Customer Reviews: Thule ARB47 Aeroblade 47-Inch Roof Rack Bars
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Color: Silver|Style Name: Aeroblade 47"|Change
Price:$195.95+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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on March 19, 2012
I just installed these on Friday and then spent 6 hours in my CR-V on Saturday. I had the square bars on before these and the difference was huge. Not only did the noise go down significantly but my gas mileage crept up a bit, too (only .3 MPG, but still). Easy to install and good looking. Only two drawbacks, and this is why they get 4 stars and not 5. The first is that with their silver color all the bugs you hit while driving show up. A little silly but it is noticeable. The second is regarding the use of roof racks. You will need to buy extra parts to mount any rack to these bars. They do not tell you this in the instructions or any where else. Thule has some of the worst documentation regarding this. I found REI to be very helpful in finding what i needed to actually secure my kayak racks, its a relatively cheap and easy fix but was major annoyance for 2 hours while I read online and researched the fix.
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on January 4, 2013
First things first, use Thule's fit guide to get all of the items that you need: [...]
My wife pitched the idea of buying a car topper to free up room in our Ford Focus for an upcoming 11 hour car ride with 2 dogs. After a lot of research, paying closer attention to other vehicle racks around town, and trying to think of the best use of my money I settled on Thule (apparently pronounced "tool-ey"). The final selling point was the wide variety of products they sold that can be reused easily on other cars and with other products. For example, I could use the car topper and then use a bike rack, raft rack, or just the bar to transport plywood, etc.

I ended up purchasing the custom feet pack, aero bars, rapid traverse feet, locks, and cargo box. Although we spent several hundred dollars on everything if we wanted to use these products on our Scion all we have to do is buy the customer feet pack at ~$70. The custom feet pack come with the specific measurement and placement of the feet and bars. Follow the instructions and the install will go smoothly with some time. Once you have it figured out installing and remove the bar and box will take 2 minutes. During our trip we removed the cargo box and I was able to easily do it by myself in a few minutes. The entire setup survived a 22 hour round trip at highway speeds up to 80 mph. The box also sat in the rain overnight and went through rain on the road and the contents stayed dry. Setup stayed in place, tight and secure, and did not scratch the paint.
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on January 2, 2014
The Thule Aeroblades are a great design and look great on the top of my Subaru Legacy. I went through and researched a lot about the Thule car rack before I spent over $400 for the complete rack. My best advice when buying a Thule rack is GO TO THE THULE.COM WEBSITE AND PUT IN YOUR VEHICLE INFORMATION TO DETERMINE ALL OF THE PRODUCTS YOU NEED!!! I went piece by piece between the blades, foot pack, foot pack secure kit, and the cylinder locks to protect the $400 investment. Be careful which secure kit and which foot pack you buy. Each is unique depending on which vehicle you have and if your vehicle has a roof rack or not. My Subaru does not have anything on the roof so I had to buy everything. Also be careful with the type of accessories you buy: ski rack, bike rack, canoe rack, etc. The Aeroblades are a newer design so make sure the accessories are made for the particular rack. has an instruction video on how to install the complete rack and the foot pack will have the specs on how far the racks should be apart. Luckily Amazon is great about returning items but try them asap so you don't get stuck with a product that you mistakenly ordered. Amazon is a little cheaper than the Thule site so you can save some money here.
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on August 31, 2014
Before I get into my review of this fabulous roof rack, I want to point out a critical oversight many people may be making because it isn't mentioned anywhere in the manuals.

-> When you obtain the Fit Kit Rubber Foot Pads for your specific system, you'll notice the rubber foot pads aren't symmetrical squares. Instead, one side is taller and thicker and another side shorter and thinner on them. This is not mentioned anywhere in the manual, nor do they tell you why they do this. However, the reason they are designed this way is to contour to the slope in your car's roof, which could impact the systems grip to the car. So, when you install the system, you need to insure the rubber foot pad's thicker, longer side is on the downward slope of the contour and the thinner, shorter side is on the upward slope of the countor. This way the thicker side makes up for the downward slope and gives you max grip. Again, if they aren't fitting to the contours of the rooftop and leaving large gaps, you properly installed them backwards/wrong. IF YOU DON'T DO THIS IT CAN CAUSE A FAULTY INSTALLATION AND DETACHMENT OF THE SYSTEM MID DRIVE.
-> Each of the three parts will also include its own installation manual, which can be confusing since they repeat some information in each one. Even though their is repeat information, you need every single manual for measurements and proper installation of each part. DO NOT THROW AWAY OR IGNORE ANY OF THE MANUALS PROVIDED IN EACH PART FOR THE SYSTEM.
-> insure you follow the measurements down to the inch, as they are precisely tuned for each system and car to insure max performance. If you don't you may experience noises, poor performance, whistling, ect.
-> insure you cover all the openings fully with the tubing they provide. Any openings in the system or rail will also lead to improper performance, noises, ect.

