Best Thule Bike Mount

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When it comes to the business of moving your bike or bikes around by car, the quality of your mount is the whole game.

If your mount is strong, convenient, and thought-through, you’ll carry your bikes easily and well. If your mount is ill-conceived, over-complicated, or poorly constructed…bikes.

Evvvverywhere. Possible accidents. Possible bike destruction. All the bad things in your day can come down to a poor or badly-chosen mount.

Thule has been developing bike mounts since the early 1940s. It’s fair to say the company knows its stuff, and it also survives by constant, consistent innovation from a position of market dominance.

When you need to get your bike mount right, it’s highly likely you’ll go Thule. But which Thule?

The point about a long history and a near-constant evolution is that before you look around twice, you have more product lines than you know what to do with, and more refinement in every product line than can be listed in anything short of an encyclopedia.

Don’t stress it. We have the best Thule bike mounts lined up for you. Pick your favorite from our top 5.

In a hurry? Here’s our top pick.

Thule 924 VeloCompact Bike Rack
Thule 924 VeloCompact Bike Rack
  • Easy to fit
  • Innovative slots and pods for license plates and lights
  • Secure bike storage
Thule T2 Pro XT 2 Hitch Bike Rack
Thule T2 Pro XT 2 Hitch Bike Rack
  • Single-handed operation
  • Easy boke-loading
  • Maintains access to the trunk
Thule Aeroblade 60-Inch Roof Rack
Thule Aeroblade 60-Inch Roof Rack
  • Simple solution
  • Lightweight transportation option
  • Full of Thule technological developments, like SwingBlade pivots

1. Thule 924 VeloCompact Bike Rack

No. 1
1. Thule 924 VeloCompact Bike Rack
9.4/10 Our Score

In a range that goes from high-tech, hardcore racking solutions to simple roof rack bars, we can’t help but go high-tech and heavy in our top slot. The Thule VeloCompact 92501 is a towball rack – that’s a more heavyweight racking solution than many Thule makes.

That in turn represents a heavy commitment to carrying your bikes from place to place, so it’s one for the bikers who regularly seek out new roads or new trails to ride.

It’s a solid, secure piece of bike-transport technology, but for all that, it’s relatively unobtrusive – when it’s fitted on the back of your car, you can still get into the trunk, and you can fold flat for storage.

The VeloCompact 92501 is a rack you don’t get if you have only an occasional need to get a bike or two across town. It exists to serve a whole lifestyle of bike-riding and transporting your bikes from place to place.

One of the great things about tow ball racks is that they’re mounted firmly on the car, alleviating any worries about it coming loose while you’re driving. Go ahead – swerve, we dare you!

The VeloCompact 92501 will keep your bikes safe and secure, whatever malarkey you put your car through. In fact, the bikes benefit from the use of multiple attachment points.

The fact that the towball rack is mounted at the back of the car means you don’t need to continually remind yourself that your car is suddenly a heck of a lot taller than it used to be, so low bridges and parking garages remain your friends.

One of the joys about the VeloCompact 925 is that it comes to you fully assembled. Is that really a big deal?

That depends on your level of technical competence, because many bike racks either are off puttingly complicated, or at the very least, look off puttingly complicated, with all the strapping and the fixing and the pulling and the “Wait, did I just do that wrong?”

The Thule VeloCompact 925 does come with an instruction manual, but you don’t really need it. By all means if you’re a manual junkie, knock your biking socks off. Otherwise, clunk, twist, click, boom – the job is done with the VeloCompact 925.

Put the rack over your towball, push the lever arm down. How hard is that? It’s not light and easy by any means – you’ll be lifting over 30 pounds, so think of it as a one-off arm day special exercise – but in terms of technical complexity, Thule has taken all the complication out of your day.

Likewise, fitting bikes to the rack once you’ve added it to your car. With slide-out wheel supports, and broad ratchet straps, the wheels of each bike are locked in place, so they don’t become a steampunk windmill on the back of your car in higher winds.  

In operation, the thought of Thule continues. There’s a slot for your license plate, so you can change it if you need to. Pods slide out for the indicator and brake lights, but slide back in so you can store the rack safely and efficiently.

Weight-wise, you’re limited to 55 pounds of bike, and of course, there are slots for just the two bikes here – if you need to carry a third, you can upgrade to the VeloCompact 927.

That means there are options for you, but in terms of the basic model, the 924 does as much or more than most anything else on the market.

It’s more heavyweight and more expensive than the likes of roof racks, but there’s a solidity and a certainty to the 924 that lets it feel like a one-stop solution that you don’t have to worry about as soon as you fit it.

That sense of a job done well, easily and for as long as you like is what makes the VeloCompact 924 our first choice for the best Thule bike rack.

