Roof Bars – Thule or something cheaper?

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  • Roof Bars – Thule or something cheaper?
  • gobuchul

    I need some roof bars.

    Should I just stick with Thule or try something cheaper?

    It’s for a Lexus without raised roof rails.

    I managed to pick up Thule wingbars, fittings, roof box and bike racks in various sales/promotions and saved a packet. Best set up i’ve had and wouldn’t go back to the cheaper stuff now.


    The cost differential isn’t that extreme and you are pretty much guaranteed   a fit for your car no matter how obscure.

    They just work well. My aerobars are on their fourth car now just by buying different foot packs.


    I got Thule and they just work and fit so well. I would stick with them if you can.

    Premier Icon Cougar

    Check – they’re consistently the cheapest place I’ve found, very knowledgeable and excellent customer service.


    @gobuchul – what size do you need?
    I’ve got some hardly used Mont Blanc roof bars for an old Mondeo that have sat in the garage since 2010. A new set of feet would probably fit them if your roof is roughly the same width.

    Premier Icon simon_g

    I’d always used Thule but went for Atera this time round – they do an aerobar that has a permanent rubber strip in front of the T-track rather than a removable one inside it. Much more convenient and quieter when you’ve got a bike rack fitted compared to Thules without the strip. Quite a bit cheaper too.

    What is in Thule’s favour is that the bars are generic (just a few different lengths), then a few types of feet, then the car-specific part is a fairly cheap fitting kit. So often when you change cars it’s just a new fitting kit and you’re good to go.

    Premier Icon pocpoc

    I recently splashed out on some thule bars for a Peugeot 5008. I could have got some cheaper ones, but when you looked at the instructions all of the other ones had ridiculously complicated fixing systems that involved dismantling various components one each foot and looked a right faff. The Thule ones are a simple loosening of a single bolt of each foot and have clearly been well thought out and actually designed and considered for usability.


    Last two sets I’ve bought I’ve gone direct to the dealer of whichever car it’s been. Worked out cheaper and both been very good quality.


    If money is tight look on gumtree for 2nd hand bars and feet / fitting kits.  Bars are normally $10-$25 and the feet / fitting kits as little as $15-$20.  They’re often in really good condition as they’ve been used so little before a car has been changed. (Few people use them every week like mountain bikers and other sports people – most are used for a couple of holidays)


    I bought the aerobars myself

    Since having an interest in roofbars I have actually noticed them sometimes coming up on fb buy/sell cycling marketplace groups second hand and thought I should’ve thought to look beforehand. They will be good forever so second hand could save some cash

    Definitely a purchase for life


    I’ve borrowed the Thule aerobars for my car that use the heavy rubber strap to fix to the roof rails and found them a bit of a faff.

    They were ok, but because the rubber is so grippy, getting them in place and removing them afterwards was a bit of a struggle.

    When I decided to get my own bars, I considered the Thule ones but ended up with the Atera Signo bars from – they were reduced from £300 to £135.

    They fit much easier to the rails and feel just as secure. They were also quieter than the Thule ones.

    But, you can’t buy a longer rail with the same feet if you get a bigger car for example, which you can do with the Thule ones. So, if it turns out in the future they are not compatible with a new car, there is no way of making them fit.


    Thanks all.

    I’ve had Thule before and they were good, sold them for a decent s/h price on Ebay a few years ago.

    Didn’t think I would be needing them!

    There’s plenty s/h so I’ll probably go that route, they won’t get much use.


    Aerobars – been used on my car for last 14 years  with 4 freeride racks.


    Thule wingbars.

    Virtually silent.

    I bought some cheap bars from Lidl, (for a hire car) for 30 quid and they are very good, but OMG the noise from them!!!

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