Thule Apex Bike Carrier

Priced: $359.96 - $399.99 Rated:   - 4 stars out of 5 by 15 reviews.
Thule Apex Bike Carrier
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Color: Carrier Folded Down
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Thule Apex Bike Carrier -
The Thule Apex 4 Bike Hitch Rack is the most complete hitch rack on the market. It carries your bicycles with security and convenience. This hitch rack features revolutionary new cradles with Road Dampening Technology (RDT) which absorbs the shock of the road and protects your bikes during travel.


  • New Hold Fast Cradles are shaped to cushion bike frames and feature Thermal Plastic Elastomer (TPE) road damping pads that absorb road forces and vibrations to protect bikes


  • Anti-Sway Cages with integrated soft-touch TPE strips protect bike frame finishes and prevent bike-to-bike and bike-to-vehicle contact; reinforced rubber cradle straps


  • Easy mounting of hitch rack requires no tools; push rack into receiver until auto-pin engages, tighten knob and lock the hood of the housing


  • Tilt-down design with Hitch Switch™ quick-release lever allows arms to fold down when not in use and tilts carrier away from vehicle for fast rear vehicle access


  • Thule Apex 4 accommodates both 2 in. and 1.25 in. receiver hitches with included hitch adapter
  • Not intended for tandem or recumbent bikes
  • Arc design of the arms gives bikes greater clearance off the ground and provides greater distance between bikes preventing contact
  • Integrated handle for easy carrying and handling
  • Increased mast height improves ground clearance and a unique arc design in mast and arms offers easy bike loading and carrying
  • Heavy-duty integrated lock allows you to lock the bikes to rack and store in the hitch rack when not in use
  • Included Snug-Tite™ Stinger receiver lock secures your rack to the car receiver; 4 walls of fastening contact within receiver eliminate vertical and horizontal movement
  • Hold Fast RDT (Road Dampening Technology) Cradles™ absorb the shock of the road protecting your bike during transport (Spring 2014)

The Thule Apex Bike Rack features an improved design that not only looks better with your car's design but allows faster loading and unloading and increased clearance from the ground and bumper.

DECENT FEATURES of the Thule Apex Bike Carrier.

Massey's Outfitters
The premium hitch rack combines security, convenience and revolutionary new cradles with Road Dampening Technology - making it the most complete hitch rack on the market. Features Top 25 Category Product
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Average Price History: Price History
Review RatingNumber of Reviews
Convenience:Hitch Switch allows the arms to fold when not in use and tilts the carrier down for rear of vehicle access
Hitch receiver (in.):1.25 and 2
Number of bikes:4
Rear liftgate access:Yes
Security:Hold Fast RDT (Road Dampening Technology) Cradles absorb the shock of the road and protect your bike during transport
Weight:40 pounds
Compare specifications to related products.

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Thule Apex Bike Carrier Reviews:

Positive Reviews:

Does what it says

Directions for assembly clearly written and illustrated except for attaching the anti-sway angled extensions which we quickly figured out. My 6' tall brother-in-law attached the bike rack to the hitch receiver on my Mazda CX-5. It was a little push and shove, probably because both the rack and the hitch receiver were new and never used before. We thought I should leave it there because it might be too heavy and unwieldy for me to remove. I'm 5'2" and a fit 58 yrs old but I managed to take it off with absolutely no problem all by myself. Not exactly lightweight but hey, I could handle it, so it's all relative, right? I did need a Thule 982XT frame adapter so my 14" mountain bike would fit the bike rack. We got 3 bikes on the rack, I don't know how 4 would fit. They were easy to load and unload, and the built-in locking cable is very convenient so you don't have to buy that extra. Also the locking stinger locks the rack to the car and does as advertised, the rack does not wobble. The bikes do not bang against each other or the car, yay! You do have to unload the bikes to tilt the rack down to access the rear of the car, not a big deal for me. So I didn't need to buy anything extra other than the frame adapter. With the 30% off sale at REI the price was way better than anywhere else including online. Very happy with my bike rack.
Miss Cellany at REI on 10/10/2012

Excellent bike rack!

I did extensive research on the Internet. When I went to REI I had already made up my mind on the Apex 4. The Yakima rep was actually there that day and when he asked why Thule I listed the several that he could not respond to with any reasonable remarks. We just traveled 200 miles with3 bikes, a mountain bike, a hybrid and a toddler bike with training wheels. The bikes did not move a bit going 75 mph on the highway or 30 mph on back roads with a bunch of pot holes. I had read that the sway cages can fall off when not in use so I strap them in and so far so good. I recommend taking off straps and cages when not in use for a prolonged period of time. They are easy to put back on when needed. Finally I planned on removing the rack when not in use but with it locked and the fold down feature it will likely remain on our MDX forever.
brionjlock at REI on 05/05/2012

No assembly required, very sturdy

I decided it was high time to make better use of the bicycle my husband bought me 8 years ago and wanted to commute from my office to school classes each night.

I needed something that fit my small car with no trunk to speak of (Toyota Celica, hatchback). We had a class-1 trailer hitch installed, and decided this was the rack for us.

It came out of the box in a single piece, and slid right into the receiver. It is incredibly easy to operate, stows neatly, seems very durable, and looks pretty stylish too. I get very little sway when using this, and I feel like my bike is incredibly secure.

The only potential downside is that it is heavier than some of the other hitches out there, but it is worth it to me for the increased stability and durability.

