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Thule Pack n Pedal Tour Rack Review

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Review of the Thule Pack n Pedal Tour Rack


Zach: Hey everybody, Zach here at etrailer.com. Today, we're taking a look at the Thule Pack 'n Pedal Tour Rack. This is going to be a really great base if you're looking to use your bike for a commuter, maybe you're just going to work or you're picking up groceries, or if you're looking to do some touring and go on some of those extended trips where you're camping a little bit, this is going to be a really great base. Now I have it with the Pannier System from Thule, I have two different size bags on here, and it works really well, it just clips right in with the system. Now this is going to work with the rear or front of our bike and the rear it's going to have a weight capacity of 25 pounds and in the front, it'll have a weight capacity of 22 pounds, so we can get a decent amount of gear on our bike. Like I said, whether we're going to work or we're doing a camping trip, so let's get this one off and let's take a closer look at it.Right away, just looking at it, it looks better compared to some of those older steel styles that you might be used to.

I think the aluminum frame looks really nice and then this base is a high quality plastic. So none of this is going to rust or corrode compared to those steel ones where eventually that paint's going to wear off. So we're also saving some weight. It comes in at 2.42 pounds. So whether you've got a road bike, or you're doing a hybrid or a mountain bike, you're going to save some weight there.

And what I like about this system, how it clamps onto our frame, we can adjust this up and down to better fit our tires. Now it's going to work with tires up to 29 inches and two and a half inches wide. So those mountain bikes is what we're maybe worried about. We're going to have some good clearance there. You can see it fits just fine here.Now if you have a fender on your bike, it may fit a little bit different, but we don't think that it's going to have any issues unless you have a really big beefy fender on your bike.

And what I like about the rest of it is that it has all these different spots for tie down points. This piece right here is where our Pannier bags attached to, but we could easily attach a basket to this if we're looking to just carry some groceries. As long as we're standing under that weight capacity, that'll work out just fine. And then we have a nice little piece back here where we can add a reflector or a light. So I think they've added a nice touch back there, being able to easily accommodate a light or a reflector.

