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Thule Trunk Bike Racks Review - 2013 Volkswagen Jetta

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Review of the Thule Trunk Bike Racks on a 2013 Volkswagen Jetta

Adam: What's going on, everybody Adam here with etrailer. Today we're going to be taking a look at the Thule Gateway 3 bike rack on our 2013 Volkswagen Jetta. So if we do have only a need for only two bikes to be hauled to and fro, we have a two bike version available here at this is going to be a really good solution for you if you don't want to mess with a roof rack or don't have the capabilities of getting a hitch on your vehicle. If you need to get bikes, this is going to be the way to go. The nice thing about this is it fits really well on our Jetta, but it'll fit on other vehicles too. So if you have multiple vehicles, sometimes you take one, sometimes they take the other, this can work on mostly any vehicle.

All you have to do is just use our fit guide and make sure that it's going to fit your vehicle.Other than that, let's get started on how the bike rack interacts with our bike. We are going to have two straps up top and an anti-sway cradle down low, and that is going to help with the bike-to-bike contact that you get whenever you're starting and stopping going down the road. Let's go ahead and take the bike rack off or the bike off the rack. Excuse me. And to do that, there's just a little tab.

You just push down and these come undone, and it's the same exact thing for anti-sway cradle down here.Now that that's done, let's go ahead and take the bike off the rack and get a closer look. As you can see right here, we are going to have little rubber pads, so it's not going to scratch your bikes. You don't have to worry about that. So if you have a higher end bike, this is going to be great because it's not going to add any damage to your bikes. One bike that I wouldn't necessarily use for this is a carbon fiber bike.

Yes, it will be under the weight capacity of this rack, but sometimes hanging style bike racks aren't the best for your carbon fiber bikes. If you have a fat tire bike or an e-bike, it's probably not going to be the rack for you just because there is a weight capacity of 35 pounds per bike. So if you even just have one electric bike and you think you'll be good, you're not because it's 35 per bike and that does not add up to meet the whole entire 35 times three. So just be mindful of that.One thing to think about is if your bikes are going to fit on here, we are going to have a spread of about 12 inches from this bar of this bar. So for the kiddos bikes that have a little smaller hole in the frame, we might have to grab an adapter bar where we do have one of those here at etrailer.

All of them will be locked on because it does come with a cable lock. Pretty much all you have to do is just lock this first bike by putting it in here. And then obviously, no other bike is going to be able to come off from that. So if you're just using two bikes, make sure to put one right here and one right here. And if you're using only one, put it out here if you plan on locking it. But you still will have the chance of somebody coming by here and undoing all the straps to take the whole rack. But we do have a locking strap Thule makes that'll go with this that'll prevent that from happening.All in all, whenever we add anything to the back of our vehicle, we're going to add some length. So let's check that out from the bumper of our Jetta all the way to the end. It's going to be about 23 inches, which isn't a whole lot. It's a lot less than majority of those hitch mounted bike racks, but we can bring these arms down by taking this leather off right here, and we can rotate it a little bit just to loosen it up. And then once we do that, we are going to be able to rotate these down and tighten that back up just like that. And we can do the same exact thing on both sides all the way down. And this is going to help for those smaller garage that you may have. And that's going to bring it down to about six inches.So if you're in the city and you usually have smaller little spots or you're in a parking garage a lot, I would definitely recommend throwing these down and it's going to help with those tighter fits. One thing to think about whenever you're using a trunk mounted bike rack, you want to make sure that these hooks are coated. These are so they're not going to add any scratches. And we do have big foam pads on the top and the bottom to prevent any other scratching.One thing that I don't like about this bike rack is just the fact that we can't use the trunk. So obviously, if you're kind of bound to only being able to use a trunk mounted bike rack, that's something you kind of have to live with, but it isn't too hard to install or take off. We have a review video where we go over how to completely set it up. So check that out if you want to learn more. Again, this was the Thule Gateway Pro 3. I'm Adam with etrailer and it was on a 2013 Volkswagen Jetta.

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Test Fit:
Andrew K
Employee Adam E
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