I've been nothing but happy with the purchase.
AEgbert at REI on 09/09/2012

Thule Apex 4 Hitch Rack

I have been using the Apex 4 all summer on my Jeep Liberty. The overall quality is good but a few minor issues should be noted. First the rack protrudes further from the rear of the car than it needs to. It's advertised feature of being higher for better ground clearance is true and on a Jeep it is really high...not a problem for me at 6'3" but for folks under 6' it is a lift. Major sticking points include the fact that the saddles slide back an and forth. Also, the sway prevention set up is goofy and keeps falling off needs more positive attachment. The bikes still swing more than I thought they would however.
In the end, I am glad I bought it and with a little field fabrication I should be able to solve all the issues noted.
Coyote1950 at REI on 09/09/2013

Great Quality Bike Rack

I was looking for a High quality & easy to use hitch & after some extensive research I choose this one, very easy to set up only took 5 mins out of the box & on the van. Loading the bike take a bit more time, especially with womens bikes & kids bikes where the cross tube is not straight across but with some doing I got 4 bikes on there & securely mounted. First trip out it was perfect, bikes all stayed put & did not shift at all. all & all I would give it a 4.5 only because it is a little difficult to mount womens & childrens bikes
Scouter50 at REI on 04/04/2013

Wow! Nice Rack!

Originally we had purchased the Yakima Swing Daddy but immediately took it back due to inconvenience. That rack required pulling two pins and unscrewing a knob to swing it out. Doesn't sound like much but it was not convenient if you just want to put groceries in! We have a Subaru Outback and need quick and easy-access to the hatch. This rack is great! It does require a few free fingers to open/drop it but it is the best product out there for hatch cars. Thule really does make a better product, as well. The lock on this is much better and user friendly, too. Highly recommend this one.
Outdoor Annie at REI on 07/07/2013


we have used it for several trips and it has worked really well. it can carry 4 bikes (3 adult size, one kid size) for us, although it's a squeeze to say the least. it's much more stable than the single bike roof rack (Yakima High Roller) that we also have, which sways a lot around bends and over bumps. one word of caution: you need to put padding between the bikes on this rack. i didn't do that the first time we used it, and got some significant scratching on all the bikes and some dents on the carbon fiber road bike.
rm1223 at REI on 10/10/2013

Sturdy and easy-to-use bike rack

I have the rack installed on my Honda Odyssey. It was super easy to attach to the hitch and very easy to use. Bikes are very stable and secure. For women and kids bikes, need to have the Thule Adapter bar. Unfortunately, the adapter bar does not fit my daughter's 18-in bike. I have not had to load 4 bikes on it yet. So I am unsure whether it will be a tight fit given the differing dimensions of different bikes. Definitely one of the better looking and easy-to-use bike racks in the market.
SBAL at REI on 08/08/2013

Very nice product!

I put this bike rack on a 2011 Honda PILOT. It was easy to install. The quality seems to be very good so far. But the solid construction makes it heavy.
Once attached to the car it is very easy to mount the bikes. There was no trouble while driving. The bike stayed in place and did not move around.
The bike rack does stick out a lot, so be careful when you drive backwards. But, it holds up to four bikes, so that should be expected.
MrSmith at REI on 06/06/2012

New Thule Hitch Bike Rack Rocks

This really is a great hitch rack. It's folds down nicely and when not in use, compacts beautifully. When storing, it sits nicely against our garage wall. I almost want to bring it inside because it's so nice. Internal locking device is a super nice bonus as well. 4 bikes fit quite nicely and 5 will fit, but I still worry about rubbing - this isn't a product problem, just a general issue will all racks. Thule really outdid themselves on this one.
Reno 360 at REI on 05/05/2012

Negative Reviews:

Does Not Carry 4 Bikes

I bought this to carry 4 road bikes. We have 4 compact frame road bikes, all fairly small, but nothing unusual. I can fit 3 on the rack. I tried asking Thule for help, but they said that they could not show me how to do it and assured me there must be videos out on the internet somewhere (I can't find any) of someone putting 4 road bikes on this rack. If you can do it, show me how. (By the way, I tried using the top tube bars you can buy -- I picked a couple up at a local shop -- but on small frames they are too close to the top tube to actually mount on the rack with the additional bars, so that approach does not help.)

So we will carry 3 on the rack, one in the car. On the plus side, this is a solid rack, easy to install and use (for 3 or fewer bikes) and the locks are very nice. Next time I will go with a rack that carries bikes on their wheels, that can actually take 4, however. If you want to carry, 4, don't buy this. If you want to carry fewer, go for it.
DavidB at Campmor on 08/08/2013

Neutral Reviews:

4 Bikes Is A Stretch!

Got this rack to haul 4 bikes on not-too-distant road trips. The positives: overall design, installation was a breeze and I love the security mechanism that comes with this model. However, 3 main gripes: I bottom-out routinely on dips and I wonder how much longer the structural integrity of the device will last. At higher speeds and on anything but the smoothest of roads, be prepared to see the rack move all over the place in your rear view mirror - it just doesn't inspire confidence in its sturdiness. Finally, and most importantly, it is a genuine struggle to get 4 bikes on this rack. You will work up a good sweat and will likely dislodge cables amongst the bikes trying to cram them on.

Also beware that certain kids bikes will not fit on the rack due to frame size being too small to fit onto rack holders.
boise68 at REI on 08/08/2013