How to Remove Thule Bike Rack

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Having a convenient way to ferry your bikes around is excellent, but it is not always easy to find the best option. Sometimes, when you do, the option may not come cheap, or it may be complex. Bike racks offer a way to take your bikes with you, but if you use an unfamiliar one, it may not be worth the stress.

Thule makes some of the best bike racks. However, you have to know how to use it if you want to get the most out of these items. There are several Thule bike rack options, and setting up each one is another story.

So, how do you remove a Thule bike rack?

Car roof bike rack

How to Remove a Thule Bike Rack From a Tow Hitch

To remove the bike rack, check the components that secure it to the car, including the lock cylinder. These components must be loose before you can successfully remove the rack. Inspect the anti-rattle device that is a part of the rack to ensure you fully loosen it; a key comes with the rack, and you should use it to unlock the hand knob.

Keep turning to loosen the lock far enough to enable you to wiggle the carrier. Then, it should be able to move around the hitch receiver.

Pull the safety pin out of the pinhole. Once the pin comes out, you can safely remove the rack. 

It is crucial that you pull out the rack from the hitch at the correct angle. Otherwise, you may find it odd or difficult to perform this task. 

That goes even for after you’ve loosened the anti-rattle device. The locked position is to keep the bike safe.

What Is a Thule Bike Rack?

A Thule bike rack is a top-quality hitch rack that allows you to secure your bike to the back of your vehicle. Unlike many other types of bike racks, the Thule rack does not make any contact with the frame of the bike. Therefore, it is an excellent choice for bikes such as carbon fiber bikes and e-bikes. 

Some models have a lock cylinder for securing the bike during transportation. The rack is not restrictive or obstructive. In other words, you still have access to the trunk of your vehicle with the rack attached to the back. 

One rack can carry up to two adult-sized bikes and has a straightforward installation. Nowadays, various online and physical stores sell Thule products.

How Do You Remove a Thule Bike Rack From Roof Rack?

Check to see if the rack is locked to the roof. If it is, put your hand under the tab with the lock marked Thule and pull it out toward you. 

The cap should come off and when it does, use it to loosen and remove the single bolt that you’ll see after you remove the cap. You can also use a small screwdriver. There is a rubber strap that holds the rack to the roof rack, and loosening the bolt should fix it. 

However, push it back into its hole when the bolt is almost out instead of fully removing it. When you push it in, put your hand to the back of the section holding to the roof rack and push the rubber strap inwards until it disconnects. Once it does, you can stop pushing the bolt into its hole and remove the rack from the roof rack.

In some cases, all you have to do is to flip the lever at the back and the lever at the front. There may be swing-away end caps to move before removing the rack, but it depends on the Thule roof rack model. Once you release the straps and lift the levers, you can slide the rack off the roof rack.

Thule bike rack

How Do You Remove a Bike Rack From a Hitch?

You need to unlock the rack first before removing it from the hitch. Next, take a look at the rack’s base, at the point where the rack attaches to the receiver. 

On the right side of that point, you will see a black bar; hold the bar and pull it a little out from the bike rack. After pulling the black bar, loosen the anti-rattle device and remove the bike rack.

How to Use a Thule Bike Rack

Locate the lever and place one palm on it before pulling out the rack. As you pull the rack out, lower it until it stops and clicks into the position to install a bike. 

Next, locate the wheel hook, open it, and push it out as far as possible. When it reaches its end, open the straps of the wheel ratchet.

There are wheel cradles, so lift your bike, place the back wheel into the cradle at the back, and the front wheel into the front cradle. Then, secure the wheels using the ratchet straps. 

Now, find the ratcheting wheel hook, lift it, and fasten the front wheel. Secure the hook as near to the fork as possible without allowing it to touch the bike.

Next, tighten the strap once you lock the wheel in place, so the lock cylinder is in position. It is crucial that you do not use maximum strength to avoid letting out the compressed air in the tires or damaging the bike. 

Thread the cable lock through the frame and wheel, and circle back to the cable. Then, secure the lock cylinder with the key.


These bike racks are a safe and convenient way to move heavy or delicate bikes from one destination to another, such as e-bikes. While there are several ways to transport bikes, many of them may damage the frame or scratch the paint. 

However, a Thule product ensures no contact with the frame. It also gives you access to your trunk if necessary.

This article is a guide on using the bike rack. We have simple steps to make the process quick and easy if you want to know how to remove or install it. Ensure you start with the lock that secures the rack to the roof or tailgate. 

There is usually a key to lock or unlock it, and you cannot move the rack without unlocking it. The rest is usually quick once you unlock it and loosen the anti-rattle device.