SEA OTTER CLASSIC 2010 – Thule has updated their popular T2 hitch-mount bicycle rack to be more compatible with 29er mountain bikes.Â In the process, they’ve added lock cores to the ratchets, which will now come standard on all new T2s.
If you’re recall, they’ve had a very vocal opponent of the T2 rack, creating a video that I’m sure Thule wishes would disappear.Â The customer’s video claims that the design is inherently faulty, and goes on to show what happens when a large mammal (or, presumably 70mph winds) vigorously assaults the rack. I spoke with Karl, Thule’s marketing guy, about the issue and he said that as long as the rack is assembled properly (which is pretty important for most things to work right, don’tcha know), it works perfectly well.Â The reason for the design is actually pretty nifty, and I’ll explain why after the break so you can make your own opinion…
Lock cores now come standard on the wheel ratchets, providing light security without cables.
The Thule T2 uses two metal brackets to attach the cross bars to the main bar.Â Unlike models from Yakima, Kuat, etc., that bolt the cross bars directly into the main bar, Thule’s design allows for fore/aft and left/right adjustment.Â This lets you space the bikes as far apart as you need to, and lets you adjust their entanglement by sliding them left or right.Â This is especially important if you regularly carry two similarly sized bikes whose saddle and brake levers like to wrestle for space.
The potential issue is that if you don’t properly tighten down the bolts on the brackets, the cross bars could slide backward. On newer models, Thule has added a stop-screw to the bottom of the main bar at the rear, so even if they do slide, they’llÂ stop against the screw before coming all the way off, but Karl says if they’re adequately tight, they won’t move. He added that of the thousands upon thousands of T2 racks they’ve sold, they’ve had virtually no customer complaints.Â For what it’s worth, I shook the rack and it didn’t budge.