Thule T2 and rust- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    MarkyMark
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    No good Thule T2 and rust

    I haven't had my T2 hitch rack for more than a year and it's rusting out from the inside.

    We've had rain for the past 2 weeks and when I tried loading up my bike I had a small stream of rusty water came pouring out of the locking mechanism on the arm. Here's a pic of the dried rust spots.

    <IMG SRC="https://farm5.static.flickr.com/4018/4320639880_8afe88da66_b.jpg" WIDTH="512" HEIGHT="384">

    It seems like a spring that pushes against the release button to lock it in place is gone. The button doesn't snap back when I try to lock my front wheel down so I have to manually pull the lever out for it to stay put. Needless to say, this made me very nervous and I was checking whether my bike was still on the rack every 5 minutes while I was driving.

    <IMG SRC="https://farm3.static.flickr.com/2790/4319907183_3bc33e2c43_b.jpg" WIDTH="512" HEIGHT="384">

    Both arms had rusty water pour out and are behaving the same way. Fortunately, I bought my T2 from REI so I can return or exchange it it.

    This is SUPER LAME of Thule. Everything inside the armature should be stainless and/or built to resist rusting.

    A lot of people around here have the T2 and they've had them for years, which is precisely why I bought it. I don't know what Thule is doing, but it looks like they've started cutting corners on parts as well as QC. When I bought the T2, one of the trays was defective (screws were cross-threaded) and it couldn't be attached to the spine. REI bailed me out by swapping the defective tray.

    Buyer beware!

  2. #2
    locked - time out
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    Big whoop.

    My T2 (original, not Thule) is also not stainless. I store it outside. The inside of the tubes do rust and rusty water can run out at times.

    It still works just fine, all these years later.

    "Everything inside the armature should be stainless and/or built to resist rusting"

    Do you have any idea how much a stainless steel version of a T2 would cost?

    Apparently not.

  3. #3
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    Mine is the original Sportworks T2 and is 6-7 years old. No problems. I store mine in the garage. No rust and works and looks like new.

  4. #4
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    No big deal. I had one of my hooks rust out and Thule sent me two new ones without hesitation. No questions asked. Fahn


    BTW, If you go to your LBS they should have/be able to get a product called frame saver. Use it on the rack.
    Hubbard Bike Club

  5. #5
    MarkyMark
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    I don't think you understood what I wrote: the locking mechanism on the arm is rusting out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jello Sundae
    My T2 (original, not Thule) is also not stainless. I store it outside. The inside of the tubes do rust and rusty water can run out at times.
    Do you know? I figure a stainless spring (or whatever it is) would cost all of $0.10. Maybe $0.05 more than the one they used in there. It's easy to cut costs on something that customers can't see.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jello Sundae
    Do you have any idea how much a stainless steel version of a T2 would cost?

    Apparently not.
    It's good to know that Thule will stand behind their product. I don't know if I want to deal with the hassles or just return it to REI and get a Saris or Kuat replacement.

    Quote Originally Posted by LarryFahn
    No big deal. I had one of my hooks rust out and Thule sent me two new ones without hesitation. No questions asked.
    I'll check into it. I wonder if you use frame saver after rusting has already started.

    Quote Originally Posted by LarryFahn
    BTW, If you go to your LBS they should have/be able to get a product called frame saver. Use it on the rack.

  6. #6
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    Just get your self a Kuat NV! It is made of 6061 aluminum, and will not rust. I leave mine on the back of my truck year round and no rust problems yet.

  7. #7
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    When Thule purchased Sportworks, they really cheapened the rack. I've had both, and the new Thule version sucks. Thinner brackets for the crossbars, changed the rear wheel clamp to use a plastic piece that cracks after sunlight exposure, poor quality finish, and the bracket bolts are smaller. Sportworks had a great thing going and then Thule "fixed" it while raising the price higher. I had my Sportworks for 4 years and it was just a little faded. After 2 years the Thule looks as if it may not even last 4 years before it rusts through. I've already been through two rear wheel assemblies and both times it was a royal pain in the rear to get them to a) honor the warranty and b) ship the parts. The first time, I had to use a bungee cord for almost 3 months after hearing four times that they'd already shipped the part. The two shops I dealt with don't really want to deal with Thule again. It's a shame, because it's a great design that used to be implemented very well.

    For what it's worth, my rack is outside on the vehicle 24/7 but it's a dry environment with low pollution and no salty air. It's just poor quality now.

  8. #8
    MarkyMark
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankenator
    When Thule purchased Sportworks, they really cheapened the rack. I've had both, and the new Thule version sucks. Thinner brackets for the crossbars, changed the rear wheel clamp to use a plastic piece that cracks after sunlight exposure, poor quality finish, and the bracket bolts are smaller. Sportworks had a great thing going and then Thule "fixed" it while raising the price higher. I had my Sportworks for 4 years and it was just a little faded. After 2 years the Thule looks as if it may not even last 4 years before it rusts through.
    ..
    It's just poor quality now.
    Yep.

