The Chainlink

Some serious design problems with this sucker apparently exist.  If you use this product check out this video.

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Wow. That's a horrendous oversight.
have just recieved this from Thule USA via email after my enquiry:
We have heard of a few instances regarding the issues that have been described with the T2.
Our quality testing team has been unable to replicate this scenario in our lab or on our road tests. As always, this testing is carried out with correctly assembled and installed products. Thule is committed to making products which have the highest safety and quality. Even though we were unable to duplicate the problem, as a precaution, we started installing a bolt on the underside of the T2 last year. This bolt helps to keep the T2 trays on the rack even if the tray bolts were not secured correctly during the installation.

The Thule T2 uses a similar 4-bolt design as a bicycle stem. As with a stem, each of the four
bolts needs to be tightened down evenly with a tool that can provide adequate torque. Although
we have not yet inspected this rack first hand, the tool used in the video appears to be a common multi-tool which is good to use for emergencies, but doesn’t provide enough leverage to fully tighten the lock-tight coated bolts on a T2.

We have been in contact with this user to learn more about his experience with this rack.
Repeated efforts by Thule to obtain a police report, make contact with witnesses or potentially
injured individuals, gather any insurance claims or obtain the name of the trucking company that
hit his bike have not been successful. Finally, our quality department has not received his T2
which is a must have for our internal analysis. Until we receive this information and rack we
cannot determine what happened.

As with all Thule products, the T2 comes with a lifetime warranty and we stand behind the
product 100%. If anyone has an issue with any of our products, they can call our customer
service 800-238-2388. As soon as we do receive the rack in question back and figure out the
cause for the failure we will let you and your readers know.
Does Thule provide a hex wrench that can provide enough leverage and torque to fully tighten the bolts?

Anne said:
have just recieved this from Thule USA via email after my enquiry:
...the tool used in the video appears to be a common multi-tool which is good to use for emergencies, but doesn’t provide enough leverage to fully tighten the lock-tight coated bolts on a T2....

Yikes! I think that's a significant design problem. If the bolts require that degree of torque, I would hope they would include a "black box"-type warning that a high-torque tool is required for assembly. How many average bike owners own such a tool? I've owned other Thule products over the years, and none required any professional-grade tools or skills.

I wonder if the additional bolt noted in Thule's response is enough to overcome this problem.
Thanks for the follow up Anne!

Anne said:
have just recieved this from Thule USA via email after my enquiry:
We have heard of a few instances regarding the issues that have been described with the T2.
Our quality testing team has been unable to replicate this scenario in our lab or on our road tests. As always, this testing is carried out with correctly assembled and installed products. Thule is committed to making products which have the highest safety and quality. Even though we were unable to duplicate the problem, as a precaution, we started installing a bolt on the underside of the T2 last year. This bolt helps to keep the T2 trays on the rack even if the tray bolts were not secured correctly during the installation.

The Thule T2 uses a similar 4-bolt design as a bicycle stem. As with a stem, each of the four
bolts needs to be tightened down evenly with a tool that can provide adequate torque. Although
we have not yet inspected this rack first hand, the tool used in the video appears to be a common multi-tool which is good to use for emergencies, but doesn’t provide enough leverage to fully tighten the lock-tight coated bolts on a T2.

We have been in contact with this user to learn more about his experience with this rack.
Repeated efforts by Thule to obtain a police report, make contact with witnesses or potentially
injured individuals, gather any insurance claims or obtain the name of the trucking company that
hit his bike have not been successful. Finally, our quality department has not received his T2
which is a must have for our internal analysis. Until we receive this information and rack we
cannot determine what happened.

As with all Thule products, the T2 comes with a lifetime warranty and we stand behind the
product 100%. If anyone has an issue with any of our products, they can call our customer
service 800-238-2388. As soon as we do receive the rack in question back and figure out the
cause for the failure we will let you and your readers know.
that is a really good point!

Their installation manuals are avail online for every model; http://www.thule.com/en/US/Products/BikeCarriers/Hitch/18320.aspx
included in the box is a 5mm hex wrench, and the instructions read as follows:
"Tighten all 4 bolts with the 5mm Allen wrench until the lower bracket wings touch the bottom of the tray. (fig. B) Fasteners must be tight and should be checked periodically with rack use."

They also instruct to line up the tray brackets specifically with lines printed on the main bar.

There is no mention of torque pattern or torque spec. anywhere in the Install Guide.
Interesting other Guidelines notes include a repeat of the 'check all bolts periodically' and before each trip, plus to remove the hitch before going thru an automatic car wash. I'm guessing that has more to do with not getting the brushes or those big moppy-twirly things caught up in the rack.
*shudders* What was it they said about Loctite-coated bolts? Ugh.

Anne said:
...Interesting other Guidelines notes include a repeat of the 'check all bolts periodically' and before each trip...

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