Customer Reviews


74 Reviews
5 star:
 (34)
4 star:
 (22)
3 star:
 (12)
2 star:
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73 of 77 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great bike rack
I bought the rack for a vacation trip to Maine with 4 bikes (2 adult, 2 small children) using a 2006 Toyota Tacoma with rollup tonneau cover. I was able to open the tailgate about a foot without tipping down the frame (can't do it with bikes on it), so that was handy at the hotel when we just needed a suitcase and cooler. The tip-down feature wasn't really useful...
Published on August 23, 2008 by Rob

versus
190 of 197 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK rack, a couple of shortcomings.
Have had my rack 6 months. It is reasonably well made and sturdy. Bikes go on easily. The rubber frame holders work well with my hardtail bikes. A couple of bungees or the included strap should keep your bikes from swinging; you don't need the struts or fancy clamps.

Two problems: first, the locking-bolt hole for the 1-1/2 inch bar is too close to the end,...
Published on March 12, 2008 by MoMellen


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190 of 197 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK rack, a couple of shortcomings., March 12, 2008
By 
MoMellen (Oak Ridge, TN) - See all my reviews
Have had my rack 6 months. It is reasonably well made and sturdy. Bikes go on easily. The rubber frame holders work well with my hardtail bikes. A couple of bungees or the included strap should keep your bikes from swinging; you don't need the struts or fancy clamps.

Two problems: first, the locking-bolt hole for the 1-1/2 inch bar is too close to the end, causing the bar not to fit all the way into the receiver (poor design) and making the rack stick out at least 3 inches farther than it should on my car (Subaru Forester). Why not have two holes, like my old Saris rack? I had a machinist drill and tap another hole in the correct position. The Thule customer service (joke!) people would never admit this design flaw, although their website addresses it.

Second, to fold or unfold the crossbars (that the bikes go on), you have to remove/replace a bolt with a nylock nut, requiring 2 wrenches. This should be a tool-free affair with a carriage bolt and a big wingnut.
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73 of 77 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great bike rack, August 23, 2008
By 
Rob (Ramstein Air Base, Germany) - See all my reviews
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I bought the rack for a vacation trip to Maine with 4 bikes (2 adult, 2 small children) using a 2006 Toyota Tacoma with rollup tonneau cover. I was able to open the tailgate about a foot without tipping down the frame (can't do it with bikes on it), so that was handy at the hotel when we just needed a suitcase and cooler. The tip-down feature wasn't really useful because you can't lower it with bikes on it. It took some effort to figure out how to fit all the bikes on the rack, but got easier with practice. The attachments are adjustable, and I found I could make everything work by turning the smallest bike upside down to avoid conflicts with the pedals and handlebars with the bigger bikes.
I also got the Thule 950 Zipstick to better secure the bikes, but found it wasn't really effective or necessary. The 956 Parkway came with one strap, and the 950 Zipstick came with 3 straps. I was able to secure the four bikes easily with 2 straps, but used three just to make sure they didn't swing around and rub against each other. The 950 Zipstick is cheap enough, but not really needed. Maybe it's more effective with 4 adult bikes.
My only complaint is on the design they chose to secure it to the hitch. They welded a bolt to the inside of the frame, making it impossible to use a standard hitch pin and lock. I didn't buy the Thule lock (thinking I'd use the lock I already had), and couldn't find one locally before my trip. I would have felt better with a lock to keep the rack on my truck, but didn't have a problem. Just toss an adjustable wrench in your stuff if you don't spring for the Thule lock. I also found it necessary to buy a 9' cable and lock, since a 6' cable was not long enough to reach through the lock point and all 4 bike frames.
Overall, a great bike rack that served me well on a recent 2,400 mile round trip, to include highway, gravel and off-road surfaces.
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45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good quality bike rack for the price, July 9, 2008
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This rack took all of 5 minutes to assemble and have ready. I'll save the receiver attachment till the end. The bikes loaded up easily on this. I put a full suspension, old steel trail/road bike, and two aluminum frame mountain bikes on this rack and ran it through streets, highway (up to about 68mph for awhile, down a dirt road and through potholes and the bikes and rack did well. This was very easy to use and it swings down quickly with a pull of the pin.

Now to the receiver. I like to use the same pin (locking) that I use for my drawbar and ball. So, when I ordered this,I knew I was going to modify it. I took a 5/8" deming drill bit on a 1/2" drill and went right through the nut. I now just slip my normal hitch lock through this and can quickly remove the rack and switch. This works for me and you can do so at your own risk. I also do not have to buy the lock they want to sell me. Saves money if you have access to a 5/8" drill bit.

