Thule Vertex 9030 Review

As the father in a family of five, I am particularly choosy in picking what’s best for my wife, my kids, and me. And since we are all biking enthusiasts, we need to pick the best bike rack to use for our monthly biking “excursion” at the public park not too far from where we live. By chance, I stumbled upon the Thule Vertex 9030 5 Bike Hitch Rack. I spent $320 for this baby.
With a respected name in vehicle bike racks like Thule, I expected sturdiness in the Vertex 9030’s form and construction – and yup, it didn’t disappoint. And I had no complaints about its heaviness since it’s a natural consequence of its sturdiness. As a one-time bodybuilder, I managed to lug it around easily.
Last month, my family had our monthly biking activity, and we subjected the Vertex 9030 to our acid test. Our SUV is large and roomy, but we didn’t want to hear the rattling sounds of all our bikes that are tucked away in the trunk nor entrust their safety and security to a fragile roof mount bike rack that possibly can’t fit all of them. As we drove towards the park, no clanking sounds could be heard. All of our bikes have ultra-light frames, and once they all fitted into the rack, I drove like nothing happened. The “anti-sway technology” that Thule always advertises in their racks beyond doubt worked as they should have. How about the installation? I’m confident to say that it’s a breeze, with the rack’s compact and foldable design that complements the sturdiness very well. Despite the design, it feels roomy. I still even have access to the trunk even with all five bikes on! That’s another plus point from me.
That said… Even though the Vertex 9030 is an excellent rack, it has its share of minor annoyances that I can live with. Based on my experiments with other bikes that are stored in our house’s attic, small kids’ bikes won’t fit into the rack, but that’s no big deal. I could just stuff that bike inside the trunk, anyway. And as I’ve said before, my family didn’t hear any clanks, but we heard wobbles instead. After thorough checking, the culprit is the lack of a locking pin on the hitch. To get rid of that annoyance, I had to buy Thule’s locking pin for $50, but it’s worth the extra money I spent.
The only thing I truly hate about the rack is the rubber straps. They are a pain to put on and off, and even the instruction manual’s section regarding those straps perplexes me to this day.
In general, the Thule Vertex 9030 5 Bike Hitch Rack is worth every penny. Solid construction, portable design, easy installation, and excellent stability – I could not ask for more in a family-sized bike rack. This will be a permanent fixture in my SUV as my kids grow up and inherit this fine investment I’ve made as my legacy to them.


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