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Thule Xpress 2-Bike
- New practical design makes this bike carrier both easy to use and easy to store
- Carries a maximum of 2 bikes
- Load capacity - 30 kg
- Weight - 4.3 kg
- Fits frame dimensions All
- Locks bike to carrier with accessory 538
- Locks carrier to car with padlock
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Practical design makes this bike carrier both easy to use and easy to store. Carries a maximum of 2 bikes. Weight - 4 kg. Fits all frame dimensions. Locks bike to carrier with accessory 538. Tilt function, with bikes. For years Thule have developed products to meet the demands of the international 'City Crash' standard. Straps for fixation of bike included.
New practical design makes this bike carrier both easy to use and easy to store. When the carrier is not in use just fold it and put it in the boot of your car. Thule Xpress carries two bikes, fits all frame sizes and the soft frame holders keep the bikes firmly in place during transport. This is the only bike carrier of its kind with ISO approved towball coupling.
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Im going to try and keep this simple, and then discuss my main points.
- it's solid, considering it just clamps on with no tools this thing locks on your Tow bar tight.
- folds up small, you could leave this in your boot once all folded up but great if your house has little storage space.
- no assembly like the more expensive platform racks Thule sell.
- holds 2 bikes, which considering how small this rack is, is quite some achievement.
- putting a bike on does require a bit of time to make sure it's secure, it's mostly about getting the frame seated it a position that works on this rack, which is quite cumbersome for some bikes. Would require adapters which is a negative.
- you need to buy a light board. I actually paid more for the light board then I did the rack, and it really is nothing special, that said your numberplate is obscured no matter what and i will discuss this further in a moment.
- wheel strap is too short even for one adult bike, so buy another strap.
- while it is cheaper than the other racks, it's inconvenient how it's sold. I had to buy the rack, the light board and an adaptor for the light board to fit the light board to the rack. (Which after buying became clear you didn't have to but it was more convenient to attach to the rack.)
- which leads me onto Thules misinformation and poor instruction manuals. Their website says the 9761 adaptor is required to fit the 976 towbar, this is not the case, the board includes straps, the adaptor just makes it more stable and quicker.
Also a lack of a UK contact number for Thule makes things a lot more hassle.
I just want to explain in more depth a few specific points that I've clocked onto that others may not have.
First of all if you only carry your bike once in a blue moon than this is ideal. It doesn't take up much space and all folds down neat and compact, it's the lightboard which takes up room.
If however your the kind of guy that likes to take their bike out for an adventure every weekend then this isn't really for you. It's too cumbersome to set up and take down each time.
If the lightboard wasn't a requirement this would be simple and quick to set up each time. But legally I would say you need to, it does block your numberplate if even only slightly so im sure you have to.
My issue is, you have to load the bikes, then click the light board in and then once you arrive you have to take the light board off each time,
I know that sounds like I'm being lazy, but after a ride I just want to stick my bike on the rack and head home. This also requires me to unplug it and put it in the car so it doesn't get nicked.
I mainly got this model because I currently do not have the money for any better, the platform racks start at £300 and go for even more.
This will do for now but I imagine at some point I'll hope to upgrade.
It still gets a goood rating because it does hold my bike nice and stable and securely, but in the future I'll look to get something like the Euro ride.
Hope this was helpful for those struggling.
The scissor frame has a good weight to it but not too heavy. It clamps over the tow bar and the horizontal tensioner is very firm to push down. I like that there is a pre-drilled hole in the frame here so that you can put a padlock on it. No one will be stealing the frame off the car! However it is also small enough that you could just take it off and pop it in the boot as it takes about 30 seconds to put on the tow bar.
The mechanism for the 90 degree arms that you sit your bike on are intuitive as to how you move them. Just make sure that the head of the screws are flat against the frame before you tighten them.
There are moveable rubber grips to seat your bike frame on which also have thick rubber straps to secure the bike with. We found that we had to put the straps on the longest hole and pull to stretch them round our frames as they are slightly chunky.
Also supplied is a webbing strap with cam buckle to pass around the frame and through the wheel of the bike loaded nearest to the car. I'm going to invest in some more straps as there is nothing to secure the second bike included in the package.
I would really recommend this cycle carrier. Sturdy on the towbar, just enough room for two adult hybrid bikes, decent secure strapping. And all at a bargain price!
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.