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Customer reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Thule Backpac 973 Bike Carrier Rear-Mounted
Price:£235.03+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 31 May 2017
My review covers two aspects:
1- product delivery - Amazon
2- product utility - Thule

Right now I can only comment on product delivery as I cannot build the item because Amazon failed me; opened box, there's no instructions and parts are missing. Once I get the item replaced I'll be able to complete a full review. I predict Thule will fulfil its side of the bargain and the product will work just fine as I've seen it on a vehicle like mine. Right now it's just a one star review for poor sales and distribution service.
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on 12 August 2015
Perfect fit for the Bongo Friendee....
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on 8 March 2017
Holds the bike really well. Only using two at the moment but really happy with it
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on 26 July 2017
Good quality bike rack,perfect for Mazda bongo,
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on 19 February 2014
first class product , difficult to put on
van at first attempt but now the backpac
is set it takes only a couple of minutes
Quality item
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on 13 March 2016
I was worried i spent too much on a bike rack.....until it arrived. It is very very very good. We use with add on so have 3 bikes on a zafira. Once put together it takes about 10 mins to fit on car and another 10 mins to put 3 bikes on. Virtually no movement when driving. Feels very secure.
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on 11 October 2011
Bought this for an Octavia estate (ie appropriate adapter - you always need an adapter so factor it into costing). I wanted to get a nice, low, towbar carrier but couldn't justify the cost of fitting a towbar just for cycles. On the other hand I wanted to be legal and mount the bikes securely above the numberplate...

1. Packaging - seemed fine to me (obviously the carrier is designed to be picked up from a shop, so your Amazon packaging on top is crucial for protecting the carrier in transit). The adapter of course ships in a separate box.

2. Assembly. OK, not for those who hate self-assembly furniture, but it's pretty straightforward and the only skill involved is guessing what some of the clever graphics are meant to mean... is that 5 holes from the bottom or 5 holes from the add-on part, for example. Having said that I have to confess to have got the parts the wrong way round a few times as I assembled it...

3. Instructions. Overall, very good. The odd ambiguity (and lack of checkpoints - how to tell you got it right) makes this a 4star review, but frankly its not a big deal. The only other thing to bear in mind is that the instructions play it safe regarding height of bikes above the numberplate. But your goal is to have the bikes not too high to avoid having to raise them too high on loading, and avoid having too much bike in the slipstream. So having finally assembled mine and used it once, I took it apart at the bottom to adjust where the bottom rack was located and refitted.

4. Loading bikes. Pretty good. You might need to experiment the order of your bikes and the order of the topclamps - in some scenarios the bike crossframe can blank the frame holder for the bike behind it. But the frame support clamps are pretty flexible (ie clamp to an upright) and in fact pretty clever too.

5. Driving. Mpg went from an indicated 44 to 32 with legal limit driving due to the added wind resistance and weight. Adjustable headlights a must as I changed mine quite a few degrees with 3 bikes on the back. Otherwise no issues.

6. Accessories: 3rd bike kit - easy to add on, recommended. Screw-on crossframes for ladies bikes etc - not needed, waste of time. Frame lock - neat idea, simple and effective, recommended.

7. Durability. Tubes seem powdercoated but will be interesting to see if the inevitable scratches etc start to rust. Too new to tell but it looks good quality.

Overall: recommended; expensive but secure.
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on 21 March 2011
I've used this fitted on 2 different cars/MPVs (using adaptor kits) and extended it with the extra bike adaptors to carry 4 bikes. You can even use it to carry loads on not just bikes. It was also the best way to tow a caravan at the same time without adding towbar noseweight and still use a roofbox plus 1 bike on the roofbars! Very robust, strong and quick and easy to fit and remove. Be aware that loading the bikes isn't a quick and easy job but I found it easier and less 'risky' than roof mounting the bikes and more fuel efficient. A few dry runs of which bikes to go where soon sorted the job. If you're strong, you can even lift the boot with the bikes loaded. An added bonus is your car lights and reg plate aren't obscured so no lightboard required or bother with the police. It's TUV approved and uses metal straps and nut/bolt fixings rather than canvas straps. The laws in most EU countries forbid the use of these strap/hang on carriers, get a large fine off the ferry to find out! Check the fitment guide to see if it fits and how many bikes you can carry.
It was an excellent purchase for me and a 5 star item just because I've tried everything else and this was the most versatile.
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on 11 September 2011
I ordered this along with the fitting kit and 3rd/4th bike kit to go on a Renault Traffic. I had to return the first one as half the fitting where missing. Given the weight of the product, the packing is totaly inadequate. This was returned and a replacement promply sent. Started putting together to carrier had two big issues;

The bottom bar partly obscured the number plate

The rack came preset up for two bikes. The bolts holding the wheel rails where that tight they had deformed the tubing so much that it could not be adjusted to fit the 3rd and 4th rail. I was expecting better from Thule.

The rack has gone back.
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on 14 February 2017
Brought this for a Toyota Hiace after several attempts with other makes and models.

Would have been 5 stars but the picture (both on Amazon and on the box the rack comes in) is misleading. You will also need to purchase the appropriate adaptor pack for your vehicle.
Construction is not overly difficult but requires patience as there are different configurations depending on your vehicle. This is ultimately a good thing as it means very little adjustment is needed once built as the preset holes will match your vehicle.

So far it's been sturdy and survived bendy roads, off-road tracks and an emergency stop and so far I've come back with the same number of bikes that I left with. It takes a little practice and experimentation to find the best setup to carry your bikes. The provided bases are quite close together and can cause problems if carrying two large adult sized bikes (they will have to be mounted nose to tail).

Rack can be installed and removed in under 5 minutes. This is a plus but also a security concern as the rack can be removed by undoing two bolts. Perfect if you don't always want to be carrying a rack around but not something you would want to leave on permanently.
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