Who likes putting a bike on the roof of their car? Not this guy. I usually just chuck my old Surly in the back of my pick’em up truck and haul ass to the liquor store on the way to the trail head. If you haven’t noticed, Surly has started making their newer bikes all sparkly and pretty. So in an effort to hang on to a little more of that resale value that I’ll never ever come to appreciate – it would make sense to acquire a proper hitch mounted rack instead of letting my bike roll around and bang into my chainsaw, firewood, empty cans of Milwaukee’s Best Black Label Ice and whatever random junk my rowdy friends left in the pick’em up bed.
The Thule Classic T2 rack looks, performs and just simply is rugged. The paint job is some kind of rhino liner type material. In the spirit of longevity, this will prove to be beneficial in the winter months when you’re hauling ass down the interstate in January and coating your rack and bikes with snow and salt like whipped cream on a slice of pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving. Thanks thor the thorward thinking Thule!
The rear wheel strap has two different settings. There is an extended strap length for Fat-Bikes and it can be shortened for whatever other kind of bikes that must exist somewhere. This rack does minimally come in contact with the front fork, but all the tension is on the front tire and the contact points are padded by a high density foam to protect your paint job. So Shine On, you crazy double diamond frame.
The most neato feature this rack offers is the lateral movement of the bike trays. Have you ever been on a 13 hour trip to Colorado and stop for gas and realize that Jeff’s bike is rubbing on your bike and now there is a hole in his handle bar grip and a spot of bare metal where the handle bar was rubbing on your seat tube? Worry about that no more. With your standard No. 5 hex wrench, you can slide these trays left to right and adjust the bike spacing so they do not touch at all. No more trying to fashion some kind of padding out of a burger king wrapper and your only spare tube to save whatever paint that you can for the next 5 hours.
A few other features that you’ll come to appreciate is the small lever for folding the rack up or dropping it down out of the way. This might not sound like a huge deal, but it sure beats the hell out of scrouching down and trying to pull a pin before adjusting the rack and trying to fit that damn pin back in the tiny holes that never seem to line up the way they should. And the folks in Thule are aware of the N+1 rule, so this rack is add-on compatible. Also it fits fat bikes, plus bikes, 29ers, 5 inch tire bikes, hoosker doos, hoosker dont’s… you get the idea.
The only reservation I have about this rack is the threaded hitch pin, meaning that a portion of the pin is threaded like a bolt and screws into the hitch. I understand the purpose behind the threaded hitch pin to be that the rack is tightened up in the receiver and this should reduce vibration and wobbling. The reason I don’t like this is set up is that it is the only hitch pin you can use with the rack. It’s definitely not a deal breaker, but more a matter of personal preference that I like the option to just throw whatever pin I want in there and go. That being said, the Thule pin does come with a lock and a couple of cores, so if you so desire you could match the lock up with all of your other Thule locks and use a single key for all your Thule locking type mechanisms. Now that I do appreciate, because none wants to feel or see a huge jingling wad of metal (or anything else) in your pocket.
Rugged – with a ruggedized rhino liner like paint job
Frame Free Mounting
Add on compatible
Expandable rear wheel straps
Not extremely heavy
Folds up nicely when not in use.
Drops down and out of the way to access vehicle
Lateral adjustment allows the user to protect from bike on bike vibrations
Lack of options for the hitch pin.
I give the Thule Classic 4.5 out of 5 gnomes
Learn more about Thule Racks at – www.thule.com