Saris Thelma who has one?-
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Saris Thelma who has one?

    I bought the Saris Thelma 2 for my car 1 1/4 hitch. I used it 2 times and I'm not sure how I feel because I'm used to having a roof rack. Well on bumps and water drains that dip I can see the bike moves a lot. Even just regular driving it you can see it swaying back and forth. Anyone else have this problem? Should I be worried? On my roof rack it swayed but I felt comfortable. I pushed it today with it and tried to take harsh turns and really put it to harsh tests I dunno if I can take it on long trips. Maybe I'm just not used to the whole hitch thing. Any other suggestions?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    I've been considering the Thelma rack the past week and was able to check one out in person at the local shop a couple days ago. I have a Performance brand hitch rack right now. It has the arms that moves down to clamp the bike via its top tube.

    My rack and the Thelma have a threaded bolt for the hitch pin. Tightening the bolt takes out some play between the rack and car hitch, but my rack still has some bobbing when driving. I've become confident neither the rack or the bikes are going anywhere.

    Unlike a roof rack a hitch rack is a giant tuning fork hanging off the back of your vehicle. In some ways it may be beneficial to have the motion. If everything was fully rigid the rack may experience excessive shock loads. Perhaps this could fatigue or damage the rack or hitch over time? At least this is how I've justified seeing the bikes dance around behind my car.

    My question with the Thelma is can I carry a bike with a front fender? In the winter I often ride my cross bike on the road with fenders and may have need to transport it on the rack from time to time.
    Last edited by thomasbien; 07-02-2011 at 07:12 AM.

  3. #3
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    Reputation: Mr Cabletwitch's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
    I've been using my Thelma for a couple years now with trips to florida, and NC from Pa. All without a problem, but at this point the plastic is cracking and it looks awful, so I just replaced it with a roof rack. It worked well and if I didn't leave it on the car all the time it would still probably be nice.
    Quote Originally Posted by Malibu412
    Cableb!tch: living, breathing proof you can be right and.still be a dick.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    I'm on my third year of using a Thelma rack. Sure it moves a little but with two heavy bikes back there it's been reliable on long road trips and it sure is easier than lifting the same bikes on and off the roof. I tend to leave it on the car for four to five months a year and there haven't really been any weather related wear issues.

    Yeah fenders are an issue but you work with it.

    @Mr Cabletwitch - Saris will most likely replace those pieces for free or at a seriously reduced cost to you. Contact them and explain what's going on. They really are good about this sort of stuff. One of my employees left it on his car and a sloppy street parker clipped the lower tray and broke it (twice) and they replaced it no cost both times.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    I bought the Thelma 3 for a friend. at $260 CAD tax included included, I really can't complain. Got a 24" and 26" bike in no problem. The plastic construction makes it wobble a bit but its one of the easier rack to use for a hitch mount platform carrier. Its also light weight

    The Thule T2 will last longer, more stable, cost 3x as much?, and you must tighten it down properly else your bike will fly off.

    For a recreational / or if you don't mind the wobble, this is a decent rack. If you go offroading with it (on your car instead of your bike) then this rack might not be for you. And as will all platform hitch rack, it sticks out quite long behind your vehicle. If you drive a low vehicle, you might want to consider getting an adapter to raise the weight. Else you will scrape the bottom every time you go uphill / reverse

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: argibson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Here is another review of the rack, which I am returning after using just a few times.

    I bought this rack for its ability to work with both 1.25 and 2" hitches, ability to carry up to three bikes varying in wheel size, folds up when not in use, and doesn't touch the frame. Unfortunately, it is mostly plastic and lightweight tubing, and the bikes are not stable...they bounce around a lot and get into each other. The "stinger" part (the part that goes into the hitch) on my rack also bent after a couple uses with much less weight than it is marketed as being able to handle and on normal driving conditions. Saris customer service wasnt helpful.

    I recommend going with a burlier rack, despite that it will cost more.
    Giant Team Bike & Bean-Marin Co., CA

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