    Here's a pic of the dried rust dripping out of the arm. This is what holds the front wheel onto the tray. If the locking mechanism doesn't work, then the rack is useless. The bikes I'm carrying are worth way more than the $400 I paid for the T2.

    <IMG SRC=https://farm3.static.flickr.com/2737/4414999450_a789eaf47a_o.jpg alt="Thule T2 rust">

    My friends have always told me to never buy anything from Thule. I thought because Sportsworks did the thinking and design that it's be safe to buy the T2 from Thule. WRONG! I don't know if it's the bean-counters at Thule, but they're on a mission to drive themselves into the ground. I'm going to help them by returning my rack and telling everyone I know to stay away from whatever they try to sell.

    Times are tough out there. I don't want to see companies go down and people lose their jobs, but I'm looking forward to the day the Thule goes under. Some company that knows what they're doing will buy the design and build a good rack.

    “Life is hard; it's harder if you're stupid.” John Wayne

  9. #9
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    That's harsh.

    Sure their QC on their T2 racks might leave something to be desired, but have you compared cargo boxes? Thule's boxes and locking designs are far superior to Yakimas (I'm sure some people out there will disagree) but after having to replace locks on 2 Yakimas boxes I haven't had a single problem with Thule's.

  10. #10
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    It's not a QC issue.....they changed the design that they purchased. Product engineering issue, I suppose. Greed issue, too......if a smaller company could put out a better rack for $299, and is then purchased by a much larger company who cheapens the product AND raises the price to $349 (at the time....it's since risen higher)......sounds greedy to me and a double whammy to the consumer. I don't want to see Thule disappear....competition and choice are good for the marketplace. I just want them to make the T2 as good as it used to be, or even better. I don't like paying more for backward progression.

    MarkMass's pic is just minor and in the clamp....easily remedied. You should see my rack after 2 years.....pathetic. I see in some more recent pics that they've forgone the phosphate coating to the main beam that goes into the hitch and are using the same crappy silver paint that covers the crossbars. If it's not simple cost savings and profit that brought these decisions, then there's an idiot in charge somewhere. lol

  11. #11
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    Guess you've got a point there. You're right.

    I guess the way to express dissatisfaction is not to buy one. I had my heart set on the T2 initially but after enough stories here and elsewhere I changed to a 1upUSA rack, and now WingNutt's got me sold on a Kuat Sherpa. I plus to the Sherpa is that one of our local dealers carries it.

  12. #12
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    I have had mine since 06 and it is rusting apart. Sportworks model

  13. #13
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    I'm in the market for a tray hitch rack. I'm sold on the Kuat. I have to decide if I need the NV or the Sherpa. I love the fact that it's light and it's cool looking too. I thought about getting the T2, but I read some of the horrible stories.

  14. #14
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    I too was looking at the T2, among a few others, and was close to getting one at one point, but all of the rust and failure stories/reviews I've read scared me away. I now have a Raxter rack on the way.

    bk

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by winstonterr
    Hi,
    I am renovating a bike and both of the quick release things on the bike have rusted up and i am finding it impossible to get them off. The only way I can do it is by breaking them off so my question is what parts do i need to get to replace them? is it just the 2 ends and the thing that goes through the middle of the cassete.

    You're talking about just the bike, right, not a rack? Yeah, you'll need to just replace the skewers if you have to break them for removal. They are sold as complete units (singly or in pairs), but most bike shops will have spare nuts and springs as well. If things were really rusted bad then you should examine the axles for integrity and clean out the hollow passage where the skewer goes. Probably a good idea to check the bearings for rust while you're at it. You may be able to get skewers for free or really cheap from the boneyard of a local bike shop...otherwise they go for $15-$50 per pair.

  16. #16
    29er
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    1up USA rack is all aluminum construction, no worries about rust

  17. #17
    MarkyMark
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    I just got this a couple days ago--1upUSA QuikRack w/ 2" receiver for 2 bikes. I'm looking forward to installing and using it this weekend!

    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6194809543/" title="1upUSA_QuikRack by markmass, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm7.static.flickr.com/6157/6194809543_24f05cd2b9.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="1upUSA_QuikRack"></a>

    No more rust. No more cracking and creaking noises while driving. I want to have peace of mind that my bikes will arrive with me when I reach my destination. I hope spending more to get something better works out this time and it isn't just hype.

  18. #18
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    My original Sportworks is not rusting, but my T2 add on is now rusting... real nice. The Sportworks is 7 years old and the Thule is only 3 years old.

  19. #19
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    Sold my T2 for a 1Up and can't be happier. No bouncing or creaking.

    Only pain is I have a lock up the bikes better although when I do, it's more secure than thule's locks.

  20. #20
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    apparently nobody told you guys steel rusts. go get an aluminum rack and it won't rust, but it sure as ***** won't be half as strong.

    creaking and rusting isn't an issue, you guys just need to stop being panzies.

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