Thule vs Saris Bike Rack: Which is Better in 2024? | PedalChef

Key Takeaways

  • You should choose a Thule bike rack for better quality and durability.
  • You should choose a Saris bike rack for lower pricing and lighter weight.
  • Both brands offer plenty of trunk, roof, and hitch rack options.

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Long cycling and biking adventures cannot happen without a reliable bike rack for transporting. Two of the best brands are Thule and Saris. But which is best?

Thule, established in 1942, is renowned for durable steel/aluminum bike racks, commanding a higher price. Saris, since 1989, offers eco-friendly, innovative racks at a lower cost. Both brands present diverse rack options. Choose Thule for durability and Saris for affordability and sustainability.

With decades of experience analyzing and reviewing outdoor equipment, we've consistently separated fleeting trends from enduring quality. Our in-depth knowledge and unbiased perspective position us uniquely to dive deep into the age-old debate: Thule vs. Saris. So keep reading to learn more about our findings.



Thule Vs. Saris Bike Rack

Whether you're a passionate mountain biker, a casual rider, or you love long family bike rides, transporting your bikes can sometimes be a challenge. A high-quality bike rack is an absolute must-have, and two brands that consistently rise to the top in this field are Thule and Saris.

Thule, a Swedish company established in 1942, has earned a reputation for high-quality outdoor transportation products, with bike racks being one of their specialties. They cater to a broad range of needs, from roof-mounted solutions to hitch-mounted options.

Saris, on the other hand, is a younger yet impressive contender from the United States, founded in 1989. Saris is committed to sustainability and produces some of the most innovative and easy-to-use bike racks on the market, making them a popular choice for many biking enthusiasts.

Thule Bike Rack Overview

Thule Bike Rack
Thule Bike Rack

Thule is a Swedish company founded in 1942, and it has been at the forefront of designing high-quality, durable bike racks for decades. As a result, they have earned a reputation for producing some of the best bike racks on the market.

One of the key reasons people choose Thule is because of the sturdy materials used in their bike racks. Most Thule racks are made from steel or aluminum, making them incredibly strong and capable of withstanding even the toughest outdoor conditions.

Additionally, when you invest in a Thule product, you know that it is built to last, which is why their racks typically come with longer warranties compared to other brands. In terms of design and functionality, Thule bike racks cater to a wide variety of preferences.

They offer roof-mounted, hitch-mounted, and trunk-mounted options, ensuring that you'll find a rack suitable for your vehicle and cycling needs. Moreover, Thule's products are known for their ease of use and installation, allowing you to transport your bikes without any hassle effortlessly.

Saris Bike Rack Overview

Saris Bike Rack
Image credit: Saris Bike Rack

At Saris, they strive to create innovative and user-friendly bike racks to cater to everyone's needs. As a company, Saris always puts emphasis on creating products that provide easy installation and convenient usage experiences.

One of their popular bike rack series is the Bones collection. These bike racks have a unique design that complements the beauty of a car and its bike. They use high-quality materials, such as injection-molded plastic, which makes them more lightweight compared to Thule's aluminum and steel materials.

This makes the Saris bike racks easy to carry and maneuver during installation. Understanding the importance of the environment, Saris takes pride in the fact that its products are created from 100% recyclable, non-rusting materials.

Additionally, they offer a lifetime warranty to ensure customers can use their products with peace of mind. Though their prices might be lower than Thule's, it doesn't compromise on the quality of the bike racks. So you really can’t go wrong with either.

Thule Vs. Saris Durability

When comparing Thule and Saris bike racks in terms of durability, both brands are known for their high-quality and long-lasting products, but there are some differences to consider.

Thule Durability

  • Materials: Thule often uses high-grade aluminum and steel in their bike racks, making them robust and resistant to wear and tear.
  • Finish: Many Thule products have a rust-resistant coating, ensuring they last longer, even in harsh weather conditions.
  • Track Record: Thule has a long-standing reputation in the market for producing durable and reliable products that can withstand heavy use and long journeys.

Saris Durability

  • Materials: Saris opts for materials like injection-molded plastic for some of its racks, which are lightweight yet sturdy. This can make them less prone to rust as well.
  • Eco-Friendly Approach: Saris emphasizes using 100% recyclable, non-rusting materials, which means they are both environmentally friendly and durable.
  • Warranty: Saris offers a lifetime warranty for many of their products, indicating their confidence in the longevity of their racks.

