Frequently Asked Questions

If you're new to the world of roof racks then this page should help answer some of the questions you have. If you can't find the answer you're looking for here then please feel free to give the team a call and they'll be more than happy to help.

The difference between standard and aero bars

What's the difference between Thule Standard and Thule Aero bars?

Thule manufacture two different types of bar, the standard and the aero. The key differences between these two bars are the material, shape and the way that Thule accessories (such as bike or kayak carriers) are mounted upon them.

The standard bar is manufactured from stainless steel, which is then plastic coated to protect the metal. Accessories generally attach to the standard bar by clamping around it.

The aero bar is manufactured from aluminium and is consequently much lighter, it does not have a plastic coating. The aero bar is ovalised to make it more aerodynamic (hence the name) and this cuts down on wind noise and improves fuel economy (if you are planning on leaving your roof rack on your car all the time). Accessories often attach to the aero bar by utilising its T-track; a slot which runs the length of the top of the bar, which will accept a bolt shaped like an upside down "T", accessories then screw down on to this bolt. The aero bar is a little more expensive than the standard bar.

What are roof rails

What are roof rails?

Roof rails are generally factory fitted pieces of alloy which run from the front to the back of a vehicle's roof. They are commonly found on estate, 4x4 and SUV vehicles but whether they are present or not depends on your car's manufacturer and model.

If you do have roof rails then you will find a roof rack is typically a little less expensive and quicker and easier to fit.

No roof rack to fit my car

My car is not featured in the roof rack selector, does that mean I can't get a roof rack?

Unfortunately, yes. If you car is not featured in our selector then Thule do not make a roof rack for it. This is often the case with older cars, imports and convertibles.

There is an exception to this rule: If your car is fitted with roof rails then we can probably supply you with a roof rack. Feel free to contact us to discuss your options.

Remember: If you're just looking to carry bikes then it might be worth looking at a tow ball mounted carrier.

Roof racks are quick to fit

How long does it take to fit a Thule roof rack?

Once a Thule roof rack is fully assembled most people can manage to fit/remove their roof rack in less than ten minutes (even quicker if your car is fitted with roof rails). Allow up to half an hour for initial assembly and fitting.

No cycle carrier for my car

My car is not featured in the bike carrier selector, does that mean I can't get a rear mounted carrier?

Unfortunately, yes. If you car is not featured in our bike carrier selector then Thule do not make a rear-mounted bike carrier for it.

However, if you have a tow ball (or if you get one fitted), then you can consider a tow ball mounted carrier.


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