The Thule ProRide is a secure upright bike carrier with a safe-mount design that keeps the bike from falling while loading it in the carrier. Stability is firm while loading as the claw helps hold the bike in place, although it needs to be in just the right position for it to function properly. Pressure is evenly spread through the claw pads to avoid frame damage.
The Thule ProRide came mostly assembled. The parts that weren’t assembled were easy to put together with clear and precise instructions. Loading it onto the roof rack was mostly easy, although it didn’t adapt well to round crossbars. There was a lot of adjusting to make sure the bike rack was secure on the mount. Round bars were later switched out for Thule AeroBlade bars, which made loading much easier. Everything needed to assemble and mount the bike rack is included, and no extra tools were required.
The ProRide proved to be very solid and stable on the AeroBlade crossbars. The wheel risers, along with the claw, helped guide the bike to rest securely in the wheel wells. The bikes stayed steady on test drives at freeway speeds as well as on rugged terrain.
Ease of Use
Loading a bike onto the Thule ProRide was pretty straightforward. As long as the claw was upright and in the right position to clamp onto the frame, there were no issues. The torque limiter dial that tightens the claw onto the frame makes an audible “click” when it’s tightened enough around the bike. Loosening the dial when taking the bike off the rack was an easy affair. The quick-release on the diagonal straps made for a simple dismount of the bike. Be sure to have a good handle on it once the claw is removed or the bike may roll forward due to the front end of the carrier having a bit of a down curve. Switching the arm from one side to the other is an easy transition, even without tools.
While the technical specifications note that the ProRide fits on square bars and factory racks in addition to roof racks with 20×20 mm T-tracks, we found that round bars were a bit tougher for the ProRide to attach to. The brackets were nearly maxed out when tightening the levers to snap them down into the locking position. Round bars were changed out with AeroBlade bars, and mounting the ProRide on those bars was much easier. There is a fat bike adapter sold separately for wheels from 3-inches to 5-inches.
The best feature on the Thule ProRide was the automatic positioning. While some frown upon a claw attaching to the frame, soft pads on the claw of the ProRide adapt to the frame tubes, and there wasn’t any frame damage to the bike even after traveling longer distances. The claw also sits very low on the bike’s frame, below the area where a water bottle holder usually is, so there wasn’t an interference problem with its placement. Thule’s One Key lock cylinders are available to purchase separately to lock the bike to the carrier and the carrier to the rack.