Today at Interbike, North America's largest bicycle trade show, Thule, leading manufacturer of bike, ski and cargo carriers, announced two new bicycle fork roof-mount carriers—the Thule Sprint and Circuit. We’re most enamored with the Sprint because it has features designed specifically to solve real-world problems that many of us have experienced with similar carriers.
The Sprint will fit any bar, including new aero styles from Thule and Yakima as well as factory racks. And, mounting the racks is tool-free. Gone are the days of fussing with the fork mount tension. The Sprint has an aerodynamic front bullet that you twist once the fork is in the mount. When it reaches proper torque for the fork, it clicks like a gas cap, securing your bike and preventing you from overtightening.
The rack has a telescoping, D-shaped strong and light aluminum tray. So rejoice cyclists out there with hatchbacks who have mounted your rack tip so that you could still open your trunk, or who have dented your trunk from slapping it onto your bike carrier tray a few too many times. Now there is a bike carrier that you can mount frontwards, the back of which simply slides in when you need to open the hatch.
Bike nerds worried about the damage that could be inflicted on their delicate rims when bikes are on the roof: Thule has built suspension into the rack itself. Shock absorbing blue elastomers are embedded in the wheel clamp to help absorb and protect your bike from road shock and vibration.
Thule’s Circuit is a scaled down version of the Sprint, with universal mounting, but without the other new tech. It’s also $100 cheaper.
The Sprint fits 9mm axles, with adapters for 15mm, 20mm and lefty axles sold separately. Available March 2013, $250; thule.com.