The bike is a remarkable thing. Obviously it’s capable of the basic task of getting us from point A to point B, but it also provides low impact exercise on just about any terrain, and takes us to places we may never have been to otherwise. Sometimes, however, our destination is a little further away than then our legs can pedal us, and we need to transport our two-wheeled means of transportation. This season, we mounted our bikes to our vehicle using the Thule EasyFold 9032 bike carrier, and we hit the road.
- Carries up to 2 bikes
- Snug-Tite™ receiver lock virtually eliminates hitch rack movement in receiver and locks the hitch rack to the vehicle
- Convenient removable ramp for easy loading and unloading of your bikes
- Fully foldable for convenient mounting, handling and storage
- High load capacity for handling the weight of two E-bikes (2 X 66 lbs/30 kg)
- Fits all 1 1/4″ or 2″ receivers with included hitch adapter
- Manages long wheel bases (downhill MTBs)
The beauty of the Thule EasyFold 9032 Carrier, is that it comes fully assembled, and can be installed on the vehicle by one person in seconds. From the fully collapsed position, all one needs to do is pull down the stinger arm until it clicks into place, lift the EasyFold Carrier, and slide it into the vehicle’s hitch receiver. Once in position, clicking the pin into place and turning the receiver knob is all it takes to secure the carrier. for extra security, the receiver knob can be locked with a supplied key. For anyone with a 1.25″ receiver, the Thule EasyFold can be modified to fit by removing an adapter.
With the Thule EasyFold, clearance concerns with roof rack bike carriers are a thing of the past. At the same time, complicated setups through a series of clips and straps that are typically acquainted with rear door bike carriers are not an issue. The Thule EasyFold is collapsible, and rotating the platforms down for loading is as simple as pushing down two release levers.
A ramp is also included, but it tends to slip very easily, depending on the angle of the ramp with different ground clearances. We mostly found the ramp useless, as anyone capable of lifting the Thule EasyFold Carrier onto the hitch during installation will more than likely be able to lift a bike a few feet off the ground.
Securing the bikes is simple. lockable clamps to secure the frame are located on an arm that can be adjusted into position on the carrier frame. Whatever the size and shape of the bikes in question, we haven’t yet found a combination of bikes that was impossible to secure, even if it took a bit of trial and error. There is also a wheel strap and buckle assembly for both the front and back bike tires, so once the bikes are properly secured, they are held in at three points of contact, one of which has the frame of the bike tightly locked in by key.
Once the bikes are secure, the back door of the vehicle remains accessible. The Thule EasyFold Carrier comes equipped with a “step on” foot release that allows the entire apparatus to lean behind the vehicle at an angle wide enough to allow easy access to the back door.
At the end of the day, storage is a snap. Removing the the Thule EasyFold Carrier from the hitch only takes a turn of the key and a few twists of a knob and it slides right off. By flipping three more additional latches, the carrier easily collapses into the shape of a tall suitcase that is very well balanced with handles for easy carrying and storage.
The Thule Easyfold Carrier is equipped with multiple locking points. While the carrier itself can be securely locked into the vehicle hitch, the bike frames can also be locked in, and all with the same key. All of the lock assemblies are contained within tightening knobs, so a well tooled would-be thief with bolt cutters still wouldn’t stand a chance of stealing the bikes or the carrier. If you want to get right to biking when you make it to your destination, you can be confident that the Thule EasyFold will remained safely secured to your vehicle.
Sure, the Easyfold carrier is basic in design, quick to install, and compact when it needs to be…but will it hold up wear over time? We tested this bike carrier thoroughly, fully loaded, and at top speeds, and there was never a noticeable sign of wear to any of it’s components. Of course, having a thick steal frame construction makes the carrier durable. Although we never had any issue with the movable parts, should any accessories get damaged they are available individually from Thule. For the ultimate stress test, we threw a moped on and had no issue securing the motorized pedal bike and taking it for a ride where we needed to take it. Although our results were positive, Thule recommends a weight capacity of 66 lbs per bike, and we suggest that be followed during regular use to prolong the lifetime of this already extremely durable carrier.
Pricing in at $699.95, the Thule EasyFold 9032 Carrier comes at quite an expense in relation to the competition. The bargain here is in efficiency, portability, and durability. Although this carrier retails at the extremely high end of the spectrum, the redeeming characteristics are evident to anyone who appreciates simplicity on the go that will last. There are no removable parts to lose over time (with the exception of the ramp that serves little purpose), and because we’re confident that this carrier will outlast the life of a well used vehicle, your biggest concern will be in finding a trade-in with a hitch included so that the EasyFold will continue its usefulness.
- Fast and Simple Installation
- Compact for Easy Stowing
- Amazingly Sturdy and Durable
- High Price Point
- Positioning Lock Arms can be Tricky
- Ramp Proved Mostly Useless