It’s not inside, it’s on top

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Bike on the roof? Great idea? Or rather less, so? (Photo: Thule)
Bike on the roof? Great idea? Or rather less, so? (Photo: Thule)
  • Thule’s new TopRide roof attachment allows for fork mounting of thru-axle bicycles
  • A variety of attachments allow the TopRide to accommodate all fork types
  • Carrying bicycles on the roof of your car opens up the towbar for a trailer or caravan

Thule are well known for their vehicular bike carrying attachments and they have recently added another rooftop option to their range.

The Thule TopRide allows for the fork mounting of bicycles fitted with thru-axle or quick release forks.

Mounting bicycles via the forks, as opposed to the popular frame grabber, ensures a more stable attachment. Particularly when travelling on rough roads and also means that your bicycle is secured without any contact with its painted surfaces.

Thule's attachment is added to the through-axle, which then easily clips into the TopRide attachment. The retention system is safe and easy to use thanks to audible and visual indications of correct mounting.

A variety of inserts allow for the fitment of all thru-axle types including 9-15mm and 20x110mm thru-axle bikes as well as regular quick release bikes and is disc brake compatible.

Thule bike racks
You don't want that prized carbon bike, to come loose, at 120km/h (Photo: Thule)

Taking the pain, out of loading that SUV

The TopRide makes loading bicycles onto taller vehicles like SUVs easier as they don't need to be lifted as high. An adjustable protective wheel strap holds the rear wheel securely in place within the rail.

Your front wheel can then be stowed inside the vehicle or on the roof using an accompanying Thule front wheel holder.

The TopRide can be fitted to all Thule Rack systems, round bars and most factory fitted racks. To accommodate the TopRide I fitted the Thule Wingbar Edge roof rack system to my Volkswagen Golf7.

I was initially worried about the extra wind noise that would be caused by the addition of the bars and attachments but it is very minimal even at highway speeds.

The lack of wind noise is mostly thanks to Thule’s WindDiffuser technology that disturbs airflow to reduce aerodynamic drag. Low profile feet, ensure an integrated, sleek look.

Thule racks
The rooftop look, is very slick. No question about that (Photo: Thule)

Be aware, that you have a bike on the roof

When travelling with a bike up top one does experience some wind noise but it does not become an irritation.

The TopRide attachment locks onto the roof bars. The rear section contains a cable lock that threads through the rear wheel and frame and back into the attachment point, securing your precious cargo. This visible locking makes it obvious to anyone with ill intent, that the bike is locked.

Everybody has a story of a buddy who forgot about their bikes on the roof, drove into the carport at the Wimpy and got shattered carbon-fibre for breakfast instead of a mega cappuccino.

However, many cars cannot be fitted with towbars anymore, such as some entry-level vehicles and sportier models with intricate exhaust systems.

Thule bike rack
How to keep both bikes and car, undamaged (Photo: Thule)

Making less admin, for yourself

Carrying bikes on the roof also frees up the towbar for towing items like trailers or caravans while allowing easier access to the boot.

If you change vehicles regularly a rooftop option will be cheaper in the long run as you can just change the feet of your roof bars as opposed to having a towbar installed each time.

To be honest, bikes on the roof look more pro, and remember the Velominati’s 25th rule. The bikes on top of your car should be worth more than the car.

In my experience roof attachments are also kinder to the bikes as they are more spread out, which means no rubbing of grips, bar tape or seat posts which can happen on towbar mounted racks.

Roof bars will also allow for the carrying of other equipment such as kayaks and fishing rods.

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