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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Size: 2 Bike|Change
Price:£57.95+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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on 17 November 2010
When I first heard that this item clamped onto the ball of your towing hitch I called Thule to question how effective this could be. I envisaged it would slip once any load was applied. Having been reassured that it works very well I proceeded to buy the item (not through Amazon I might add).
I've had many different bike racks and this is by far the best. It now lives in the boot of my car and can be fitted in seconds! You literally place the bottom onto the tow hitch, open the arms in a scissor action and it clamps into place. Simple but very effective.
My experience with previous bike racks is that they have clamps that fit around the boot lid or straps that hold everything in place. These in my opinion always succeed in scratching your paintwork. This bike rack however touches nothing bar the towing hitch. It's rigid as well and you can even lift your own body weight on it!

Points to consider:
You may wish to check this item is suitable for small bikes.
It works best with triangular framed bikes but I've also managed to load ladies bikes by rotating the clamps around on the horizontal bars and attaching to the vertical post under the seat.
The strap on mine is a bit short in my opinion but since I usually only load one bike it's not much of an issue. You may wish to have an additional strap at hand though.
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on 14 November 2010
We've had a cycle carrier for a number of years but it was the kind that fitted on the back of a hatchback with straps and hooks that fastened around the edge of the door. It used to be really time-consuming and laborious to tighten them all and then it would take additional time to put the bikes on which could be made more difficult depending on how high they had to be lifted. With this Thule Xpress, it really is Xpress! It literally takes two seconds to fix the carrier over the towbar and the bikes just hook over the two arms.

Initially, I was a bit uncertain how it would work as looking at the picture in isolation, you would expect it to move about or twist around the towbar but there is a really helpful videoclip on YouTube that shows you exactly how to fix it and once its in place it really is rock solid. The only problem I had was in not realising how hard you have to press down to get it to engage over the towbar as it looks pretty effortless on the video but you actually have to press it down quite firmly.

As with any bike carrier, it does take a couple of practice goes to decide the best way of loading your bikes and placing the pedals so they don't scratch your bumper. For women's bikes you simply need to twist down the rubber hook so that it attaches vertically to the seat stem rather than using the hook horizontally as for a man's crossbar. You also need a couple of bungees to make it really secure and keep the wheels from moving around too much. Finally, it is also likely to obscure your numberplate so you'll need to make provision for that, but on the whole its perfect.
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on 8 May 2012
Like many others on here, I bought this bike carrier with some trepidation as I wasn't entirely convinced that a carrier that grips onto a towbar would be stable and strong enough to securely carry my new £800 two-wheeled-torture-contraption.

So when it (very quickly) arrived in the post, I immediately unpacked it and set about attaching it to my car's towbar. The carrier works in a sort of scissor-action and quite simply clamps to the towbar's ball. The first time I attached it I was astonished at how strong it's grip on the bar is; I was pulling at it as hard as I could and it simply wouldn't budge! Very impressive and amazingly quick - the process of attaching my removable towbar to the car, getting the Thule carrier out of the boot and clamping it on could probably be done in under 60 seconds - it's seriously that quick.

Attaching a bike to the carrier is also a simple process, although it took a few attempts to get it right. My bike (A Revolution Triad 1.0, bought from Edinburgh Bicycle, plug, plug!) has a bit of non-standard frame when it comes to where the downtube meets the fork/top tube, so the rubber strap has to stretch diagonally around the downtube, which was a little tricky at first but I've got it down to a fine art now. It should be capable of fitting bikes with chunky frames too, although I'm unsure if full-suspension bikes with outlandish frames would fit. Bear in mind that an adapter is required for women's bike frames too, and that it's not suited to kid's bikes.

If you've got any concerns about your car's paintwork being damaged by this carrier, stop worrying now - it holds the carrier far enough away from the back of my Audi A4 saloon so that even the end of the closest handlebar (and sharp pedals) comes nowhere near. The carrier's grip on the towbar is such that there's no chance of it moving while in transit either.

If I were to make any negative points about the carrier, I'd probably mention that the strap that's probably intended to wrap around the wheels to stop them spinning is ridiculously short - it doesn't even wrap around both the wheels on my bike alone, let alone a second one! Another is that the carrier comes with no means of locking it, despite it having a hole in the frame to do just that.