Winner - Thule bike racks are built stronger and more durable. They last longer, but they’re also heavier.

Thule Vs. Saris Security

When it comes to the security features of Thule and Saris bike racks, both brands have their own unique offerings to ensure the safety of your bicycles.

Thule bike racks generally have built-in locking mechanisms, which secure the bicycles to the rack and the rack to your car. These locks are easy to use and provide a sense of assurance that your bikes are well-protected.

In fact, some Thule models, like the Thule T2 Pro XT, come with integrated cable locks to secure both wheels and the frame. On the other hand, Saris bike racks feature their own patented security systems.

For example, the Saris Bones series uses an innovative ratcheting system, which tightens the straps around the bicycles and secures them in place. This makes it harder for someone to tamper with or remove your bikes.

Additionally, Saris offers separate lockable accessories to enhance the security of their racks further. Both Thule and Saris recognize the importance of durability in their products.

Thule racks are mostly made of steel or aluminum, while Saris racks use a combination of metal and heavy-duty plastic. These materials ensure that the bike racks can withstand various outdoor conditions and keep your bikes safe from potential theft.

Winner - Thule bike racks have more advanced built-in security features like locks.

Thule Vs Saris Ease of Use

When it comes to ease of use and installation, both Thule and Saris offer great options for bike enthusiasts. We have noticed that some reasons customers might prefer Thule racks include their straightforward assembly process and user-friendly design.

It’s much easier to get a Thule rack hook up to different mountain bikes. The trunk rack is also super fast to get set up. If you’re choosing a roof rack, you won’t see much of a difference in how they are designed. Plus, they will fit two bikes at once.

Thule tends to provide clear instructions with their products, which helps users install and adjust their bike racks without much hassle. Additionally, Thule's designs often feature convenient features like tool-free installations and secure locking mechanisms.

In terms of overall user experience, we believe that both Thule and Saris have put in considerable effort to develop user-friendly bike racks. It's essential to consider your personal preferences and priorities when choosing between these trustworthy brands.

Winner - Tie. Both brands do well here, but choose Saris for fat bike tires or a traditional hitch rack.

Thule Vs. Saris Pricing

Thule and Saris are both renowned names in the bike rack world, catering to cyclists with diverse preferences and budgets. Generally speaking, Thule often comes with a slightly higher price tag, positioning itself as a premium brand with advanced features and impeccable design.

While Saris offers excellent value and competitive pricing, those looking at Thule should be prepared to invest a bit more. However, the extra cost is often justified by Thule's reputation for durability, innovation, and aesthetic appeal.

Winner - Saris is the cheaper option.

Thule Vs. Saris: Types of Bike Racks

Roof Racks

Roof racks are a versatile choice, as they can be used to transport not only bikes but also other gear like kayaks or skis. This is the ideal new bike rack, so you don’t need to store the bike close to the rear wheel of the vehicle.

They require a set of crossbars mounted on your vehicle's roof and bike racks that attach to the crossbars. Thule and Saris offer a wide range of roof bike racks, from fork mounts to wheel mounts.

Keep in mind that you'll need to lift your bike onto the roof, which may be more challenging for heavier bikes or taller vehicles. Some features to look for in a roof rack system include:

  • Compatibility with your vehicle's existing roof racks or crossbars
  • Wheel or fork mounting options
  • Locks to secure your bikes and deter theft

Hitch Ricks

Hitch racks are a popular choice for their ease of use and stability. They attach directly to your vehicle's hitch receiver and can accommodate multiple bikes without the need for additional crossbars or hardware. You can load bikes with ease as well.

Both Thule and Saris offer sturdy, well-designed hitch racks that can securely hold your bikes in place while also providing easy access to the rear of your vehicle. Some features to look for when choosing a hitch rack include:

The hitch-mounted rack is super important as well. You will notice that Thule hitch-mounted bike racks have a higher weight capacity but are heavy. If you need to carry bikes on longer trips, it gets the job done too. Some other options include:

  • Foldable hitch racks
  • Tray-style hitch racks
  • Hitch mount racks

Trunk Racks

If your vehicle doesn't have a hitch receiver or you prefer a more affordable option, trunk racks may be the way to go. These racks attach to your car's trunk or hatch using straps and hooks and can carry one to three bikes, depending on the model.

While they may not be quite as sturdy as hitch racks, both Thule and Saris provide solid options for trunk racks that are easy to install and reliable. The trunk-mount bike racks offered by Saris are much lighter as well.