Where this attaches to our frame everything is rubber coated there, so we don't have to worry about metal on metal and this strap ratchets down on there, we get a nice tight fit, so it's not going to shift around. We use this special key that's included there to get the strap released.You can see how that loosens it up. We could pull that strap through if we we're looking to take this off, but then to tighten it back down, we just use the included tool and just ratchet this down. Now, one thing with it, I wish the ratchet was a little bit easier. We have just minor turns where we're tightening that down, but we don't need to really crank hard on this. We just want it to get snug, so it doesn't slide around then we can just tuck that strap back in there, I think that's eventually going to come out, but we're not left with a lot of tail there, it's just something to be mindful of. So when you get this installed, it comes with a couple of different pieces to allow it to fit your bike better. So that little silver piece right there, and that essentially just changes the distance from where it's at.So whether you have it in the front of the bike, different style bikes, what I found is I like it to sit as even as possible, but if I'm going to have it tilt, I want it to go towards my seat instead of having the weight go back. It's just a little bit easier whenever we've got that weight over the axle when we're steering, so I think this is the way to go. This is closest I could get to even, the other ones just had it tilted way back, had my weight. Now that will change that heel strike that some people have whenever they're touring with larger bags, this one's no different. If you've got really big bags on there, you saw that 24 liter that I had on the right side, that will eventually, if you are in the right position, you may come into contact with it and especially if you have it leaning more, so if you bring it out a little bit you're not going to have as much contact, but that weight's going to shift, it's just not going to be as enjoyable of a ride.That is just one thing to be mindful of if you have a larger bag on here, your heel may come into contact, but I'm not having any issues today. Nothing that's worrisome. Occasionally if I shift my foot, if I wasn't clipped in, I may come into contact. I'm not today and I'm not really having any issues. So I think it's definitely going to be something that you need to keep in mind. But with this setup here we have today, I'm not having really any issues that makes me worried that I'm really going to hit it consistently. Another thing I like with the Thule Pannier System is that the bags come with magnets that attached to the frame of the pack and pedal. So other bags that you strap onto this may not have that system and they may flop around, but as you can see, as I'm making turns, those bags, aren't leaning, they're not tied down anywhere there's just a nice earth magnet that's gently holding those in place that I can easily take off whenever it's time to get off my bike.This bike doesn't fit me. It's a few sizes too small, and I am having minimal heel contact on my right foot, so that's that 24 liter bag. It's pretty large. If you we're someone that should be riding this size frame, I don't think you'd have any issues. Now you can adjust that to maybe push it back a little bit further, but I don't think that you're going to be able to go any further with it. So this just gives you a good idea as the heel clearance there. The first thing I like to do is lay out all my parts, make sure I have everything where I can easily access it and we're just going to mock this up to see which bracket kit we're going to use, so this comes with a long, a medium and a short one and I'll show you what these long ones work. I've already tested out, I know which one fits, but we'll show you what the long one will look like if we put it on this bike here today.So you can see that is not going to give us a good platform. This is where that attaches down there. That medium one is going to be better, but this isn't going to work either. You can see we're getting closer. But what we're looking for is this shorter bracket and every bike's different. I think that medium bracket is going to be pretty close for a lot, but this short one is what we're looking for here. So we're getting a lot closer to that even platform that we're looking for. So what we can do now is we can take this short bracket and you can see how I'm lined up right there. We're going to get these lined up and then we're going to take our bolts right here and we're just going to pass those through and on the backside here, you can see where they're threaded. So we'll just take our included tool and start getting those tightened down.And I'm going to do this for both brackets, so two bolts for each bracket. Now you don't need to get these tightened down really tight. I just go until I can't do it by hand anymore. That'll be tight enough, probably not a bad idea to check those periodically, but those do have a little bit of Loctite on them, so you're not really going to have any issues with those backing out, so that's pretty tight right there and we'll just do that same process for this other side. The next thing we need to do is grab our included tool here. And what we need to do is unlock these ratcheting mechanisms just like that, that one's already done, and we can get these prepped so we can undo the straps to wrap around the frame of our bike. Now what we can do is we can place this on the bike. I'm going to put this on the rear of my bike. First thing I want to do though, is wipe off the frame, make sure I don't have any dirt or debris that's on there.Those rubber pads are going to protect our finish, but if you had dirt on there and that rubber pad was rubbing up against that, it can eventually cause some scratches. This spot is going to get scratched up at some point anyway, but I'd rather it not be from this. So I'll get that wiped up and I'll wrap my strap around there, get this in a good spot that I'm comfortable with, and we can take our strap and begin running it through this little slot right here. But I want to make sure I don't lose those little rubber feet like that one that just fell off. So what I found was getting these barrels to line up a certain way makes it a little bit easier, so I just used the included tool and you can spin it right down there. That's how we'll ratchet it down here in a second. So we'll just get it lined back up and hopefully this makes it a little bit easier.And you could easily get someone else to help you out too and hold it up so you can use two hands instead of doing it the way I'm doing it. But what we can do is just run it through here. I'll try to get that strap to push up, get it started, do the same thing down here. And then I'm just going to start ratcheting this down just to get it to hold itself in place. So now I can start working on the other side, get that lined up and then we can go back and forth and tighten this down properly. One thing I ran into when I was trying to get this installed was it seemed like one side would line up just fine but the other didn't and out of the box, this may fit your bike just fine, but you can see how this tapers out. For this to line up perfectly on both sides, what I had to do was loosen up that bolt that I tightened down earlier, and it allows you to pivot these to better accommodate your bike frame so it lines up.And now those are lined up quite a bit better now. So we can tighten those back down and begin that installation again, of running those straps through there. So I have this top one tightened down. This will give you a better view of how this works. So what I'll do is just push it through that barrel there and it'll come out the other side for now and then we can take that tool and start ratcheting that down. Now I wish that I didn't have to do this every quarter turn there, but it just allows us to get that tightened up and you can see that comes through and now we can have this held in place quite a bit better. I still need to make a little bit more of an adjustment on that one over there and then we can just do that same process and start tightening this down all the way. So I have that other side tightened down so we can just go back and get this one finished up.And it's just hand tools that we're using here, so we don't want to put a lot of pressure on our frame there, but we also want it to be tight. So just make sure that it's nice and snug, you want your stuff held in place. Nice. I think that one's good right there. And then to take this off, we would just use that blue key that we used earlier, and we would just put it in that place to release those levers and just pull the straps through. And then you can just tuck these straps back in, I think we've got a weird amount there where it may come back out, so I'm not a big fan of that. So getting that last one tightened down, you can see this is fully installed.Whether you're going to put a basket on there or use a Pannier bag like we have here, you can get this one put in place, this is also from Thule. We're ready to go. We can get our other one loaded up if we have one. Overall, I think that this is a really nice way of getting some stuff on there, whether you're a commuter or you're looking to do some trips with your bike. I think this is a nice way to get some accessories to carry your gear with you. There are other ones out there that maybe are more affordable, but I think that they're not going to last as long, they're not going to be as easy to use when it comes to using accessories like this bag we have here, but that's going to do it for our look at the Thule Pack 'n Pedal.


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Info for this part was:

Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee Cole B
Installed by:
Cole B
Employee Zach D
Installed by:
Zach D

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