If you take your time, do a thorough job, follow the manuals and insure you don't overlook the things I mentioned above, the system should work as advertised, which in my experience is wonderfully.

Now to the review, I tested it out today on a routine surf trip to one of my favorite local spots. The system performed amazingly. I couldn't hear it at all, not even the wind passing over them. With my surf board installed, going 70 - 75 mph at a few points, I had no issues either. Board was tight with no play, wiggle room, or noticeable vibrations of any kind. I imagine it will perform just as well with bigger items too.

I am removing one star because of poor installation instructions, which led to numerous small errors I had to go back and fix during the installation process. If I didn't take my time, read carefully, and pay attention the how the system was suppose to work, I would of easily overlooked a number of small things never mentioned anywhere in the manual. On top of that, the system uses three differing parts and each part comes with its own manual on how to install the system, but each manual is completely different in its layout and will even reference other manuals. This led to multiple cross referencing, a number of confusing moments, and a lot of unneeded complication. Insure you follow all the directions for each part properly, as each manual has a lot of repeated information, but then they add in a few additions not in the corresponding ones.
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on June 24, 2014
I had ordered and installed the older Thule Aeroblade Roof Rack Bars from amazon. This item has a very similar name to the newer bars (AeroBlade Edge Flush Mount), but there is a big difference. The older bars require separate feet that they attach to. The older bars extend wider than the feet, and also sit a bit higher (on top of) the feet. I ordered the older style bars because it is the style I most often see I figured they were tried and true. I was wrong.

These older style bars look great. But they make a very annoying high frequency whistling sound above 60 mph. It is such a high frequency it is difficult to hear well, but after +30 mins its enough to make you tear your hair out. Aside from the whistling, the louder deeper frequencies were tolerable, but certainly not quiet. I was so disappointed.

As a last ditch effort, I returned these old bars and decided to give the newer bars a try (the AeroBlade Edge). I was skeptical because the shape of the bar is exactly the same (similar to an airplane wing). But these bars sit lower (parallel with the top if the feet, as opposed to on top of) and do not extend wider than the feet. These bars do not whistle. The are several times quieter than the previous generation.

Do yourself a favor and order the newer bars. There is a good reason Thule makes a newer model.
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on March 3, 2012
I replaced my Rapid Aero Load Bars with these Aeroblade Load Bars based on the claim that they are the quietest load bars on the market...well they totally lived up to the claim. I do miss the look with the fairing kit that was on my Rapid Aero Load Bars, as mentioned the fairing kit will not fit this new load bar. When you hear how much quieter it is, you wont care that the little Thule billboard is gone. I have this system on a Volkswagen Passat with a sun roof and the Rapid Aero Bar/Fairing combination really howled above 45mph. Also in the summer with the sun roof open...bugs would be sucked into the cabin by the low pressure area behind the fairing. You can imagine how cranky a wasp is when he is flying along minding his own business and then suddenly drops in your lap...not a good thing at 65 mph!!! I bought the Aeroblades solely on the wind noise claims and if you like your ride quieter, you wont be disappointed. Like I said this is a direct product comparison with the Rapid Areo bars which I had on my Passat for about a year and the Aeroblade bars that I put on a month ago. Be sure to check the notes on product fitment as a few of the carriers wont fit this wider load bar, mine did so I went for it. Great product improvement!!!
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on December 10, 2012
I received the packages unharmed, no signs of crushing or damage to the factory boxes. That being said, upon installing the ARB47 bars, I noticed that there was some irregular shaping going on. The ends of both bars in the set showed that they had been dropped or bumped during production. I was able to insert a rounded screwdriver and tap it with a hammer to the side to re-form the required shape needed to insert the bar end cap. I will try and post a photo for reference. Here is a link to my photo: [...]
review image review image
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on September 11, 2015
I have a '13 Volkswagen Jetta. I received the 53" bars, foot pack, fit kit and locks as a gift. And I just ordered the snowboard carrier (92726), which as of yesterday went up from $200-$250. Haven't received/installed the snowboard carrier yet so I am not commenting on that item.

