Thule Roof Bar advice

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john-boy
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Thule Roof Bar advice

Post by john-boy » Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:29 pm

Hi,

I've been looking for some roof bars for my new car, and have settled on Thule as the VW ones seem very expensive for what they are.

I'd pretty much settled on the Thule Aero Bar style (http://www.thule.com/en/GB/Products/Bas ... -_863,-869), but have now seen the new 'Wing Bars' (http://www.thule.com/en/GB/Products/Bas ... -_963,-969) on Thule's website.

Has anybody any experience of the wing bars? Thule reckon they produce 90% less wind noise than the aero bar, so does that mean 90% less drag, and therefore better fuel economy?

The only places I've found them for sale are on the net - I'd like to find a shop where I can have a look, anyone know of any?

Cheers.

John
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caveman_si
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Re: Thule Roof Bar advice

Post by caveman_si » Thu Nov 24, 2011 11:30 am

John taken from the link you posted "Excellent Aerodynamic properties, drag force is reduced with 55% vs. Thule AeroBar (860-869). "

So only a 55% reduction in drag might not give a full 55% increase in difference of with aerobars to with out. eg 45mpg no bars, 40mpg with aero bars you would expect 42.5mpg.

The thing you have to think of is are you going to stick any padding on the bars for your boats? If so I would forget the wing and aero bars because anything you add will kill the aero benefits and you might as well save the money and go for the cheaper square bars.

But I do like the look of the wing bars nice to see a rubber strip for padding and grip. Th rubber bit also looks like its a ribblet for the aero so might loose some of the aero benefits after loading up anyway.

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Re: Thule Roof Bar advice

Post by Bod » Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:23 pm

Style over substance.

Those wing-bars look excellent if you drive a life-style car and put life-style bars on it for the added life-style aura (but mostly ever fail to put anything on the bars, because your life is too full of style to go paddling).

The reduction in drag is great but that is only when the bar is unloaded. As soon as you add a boat, the boat's drag will dwarf any saving from a slippery bar. If you are really concerned, paddle a Dancer and use a cockpit cover, as I am sure that will be much more aerodynamic! The only benefit would be when you drive around with unloaded bars on, but if you care about such matters you would never do this (of course if you own a LR Disco, it makes bugger all difference).

Square bars for me - if you hadn't already guessed.
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Re: Thule Roof Bar advice

Post by Dave Thomas » Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:40 pm

Square bars have no rubber insert, and benefit from foam to give grip as well as padding. Any bars such as aerobars which include a rubber insert are much 'grippier' - I think I would (based on limited experience of strapping boats onto other folk's cars) be much happier to abandon the foam on aerobars etc and strap directly to the bars. Which would certainly reduce drag if the bars are left on between weekend paddling trips.
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Re: Thule Roof Bar advice

Post by Neptune » Thu Nov 24, 2011 1:24 pm

I have some like this on my new Kia Cee'd. They are the Kia bars but like most motor manufactures their 'branded' roof bars are made by Thule. I get the manufactures 'branded' bars as I drive a company car and the company insists that I have the manufactures accessories for insurance purposes. I find them very good.

Peter

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Jim
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Re: Thule Roof Bar advice

Post by Jim » Thu Nov 24, 2011 2:14 pm

Also remember that any accessories you want to fit to aero and presumably wing bars need to the type that fit the track on those bars. Good old fashioned clamp around uprights work best on square bars, that said I use J bars now and they are the same price for clamp around or track mount, just not interchangeable. Most important thing is to get bars that are easy to take on and off so that you will.

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Re: Thule Roof Bar advice

Post by Adrian Cooper » Thu Nov 24, 2011 2:36 pm

Will normal uprights fit on these fancy wings?

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Re: Thule Roof Bar advice

Post by Will I Am » Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:45 pm

its exactly the same T slot as the aero so yes, the uprights will fit as long as you get the ones designed for T slot. I got folding ones from kayaks north west and they do a treat - £60
top tip, i put a dab of superglue on the ends of the rubber strip and its been solid for a year now, same with those silly end caps, glue them or loose them.
I remove my bars after use and they take less than 5 mins to fit back on

PS, the uprights come with a flat bracket for bolting under the square bars, you will note there is also a flat edge under the aero and wing bars that you can still fit the bracket as well as being secured in the T slot, so your uprights wont blow off at 70!

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Re: Thule Roof Bar advice

Post by wezzzy » Fri Nov 25, 2011 7:28 am

caveman_si wrote: If so I would forget the wing and aero bars because anything you add will kill the aero benefits and you might as well save the money and go for the cheaper square bars.
This is the same reason as I went for the square bars and take them off when not paddling.

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Re: Thule Roof Bar advice

Post by andy g » Fri Nov 25, 2011 2:22 pm

John
As others have said the claims for this "winged" bar are only relevant if you are planning to run with the bars in place and no other load.

The best way to save fuel and noise from the bars is to remove every time you don't have a load on.

If you do that then it makes sense to buy the cheapest available , ie: square bars.

If you really prefer the look of aero styled bars then go ahead and buy them , but don't expect any savings in fuel or noise.

