Thule Helium 3 Bike Rack


Super-lightweight aluminum construction and no-tool installation help make mounting and removal of the Thule Helium 3 Bike Rack a breeze. And once it?s on, fiddling with this hitch rack between rides is kept to a minimum thanks to the Hitch Switch system, which folds the arms down and tilts the carrier away from your vehicle for easy trunk, hatch, or tailgate access.Thule T3 cradles hold bikes securely in placePatented No Sway Cage prevents bike-to-bike contact as you bump along back roadsNarrow cradle arms accommodate a wide range of bikes from your child?s beginner bike to your off-road rigIntegrated, retractable cable easily locks bikes down to prevent theft; Snug-Tite receiver lock includedFits either 1.25- or 2-inch hitches (adapter kit included) so you can switch between vehiclesThule part number 971XT


Showing 1-2 of 2  
[Aug 24, 2013]
Weekend Warrior


Build quality, features, weight, flip down for clearance, built in security, ease of assembly, ease of use


rubber straps

I just bought my finace and I some bikes and was really interested in platform carriers but was really turned off by the price. I also needed something I could store during the winter months and due to a bad back I needed something easy to handle for install/removal. After much reading of reviews and mfg pages I went down to my local REI to get eyes on these racks...
I started to really like the idea of this style of rack vs a platform and Yakima was advertising a similar 2 bike rack that weighed under 20 lbs. The girl looked up the spec and found the Thule Helium 3 to be lighter than the Yakima 2 rack. Hmmm...ok.
Then I sized these up. Though similar in arm length to each other the curves in the arms and rubbers the bikes fit into seemed much nicer than the Yakima. So what really sold me on this rack...
Build quality looked better.
Thule racks, though a Swedish company, are built in the US and employ over 1K americans. I like the idea of supporting my economy.
The Thule mounting system was more solid in a 2" hitch and a snap to get in/out.
Thule has built in disable for the tightening knob on the hitch.
The rack is super light, easy to get on/off and easy to store.
The movement of the tilt back and tilt down (for arms) and the heavy click of the locking mechanisms was solid and smooth.

The only issue I have is the rubber straps used to hold the bikes in place. I can see it wearing down in the sun and becoming weak or breaking. I read some older reviews where the rubber like straps had cracked. I purchased spare straps to keep with me in case I lose or break one or two... or if someone steals one.

I will also mention this... I was looking at the 2 bike carrier but didn't feel two mountain bikes would have enough room to not beat the snot out of each other. But this was the case with the Yakima rack as well. In all fairness this rack keeps the bikes very solid and no swap at all. Im still glad I have a bit of spare room anyway.

Overall a solid well built and worth the money rack.
4 chilis on value because its expensive but comparably priced amongst premium racks of this category.
4 chilis overall because I think they could have adapted the quick ratcheting straps onto this if they tried.

[Jun 02, 2013]
Tom Kruse
Cross Country Rider


Quick and easy attachment to vehicle and loading of bicycles. Comes with locks. Super light.


I bought the 3 bike version, but it only holds two mountain bikes. Plastic knob at bottom of rack used to tighten rack into hitch easily bottoms out when driving up sharp inclines or over big speed bumps.

This is a half-decent rack that I would recommend to a friend for occasional use. It's super light (all aluminum construction), attaches easily to the hitch, and holds bikes securely. Without getting into the business of moving/removing seat-posts or handlebars & stems, it will not hold three 29" mountain bikes - things are just too tight. It does hold 2 mountain bikes or 3 road bikes reasonably well. Given the so-so functionality and pretty hefty price, I gave it 2 chilis for value, 3 overall.

MTBR Newsletter

Get the latest mountain bike reviews, news, race results, and much more by signing up for the MTBR Newsletter




© Copyright 2021 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.