• Follow Us

17 responses to “Video: Another Thule T2 catastrophic failure”

  1. Richard Masoner

    Huh, I’m with you — a bolt through the strut seems like a no brainer. An interference fit or clamping the parts together for something like that seems insufficient. Even a little in through the parts would keep the rack from sliding back, no?

  2. RJ

    Wow. Thank you for this post! This is the rack that we were going to buy!!

    I’ve definitely lost confidence in Thule. Not only for poor design– but because they haven’t been quick to announce a recall. No thanks, Thule.

  3. Bikerumor | All The Best Cycling News, Tech, Rumors and Reviews!

    […] Bike Intelligencer sent us a link to a customer’s video showing what they claim to be a design flaw in the Thule […]

  4. Josh

    Wouldn’t locking the rack have kept it from opening?

  5. JP

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I am disgusted with Thule. I met a rider in Park City, Utah at the trailhead who experienced an identical failure. He decided to add a retention bolt. I own an original Sportswork rack that continues to perform flawlessly. Thule has screwed up a great design. I’m in need of a second rack and I won’t be buying a Thule T2. I will have another look at the Yakima equivalent but my impression to date has not been favorable. You would think for 4 large these companies could produce a decent and safe product. Not interested in the huge number of potential failing parts on the Kuat, although it is nice looking. Good luck with your product liability claim.

  6. Scott

    Well, this happened to me today too. Driving home from Austin to Houston, I had my roadbike on the inner tray and my mtb on the outer. Just cruising along on a secondary highway at 70 when I watched with horror as the rear tray and bike came off. Luckily traffic was light and no one behind me hit it, and even more amazingly it skidded onto the shoulder then just kind of fell over and the bike was undamaged. I loosened and retightened the clamp bolts on the side of the road, then proceeded cautiously home. I won’t use this rack again until I figure out some kind of failsafe.

  7. Scott

    Just to follow up, I contacted Thule a few days after my incident, and without questioning, they agreed to replace my rack with a new updated one. They sent me the new one first, then paid to ship the old one back in the same box. The only damage to my bike was tears on one grip and the saddle, and they sent me a check to pay for those as well. I’ll still pretty unsettled by what happened and much worse it COULD have been, but I most commend Thule for backing up their product without playing the blame game. I made extra sure to follow to the letter the installation instructions for the new one. The first time I used it was a 140 mile roundtrip with one bike on it. When I got home, I retorqued all of the tray clamp bolts. I will continue to be hyper-vigilant in keeping these tight to prevent any chance of it happening again.

  8. bicycle hitch rack VS roof rack - Page 2 - Subaru Forester Owners Forum

    […] For 50 lbs mountain bike I think you might find a hitch rack more easy than a roof rack. For myself, I think it is highly likely that at some point I would forget the bikes are on the roof before I enter my garage. I looked at a number of folding hitch racks that did not contact the frame and only the tires. I found that my mountain bike frame with the rear shock on the top tube would not fit on many of the other style hitch racks. I bought the 1-UP rack found in the link below. It is made in the USA by a small manufacture in Wisconsin and is only available through internet sales. Customer support is supposed to be good. It does not come from a big maker like Thule or Yakima. It is also not cheap but after you see the rack you see that you get what you pay for. The quality is much higher than Yakima or Thule. It has been rated the #1 hitch rack by Mountain Bike Forums for a number of years. I think the Kuat racks are also very good and would have been my second choice. Advantages of 1 Up that led me to go with it: 1) The base unit is for a single bike. Add on unit can be ordered that can increase the capacity to 2 or 3 bikes for a 1.25" hitch. No other rack I found can be expanded to 3 bike capacity on a 1.23" hitch. 2) I often only need to carry one bike, not two. With the 1 bike base unit I can fold the rack up and still open the tail gate on my Forester. The 1 bike 1-UP unit does not stick out as far as the Thule 916 or 917 racks. 3) The 1 UP unit is held into the hitch by a ball wedges itself into the hitch wall holding the rack in by friction and eliminating wobble of the rack at the hitch. This style of mounting may been seen as a weakness as there is not bolt that positively locks the rack into the hitch but there has been no reported instances on the internet of a 1-UP rack coming out of the hitch. I believe the Kuat also has a mechanism to wedge the rack into the hitch to prevent wobble and also as a bolt to secure the hitch to the rack. 4) The 1-UP base unit rack weighs about 25 lbs and can easily be folded up to be stored in the trunk of even a small car. That cannot be done with the Thule 916,917 or Yakima Hold Up hitch rack. 1up USA Ultra Rack Something to think about before buying a Thule 916 or 917. Video: Another Thule T2 catastrophic failure | Bike Intelligencer […]

  9. John

    It’s obvious to me, an owner of a T2 bike rack, that the demonstrator in the video did not adequately tighten the allen head bolts. The lock nuts on the underside of the cross member bracket require a higher amount of torque to adequately tighten the bolts. This results in bolts that will not back out an loosen due to vibrations when driving.