Andy

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Re: Thule Roof Bar advice

Post by Adrian Cooper » Fri Nov 25, 2011 4:56 pm

Will I Am wrote:its exactly the same T slot as the aero so yes, the uprights will fit as long as you get the ones designed for T slot. I got folding ones from kayaks north west and they do a treat - £60
When I say 'normal' I'm thinking something for about £25 which will clap to a 'normal' square bar.

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Re: Thule Roof Bar advice

Post by MikeB » Sat Nov 26, 2011 1:15 pm

In the real world, sticking bars on the roof - any bars - increases fuel consumption by 5 to 10% in my experience. I've had square bars which I repalced with aero bars on the same car - the aero bars looked nice but most certainly didnt improve the fuel consumption. They did however make it more difficult to add uprights / cradles - if nothing else, the standard bolts supplied with most uprights aren't long enough.

Nowadays I just use square bars. Halfords "own brand" bars (which I'm fairly certain are made by Thule anyway) fitted with Thule feet.

Incidentally, many folk have found Thule cradles to be dubious at best. There's a thread about them over on Sea which is worth reading.

Mike.

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Kev W
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Re: Thule Roof Bar advice

Post by Kev W » Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:20 am

Ive used various roofbars & uprights but now use Thule aero bars with the thule folding uprights. There a bit pricey but in my opinion worth it. There also much quieter than other types soI must admit Im quiet interested in the new wing type. I dont have padding on the bars as I find the rubber strip which is fitted is fine.
If you like them and the price is ok for you I d go for them :-)

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Re: Thule Roof Bar advice

Post by john-boy » Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:52 pm

Jim wrote:Most important thing is to get bars that are easy to take on and off so that you will.
Having had a look at the fitting for the Thule roofbars, I think you've hit the nail on the head Jim - My roof bars for my old vauxhall bolted to the roof, and whilst very secure were fiddly to fit and remove. These Thule bars, whether square or aero, have a built in tool to remove so it won't be too much hassle to quickly take them off.

Thanks for the advice all.
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Re: Thule Roof Bar advice

Post by chrism » Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:19 pm

I know this is an old thread, but having just got a new car I find I need new roofbars (it has roofrails just like my previous car, so I was expecting my current bars to fit, but the roofrails are much thicker so it doesn't - also the car is wider, so my current bars are a bit short, hence looking at replacing the lot), and a search found this. I am considering Thule wingbars, as I do often leave my bars on the roof, so improved aero might be an advantage - and the price difference over new square bars isn't actually that much.

The thing is, my normal roofload is a racing kayak on a set of v-bars. I don't suppose anybody has any experience of bolting a set of those to wingbars? Would the standard U-bolts fit around a wingbar, or would it even be possible to get all clever and drill my v-bar for a t-bolt which would fit in the channel in the top of the wingbar (and so make the v-bar quick and easy to remove)?

...or shoudl I start a thread about this on the racing forum for a better response?

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Re: Thule Roof Bar advice

Post by ruralweb » Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:03 am

I have a pair of these and they are overpriced rubbish IMO. The rubber insert lifts out the bar and will create drag, it also wears easily. The shape means its difficult to get anything tight round them also the attachents to the roof are weak and I've had them fall off. Also don't be tempted by the canoe cradle that allows you to load the canoe from the back. The locking mechanism is very weak and mine has broken several times - I've ended up filling it with plastic padding. I've had other racks which have lasted for many years and been far cheaper
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Re: Thule Roof Bar advice

Post by freddie » Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:55 am

I like the aero bars as they aren't really more expensive, and are stronger than standard square bars, so don't bend when you overload them

I also have V-bars on mine, ones that just slot into the track, which works well. You can also get wider bolts that fit round areo bars too, as normal ones don't fit.
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Re: Thule Roof Bar advice

Post by TechnoEngineer » Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:33 am

Driving 5 to 10mph slower would make a more significant difference to your fuel economy than whether you choose aero over square bar.
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Re: Thule Roof Bar advice

Post by John N » Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:20 am

Once you have a boat on top the fuel consumption saved by the bars will be negligible. YOU do take the bars of when not carrying boats don't you?

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Re: Thule Roof Bar advice

Post by davebrads » Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:50 am

I'm also a bit suspicious of those drag results - I don't think they tell the full story. I suspect they are comparing the bars alone, whereas a significant proportion of the total drag of the roof bar system will come from the mountings. As others have said, once you have loaded them up the drag from the bar will be insignificant, and the mounting systems are so good these days you can take them off in a couple of minutes when you aren't using them.
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Re: Thule Roof Bar advice

Post by Northeast Kayaks » Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:38 pm

Hi, being a Thule dealer(northeast roof racks), and also northeast kayaks & paddles I would advise the standard bars over the new wing bars this is mainly due to the fittings for other equipment that you may want to use with the bars, also any padding that you may want to add is difficult due to the width of the bars, if you require any further advise please don't hesitate to email us at either sales@northeastroofracks.co.uk or at sales@northeastkayaks.co.uk or PM us, Regards Jon Priest

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