Review: Thule ProRide 598 Bike Carrier

Back in the summer, I reviewed the Thule ProRide 591; a roof-top bike carrier that is very well recognised on UK roads, and renowned for being superbly built and functioning faultlessly. Indeed, Thule confidently claim that the 591 is the "world's most popular bike carrier".

At Eurobike this year, the Swedish brand announced that they would be launching a new roof-top carrier, which would have improvements on the 591 in multiple aspects. The 598 has now arrived, and I've been testing it over the last month, and seeing how beneficial these new "marginal gains" are in the real world.


Improved Roof-Rail Fitting

Thule started from the bottom up with the new 598, and have made some significant improvements on how the carrier mounts to the roof rails of the car. Similar to the 591, the 598 will fit multiple roof rails, including square section rails and Thule's aerodynamic Wing Bars. It is really designed to work best with the latter of these two types, and the 598 will actually need an accessory pack to mount on traditional square bars; however, it works faultlessly on both and is quick and easy to mount, with key locking security.

The "marginal gain" on the mounting front, comes in the form of tool-free side switching. Underneath the front mounting panel, there are now two knobs that you can turn with a key to release the underside plate, allowing you to flip the panel round so you can use it on both sides of the car. Neat.
The bottom plate removes, so that you can flip the dial mechanism to the other side


Improved Bike Mounting

When it comes to how the rack holds the bike, Thule have also made some notable improvements with the design of the 598, compared to its predecessor.

The first improvement is that the lower claw of the clamp has been extended, so that it wraps around more of the downtube on the bike. This offers greater security and stability.

The second, is that the claw now has a new style of padding. The large soft rubber area conforms to the shape of the downtube, and avoids pressure points, which are usually what cause frame or paintwork damage.

The third area that has seen evolution, is the wheel strapping. Unlike the previous perpendicular straps on the 591, the 598 has diagonal straps to hold the wheels in place. This is a great improvement, and it stops the front wheel from doing that annoying wobbling that is used to do on the 591, especially when you were using it with skinny road tyres and at high motorway speeds.

Three great mounting improvements then, which have notable benefits for the user.
The new diagonal strap and grooved wheel mount

Improved claw design, with soft malleable rubber padding


Improved Indexed Clamping

The final area that has been adapted on the new 598 release, is the clamping adjustment dial. Thule have added a torque limiter dial to the tightening wheel, so that much like on a torque wrench, you are warned against over-clamping your downtube. A great idea for carbon frames, and particularly aero frames.


Overall, the 598 is a notable improvement over the already fantastic Thule 591 Carrier. The Swedish company is renowned for its quality and constant research and development, and the 598 showcases both of these superbly. I can see that this will fast become the new "world's most popular bike carrier".

Read my original review of the Thule 591 Bike Carrier (Link)

View the Thule ProRide 598 Carrier at Thule.com (Link)

View other Thule content on the blog (Link)




Comments

  1. Any idea if it fits for a GT Fury 2016 in L size? Thanks!Mat

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would have thought that it would Mat, it will fit most road and mtbs

      Delete
  2. I have been looking at various bike racks and had just about made up my mind to go for the 598, but then saw a review on Amazon that said their thin tyres got torn up by the wheel trays.
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/product-reviews/B018S8U0T6/ref=acr_offerlistingpage_text?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

    As I will be using the rack to carry my road bike, I am interested to hear if anyone else has had that problem. The reviewer does not say what size tyres they had on their bike, but I am using 700x25C tyres and the pictures in the review look to be a similar size.

    ReplyDelete

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