Thule 594XT Sidearm Roof Mount Bike Rack Review: Pros & Cons


“Highest rated vertical bike rack that can be found on the internet.”

The process of surfing the internet and going through customer reviews to find out which roof mounted rack is considered to be the best has been an intriguing one. There are many different kinds of upright bike racks, but the majority of them are not up to the task of providing adequate levels of customer satisfaction to sufficient numbers of users.

How did we arrive at the conclusion that the Thule 594XT Sidearm roof-mounted bike carrier is the one that meets all of our needs the best?

Obviously, the typical considerations are important, such as:

  • Ease of operation
  • Safety
  • Durability
  • Materials of a high quality

The Thule 594XT sidearm bike rack is not without its flaws; for instance, the level of convenience it offers is not uniform. Installing the bike rack comes first, followed by the process of loading and unloading your bicycles, which comes second.

On the first count, there is much discussion about the installation instructions not being clear enough and the installation of the tray to the roof bars being too cumbersome. This is one of the primary complaints regarding the first count. The following is how we have found this rack to perform in our experience. The fact that no instruments are necessary is a welcome relief. It shouldn’t be too difficult if you have a good understanding of how to pre-assemble and then only loosely install the mounting hardware when you are attaching the tray to the roof bars. On the other hand, we can’t dispute the fact that some people have complained that it’s not simple enough!

What are your thoughts on the second count? The process of loading and unloading the bicycles is uncomplicated, speedy, and uncomplicated, which is vital to us when it comes to roof mounting because, otherwise, it is a job that can be very frustrating. With this rack, Thule has made it simple to accomplish that duty.

Let’s take a more in-depth look, shall we?

Putting some gear on your bike.

The ratcheting arm base should always be facing you when you are loading or unloading your bike to make your life much easier. Depending on which side of the vehicle you want the bike rack installed, either the passenger side or the driver’s side, will determine which way round you attach the ratcheting arm base. The driver’s side is the more common location for bike racks.

While adding additional bike racks to the roof bars, you must ensure that the ratcheting arm base of each rack is positioned so that it is facing the side of the car that you will be on when you are loading your bike onto that particular bike rack.

To lock the bike rack tray to the roof bars, the mounting hardware can be used without any additional equipment. It is a straightforward procedure; first, the mounting hardware is sloppily put together; next, it is slipped into a channel on the bike tray; last, the tray is fastened to the roof bar by threading through and tightening the wing knobs. The operation takes very little time.

The mounting hardware includes a lid that can be locked with a key in order to prevent theft and keep the tray safely attached to the roof bars (this is sold separately).

A rubber wheel adapter is provided that can be configured for either a mountain bike or a road cycle and firmly clamps the rear wheel into the tray once the tray has been put into the roof bars.

After that, you are able to start loading the bike. Before you do anything further, check to see that the ratcheting arm at the front is in the forward position and that the wheel loop is in the down position. The wheels of the bike can be stored in the bike tray, allowing the bike to be held up, and the front wheel can be inserted into the front wheel loop.

Once this is done, the ratcheting arm may be brought up over the front wheel, where the hook is fastened a few of inches in front of the forks.

A ratchet is secured and made tight by the hook’s repeated downward pushes on the ratchet. After that, the ratchet arm locks into place using a key to ensure that the bike is kept safely secured to the ground and to prevent criminals from stealing the bike from the rack.

After the rear wheel strap has been secured, the bike should be able to be mounted to the rack in a secure manner. At this point, you are prepared to drive.

When you get to the trailhead, it will only take a few moments to unload the bike from the rack, and loading it back onto the rack will take around thirty seconds.

This is one of the most popular roof-mounted bike racks that Thule offers, and it is compatible with a wide variety of roof bars, including aero blades, square bars, Yakima round bars, Whispbar, and virtually all roof bars.

The SecureHookTM from Thule ingeniously grabs the front wheel rather than the bike frame. This means that the various shapes and sizes of frame tubes, thru axles, and disk brakes do not effect the clamping down, making this a very adaptable rack.

A corrosion-resistant double aluminum tray is used in the construction of the rack, which results in increased durability and strength.

Using the 2 One KeyTM cylinders, it is possible to lock both the ratchet hook and the front mounting hardware base. However, these cylinders are not included and must be purchased separately. This locking method provides an additional layer of protection by locking the bike to the rack and the rack to the roof bars.

The versatility of the tray allows it to accommodate a broad variety of bicycles, since it can accommodate wheels ranging from 20 inches to 29 inches in diameter and tires with widths ranging from one inch to two and a half inches.

Maintaining contact with all four locations

This particular frame offers a number of distinct benefits. Additional clamping security is provided by means of four separate points of contact. The two wheels are mounted in the tray where they were placed. The front wheel is secured and prevented from twisting by sitting in the back of a wheel loop. A cushioned hook is used to secure the front wheel to the rack so that it cannot move.

Because nothing clamps to the frame, there is no risk of the frame being damaged in any way. This provides you with complete safety for the frame.

A double-walled aluminum tray that is resistant to corrosion offers the highest possible level of strength and durability.

The carrying capacity of the Thule 594XT rack is limited to 50 pounds if it is attached to Thule fit roof bars and 37 and a half pounds if it is attached to the roof racks that came with the vehicle. The rack weighs a total of 22 pounds.

  • Compatible with Thule Wing Bars
  • Compatible with Thule Aero Bars
  • Compatible with Thule Square Bars.
  • Compatible with Rhino Sport Bars
  • Compatible with the Prorack Whisp Bars
  • Fits Rola RBU series Bars (universal T-track)
  • Compatible with Rola Sports Bars
  • Compatible with the Thule Professional Bars.
  • Compatible with Thule Slide Bars
  • Rhino Commercial Bars Are Compatible.

A challenging path to take.

It seems logical for a manufacturer to back their own bike racks with a lifetime warranty if they wish to give their consumers some peace of mind about their purchases. After all, a bike rack that is maintained properly should continue to serve its owner for many years.

Because every Thule Bike Rack comes with a lifetime warranty, you can buy this product with complete confidence knowing that the manufacturer stands behind it.

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