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Old 04-22-21, 10:22 AM
Dirty Heathen
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: MC-778, 6250 fsw
Posts: 1,479

Bikes: 1997 Cannondale, 1976 Bridgestone, 1998 Softride

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Originally Posted by kwandtke View Post
All kidding aside I buy good stuff when I can see it's worth it .. I'm just not seeing what makes the Thule (or Saris, etc) worth that much more .. what am I missing?
Better fit and finish; Cheaper racks tend to user cheaper, heavier steel tubes. Better racks are powdercoated or have thicker, tougher paint. You'll also see more ease of adjustment (which can be important if you have multiple, different sized bikes) Things like SS or cad-plated hardware, as opposed to plain steel. Wheel holders will get nylon ratchet straps instead of velcro.

The better brands usually have more fold up / fold away features as well, which let you access the trunk more easily when there's bikes on it, and / or fold closer to the car when it's empty.

That said, I had a Hollywood / Swagman of the design you're looking at that stayed on my car 9 months out of the year. I bought it used, and had it for about 6 years, its advantage was it's simplicity, It was so basic, that there wasn't much to go wrong with it. A little Kroil on the hardware, and some spray grease in the pivots every spring; No complaints here.
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