Thule T2 or any version of the platform racks- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Thule T2 or any version of the platform racks

    Hi Guys,

    Just seeking experiences, thoughts, etc. Prior to my existing system I used to own a older version of the:
    Thule Vertex Swing Away 9031XT
    Thule Vertex Swing Away 9031XT | Thule | USA

    Got this years ago when I had a Toyota 4-Runner for it made getting to the trunk easy.

    Eventually sold it to someone with no regrets.

    Since then I went with the:
    Thule T2 Classic 9044
    Thule T2 Classic | Thule | USA

    I went with this mostly do to some of the frames on the bikes I have today, it's not as easy as it were to get on the Thule Swing Away or any frame held bike rack. The type that slopes, or curves type bike frames. I made it work in the past but it really was a pain to do.

    So naturally like I said I went platform. However, as I been driving whether it's our two Specialized Hybrids which are fairly light, or our two Trek Mountain Bikes, I notice they been rocking and a lot of noise lately.

    I do and have checked the bolt that goes into the hitch and re-tighten, I have checked and tighten all the screws that make this hitch, but still getting a lot rock to it. I think it's mostly due to the support is dead center and nothing really supporting either side.

    Considering maybe in time I should switch to a roof rack system. The only issue I see with this is I ever have to drive with the bikes into a low clearance area.

    Anyone have input in this matter please let me know.
    Last edited by uncaged; 06-14-2016 at 11:05 AM.

  2. #2
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    How are you securing the rack to the hitch receiver? Are you using the bolted down lock?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by tk1971 View Post
    How are you securing the rack to the hitch receiver? Are you using the bolted down lock?
    Yup. Using my socket wrench to keep it nice and tight in the receiver.

  4. #4
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    Had the original T2 (before Thule bought the company) and it rocked all over the place due to the design.

    Now use a Kuat and it is rock solid by comparison. It uses a standard trailer pin and a hand tightened cam to ensure that there is no play at the receiver.

    Products | KŁat Racks

  5. #5
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    Is the rack swaying? Or are your heavier mountain bikes swaying around?

    There have been posts of the top/bottom parts called the Spar Hangar failing.

    Here are the replacements:

    https://www.etrailer.com/s.aspx?qry=thule+hangar

    Apparently, the metal spar hanger(s) can fatigue / stretch, leading to catastrophic failure.

    Might want to check those parts. If it's tightened up to the point that the bolts are bottomed out, then consider getting new spar hangars (top and bottom).

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by GhostOfForumsPast View Post
    Had the original T2 (before Thule bought the company) and it rocked all over the place due to the design.

    Now use a Kuat and it is rock solid by comparison. It uses a standard trailer pin and a hand tightened cam to ensure that there is no play at the receiver.

    Products | KŁat Racks
    Very very cool. But considering what I paid for in regards to the Thule not going to switch anytime soon. But that is very cool.

    I just default to Thule for I am familiar with them. Are they not the most reliable these days?

    Quote Originally Posted by tk1971 View Post
    Is the rack swaying? Or are your heavier mountain bikes swaying around?

    There have been posts of the top/bottom parts called the Spar Hangar failing.

    Here are the replacements:

    https://www.etrailer.com/s.aspx?qry=thule+hangar

    Apparently, the metal spar hanger(s) can fatigue / stretch, leading to catastrophic failure.

    Might want to check those parts. If it's tightened up to the point that the bolts are bottomed out, then consider getting new spar hangars (top and bottom).
    I do tighten those parts often. I might just replace it as a precaution. I assume it comes with screws?

    Thanks for the tip!

    It's more of a rocking than anything else and not often.

  7. #7
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    I just replaced my Thule with the Kuat NV.

    Folds down for access to the back of my SUV.

    Totally rock solid.
    Collection of fun carbon & titanium bikes

    @tgi_cycling

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by EBG 18T View Post
    I just replaced my Thule with the Kuat NV.

    Folds down for access to the back of my SUV.

    Totally rock solid.
    It better be rock solid: $629???

