Has anybody experienced any problems using Thule Roof bars?
I've used my bars on several vehicles over the last few years and always considered them to be rock solid until this happened...
We were driving down to the New Forest on Saturday morning with 2 bikes on the roof. The roof bars, cycle carriers and bikes had been secured to the roof properly - I'm always very careful and give everything a really good shove before setting off to make sure that nothing is loose.
We were on a dual carriageway travelling fairly rapidly when I started to hear an occasional knocking noise as we went over bumps - I wasn't concerned because I've often heard this before when the cranks on the bikes can knock against the arms on the bike carriers. But then a biker (who was an absolute hero!) came roaring up along side us going nuts on his horn - I looked over and he started pointing at the bikes on the roof (which can't of been easy at that speed!). I figured that maybe there was a strap flapping around (I use zip straps around the bikes as an extra precaution) and the biker was over-reacting but obviously I slowed right down anyway. The biker then pulled in behind us and started to back the traffic up so there was a clear gap behind us - at this point I started to think that maybe there was a bigger problem than a loose strap! Fortunately a lay-by appeared after a very short distance and I pulled in and got out of the car to see what was going on. I could hardly believe what I was seeing - the foot on the front bar on the drivers side was no longer attached to the vehicle and the front bar was bouncing up and down freely. The movement on the front bar had also caused the bracket that holds one of the cycle carriers to the bar to fall apart and the cycle carrier was now making it's own break for freedom!
I was then extremely glad that I have a Sportback - folded down the seats and managed to fit both bikes, cycle carriers and the roof bar in the back and continue the journey!
Now for the really odd part - there doesn't appear to be anything wrong with the foot that came off:
When I stopped the foot was still fixed to the bar in the correct place and the bracket that fits around the door frame was still screwed up in the correct position. It also managed to detach from the car without causing any damage - there is a very small dent on the roof where the bar has hit it but nothing else.
I'm now unsure what to do next and I can't trust any of the kit until I know what went wrong.
The easiest explanation would just be to assume that I was an idiot and I didn't fit them on properly but I don't really see what I could of done wrong. It's also worth noting that I put the roof bars on the car on Friday, put one bike on the roof at home on Saturday morning and then drove for an hour to my friends before putting the second bike on the roof so I had plenty of opportunities to spot if I had screwed up.
Any thoughts / ideas / similar experiences greatly appreciated!