However, these are very minor quibbles - if you've got a decent Krypton lock with a cable loop, you'll be able to lock the lot of it to the carrier. Remember to remove any QR bits though!

Summing up...

+ Folds up nice and small so it takes up barely any boot space
+ Simple & seriously quick to fit
+ Very secure and stable - even at 70+ MPH on the motorway
+ Holds bike nice and clearly away from the boot
+ No chance of it damaging either your car's or your bike's paintwork
+ Rubber straps are easily replaced if broken
- Supplied tethering strap far too short
- Doesn't come with a lock

Thumbs up all round!
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on 2 March 2013
This bike rack is so easy to use! I was fed up with all the hassle involved with connecting my larger bike rack, especially if I only had to transport one or two bikes. This is one of the best buys I have made. Very easy to connect, very secure, folds down to very small size so easy to stick in the boot....just in case! Brilliant product, would highly recommend......only one thought. At the moment I have not needed to buy the light/number plate board as I have only used the rack locally, I suspect it may be necessary to use one if travelling on major roads.
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on 14 July 2011
Like other reviewers I couldn't believe that this would work. It just clips on to the towball in a few seconds, with no other connection to the car. You must put your fingers in the correct places or they might be nipped. The other important point is that the towball must be completely free from grease. If like me you use your towbar for towing it will be greasy and this must be cleaned off with petrol or some other solvent. It works perfectly. So far I have only had lightweight road bikes on it, but, heaving on it, I have no doubt that it could carry heavier bikes. It makes the strap-on racks look like something out of the stone age. Make sure you buy a light-bar and a number plate, to avoid being stopped by the plod. If you regularly carry bikes, it would be worth paying for a towbar just for this rack.
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on 31 July 2011
Genius, no messing about strapping things onto the back of the car, having a bicycle bouncing off the rear windscreen !!! Fitting time approx 5 seconds, really secure and lockable, inspired design. I was a little nervous about clamping onto the towball, but friends have loaded over 80kilos onto a different device with a similar mechanism and its fine. happy to recommend. Make sure you have a towbar !!!! This item clamps onto a towball !!!!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 16 December 2015
This is a sturdy and well made bike rack. The only negative is if you have a step through bike it is hard to attach the bikes to it. We have found that tow bar attachments are far more stable than strap on bike racks.
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on 13 June 2012
I was a rather disappointed in the packaging, it seemed a bit "thrown together" - but it did arrive via courier and undamaged.
The following are my observations on packaging and fitting.
Fitting the carrier was a bit nerve racking, as initially the fitting would not go over the towbar!! The instructions (yes, I did read them!!) do show that the locking bar could be adjusted; mine was delivered set at the third highest position out of four positions. So with an Allen Key and a spanner I moved the locking bar to the top position. because everything is tight, I needed to just move (slightly adjust) the locking bar to get the ball clamp to fit, but it did without forcing.
Caution is needed when pushing down on the Locking Bar to clamp the carrier to the towbar - do not push down with your hand wrapped around the latch - use the flat of your hand and give a firm downward pressure until it snaps into position.
When removing the carrier, caution should again be exercised. Because the carrier arms are under tension, when the latch is released, the locking bar springs back up rather fast and will bite the unwary.
Having said all of that, I am well pleased with the Thule 970 Xpress, it is such a simple concept and works like a dream. I use it on a Ford C-Max and it is much better than the devises that sit on the rear bumper and use straps.
Deserves the 5 stars I gave the Thule.
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on 4 October 2010
Very good value for money, very easy to fit onto the tow bar, very stable even when loaded but difficult to load a gents & Ladies bike. Soome of it is technique but you need some extra straps & bungie cords to hold the bikes from rattling or touching the car. Good for occasional use but for regular use the more expensive model is easier to use but more difficult to put on the tow bar & store (WE HAVE BOTH)
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on 29 December 2012
This is a really handy bike rack. it is great value for money if you already have a tow ball on your car. I commute on my bicycle 5 days a week and occasionally wish to meet the family after work. With this rack in the boot of the car it is easy for me to meet them for a bite to eat and then 2 minutes puts the rack and bike on the back of the car to head home.

Also I picked up an spare tow ball from a local breakers yard and bolted it to the side of the shed. Now I can use the rack as a maintenance stand for quick repairs, maintenance or just for cleaning and lubricating.

Worth every penny.
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