  9. #9
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    http://forums.mtbr.com/california-no...em-597632.html

    The post showing the carnage of that part failing.

    I doubt they come with screws.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by tk1971 View Post
    http://forums.mtbr.com/california-no...em-597632.html

    The post showing the carnage of that part failing.

    I doubt they come with screws.
    I found this in the referenced thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by redmr2_man View Post
    this is way old news. IF you're really concerned, drill a hole and insert a bolt down into the side or the top of the end piece, causing a STOP for the end tray.

    Voila.

    And I'm an econ major, not a mech engineer.
    Actually a simple/ingenious idea. I just might do that and maybe still order the parts you listed.

    Loving the input btw everyone!!!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tk1971 View Post
    http://forums.mtbr.com/california-no...em-597632.html

    The post showing the carnage of that part failing.

    I doubt they come with screws.
    I took a look at the video. Question, do you think the replacement does not stretch or just a replacement when they do stretch and in time you would need to replace the replacement?

  12. #12
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    That post showed that the top Spar Hangar can shear (as seen in some of the pictures). From this, I'm led to believe that this thin sheet metal part stretches over time when bikes sway around on the rack.

    It appears that if the bikes are either front or back heavy, each carrier should be adjusted to center the weight as much as possible (sliding it back & forth). There are lines on the Spar (backbone for the carrier of each bike) to indicate recommended maximum adjustment.

    I've also had to replace one set of Spar Hangars because someone backed into my hitch and tweaked the rack (made one bike carrier crooked on the hitch backbone). Nothing was cracked or sheared off, but I was able to move the carrier around with some force (like in the video), so I replaced the top and bottom Spar Hangars. The steel Spar was still straight/smooth with no damage on it whatsoever, so the stretching and bending was the hangar(s). Replacing the think Spar Hangers made everything tight again. I re-used the bolts and washers.

    So, even if you tightened the bolts as far as they can go, stretched Hangars(s) will allow the carriers to move around. New ones are just new. They will probably stretch over time if the load is not centered and/or you traverse lots of rough terrain.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by uncaged View Post
    It better be rock solid: $629???
    I have the 4 bike version. Just over $900. But in my opinion it's worth the $. It's solid behind the Cayenne. :-)
    Collection of fun carbon & titanium bikes

    @tgi_cycling

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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by EBG 18T View Post
    I have the 4 bike version. Just over $900. But in my opinion it's worth the $. It's solid behind the Cayenne. :-)
    Agreed on the Kuat and the Cayenne. I swap back and forth between the 2 and 4 bike setup.

    PSA: never trust the cheesy cable locks that come with any rack. A beefy chain is just ok for pizza and beer stops where you can see your bikes.

    Thule T2 or any version of the platform racks-img_5188.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by GhostOfForumsPast View Post
    Agreed on the Kuat and the Cayenne. I swap back and forth between the 2 and 4 bike setup.

    PSA: never trust the cheesy cable locks that come with any rack. A beefy chain is just ok for pizza and beer stops where you can see your bikes.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Can you give me a link to the chain/sheath setup your using? I an just using a large kryptonite cable.
    Collection of fun carbon & titanium bikes

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    Quote Originally Posted by EBG 18T View Post
    Can you give me a link to the chain/sheath setup your using? I an just using a large kryptonite cable.
    https://amzn.com/B005UMCC7C

    https://amzn.com/B005UMBGMY

  17. #17
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    Since we are talking about Chains. What do you guys think about the "Onguard" chain? The place I got my MB's from only sold their products and I watched their demonstration videos.

    However, reviews show their built-in locks need work. It's the locks that are a separate component to the chain that seem to be recommended.

    BTW I checked out my rack yesterday after I left work and got home before putting the bikes one for our evening ride. No sign of movement from the reported stretch issue, and I found the holes that everyone is recommending we drill or use. However, the holes aren't all the way through so thinking of getting a short bolt and having the nut inside the pipe.

    I think it's a half-inch hole but if anyone knows for sure please share. I measured it but to be even more sure going to see if any of my larger drill bits just barely fit in there to get a more exact size so I know what bolt to get.

