This is a review of the Thule 9032 Easy Fold Bike Rack. This bike rack is designed to transport up to two bikes weighing up to 66 pounds each. Clearly, this rack is intended to be much stronger than the average bike rack. If you are thinking of transporting two heavy bikes, you should seriously consider this rack. The post includes a video that shows how easy it is to install this bike rack – straight out of the box!
The last time we got a bike rack, we were limited by the fact that our hitch is 1¼ inches (so, for example, we could not get a rack that was intended for a 2 inch hitch). When we saw the Thule 9032 Easy Fold Bike Rack in the showroom, we were worried that it would not fit our hitch. But Thule has figured that out!
The Thule 9032 bike rack ships with an adapter, so it can be used on 1¼ inch and 2 inch receivers. It is shipped with the 2 inch adapter installed, so if you have a 1¼ inch hitch, you just have to remove the adapter. A wrench is supplied for that, and for our rack, it took about a minute.
I had been wanting a ramp-style rack, because they seem more solid and secure for transporting heavier bikes. So I liked the Thule 9032 immediately I saw it. Once I was told that it is rated for handling the weight of two heavy bikes (each up to 66 lb), I was sold.
The Thule 9032 Easy Fold Bike Rack Requires Zero Assembly
Once we decided on this bike rack, it was a cinch to install. This bike rack is fully assembled in the box, so there is pretty much nothing to do. The salesman just took the rack out of the box, removed the 2 inch adapter with the included hex wrench, carried the rack out to the car – and a minute later, it was installed! Really impressive. You can see that in this video:
Transporting Two Bikes with Our Thule 9032 Easy Fold Bike Rack
The real question is always: will this bike rack keep my bikes safe? I am kind of an anxious guy, and have been known to almost have an accident because I was keeping a check on the bikes on the bike rack in my rear-view mirror. Well, this bike rack has reduced my anxiety to zero, so that I actually forget to keep an eye on the bikes. The bikes are simply rock solid on this rack. They scarcely move at all, and they are definitely not going to fall off.
Of course, you do want to take it easy over speed bumps, otherwise the bottom of the rack may bump on the road. Even if that happens, it is the rack that is taking the hit, not your bikes. Other than needing to be careful of speed bumps, we do not notice any weight difference or driving quality difference when transporting our two bikes with the Thule 9032 bike rack.
Using the Thule 9032 Easy Fold Bike Rack
To use this bike rack, I first fetch it from the laundry room, where we store it. As suggested by the name, it quickly and easily folds up like a suitcase, so we can store it neatly folded at the back of our laundry room. Our last rack was damaged by a hit and run driver in a parking lot, so now we don’t leave our bike rack on our car. Fortunately, with this one, it is so easy to remove and replace. At around 40 pounds, it is also light enough that both my wife and I can carry it around.
Next I carry it down to the garage, where I slide it onto the receiver with ease as it is quite light. I tighten down the Snug-TiteT receiver lock (which almost completely prevents any hitch rack movement in the receiver). Then I use the large Thule key to lock the knob. I am pleased that the key is large, so it is easy to find on my over-crowded key ring.
Next, I press the releases to fold out the two sections of the ramp, pushing them down to the horizontal, thereby creating a rack with two strips for the wheels of two bikes. After that, I lift our two bikes onto the ramp, and tighten a large clamp around each of the bike frames. Then I use the key to lock both clamps, so that they cannot loosen. This also prevents theft (although we almost never leave our bikes out of sight for prolonged periods).
Finally I cinch down the wheels with the flexible, quick-release, wheel anchors, and we are good to go!
The first time we used the Thule bike rack, it took us quite a while to figure out the optimal placement for both of our bikes, and where to position the cranks. Now, we have it down to a fine art, and can do it in a couple of minutes. One thing we learned from this – keep an eye on the placement of your pedals. We accidentally scratched Maggie’s new bike with the pedals of my bike. As she notes in her review, her Cube Elly Ride 400 Hybrid bike scratches very easily (the only fail on that beautiful bike).
Things I like about the Thule 9032 Easy Fold Bike Rack
No. 1: Our bikes are completely safe on the rack; we can just relax, secure in the knowledge that they will not shift or fall off. And as they are locked down, we can leave them alone briefly if stopping for coffee or lunch.
No. 2: Because of the ramp style of this bike rack, you can carry any bike, of any size or frame shape. For example, we also transport our grandkids’ bikes on our Thule 9032 Easy Fold Bike Rack. In the photo below, you can see that our granddaughter Kara’s bike has a slightly odd shape, with a very narrow triangle frame. It was impossible to carry this little bike on our Thule Helium bike rack, as the triangle was too narrow to slide over the arms. That was the last straw that caused us to go and buy the Thule 9032, in fact. We had just bought our granddaughter a bike, and we could not get it home! An expensive day ….
No. 3: We can fold the Thule 9032 rack up like a suitcase, carry it upstairs, and hide it in the corner of our laundry room. Can you even spot it below? Note that the bikes in front of it are our grandkids’ bikes, so they are really small bikes. It’s amazing how small this bike rack looks in our very small laundry room.
No. 4: This rack has big reflectors on the back, which I have not seen on other bike racks. Apparently in Europe these are actually connected turn blinkers, but for some reason, not in North America.
Extras that Come with the Thule 9032 Easy Fold Bike Rack
The Thule 9032 comes with an aluminum loading ramp that I have never taken out of the box, because we just lift the bikes onto the rack. I have heard that some users find the loading ramp too flimsy for heavier bikes, so I am happy we don’t use it. The plan is to stay strong enough that we never need it. The exercise of carrying the bike rack and loading the bikes will help us achieve that goal!
The rack also ships with an extra strap that we use to cinch together the two sections of the platform when no bikes are being carried and the rack is folded.
Bottom Line on Our Thule 9032 Easy Fold Bike Rack
We have owned a lot of bike racks, and the Thule 9032 Easy Fold Bike Rack is the best one by far. The main thing is that it keeps our expensive and much loved bikes safe on our car.
This bike rack has empowered us to start planning long-distance trips with our ebikes. Portland, here we come! Some people think it is quite a lot of money to spend on a bike rack – but we paid the same price for a slightly inferior rack almost ten years ago. So we think this is excellent value for money, and are very happy that we bought it. If you have heavy bikes that you love and want to transport safely, this is the bike rack for you.
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