I would gladly buy this rack again.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great value, September 2, 2008
By 
I purchased this bike rack to replace a rear mounted style bike rack. I needed a rack that could accomodate 4 growing kids/teens. The rack was easy for my husband to install on our hitch. The rack is heavy and durable. I had no problems fitting the 4 bikes of different styles and shapes. The rubber holders turn easily to fit the different style bikes. My 13 year old was able to load the bikes himself. This rack doesn't allow access to the trunk while loaded. When the bikes are off it is very easy to pull a pin and lower the rack to gain trunk access. My 7 year old could do it! This rack is a great value for the money. If you need access to your trunk while loaded or need to pull a trailer too you'll need to upgrade.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Basic Bike Rack, March 31, 2007
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Bike rack doesn't have the bells and whistles (arm fold down & swing away) of the swing away racks, but it is very sturdy and super easy to assemble. For my use, the swing away wasn't worth the extra $200 and added weight. There's only 2 bolts to put together. Arrived in good packaging, well protected. Would recommend this hitch to anyone.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good for the price, July 13, 2007
this bike rack does not fold down with the bikes on it, but give that the racks that do cost $400+, this one is a good value. It's very easy to use and holds the bikes steady.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not quite right, April 17, 2012
This review is from: Thule Parkway Hitch Bike Carrier - 4 Bike
Had this rack for 5 years and just sold it at a garage sale for 50$. Well built and sturdy, but way too heavy and awkward. Even though made for 4 bikes, 2 mountain bikes nearly filled it. Mountain bikes frames, especially those with full suspension do not fit well at all. Three bikes was a chore to cram on with pedals and handle bars interfering with each other. Requires bungees to secure the bikes from swinging and handle bars from turning and banging into each other. The rubber supports for the bikes were difficult to fit the tight frame of suspension over. Many comments about the hitch bolt. The reason there is a bolt on the hitch and not a pin is to tighten the rack so it doesn't wiggle around in the receiver. I had the Thule lock on the hitch bolt which worked well although it is hard to get to in the tight spaces between the bumper and the receiver. Storage of the rack when not on the car is also awkward as it is very heavy and ungainly to hang or set against a wall.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent rack, replace the straps, have a wrench handy, April 21, 2010
By 
5XPL183 (Central Coast, CA, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Thule Parkway Hitch Bike Carrier - 4 Bike
This is a quality rack. Biggest complaints:
1. I have a couple bikes with wierd bulky frames (sq tubes, shocks/springs in the way), causing me to stretch the stubby stock straps to mount the bikes. When you use the rubber straps (on any car rack), they should only be snug but NOT STRETCHED or you can lose a bike. I know, happened twice, watched it happen the second time and saved the bike. So I bought longer Yakima "Replacement Rubber Straps for Yakima Bike Racks w/SwitchBlade Cradles"; neither Thule (nor Amazon) have any so bought them from [...], [...]. Twice as long w/ round holes but they work. Warning: Even so, don't trust just the straps, buy a "12 foot lashing strap" (w/ easy clamp) and wrap it around the rack and bikes and cinch it down: [...].
2. The rack mount on the hitch is goofy, requiring a wrench. I guess it tightens it all up though. Might want to get the lock for it.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars recreation family, June 26, 2009
this rack works very well and fits my family of fours needs . the positives are the rack is very strong and sturdy holds 4 bikes easily .. putting it together was very easy . When its together its a bit heavy and bulky, but my wife is able to move it around ,very simple to use for most people.. the so called negative -as stated in a previous review if you don't want to use the threaded bolt with a wrench to tighten into the receiver hitch then you have to drill out the threads in the base of the rack which takes a bit of energy and patience but no problem for anyone who is familiar with power tools .The biggest negative to me was my daughters bikes which is more bmx style (12inch)does'nt fit in rack due to spacing in the bars on the bike my sons bike 16inch bmx style takes some thinking to figure out how to get it on the rack but it does fit took me about 15 minutes of flipping and turn till i found the right angle above and below the racks bars. i don't think any rack out there took this into consideration for this but i don't really know though
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A little disappointed, April 7, 2009
The 956 Rack that was sent had not been properly machined so the parts would not line up to receive one of the bolts. The rack was effectively a really large paperweight! After looking a little closer, the part that goes into the car's receiver was also screwed up a little but functional.

Thule customer service was really polite and told me that I could ship it back and then they would send me a replacement. This probably would have worked if our family was not 700 miles from home on vacation...sigh.

Stuff happens, I guess. Off to find a hardware store and fudge the job. I'll machine it when we get home.

Other than a little quality control issue and some poor timing... the rack is okay and not a bad buy for the money.
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Thule Parkway Hitch Bike Carrier - 4 Bike
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