  18. #18
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    Thule T2 or any version of the platform racks

    Quote Originally Posted by GhostOfForumsPast View Post
    Thank you. Just ordered two of the chains and lock. Should work prefect.
    Collection of fun carbon & titanium bikes

    @tgi_cycling

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  19. #19
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    At least if you use the cheap POS cable lock that comes on many rack systems...if your bike is stolen you can at least say that you used a cable and it was cut so your insurance can't say that you didn't take proper precautions to prevent the theft of the bike(s). Not sure it that would really matter or not...I'm sure it all depends on your insurance company. But at least it's something to help remove that argument if they try to not cover the bikes. I know that my cars are covered for theft of contents and a bike on a rack attached to my car is considered "contents".

    I do have a much heavier duty cable that I will use but it's still not super heavy duty like a chain. But will still take some effort to cut if someone wants the bike. Truth be told...if someone wants your bike...unless you catch them or a good samaritan steps in...they are going to get your bike.
    Super snowflake = when an avatar offends you so much you have to cry about it and report it to admin. Life must suck for you.

  20. #20
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    Get one of these for $20 and forget about it.https://www.amazon.com/StowAway-Carg...tch+stabilizer
    Trek Madone 4.5
    Surly Ice Cream Truck Ops
    Salsa Pony Rustler GX1
    And a couple other beater bikes.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
    At least if you use the cheap POS cable lock that comes on many rack systems...if your bike is stolen you can at least say that you used a cable and it was cut so your insurance can't say that you didn't take proper precautions to prevent the theft of the bike(s). Not sure it that would really matter or not...I'm sure it all depends on your insurance company. But at least it's something to help remove that argument if they try to not cover the bikes. I know that my cars are covered for theft of contents and a bike on a rack attached to my car is considered "contents".

    I do have a much heavier duty cable that I will use but it's still not super heavy duty like a chain. But will still take some effort to cut if someone wants the bike. Truth be told...if someone wants your bike...unless you catch them or a good samaritan steps in...they are going to get your bike.
    Check with your homeowners insurance. I provided them with receipts for all of my bikes/accessories and they are all covered by my homeowners insurance at full replacement cost with a $500 deductible. It doesn't matter what happens to them either. I questioned them with different scenarios extensively.
    Stolen at home, stolen in front of the local coffee shop, rear ended while in the bike rack, stolen while in the bike rack on my truck, hit a deer while the rack is on the front of my truck (when I'm pulling our 5th wheel), ripped off from a campsite, trail head etc.
    It doesn't matter, my bikes are covered. I made sure of that. Best part of that is, it doesn't cost me any extra to have them covered. They have a list of serial numbers and values for all of my guns as well. Same story with them.
    Check out The Hartford, we insure all our stuff with them and are very satisfied.
    Trek Madone 4.5
    Surly Ice Cream Truck Ops
    Salsa Pony Rustler GX1
    And a couple other beater bikes.

  22. #22
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    That's how mine are too but covered by car insurance. At least when they are attached to the car. Then it's home insurance. Not that it matters...I have home and car with the same company so either way...they are paying out. But mine is the same. Replacement minus the $500 deductible.
    Super snowflake = when an avatar offends you so much you have to cry about it and report it to admin. Life must suck for you.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatkidonabike View Post
    Get one of these for $20 and forget about it.https://www.amazon.com/StowAway-Carg...tch+stabilizer
    That wouldn't have helped on my T2. The hitch was secured via the anti-wobble bolt but the rack itself moved all over due to the design.

  24. #24
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    The T2 sliding spar issue is an old issue and very much a non-issue now-a-days. If you pay attention to the assembly instructions, there are very specific specs on how to tighten the spar bracket on the newer units. The brackets do not sandwich together, they are separated by a space so when torquing the 4 bolts, it intentionally causes the the spar hanger to bend to close the gap. The gap does not fully close, though. Also, they added a single screw right out near the end of the main steel spar that simply acts as a stop if the spar hangar should slide back as the old video shows it doing.

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