Redesigned Thule Helium Aero...any users yet?
Looking for a lightweight and very easy to use rack (important) for my girlfriend and came across these Thule Helium Aero racks for 2 or 3 bikes which look pretty nice (18/19lbs). Anyone have one yet to do a mini review? Previous Helium Aero model had complaints about the short arms for the 2 bike version making it difficult to load 2 mtn. bikes so I still think it will be better to get the 3 bike version even for just carrying 2 bikes. Also looking at the Kuat Beta/Alpha 2/3 bike models which are super light (11/13lbs) but I think these new Thule's are a step up from those and not much heavier. Also have read the Kuat built in anti-rattle device doesn't work well no matter how hard you tighten it. I can get very good pricing on Thule, Kuat, and Saris racks and this would be mounted in a 1 1/4" receiver on a 2006 Acura TL.
Thule*-*9043 Helium Aero 3 Bike
2013 Banshee Spitfire V2 650b
Sent you a response to the PM, but to help others... here is my review after a recent trip:
We just came off a 1,200 mile trip using the rack with two of our fat bikes (~70lbs of bike weight)... so I can give you some real-world feedback. The pros greatly outweigh the cons.
A snap to install. Literally seconds to fit and lock into place.
Anti-wobble works very well and I never had to tighten throughout the long trip.
Build quality is very good... clean welds, easy to assemble.
The silicone mounts did not mar the finish (make sure your top and seat tube are clean).
Very lightweight... I have an NSR-4 and the Thule is a feather compared to that.
Integrated locks are a nice touch.
Mounting is very straightforward once you are used to it.
Works great for two bikes.
Stable at 80-mph.
No sway mechanisms worked as advertised.
Works with 2" and 1.5" Receivers.
I seriously doubt 3 bikes will fit without cosmetic damage to the paint from rubbing. (as mentioned, perfect for two). I'd get the 3-bike rack even if you only plan on hauling two.
Over the course of the 1,200 mile drive, the silicone mounts did slide slightly. I am thinking of securing zip ties around the outside of the mounts to help deter the slip. This may also be due to two, heavy fat bikes that can easily grab wind.
I've owned many racks... Yakima, KŁat, NSR... and the anti-sway mechanism in the Thule is the best in the business.
For long trips, to avoid any handlebar contact with other bikes (one of the bikes wanted to rub the rear of the other bike's rim), I loosened the stem and folded the handlebars in (aligned with top tube), then retightened for the trip. No mars, no scratches.
Excellent info, thanks a bunch for spelling it out. Sounds like a winner that should work nicely for the girlfriend.
2013 Banshee Spitfire V2 650b
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