unprepared thieves. Using this rack for only 3 bikes gives you lots of extra hardware and rubber staps if you lose them. Overall, it works well and should last several years. Etrailer shipped it to Chicago IL in 2 days. I will definitely order again from Etrailer. A+ job.51406
I rate this one star less for the short cable lock. I liked the idea that it's built-in but I could not run the cable through and lock my wife's bike frame with an adaptor even by itself. So it's useless for me. Otherwise, very solid and easy to install and remove. No wobble from the hitch but transfers a bit to the bikes if not strapped properly. I chose this over the Yakima for better sense of security- no bolts exposed. It weighs about 10lbs more than the 5-bike Yakima rack though not a factor for me. 45353
by: Chris S.10/07/2013
This rack was a great fit to our family. It is super easy to use, holds bikes in position securely, and the locking mechanisms give you peace of mind that your stuff is safe. The rack is also very compact when folded up for storage.102928
by: Dave L.09/16/2013
My Thule Apex 5 Bike Carrier arrived on time and in great condition. I received multiple emails from etrailer with updates on the shipping status and the tracking tool that was provided kept me up to date on it's arrival. I've been able to carry 4 bikes so far and the built in locks are great. I had read others said the cable isn't long enough but it works just fine for me. I think to fit 5 bikes, I might have to recall my old Tetris skills but I'm very satisfied with my purchase. I would recommend the 5 bike carrier over the 4 just to have the extra parts and room on the rack.100144
by: Jim N.04/12/2013
Great product, easy set up out of the box and attachment to trailer hitch couldn't be simpler. Loading bikes on is pretty straight forward but I found fitting 5 mountain bikes (2 adult and 3 kids) to be unrealistic. Four bikes is doable.75501
by: Amy D.08/06/2012
We just hauled 5 bikes (2 adult, 3 children) 700 miles with our Honda Odyssey using the Apex 5 bike Carrier. Overall, the Apex worked very well. The bikes were very secure on the rack. However, we were surprised by the amount of bounce with the entire system. Even the smallest bump would make the entire system move. I called the Thule company to ask about the amount of bounce. They said that was to be expected and as long as there was not more than 150 pounds in bike weight, it was fine. Overall, the Apex is a sturdy rack, and I foresee us getting a lot of use out of it in the coming years.50653
I haven't had a chance to use it yet. My first impression is that it's solid and it should work well. My only negative observation is that it's pretty heavy. My wife lifted it but she's not sure she could install it without me. I can understand that there will be a lot of stress on the rack when it's loaded with 5 bikes. I guess it has to be built heavy to support that weight. 33555
Excellent product. Outstanding customer service. 91956
by: Juan V.07/23/2013
This product fit perfect in my Audi q5. Plenty space for 4 bikes. Great service for eTrailer. thx.91189
very simple to put together and install very sturdy89670
Great price. Product exactly as advertised. Delivered quickly with good attention to customer service throughout the process. 84556
I love my new bike carrier. It works exactly as I had hoped. It was shipped promptly and I received within two days. 71124
I love my new bike carrier. It works exactly as I had hoped. It was shipped promptly and I received within two days. 71119
by: Ashley S06/12/2012
Thanks so much eTrailer for helping me with the perfect bike rack. The Thule Apex 5 bike rack fits all of our family's bikes including the kids bikes.43876
by: Rey M.05/15/2012
Very happy with the product. Received the product earlier than expected. 40553
by: Tom H05/02/2012
Thule APEX bike rack is excellent. Service from etrailer.com was excellent. Product delivered as promised. e-mail communication was prompt and easy to follow. Will shop in this site again. Thank you. Tom39196
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