Gear Reviews

Gear Review: Thule Raceway 9003

I often see bikes that are 10-15 times the price of the device that is meant to transport it. This bothers me a little bit; I mean, would you put golf clubs in a potato sack? It only makes sense that if you have thousand dollars worth of bikes, they should be transported by a bike rack of similar quality. After many years of risking the possibility of spilling my bikes all over the road because I only invested in 20 dollar rack, I had the opportunity to test the Thule Raceway 9003.

I have become accustomed to a rack moving around while attached to my trunk. The Thule Raceway, however, will not move once it’s on your car. The bike rack stays secure through the use of two simple rotatable tightening latches. These tightening latches really fasten to the back of your car and the rack simply does not budge. While this doesn’t sounder super high-tech or complicated, I’ve tested it with one bike, two bikes, and even three bikes and the rack has never moved. This gives me a sense of confidence, knowing that even if I’m putting a maximum load on the rack, this rack will keep my bikes from flying off and meeting their demise on a blur of moving pavement.

There are two locks on the bike rack. One is a metal cord that you wrap around the frame of your bike. The second lock is actually for the rack itself. This is a great idea, since stealing a bike with this rack would be a much better deal than just stealing the bike. These two locks should make you feel comfortable about making those extra stops on the way home from your biking adventures. The only downside is this does eliminate some excuses about why you didn’t stop at the grocery store on the way home, though.

This bike rack was designed to be installed in under a minute, which is great. I know a lot of cheap bike racks out there can take a headache of an hour to get on. This bike rack is pretty simple though; just put on the back of your trunk and tighten the latches. It’s a bit heavy, but that’s why it’s so sturdy. The arms extend outward and can fit three bikes. Each has rubber straps to fasten down the frame at three connection points so it doesn’t wobble around while you’re driving. The bikes are spaced enough so that they don’t touch each other. However, if you have three bikes, the handle bars will mostly likely touch each other at one point.

Overall, this is a great bike rack that should make you feel good about taking your bikes out. Extremely easy to use and reliable, I really have no complaints about this rack. While it is a little pricier, I still think it is worth the expense. I would much rather invest in keeping my bikes safe than risk them flying off the back of my car because I refused to spend the money to take care of them.