    I think this is bogus- purely a case of operator error by the person who assembled the rack. Wouldn’t most people make sure the rack was sturdy and wobble-free before throwing their bike on it and driving down the interstate?

    And the statement “To rely on friction, no matter how tightly bolted, is an act of faith in potentially life-threatening situations.” is a little far-fetched. Consider the stem or the handlebar on your bike. Both of these items rely on friction to keep them in place.

  10. Jill

    I was going to buy a T2 this weekend, but they were out of stock everywhere except REI, the most expensive outlet. With the extra time I had as a result I found multiple sites and multiple people reporting the same issue with the T2. I don’t think it’s safe to have to torque all the mounting hardware weekly, or consider which bolts to tighten first on a bike rack. My riding time is to keep fit, mentally and physically. It’s not to create another challenge or stress point. I know I would probably never sleep again if my rack fell off on the highway and another person were injured.

    I guess it’s back to research, 1up or Kuat, or maybe just give up on the idea of a platform rack.

  11. Rider

    I just bought a Thule T2, installed it step-by-step verbatim according to the instructions, and I also have the wobble.

    I’ve been told numerous “ghetto fixes,” but I know that this will void the warranty and preclude an future claim should something happen anyway. Needless to say, I’m packing up the T2 and sending it back this weekend. Going back to my Yak rack for now and will look at other hitch-mount platform carriers because I like the “no frame contact” aspect.

  12. Suifinn

    I Had a brand new Thule 9705 Bolt On Bike Carrier fail on me the first time it was used – destroying the bikes! – thankfully and very luckily we were on a deserted road and no one was injured.
    Bought the carrier from Halfords for a cycling holiday and fitted it the very next morning before departing on holiday with 4 (3 small kids and 1 adult) bikes secured to the carrier.
    Less than 100 miles into the journey there was a noise and I could see the bikes somersaulting down the road in the rear view mirror, one of the supporting arms had snapped, the steel adaptor bracket behind the tow ball was bent outwards by the force of the bikes falling after the arm failed. This carrier was brand new and could not have been damaged in any way prior to the failure.
    Only compensation offer from Halfords was a replacement Thule Bolton 9705 – No Thanks

  13. Vokes

    Seriously people .. come on !

    Sure I believe this CAN happen, but how long does it take to simply tap a hole in the back and insert a bolt to keep it from sliding off …. Lets see … Ummm 2 minutes ??

    I have a T2 rack, and its been excellent. I also spent the 2 minutes and tapped a small 6mm bolt in the back … ZERO chance of this happening. This is by no means a major fix, and anybody can do it.

    Heck wrap some tape around it, if you cannot insert a bolt ?

    The above situation of the bracket snapping is odd (bolts too tight I would imagine), but for bikes sliding off the back … stupid easy to fix.

    For those returning their racks, maybe get a bit creative and fix the problem yourself, instead of pointing the finger and crying “after the fact”.

    Common sense prevents issues like this.

  14. Tim

    I agree with John, and call BS on this whole thing. I’ve had my T2 for 7 years now and it has been FLAWLESS. When properly clamped, this design works as it was intended. There are too many cases, especially in the bicycle realm for some reason, when persons cry foul when it truly is “pilot error”. In the future, (those with T2-like issues) have the place you purchase it install it, then you have them to blame. Or not, considering then it probably won’t “fail”. Carry on…

  15. Tim

    Nice to see that my video is still making it around the internet and that it has generated so much discussion, haha. For all of you that are more intelligent than me and declare that I am not smart enough to assemble the rack and for the rest of you that are stronger than me and suggest that I didnt have enough strength to torque bolts properly, I appreciate your concerns.
    So that you will sleep better at night, I did attend one of that nation’s top engineering schools and I am a former D1 fullback.

    On any strap type clamp where the fixation mechanism is not straight down along the leg of the clamp, but rather along a foot that is 90* perpendicular to the clamp (i.e. an omega shape vs a u bolt shape), then you have introduced a point of flex. Over time, that flex will stretch the steel.

    At the end of the, the T2 is a quality rack, albeit one with an oversight. There is a reason that the rack was revised.

Leave a Reply