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Thule Roof Bike Racks - Fork Mount - TH558P Review

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Review of a Thule Tandem Roof Mounted Bike Rack

Today we are going to show you part number TH558P from Thule. This is Thules tandem carrier, pivoting model. And what this carrier does is, it mounts on the very end of your roof-rack bars and what it does is, it allows you to load up either a long, recumbent bike or a tandem bicycle. And what happens is, you put your bicycle on the vehicle at a 90-degree angle first, lock it into place with the front fork skewer, and then just push the rest of this bike onto the back of this carrier. We will go ahead and show you the components. We will cover some of the parts that are involved in the kit.

First off, this is your skewer right here that is what actually clamps down on your fork to hold the bike into place. Next we have these two bars here these work as a clamp with the rack itself. It goes underneath and clamps to your existing roof-rack bars. And also your bar adapters, these plastic pieces here. And also there is a strap right here. Basically what this does is, it helps keep your handlebars straight on your bicycle while you are loading it up. Now obviously this is the carrier itself here this is the main component. You can actually use it for a single-person bicycle. But if you are going to use it for a tandem, then this boom right here is added onto the very end of it to extend it out to carry a tandem bicycle. All right, and this is the pivot point for the bicycle itself. It is held in place by a simple snap pin.

Once you take the pin out, this will actually rotate out so you can load your bicycle at an easy 90-degree angle. At this point we can go ahead and start partial assembly of the bicycle rack. We will start off with adding the skewer to the front here. It installs just like that. And we will leave it loose. We will go ahead and put it back in straight and then flip it over. There is some hardware that gets installed on the bottom half with one of the clamps. One of the short carriage bolts gets installed into that track, and one of the clamp plates goes on top. Then you install the flat washer and the nut. You want to leave this loose because you have to adjust this to match the width of your roof rack. Match up your first half and then reinstall the pin. That is about all we can do for now. Let us go ahead and get the roof rack itself ready.

The blocks simply stretch and slide over the bar. And we are going to cover the tower here, just to make sure we have it as close to the edge as possible. And that way all the weight is on the tower, too. Next we will lay one of the clamp plates on top of the blocks on the front rail and just loosely install the hardware. All right, now we ready to install the carrier itself. Two tabs on the carrier will mount on these holes here, and then the rear part of the carrier, the part we slid onto the bottom, will mount up onto the rear bar. Again, just loosely install the washers and nuts. Once you get everything loosely installed, go ahead and take a few seconds to straighten it out. Make sure it is in a straight line with the vehicle. At that point, you can go ahead and start tightening down all the hardware. Watch that you do not get tangled up here.

All right, we have got our rack fully installed we are ready to go. Let us go ahead and install a tandem bicycle and give you a better idea of how it works. And also, as you can see, this bicycle rack comes complete with a strap to hold the handlebars straight while you load the bike onto your bicycle rack. The strap attaches to the handlebars on both sides, right here and right here. And, depending on how the brake lever and the different types of handlebars are out there, you will probably do these a little bit differently each time. And the other half goes down to the seat post. And this buckle in the middle here actually does all the tightening. OK, let us go ahead and install this on a bicycle rack and give you a better idea of how it looks.We will start off with the front wheel off the bike. And then we will put it on the front fork mount, where it swivels away from the vehicle. Just tighten down the forks. All right, we have got our bike in place. We will go ahead and put our safety pin back in the front so it will not swivel any more. This strap here you just simply wrap it around itself around the beam. This is only being used for a regular single bike. All right, and there you have it for part number TH558P from Thule.

Jim B.


I have a Subaru Forester small SUV with roof rack rails that were already permanently mounted on the vehicle when it was purchased from the dealer. Will the Thule TH558P carrier attach to these existing rails, or do I not use these at all when using the Thule?

Etrailer Expert

David B.


Not gonna work with your factory bars Jim. You would need the Thule or Yakima square cross bars for it to fit right. The standard factory rails will be to wide for this application. I'll link you to a couple expert answer that might be of some help.... If you let me know what type of factory rails you have I can find you the right feet to attach cross bars for you. Let me know what you think, I'll be here to help.

Info for this part was:

Employee Lindsey S
Written by:
Lindsey S
Employee Leah B
Edited By:
Leah B

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