Interbike 2012: Thule Updates, Simplifies Roof Racks, Lightens Helium Hitch Rack

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Thule’s freshened up their roof rack bike mount options with two new trays that slot in above and below the existing Echelon.

On the bottom, the new Circuit fork mount roof tray gets universal mounting and replaces the Peloton and Domestique. Tray gets the “D” shape of the new hitch racks launched last year.

It’s skewer driven, meaning it tightens down by clamping at the skewer. Retail is $149, and it slots in below the center cam-based $189 Echelon in their lineup.

On the top, both in this photo and in the lineup, the new Sprint roof tray uses a simple forward facing knob to tighten a skewer down on the fork dropouts. Thule found that many riders are worried about over-tightening the cam and clamp based skewer systems, particularly on carbon forks. To remedy this, the front knob will tighten until it’s holding the fork properly then click like a gas cap so you can’t over tighten it.

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It also gets a telescoping tray on the rear to fit more bikes. That means you can slide it in shorter when not in use to clear tailgates and hatches.

The foot pads use their premium blue damping elastomers to isolate your bike from road shock. It also gets the upgraded Speed Link attachment system.

Retail is $249 per tray, lock cores sold separately.

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The updated (virtually new) Helium hitch mount carrier rack has a mostly alloy construction that’s under 20 pounds and carries two or three bikes (18.7 and 19.7 pounds respectively).

It uses the blue RDT elastomer material to cushion your bike with anti-sway holsters. The hitch mount has the Auto Stinger locking mech to keep your rack where you want it, and a four corner wedge keeps the rack from swaying side to side and bouncing up and down.

The upright bar is aero wedge shaped. Retail remains at $339 for two bikes and $379 for three bikes.

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