  • Easy to fit
  • Innovative slots and pods for license plates and lights
  • Secure bike storage
  • Easy bike-loading
  • One-stop solution to regular bike-hauling
  • Weight limit of 55 pounds
  • Expensive compared to less intensive solutions

2. Thule T2 Pro XT 2 Hitch Bike Rack

No. 2
2. Thule T2 Pro XT 2 Hitch Bike Rack
9.4/10 Our Score

You know how Bruce Wayne is a perfectly ordinary billionaire, then he gets into the Batsuit, has access to a whole range of useful gadgets, and suddenly, he’s Batman?

The T2 Pro XT is more or less what happens when you put a perfectly ordinary bike rack into a cowl.

It’s the Batman of Thule’s range, so monstrously equipped for every emergency it has to be deliberate, but feeling all the same like some awesome evolution of the elemental bike rack.

OK. Big claim. What tricks does the T2 Pro XT 2 have up its sleeve that set it apart from other bike racks?

How about one-handed raising and lowering through a wide trigger-lever? Oh this?

Yeah, it’s nothing. Just loading bikes one-handed, how you doin’? The same action lets you get the rack out of the way so you can access all the space at the back of your car.

It’s not quite as intellectually appealing as the VeloCompact’s solution, but it certainly works to the same effect, and with minimal hassle.

Integrated cable locks keep your bikes where you want them, and instead of bolts, the T2 connects to your hitch receiver by gas-propelled Batarang – oh no, wait, we got that wrong.

It does use an expansion wedge though, that tightens with a simple locking knob.

OK, maybe not quite as cool as a gas-propelled Batarang, but very nearly, and for a fraction of the cost of the billionaire’s plaything.

Bottom line, these are things that make installing and removing the T2 a piece of cake. A piece of heavy, stodgy cake that weighs 52 pounds, but a piece of cake nonetheless.

It’s an extremely easy, robust way of moving your bikes around, and while it’s heavier than many and costs you more in outlay, the T2 does all the things you want a bike rack to do…but then brings them screaming into the 21st century and gives them a whole new layer of style.


  • Single-handed operation
  • Easy boke-loading
  • Maintains access to the trunk
  • Connected with an expansion wedge
  • Heavy, weighing in at 52 pounds

3. Thule Aeroblade 60-Inch Roof Rack Load Bars

No. 3
3. Thule Aeroblade 60-Inch Roof Rack Load Bars
9.4/10 Our Score

At entirely the other end of the Thule spectrum, there’s the Aeroblade Roof Rack Bar.

The flagship of Thule’s roof rack range, it gains points not because of its complexity and technical wonder, but by what it manages to shave off – weight and complication.

Light and highly durable, the Aeroblade lets you safely transport your bike on the roof of your car, with none of the tedious business of taking off the front wheel that, for instance, in-car bike racks demand.

It’s quick, it’s simple, and compared to some others, it’s also extremely lightweight, coming in at just 6 pounds. In all fairness, you don’t want something as heavy as the VeloCompact riding around on the top of your car – that’s just a fast track to extra worry.

For all its simplicity and lightness though, the Aeroblade gives hardcore Thule, packed with sophisticated features to help your bike on its way, like SwingBlade pivots.

And unlike some, the Aeroblade is compatible with lots of other Thule tech like the Thule Ride-On Adapter.

A light, simple, zero-hassle bike-transportation solution? Yes please, and all day long.

One caveat though – you need to have the height to haul and secure your bike on top of your car. If that’s not you, go another route.

  • Simple solution
  • Lightweight transportation option
  • Full of Thule technological developments, like SwingBlade pivots
  • Relatively cheap compared to heavier options
  • You need to be pretty tall to use this as your first option
  • Remember your car’s now a lot taller than it was – beware low bridges and parking garages

4. Thule Raceway Pro Trunk Bike Rack

No. 4
4. Thule Raceway Pro Trunk Bike Rack
9.4/10 Our Score

Three bikes, no waiting! That’s the headline of the Raceway Pro Rack.

A rear-mounted rack weighing only 24 pounds, it feels like it steals a march on the heavier systems by its accessibility and ease of use.

It’s also a pure Thule in outlook – meaning it brings all the tech it thinks it needs and can cram into a single product.

Where’s the tech here? SureTight bike fasteners, that’s where. That means once your bike is secured in the Raceway Pro Rack, it’s going nowhere till you free it.

That’s a comforting thought as you get behind the wheel and set off.

Want more? How about a bike rack that absorbs road shock, rather than transferring it to every tube and spoke of your bikes?

You’re welcome.

The way the Raceway Pro Rack is constructed means you’re guaranteed enough clearance from the road that your tires will never find themselves suddenly exposed to the road.

More than that, they’ll also be safe from stone and gravel shrapnel flung their way by driving at speed.

