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Reviewed by
Last updated: September 26, 2022

Thule UpRide Review – Is It Really as Good as They Say? (Winter 2022)

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By
Reviewed by
Reviewed by
Last updated: September 26, 2022
Rack Advisor is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
Ideal for:
  • Those with a low roof level vehicle
  • Cyclists who tend to carry the same bike
  • People who appreciate superb manufacturer support
Key features:
  • Can accommodate a variety of bike styles and sizes
  • No fork or frame contact
  • Load capacity of up to 44 pounds
Editor's Rating
9.2
out of 10
  • Functionality 9.2
  • Load capacity 9.1
  • Durability 9.1
  • Ease of storage 9.5
Users’ Rating
4.2
out of 5
  • 42 Users’ Ratings rating rating rating rating rating
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    4.2
    out of
    5
    42 Users’ Ratings
    • 5 stars
      48%
    • 4 stars
      33%
    • 3 stars
      12%
    • 2 stars
      7%
    • 1 stars
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Rack Advisor is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here

If you want to head out on outdoor adventures, in most cases, it is difficult to bike right from your door. This means that you need a reliable bike rack you can use on your vehicle. Thule is a well-respected name in this industry and the UpRide is one of its popular models.

In this Thule UpRide review, we’ll delve into this model in more detail, assessing the functionality, performance and aesthetics of this rack to help you to make an informed purchase decision.

Rankings

Our #4 pick for the best bike rack for lexus rx350

Specifications

Type
Roof rack
Material
Aluminum
Max bike wheel diameter
20 – 29 in
Max tire width
3 in, 5 in (with adapter)
Load capacity
44 lbs.
Dimensions
64 x 13 x 4.3 in
Weight
18.5 lbs.

Review

Thule Trusted Source Thule | United States Just get out there – explore your own winter paradise with the all the gear you need! www.thule.com is a Swedish company with an excellent track record for producing products that spans almost 80 years. With this pedigree, it is no wonder that Thule bike racks are a popular choice and the Thule Upride is no exception. So, here we’ll delve into the Thule UpRide in more detail to help you decide if it is the right option for you.

Design and Functionality

Thule UpRide Review - Is It Really as Good as They Say? (Winter 2022)

The Thule UpRide is a unique roof-mounted bike rack that can accomodate

The Thule UpRide is a roof-mounted bike rack with a unique bike carrying design. The carried bike is held securely with no contact with the forks of the frame. This rack can accommodate a larger range of tire widths and wheel sizes. There is no need to remove the front wheel during transit and this versatility and stability are impressive when compared to competing products. The frame is easy to build, install on the roof and remove when you don’t need it and it locks in-place onto the roof bars.

Initially, the Thule UpRide seems to be a complicated bike rack and the front wheel attachment looks unlike anything else on the market. It is necessary to read the owner’s manual and there is a help video on the Thule website. Although the learning curve is steep, after you’ve used the frame a few times the process is far easier. If you switch out bikes for transportation, it will be necessary to make minor adjustments.

Because the Thule UpRide is located on the roof it’s a better option for vehicles that have a lower roof height. Transporting light-weight bikes and even lighter e-bikes is a natural fit for this rack and heavier bikes may be too heavy.

This is an ingenious system that works well, but it may be overengineered for some users that want a simple bike rack. Cyclists that regularly switch out bikes may become frustrated with the minor adjustments required between each bike fitting. But, if you appreciate innovative designs and you typically transport a single bike this is a dream come true.

Mount

The Thule UpRide can be directly mounted to an existing T-rack roof bar or any standard roof bar, if you use the optional Thule adapter kit. Operating the square gray lever to slide the arm into position is simple and setting the wheel length is easy. One very useful feature is the small window at the point where the two holding arms cross. This display shows the current wheel size which takes a lot of guesswork out of the process.

This bike rack system has a pair of counteracting arms that hold the front wheel with a gentle squeezing action. These two arms fold down flat if you’re traveling without a bike and you don’t want to remove the Thule UpRide rack.
The arm length is adjustable to fit wheel sizes from 20” up to 29” and then folded into an open position. A rear-wheel ratchet strap is located at the rear of the tray which is opened to accommodate the bike. Then the bike is lifted and placed on the tray and the front wheel is pushed into the forward cradle. The user then supports the bike with one hand and they raise the cradle up to the rear of the front wheel. The cradle is then ratcheted to create sufficient tension to gently hold the front wheel in-place. At the rear, the ratcheting strap then engages to make the rear wheel secure on the storage tray.

Removing your bike is pretty much the same process detailed above but in reverse. The only difference is the ratchet levers are disengaged by holding them down. Then you can unlock the front arm mechanism and hoop using the front release lever. Again, this process seems complex, but after a few attempts, this becomes second nature.

