Rated 4 out of 5 by DanEss Plusses, Minuses, and IPs
First off, the quality and functionality of the Thule 527 Bike Carrier is good and typical of the brand. I recently used it to haul my mountain bike on a 300 mile trip to Maine with no problems. The unit mounted securely on the factory cross bars of my 2014 Honda CRV and felt solid with the bike clamped to it. The Thule Lock Set also worked smoothly and is a necessity for, at least, a moderate level of security (bike and carrier). No problems there. Another plus was the efficient LL Bean on-line order system and exceptionally quick delivery of the item. The minuses arrived, however, during the assembly process when I could not easily insert the plastic end plug into the main frame. I finally had to file and cut plastic to get it to fit. I then noticed there were 3 sets of bolts included for the rear wheel mount to allow proper fit to various thicknesses of vehicles' factory cross bars. Nothing in the instructions indicated this and by then I had already assembled the end plug and wrong size bolts into the carrier frame. Although the last page of the instructions is a chart which indicates which screws to use (by vehicle), I now had to dissasemble the front end of the carrier to correct my mistake. The final issue hit after I mounted the carrier to my vehicle and opened the CRV's rear hatch only to find that the carrier frame extended so far that the hatch couldn't open completely. Again, no indication in the instructions or other literature to indicate the potential for this interference. So, while I would "recommend this item to a friend" I would have to qualify my recommendation based on a not so great initial experience. I believe Thule and LL Bean could do a better job relating potential fit issues like these to the buyer. Thule apparently knew which screws to use for the 2014 Honda CRV factory crossbars but failed to mention a major interference problem with the vehicle's hatch. The carrier fits the vehicle's factory crossbars just fine but I will now have to cut a section off the carrier's frame to allow the rear hatch to fully open when the carrier is mounted to the crossbars.
May 13, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by ser968 Easy Install and Easy Use
I had no prior experience with roof rails or roof-mounted bike racks prior to this purchase. I put this rail on my Audi EOM roof rack (I read somewhere that Thule designs/manufactures Audi roof racks) and the install took less than 10 minutes. If I were going to do it again, it would take less than 5 minutes. Putting the bike onto the rack is also a breeze after you do it a couple of times. The only con to this is that the rail could be a little shorter - I had to adjust my rear hatch to not open as wide so it didn't hit the end of the rail.
June 25, 2014