Relatively lightweight, relatively cheap, but bringing the Thule love of technology to a multi-bike rear-mounting system, the Raceway Pro Rack is probably the easiest choice for anyone new to transporting bikes by car.

The fact that it can carry three at a time is just an extra bonus.

  • Lightweight system
  • Carries three bikes at once
  • Significant road clearance ensures bike safety
  • SureTight bike fasteners keep the bikes secure all journey
  • Absorbs road shock so your bikes remain unharmed
  • Some would argue it’s too technological for its own good, sacrificing simplicity

5. Thule Apex XT 4 Bike Hitch Rack

No. 5
5. Thule Apex XT 4 Bike Hitch Rack
9.4/10 Our Score

The Apex XT 4 has a specific market in mind, and that market responds to it like it’s the Beatles [other, more millennial pop sensations are also available].

A rear-hung rack for up to four bikes, the XT 4 is the choice of the nuclear family with bikes to move.

You can leave the rack on your car without hurting your trunk access, but it also lets you take it off every time you get home if you prefer. Weighing in at just over 22 pounds, it’s not like the Apex XT 4 is going to have you booking in for hernia surgery if you take it off each time you ride.

It gives you a solid 7” of space between its frame cradles, which means you can hang bikes on it in the reasonable certainty that they won’t rub one another’s paint off in transit. (If it happens, don’t sue us, it’s always technically a possibility with hanging racks. All we’re saying is that the XT 4 makes it much less likely than most similar hanging racks).

Easy ratcheting straps and anti-sway cradles go out of their way to make your bike-transporting life easier, so you can spend more time cycling, and less worrying about how safe your bikes are.

While there are plenty of great options for transporting your bikes by car, Thule has an offering in most areas of this game.

For nuclear families, the Apex XT 4 offers a lot of what they actually need, while cutting out a lot of the elements which might only add hassle and worry.

It’s lightweight, easy to load, fits four bikes, and is secure both from swaying and damage.

While it’s probably not the out-and-out best Thule Bike mount out there, it’s very, very close – some would say within the top five – and it’s aimed at a very specific market, which loves it for its easiness and certainty.

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to hang bikes
  • Secure strapping in anti-sway cradles
  • Four bikes transported at once
  • 7 inches of space between each bike minimizes the risk of scratching
  • Anti-sway cradles can get in the way when you’re loading your bikes

Best Thule Bike MountBuyer’s Guide

Picking a bike mount that lets you transport your bikes by car is one of the more complicated decisions you’ll be faced with during your life as a bike-owner.

Thankfully, Thule has something for every kind of bike-mover, but still, when choosing the right one for you, you should keep a few things in mind.

Pick A Lane

Before you shop, make a list. What kind of bike-transporter are you? Occasional or regular? Single-bike or many? Are you tall enough to comfortably fill a roof rack?

Do you have the strength to wrestle with heavy mounts, or is a lightweight roof bar more your speed? The more you know about yourself and the way you intend to use your Thule bike mount, the easier it will be to find your way to the one that’s right for you.

Are You Experienced?

Are you looking for the simplest solution? Something like the Raceway Pro or the Aeroblade? Are you in a family of cycle-enthusiasts who want to load up and go?

The XT 4 has your name on it. Likely to be hauling multiple bikes on a regular basis? Maybe consider the VeloCompact. Again, match your level of experience, muscle, height, and regularity of likely use to the Thule bike mounts that are highest on your list to check out.

Choose Ease

Wherever possible when choosing a bike mount, go with the easiest, least-hassle solution.

You’re already spending money and going out of your way to haul your bike to somewhere you’re going to pedal it and spend calories, burn fat, exercise your muscles and breathe more clearly. Loading and unloading your bikes shouldn’t be part of your workout.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the best place to load bikes for transport by car?

That depends on your particular situation. If you’re tall enough to do it, use a roof rack for minimal hassle.

If that’s a stretch, there’s nothing wrong with rear mounting, and Thule offers several options to make this even easier still.

Is there much of a fuel efficiency penalty when transporting bikes?

That arguably depends on how many bikes you’re transporting at a time, and the necessary weight of the mount. With things like the Aeroblade, you’re likely to see very little difference.

Adding over 50 pounds in mount weight and then the bikes themselves, as in some larger, heavier mounts, starts to build the equivalent of an extra passenger per journey, so you will see a marginal additional fuel cost there.

Why should I use an external mount over the likes of an in-car bike rack?

Convenience. Firstly, bikes are unwieldy – to use an in-car bike rack you have to have enough length in the back of your car to house them securely.

Also, because of the different ways in-car and external racks hold your bike, most in-car racks require you to take off the front wheel for transit and then replace it when you get to your destination.

Compared to that, every external Thule bike mount is a winner.

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