-Aesthetically pleasing
-Easy installation (watching youtube video)

-Pricey (but that might just be what a good set cost)
-Initial order had dents in packaging and bars. Had to send back and order a replacement. Seems to be a recurring problem so look over your equipment before installation!
-Width dimensions for the jetta were incorrect (says 35, but it was closer to 36.5 - you'll understand when you go to install). Had to figure that out myself. All other dimensions in the instructions were fairly accurate.
-Not a perfect seal at the door weatherstripping. Seems to get a tiny bit of moisture through during heavy rain falls. If anybody has any experience with this, please let me know.

I've only had it on a day. Took the car up to 65MPH and the noise level was very low. One thing I don't like, is there is no torque recommendation - just get it as tight as you think and go. I'm sure people have had these things fly off because they were too loose.

Lot of negatives I wrote, but I am very happy with the product so far.
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VINE VOICEon August 20, 2012
First the seller, was sold through Amazon, and Amazon fulfilled the order. Items was listed as new, was obviously a customer return, and there was a small dent in the leading edge of one of the bars. Amazon offered to take it back and sell me new bars through themselves at the same price, however I had an urgent need and didn't have time to deal with that. Kudos to Amazon's customer service again. I'm not judging my review on that experience, but felt that it needed to be voiced.

I had to get new bars as I had received a new fit kit for my new vehicle for Christmas. Little did I know at the time that Thule had updated their product line and my ~10 year old rectangular bar/foot combo which had served me for so long were essentially no longer supported. The new fit kit mounts were wider than the old bases. Off to get new bars and a new set of feet. I settled on these new Aerobars for the reduced wind noise. Quite pleasingly, the bars are very successful in this department, I saw a Youtube video that these bars produced a 13dB reduction over the previous Aero Bars.

Another advance that Thule made with the new bases is that you need a special tool (allen wrench) to remove the bases. You can no longer walk up and unscrew the bases, I once had my locked Thule rack stolen, this will be much more difficult now.

The fitting instructions for my vehicle for the base were incorrect as it is a brand new model year, even though the box says it covers my model year. Honda made a body style change in the 2012 Pilot which changes the span requirements for the feet. The old rectangular bars had a cap which slid over the ends of the bars to plug the holes. These new bars have an aerodynamic plastic cap which rotates downward to "Lock" in place. Only thing is, I've found them to be pushed up frequently. I don't expect these caps to last long through theft or general loss.

These bars have a rubber gripping surface on the top of the bars, I imagine this is to assist is securing loads to the bars, reducing slippage. This introduces the big problem. The bars are relatively new, there are adapter kits for some of the old style mounts, but Thule hasn't introduced replacement carriers for their entire product line to date. One of the items I carry is my Mad River Canoe. To date Thule doesn't have an attachment for canoes for the new Aerobars. I loaded up the canoe one day, drove 3 miles and offloaded. That was the first load the bars carried. This one load, totally destroyed that rubber gripping band where the gunwales rested on the bar. I haven't yet tried my Velo Vise rack for my bikes, these require the Xadapt 1 adapters. The Hull a Port carrier allegedly doesn't need adapters, I'll find that out shortly when I try to put my whitewater boat on the car.
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on December 26, 2012
At 60+ the bar produces a constant high frequency whistle. It's so bad that it can't be drowned out by turning up your music. When you spend over 100 dollars on a product, it should do what it says. In no way is this a quiet bar. To try and counter the noise I've been putting duct tape on a $120 dollar product to fix it...and I still haven't found a way to kill the whistle. I tried removing the bars and driving just with the feet (450r) and the noise disappears. The problem is the bar. The bars look great, but when you're afraid to drive on the freeway because of the noise what's the point? Don't buy these bars. Hold out for better.
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