Thule Vertex Reviews

As the leader of a small casual biking club and the only one in the club who owns an SUV, I owed it to myself and my fellow members if I could find, buy, and put to good use a mounted bike rack that fits each of our four bikes snugly and safely. Thank God for Thule, since they rolled out a rack that answered my prayers: the Thule Vertex 9029.
First off, the craftsmanship of the rack is solid – which is always Thule’s calling card. I could tap it with my fingers all day and hear its inherent toughness today and for years to come. And when I drive, the carrier bars are securely latched, regardless if I use the horizontal carrying position or the vertical stowing position, adding street cred to the rack’s “anti-sway” feature. Installation is as easy as pie, considering I’ve been accustomed to assembling IKEA furniture back at home. That is another plus for me.
Furthermore, the ability of the rack to be folded down by using its release handles saved me some space, granted me easy access to the trunk, and prevented potential parking issues. I never wanted to inconvenience someone else by scratching his car’s precious paint job with my rack, anyway.
Another feature I loved about my Vertex 9029 is its versatility. It can fit in both 1 1/4″ and 2″ receivers without the need for adapters, saving me some hassle if I ever buy another SUV if only to replace my current one. And who cares about the $290 price tag if all four of our bikes are safe and sound in exchange?
There were some issues I found with the Vertex 9029, but nothing too serious to dump it for good. A trunk mounted bike rack like the Vertex 9029 should fit all types of bikes, but it fell short of that expectation. One of my members has a full-suspension mountain bike, and it was a chore to secure it to my rack unless I use an extension bar which he recommended. I’m glad his advice saved me from further headaches. Oh, and the clanking noise the rack sometimes makes. Maybe it’s because of some gaps in the housing that I never noticed – I don’t know. Maybe it’s because of the observation that when I use the provided plastic adapter, it doesn’t meld well with the surrounding metal of the hitch and the rack – I also don’t know. Fortunately, the clanks do not annoy me and my buddies very much.
Now here comes the bad news. I came across some trunk bike rack reviews and they repeatedly say the Vertex 9029’s biggest weakness: the flimsy rubber straps. Why rubber, Thule? Why? And while the rack is built to be tough, it had no antitheft features. I had to make do with available antitheft devices for bikes to fill this void.
Some glaring issues aside, I highly recommend the Thule Vertex 9029 to anyone who owns a maximum of four bikes.