Thule Vertex 9028 Review

As a frequent hiker and a proud owner of a sport utility vehicle, picking a dependable bike rack for SUV is no easy task. I am quite choosy when it comes to SUV accessories like this. My type of bike rack must be durable, be easily installed, able to secure the bike tightly, worth my money, and able to give me peace of mind. Fortunately, I came across the Thule fork mount bike rack, specifically the Vertex 9028. Thule is a well-known and respectable name in car mounting accessories, so I bet the Vertex 9028 must be good and up to Thule’s standards. If it works for Thule, it should work for me.

Once I opened the box and breezed through the instruction manual, I found the Vertex 9028 a delight to install. The installation took me only a minute, give or take. I could store this in my SUV’s trunk when not in use and then pop it when I’m ready to bring my bike along for a ride. It looks simple on the surface, but it never fusses around – durability and stability are also excellently met. It not just feels sturdy and balanced – it truly is sturdy and balanced. I didn’t have to worry about my precious bike wobbling and swaying around while driving down speedways and especially cobbled roads thanks to the rack’s frame cradles. The fact that it has two release handles impresses me. I could use the first handle to tuck away the two arms that hold my bike when they are not in use. I could use the second, which is located at the hitch, to tuck away the entire rack if I would unload something from my luggage compartment. And the fact that the rack can hold two bikes instead of one, despite my initial assuming, makes it useful if I ever encounter a fellow biker who unfortunately got lost and had to ask me for help to get home. The rack’s simple structure also does not obstruct my view.

Sure, the Vertex 9028 may be a tad expensive at $250, but I feel it’s worth every dollar I spent. On the other hand, I had to spend extra for additional stuff such as special lock cylinders, a different threaded hitch connection bolt, adaptors (since my bike has a step through bike frame), and a shim or pipe insulation—pretty frustrating as those things seem to complicate what is already a simple, easy-to-use rack, you know. Fortunately, I had some back-up money to invest in those accessories.
The only thing about the rack that grinds my gears is the straps. Yeah, the rack itself is rock solid, but the straps are anything but. One month of use and one of the straps broke. That strap even ate up my bike’s freaking paint! I wonder if Thule will replace those straps with something better.
Overall, I give the Thule Vertex 9028 my heartfelt two thumbs up. I’ll never buy another mount bike rack in the years to come.