Thule 591 ProRide Long Term Test Review
I’ve had the three of the Thule 591 ProRides on my car for almost five years now. I thought, as the warranty period is almost up, it would be a good time to have a look at the good, the bad, and if any, the ugly.
I’m one of the unlucky who doesn’t have a garage and so my very nice 2008 Skoda Octavia wagon and its ProRides live on the street, exposed to all manner of weather, pollution and harsh UV.
Over the last five years I’ve carried a wide variety of bikes, from my son’s 20inch wheel Ripper Jnr to my Scapin Avus carbon, Kuota Kredo carbon, Cannondale Synapse carbon as well as my Cannondale Flash 29er carbon hardtail and GT Sensor duallie. They’ve travelled from Sydney to Dubbo in Western NSW, Coffs Harbour in the North of NSW, trips to the ACT, Bright in Victoria and a lot of places in between.
The 591 ProRides have been super easy to use, quick to load and I’ve always felt secure with them travelling at 100km/h. As you can see from the bikes I’ve carried there hasn’t been a problem carrying carbon bikes with this style of frame mount carrier nor have I had to live with a boot full of front wheels which I would’ve had to have done with a fork mount carrier. They also removed from the car very quickly and easily for when I needed to use my Thule Motion 800 roof box.
Close inspection hasn’t revealed any real problems. The silver anodised aluminium extrusion shows no signs of age and comes up like new after a clean. The arm still tensions perfectly with no sign of drag and the release is as good as it was out of the box five years ago. The key locks also still function without a problem.
I’ve found I do get some wind noise with three bikes on top at 100km/h but that’s to be expected. Someone did pinch the rear wheel strap a couple of years back but I guess that’s just life in the big city. There is a small amount of corrosion on one of the rivets on one of the wheel trays. It's interesting to note it is just on one out of the six trays. There is some evidence of UV damage on the plastic parts where they have lost that new sheen but don't appear to have become brittle. (See attached pics). Remembering these have been on the car outside for five years.
If I’m leaving my bikes out of sight during a lunch break or whatever I don’t trust the unit’s locking mechanism as with three good bikes on top they're probably worth more than the car. I always run a long lock cable through the three bike’s frames and through the roof rack and I’ve still got all my bikes. I’ve also found that spiders do love to live under the head unit of the 591 but that’s OK with me.
I did see an unfortunate Ford Territory who forgot about having two bikes on his ProRides as he drove into the country motel carpark. Carbon and concrete really don’t mix well. It’s not that hard to do after a long country drive, so I always travel with a reminder tag hanging from the rear vision mirror (available free of charge at Roof Rack Store) and that’s worked to date for me. I believe there may now be an app available that sets off a series of beeps on your phone as you approach home. I’m not sure if this app would’ve helped the poor Ford Territory guy but hope he knows about it now.
To read our article on travelling safely with your bikes click here
To see the Thule BA591 ProRide click here