Explore Thule Bike Rack Problems & Solutions to Avoid

What are the main Thule bike rack problems? Thule bike racks have several significant issues, including hitch lock problems, release handle issues, stuck knob, etc. 

Mainly, these problems occur when your bike rack gets old, damaged, or picks up some dust and debris in its moving parts. Also, a faulty installation can lead to bike rack problems. 

However, we have found some other prominent causes behind these bike racks’ problems that we have described below. So, let’s read. 

Thule Bike Rack Problems: Uncover All The Issues & Fixes

Although Thule bike racks are the go-to gear for many riders, some people show less interest in towing these racks with their vehicles because of Thule bike rack issues. Below, we have shared those problems and talked about the fixes. 

But before reading the information, we recommend you have a quick look at the table below to get a glance at the problems and causes. 

Hitch Lock IssueGets Jammed Due To Dirt & Debris
Release Handle ProblemMoves Away From Its Ideal Position
Stuck Knob and Anti-Rattle Adjustment IssueDisengagement Of The Knob & Anti-Rattle
Wobbling Bike RackImproper Installation

Hitch Lock Issue

Some Thule bike rack users often find a problem with the hitch lock. For that, they can’t remove the bike rack from the hitch.

A user named Meshach F stated the issue on Etrailer as follows-

“My Thule rack won’t removed from the hitch of my vehicle. The bolt will loosen just fine, but the problem lies with the Thule lock core on the other end. The key will not turn the lock in any direction, and the entire piece freely spins from the bolt, not sure if intended or not.”

The possible cause for such trouble can be dirt and debris that the lock picks up and gets jammed when you go off-road. If this is the case, experts recommend putting some oil inside the lock core and letting the oil penetrate thoroughly. 

Once the oil reaches the entire lock’s surface, try to unlock the hitch. Re-apply this technique several times. However, if this doesn’t solve your problem, you should contact the professional. 

Release Handle Problem

Some Thule bike racks have been reported with the release handle problem. Many users claimed that their bike racks’ handle release wasn’t working correctly, and they failed whenever they tried to squeeze the handle to position the rack. 

Well, such a problem arises when the release handle moves away from its optimal position. And so, users need to re-align it perfectly to address the issue. 

However, to re-align the release handle, users first need to remove the side screws located on the handle. Afterward, they should loosen the center screw, remove the handle, align it correctly, and set it up. Hopefully, users will no longer have any release handle issues. 

Stuck Knob and Anti-Rattle Adjustment Issue

Stuck hand knobs and jammed anti-rattles are one of the significant problems often seen in the Thule bike racks. Many riders complained that they couldn’t detach the bike racks from the hitch receivers even after turning the hand knobs and adjusting the anti-rattle devices. 

Usually, this situation typically occurs when the knob and the anti-rattle mechanism don’t engage. And to avert this issue, experts recommend playing around with the key and lock.

That means users need to try locking and to turn and then unlocking and turning constantly. They should apply this method with the key in and out and see whether it solves the problem or not.

Another technique users can follow is shaking the rack and loosening the knob. In most cases, this method works. However, if it doesn’t work for you, you need to ask for a professional’s help. 

Wobbling Bike Rack

Another common problem with Thule bike racks is that they can wobble, especially when carrying heavier bikes. Users encounter this issue when they fail to install their bike racks correctly.

Hence, to fix this problem. First, riders need to ensure that the rack is correctly secured to their vehicles. If it’s not, then it will obviously wobble more.

Also Read: Thule 450 Vs 450r: What Are The Key Differences?

They should tighten the straps that hold the rack. If these straps are too loose, they will contribute to wobbling. Another solution is to use anti-wobble bolts, which are special bolts that help reduce or eliminate wobbling.

Finally, if users still have the wobbling problem after trying all of these solutions, they may need to replace it or call for a professional’s help.

So, these are all the Thule tow bar bike rack problems and fixes. We hope you will benefit from the aforementioned information next time you face any trouble.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How To Lower Thule Bike Rack?

To lower most Thule bike racks, you need to squeeze the handle release button and lower the bike rack from the stored position to your desired position. It’s that simple.

How To Fix Thule Bike Rack?

Some common issues with Thule bike racks are that their straps may loosen over time, hitch locks get jammed, etc. If the problem is the jammed locks, you need to put some oil inside and around the key lock to fix it, and if it is the straps problem, you should secure them tightly or replace them with new ones.

How Do You Tighten A Thule Bike Rack?

Depending on the bike rack, you need to follow various methods to tighten your Thule bike rack. For instance, the Thule t2 pro will require you to position itself in the stowed position and slide its hitch through the hitch receiver of your vehicle. Then, tighten it with the hitch knob and secure it with the key.

Is A Thule Bike Rack Worth It?

Yes, a Thule rack bike is worth it as it consists of heavy-duty materials and lasts for an extended duration. Besides, this rack can keep your expensive mountain bikes stable and secured even while driving your car off-roads. Lastly, it doesn’t cost you plenty of money, so, considering these facts, a Thule bike rack is surely worth the price.

How Do You Lubricate A Thule Bike Rack?

First, you need to clean the wheel axles and apply lubricants to your Thule bike rack’s moving parts. However, after using lubricant, you shouldn’t store your bike rack outdoors as it can catch dust and debris.


Thule bike rack problems can be annoying and make many users avoid using this excellent bike rack. Indeed, Thule bike racks have some issues, but they also provide unmatched performance. And the best fact is that with a bit of care and maintenance, anyone can eliminate bike rack problems and extend its lifespan.

However, if you face any issues with your Thule bike rack, we recommend you apply the aforementioned techniques, or you can contact the professionals. That’s all for this content; we will catch you with the next one.

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