The main issues with most car boot-mounted bike racks are the number of straps and adjustment knobs, and clunky folding mechanisms. This can make fitting them irritating and a danger to your car’s (or your bike’s) paintwork.
- Highs: Simple, stable and secure
- Lows: Pricier than the competition
Thule’s RaceWay goes a long way to address these points. It has an excellent ratchet system to connect the rack securely to your car and a neat, adjustable cradle to safely support your bike. To get the right fit for your car, you simply look up your make and model on Thule’s chart and it’ll state where to mount the straps and supports plus any other car-specific recommendations.
The Raceway 992 is a clever design that makes fitting a rack to your car easier
The RaceWay has two arms that contact the car, both of which are covered with soft, paint-friendly textured rubber. The ratcheted cables used to secure the rack to the car are superb, with long semi-rigid but soft-touch rubber sections, each about 20cm long. These have hooks at the end that fit into the top and bottom shut-lines of your boot or hatchback. Once these are in place it’s simply a case of winding these to the correct tension with the large, easy-to-use dial. The rack is then firmly supported and it’s time to get your bikes on.
A pair of sculpted frame cradles support your bike’s top tube. This is double strapped for security with a third strap holding the seat tube, which results in a very stable anchor. The cradles have a foam core to damp vibration and stop the bike bouncing.
Thule rates its RaceWay racks to handle bikes up to 15kg, so the two-bike 991 can carry 30kg and the three-bike 992 we tested an impressive 45kg. Once you’ve got it fitted and tensioned correctly it’s resolutely solid. The fact that the arms are closer together than some also meant we could fit both a 58cm road bike and a compact 48cm road bike at the same time – both firmly secured. And with the bikes on we didn’t encounter a single issue.
The RaceWay’s narrow shape does mean you may need a number plate board. But because the arms are narrower than the main frame it folds flat and compact, making it easy to store in the back of your car or garage. Thule has also fitted an integral cable lock that secures the outermost bike to the rack, while the rack itself has a lock to prevent it being removed from the car, both using the same key.
The Thule website has a ‘fit my car’ guide to help you determine whether this model will fit your car.