During transit, the Thule UpRide tends to creak when the vehicle drives over bumps or potholes. Adjusting the quick release levers on the T-rack roof racks tightly can reduce this noise a little but it doesn’t go away entirely. This is a well-recognized phenomenon, but many people get used to this background noise and it’s less of an issue.

Load Capacity

The Thule UpRide has a maximum load rating of 44 lbs which would accommodate most conventional bikes. Certain lighter e-bikes Trusted Source How Much Do E-bikes Weigh: Know The Facts In this article, we’ll share to you some facts about how much do e-bikes weigh. Read it here! ebikegeneration.com may be light enough to carry but the specifications should be checked carefully in advance.

Bike Compatibility

The Thule UpRide bike rack is a versatile carry with a wide range of 20” up to 29” and it can accommodate tires up to 3” wide. If you have a bike with fatter tires there is an UpRide Fat Bike Adapter that can accommodate 5” wide tires but this is a separate purchase. One of the drawbacks of a conventional bike carrier is that the bike frame is in direct contact with the carrier frame. If you have a bike with a carbon road frame or expensive front forks you will appreciate the way this frame holds the bike in-place. We tried a wide variety of bikes on this frame, including downhill bikes, road bikes, BMX, kids bikes, and they all fitted well. Let’s face it, a 44 lbs upper weight limit is pretty generous for most road, mountain, fat or hybrid bikes on the market. But, many e-bikes will be too heavy to even lift into position and they would damage the car roof anyway.

Vehicle Compatibility

The UpRide mounts to a T-rack roof bar out of the box and an around-the bar adapter kit (sold separately) can fit the rack to any standard roof bar. Lifting the bike into place can be tricky for shorter people or those with less upper body strength. For that reason, this is better suited to lighter bikes stored on lower vehicles.

Durability

The Thule UpRide is very well engineered and it should withstand the general wear and tear that a bike rack is designed to handle. The various arms, buckles, and knobs function smoothly and they don’t feel loose during storage. But, this rack does use a lot of moving parts and this could increase the risks of losing a component over time. Thule sells a full set of replacement parts which makes this less of a problem for long-term users.

Security

Thule UpRide Review - Is It Really as Good as They Say? (Winter 2022)

This rack has a rear mounted locking cable, but the lock cores are sold separately

The Thule UpRide has security features out of the box, you need to buy a set of lock cores to make use of them and these are a separate purchase. This rack has a rear mounted locking cable that’s passed through the rear triangle and rear wheel. This cable is locked onto a port but it would be easy for a dedicated thief to cut through. As such this should be regarded as a deterrent against casual bike theft when the vehicle is parked. The UpRide can be locked to the roof crossbars but again the lock cores are a separate purchase. These crossbar locks are essential to prevent the removal of the UpRide and they are easy to install. It’s unfortunate that these lock cores are not included with the UpRide.

Warranty

Thule products come with a guarantee, but Thule branded products are only covered if the owner can present their terms of warranty when a repair is requested. Thule has a great track record when it comes to fixing defective bike racks and other components.

There are limitations and exclusions in the Thule warranty and the company will fix defects caused by bad workmanship or defective materials. No charge is made on any repairs that take place within the initial ownership period of 30-days. If the company cannot fix the defects they will arrange a replacement or the owner can elect for a refund at the full original purchase price. If the owner wants to get a different bike rack, Thule allows the use of the refund as a credit towards that purchase as long as it’s in the same category.

The Thule warranty does not cover any defects that are caused due to normal wear and tear. This includes any scratches, tears, and unauthorized modifications or repairs. If the Thule UpRide or other bike racks are assembled incorrectly or mounted wrongly Thule takes no responsibility for any damage that occurs. This is pretty standard stuff for any manufacturer but the UpRide is pretty complex to assemble. Again, it’s imperative that UpRide purchasers read the setup instructions carefully and refer to the instruction video on the Thule website.

PROS

CONS

  • No frame or fork contact to avoid bike damage
  • Secure hold
  • Great support
  • There is a learning curve as the design does appear a little over complicated at first
  • Only really well suited to low roof height vehicles due to the need to lift the bike up.

 

Conclusion

As we’ve demonstrated in this Thule Upride review, this is a great rack that provides a secure hold with no fork or frame contact. While there is a learning curve to get comfortable with using it, Thule offers great support resources.

References

1.
Thule | United States
Just get out there – explore your own winter paradise with the all the gear you need!
2.
How Much Do E-bikes Weigh: Know The Facts
In this article, we’ll share to you some facts about how much do e-bikes weigh. Read it here!
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