Today we are going to review part number TH9002 from Thule. This is their Raceway trunk mounted bicycle rack. This rack will actually carry three bicycles and this is also available in part number TH9001 as a two bike version. One quick note about this is that it is obvious that it is a radical departure from typical trunk mounted bicycle racks. In Thules previous ones you would use six straps but this bicycle rack actually uses only four straps. It has also got a nice aerodynamic shape to it which compliments a lot of todays aerodynamic cars. Lets cover the points about the bicycle rack. First off, it is very easy to install. In fact the rack comes with a fit guide to tell you exactly how to mount it on your vehicle because the arms on it have a dial gage to tell you exactly where to fit the arms before you even put it on the car. 00:45
The next thing we are going to go to is for the cradles of the bikes themselves. This is the same Thule cradle you have been used to. It has good padding and nice grooves in the padding for the cables and also for the straps to go over the top tube of your bicycle. You have got four points. You can criss cross them either way you want whichever works best for your bicycle. This does come standard with anti-sway cradles also. You will notice that the arms on here are a little more narrow than most. That way it fits most varieties of bicycles including a lot of kids bicycles that are out there. The arms, when you are not using it, easily fold down flat for storage too. In fact, when you get the unit it is going to come almost completely flat. Lets move on to the cables that attach the bicycle rack to the trunk. 01:23
First off, we are talking cables not straps. The cables wind up inside the cross beam itself. There is a little ratcheting device inside. That means no more straps flapping in the breeze while you have it on your vehicle. To adjust the cables there are knobs on the end of the bicycle rack that allow you to ratchet them tight. This also comes with a built in security cable for your bicycles. What is going to happen is the bike on the very end is going to get locked down and the other bikes behind it can not be removed because the first bike is locked into place. There is also a secondary lock for the cables themselves. It locks the ratcheting mechanism down and you can not take it off the car after that. So you have got security on the trunk and for the bikes themselves. This will show you a little more detail what the buttons do. To unlatch the cables you pull open this button here and you can pull them out. You will notice on the rack, this will be on the passenger side of the vehicle, there is a series of numbers from 1 to 11. This allows you to make the rack wider or smaller to fit around the trunk of the car. Pull back on these levers and that moves it any way you want. You use the arrow to line up with any number you need. Lets put this on the actual vehicle and load up a bike on it. The first step, do not pick up the rack, pick up a nice clean towel. You want to wipe down the area that the bicycle rack is going to make contact on. The best thing to do is to keep this area of the car clean and maybe a couple of layers of wax at this point also to protect it. Once you have that ready lets put the rack on. 02:55
A good way to start off is to put the bottom on first and then go up to the front and hang the rack by the top cables. Take up the slack with this knob right here on the end. The smaller does the inside. The next thing we want to do is open the trunk and we will slip our hooks on the bottom. Next we are going to tighten our lower cables and that is going to be the inside handle right here. Make sure you have it centered the way you want it on the vehicle. It might be a good idea to take both hands and see if you can get another click out of it. Once you have it tightened down you should be able to shake the car. Now that we have got it strapped down lets lock it into place and that locks it in. Now you can not undo the latches or anything to take this off the trunk of the vehicle. If you notice we have got the arms slanting down just a little. You probably want them on a horizontal plane. This big latch takes care of that. Pull up the latch and you can move it any way you want. Push it back down and it is locked into place. Make sure the anti-sway cradle is out of the way and we will put our bike into place. We will do one strap right here. This strap we will take off and put it on the other side and pull it over. You do not have to do it diagonal but it is more surface contact. Now we will put down our anti-sway cradle. Our bike is strapped down. Take the cable and go over the top of the bike and lock it. The bike and rack are definitely not going anywhere from here on out. You can see how this arches over right here, there is a pretty good space there. That means this bike rack will serve a variety of vehicles with a factory installed rear spoiler. Maybe a few after market spoilers too. Not the tall ones but the normal ones you see that come from the factory, the ones like that will fit just fine with this bicycle rack. With that, that finishes our review of part number TH9002 from Thule. Also available as a two bike version is part number TH9001. TH9003 is the platform style from Thule.
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