Our Thule Archway 900XT enables us to take 2 bikes along for day trips and adventures. It’s a great trunk-mounted bike rack.
Why We Use a Thule Archway
We like our Thule Archway. It’s a great way to bring our bikes when we travel by car. Normally, we take bikes camping and load them onto our Arvika bike rack. However, sometimes we just want to take a day trip. The Thule trunk-mounted rack might also work well if you travel in a Class A RV and need to put the bikes on your toad (towed vehicle).
Unfortunately, the Thule Archway 9009XT 2-bike rack is no longer available. However, we thought we’d share a review anyway. If you think this type of rack would work for you, consider getting the Thule Gateway Pro 2 rack which is similar and is currently available.
Setting up the Thule Archway
The Thule rack is pretty versatile and will fit most sedans and wagons. Here are the steps to set up a Thule Archway Bike Rack.
Step One: Adjust the Fit
There is an adjustment that sets the angle of the rack to the right fit. Look in the fit guide to determine which setting to use. For example, for our Prius V, we set it to 9. For a Corolla sedan, the setting varies by model year so you might need to select a 6, 7, or 8. The fit guide lists a large number of vehicles. You can also look up the right number in the online Thule Fit My Car guide.
Step Two: Insert the Security Puck
Before attaching the rack, tuck the hockey puck lock device into the trunk. Once you secure the rack, you won’t be able to open the tailgate. While this security strap is a nice feature, no bike rack security is perfect. At least the security strap adds a bit of protection.
Step Three: Secure the Straps
The rack is held in place by several straps. Mount the rack to the vehicle and then secure it using the straps. There is one pair of straps that connects to the top of the tailgate. The other pair of straps has clips that connect to the side of the tailgate, high and low. Once the clips are in place, tighten them for a secure fit. Note that there will likely be some excess strap. Don’t worry, that gets secured later in the process.
Step Four: Position the Bike Rack Arms
Once the rack is mounted, you can position the bike arms. These should be positioned to be level with the ground or pointed just a bit up. Each arm has cradles that hold the frame of the bike. Additionally, there is an anti-sway device that helps keep the bike in place.
Using the Thule Archway
Once the bike rack has been secured to the vehicle, you are ready to load your bikes onto the rack.
Load bikes onto the rack with the frames resting on the cradles. Adjust the bikes sideways as needed until the anti-sway cradle meets with the vertical frame bar. Secure the bikes in place using the rubber straps that come with the rack.
The cradles have posts, and the straps have holes. Pull the strap until the bike seems secure, then mount it onto the post. Note that women’s frame bicycles may not ride level. The angle of the bar may make it so that the rear tire is higher than the front. While it seems odd to have the bike loaded at an angle, we haven’t had an issue bringing either women’s or men’s bikes on the rack.
The Thule Archway has an additional security feature to help reduce theft. A cable lock is mounted in the end of one of the bike arms. While it isn’t a long cable, it is sufficient to mount around the frame of the outer of the two bikes.
With the bikes secured in place, we like to use at least one of the mounting straps to ensure the wheels don’t move or spin. You can thread the strap through the tire in front of and behind the fork. Tie the strap to itself. You can then secure the rest of the straps using the Thule strap management system. It’s really just a few hook & loop strips, the kind you might use to secure computer cables behind your desk. You can roll or fold the straps into short lengths, then secure them together using the hook & loop strips. This works pretty well to keep the bike rack straps in place.
Go Have an Biking Adventure
How do you bring your bikes? What’s your favorite bike trail? We’d love to hear all about it. Please leave a comment. Thanks.
Thule Archway 900XT YouTube Review
We walk you through the setup of the Thule Archway in our YouTube Video.
Where to Buy a Thule Bike Rack
Thule racks are available from a variety of retailers. You might check out your local bike store. Of course, they are also available on Amazon. For your convenience, we added a link here Note: these are affiliate links. If you choose to purchase by using the link there is no additional cost to you, but we earn a commission that helps enable us to continue sharing helpful information.
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