Just in from Thule is their UpRide roof rack bike mount. Introduced at Eurobike last year, what sets it apart from others in their current lineup is its method of holding a bike without touching the frame. It’s a large rack compared to other bike mount systems, but its ability to hold nearly all bikes out of the box makes it worth a look.
The $220 UpRide is compatible with aero, square and round cross bars and comes with all of the needed parts for all options. Our setup is on Thule’s AeroBlade crossbars, in which case the mount is attached inside the top ‘T’ slot. Three cam levers (two on the front attachment point, one in the rear) close to secure the tray into the T slots, and one has a keyed lock to prevent theft.
Where the bulk comes in is on the front wheel mounts. There are two, one resting against the back of the tire, and one clamping down on the front. They end up interlocking to offer a secure, wobble-free hold. The grey pull-button unlocks the front hook to adjust for wheel size. Out of the box, it supports plus sized tires and wheels from 26″ to 29″.
The backward facing hook lifts up and locks into the forward facing hook at the cross joint (seen in the top pic). This holds the bike securely in place and prevents bike wobble. A simple turn of the lever at its base releases both hooks.
Ratchet straps cinch the front and back wheels in place and have a robust feel with crisp clicks. The rear wheel mount is a simple cup with a ratchet strap. An included rubber guard prevents rim scuffs. Its stock setup doesn’t accommodate fat bikes but an adapter is available for $30.
Also, a bike lock is housed in the tail of the mount and requires a key/locking core to use (not in photo). It’s just long enough to loop around a few spokes and and through the rear triangle.
Road bikes fit just as well as their mountain equivalent. The rear wheel tray slides forward and back to accommodate shorter wheelbases while the front hook has a small notch on the inner side to better grip narrow tires. As you can see, the rear lock is just long enough to loop around the rear triangle a few spokes. The lock is a bit difficult to reach around even with a 58 frame, it may be even harder with shorter bikes.
The Thule UpRide has been a great system for quickly packing up the bike and hitting the road. Its compatibility across a range of wheel and tire sizes works well for those looking to carry both road and mountain bikes. And because it doesn’t mount to the fork means you don’t need to worry about which axle type or width your different bikes have. Plus, not having a muddy wheel roll around in the trunk saves time during cleanup. One drawback I’ve found is a lack of a front locking mechanism. It’d be nice to see a locking core in the release switch for the front wheel to ease my mind during quick stops. Overall, I’d recommend checking out the UpRide mainly for its cross-compatibility among bikes, quick functionality, and its simple installation process.
Retail is $219.99 per bike, available through bike shops and REI.