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New Thule 500XT XSporter Pro Truck Rack

Friday, August 14, 2015 7:56:46 AM America/Denver

Thule 500 XSporter Cargo Rack
Racks can be moved back and forth along the bed rails and up and down to the desired bar spread and height.  This application is going to have a cargo box installed.

The Thule 500XT Xsporter Pro is the one rack that can transform your ordinary truck into a work truck prepared for virtually any job, or into a truck capable of mounting almost any rack accessory for your next adventure.  The Thule 500XT is a significant improvement in versatility and ease-of-use over its predecessor, the Thule 422XT Xsporter.  Whether you are carrying lumber, ladders, cargo boxes, bikes, skis, or boats this rack can do it all.

Thule 500 XSporter Height Adjustment
Reach the height you want with the "Custom Adjust" crossbars

The 500XT XSporter Pro is equipped with its patented "CustomAdjust" bars that have a built in quick dial with numbered slots so that any desirable height can be obtained for all types of loads.  The crossbars have been designed in an aerodynamic shape to reduce drag and cut down on noise.  Thule has also added a "WindDiffuser", which is a textured rubber strip placed on top and inside the crossbar's T channel to further reduce noise and drag.  The rack is made of reinforced Aluminum, giving it the versatility of being light and strong capable of holding up to 450lbs.

Thule 500 XSporter Pro Truck Rack Lumber and Ladder Rack
The rack all by itself, showing off the aerodynamic crossbars and the textured rubber strip along the top of the crossbars, which create a quieter more pleasant trip .

Thule has also considered the very popular Toyota Tacoma in the design of this rack, by creating the Thule XK3.  The XK3 is an adapter which allows the Thule 500XT Xsporter Pro to be mounted into the tracks that are already present in the bed of the 2005 and newer Tacomas.  Keep in mind, the XK3 adapter is NOT required for use with the Tundra, even though you may have the track system installed in your bed.

Thule 500 XSporter Mounting Hardware Closeup with Locks
Here are the clamps used to attach the rack to the bed rail. The XK3 adapter will have specialized clamps for the factory bed tracks on 2005-newer Toyota Tacomas.

This rack is also equipped with 4 Thule "SecureLocks", protecting what makes your "work truck" a "work truck".

SecureLock Technology on Thule 500 XSporter
The 500 Xsporter Pro comes with 4 Secure Locks. Two on the clamps that hold the rack on the truck and two on the "CustomAdjust" crossbars.

Among the new features of the 500XT Xsporter Pro is the ability to lock the rack to the vehicle.  Thule engineers have listened to folks on the street and designed the SecureLock system to prevent someone from removing the mounting hardware and taking the rack off the truck.  Additionally, there is locking capability to prevent the overhead racks from being removed from the base racks (not pictured).

One of the complaints we've heard about the Thule 500 is that it doesn't include the Load Stops that attach inside the channel at the top of the crossbars.  The New Thule 500XT Xsporter Pro now includes 4 Load Stops.

Overall, the Thule 500XT Xsporter Pro Truck Rack is an extremely versatile rack.  Installation is relatively easy, albeit a bit time consuming for 1 person, so leave about 60-90 minutes for a complete install.  With easy to follow instructions and light weight materials, the simplicity allows this to be a one person job, but two is always helpful.  With the crossbars being able to move back and forth along the bed and up and down, it's perfect truck bed rack for damn near any application.

Posted in Bike Racks By Cracks & Racks

Flush Mounted Ski Racks

Thursday, August 6, 2015 7:55:06 AM America/Denver

What is a Flush Mounted Ski Rack and why is it beneficial? Instead of having mounting hardware that wraps around the entire crossbar,  flush mounting utilizes the channel that is found in the new aerodynamic Thule AeroBlades and the Whispbar crossbars.  This gives the rack a much cleaner look, with less components exposed on the rack itself.  Because of this, the rack becomes more aerodynamic and cuts down on the whistling and wind noise one would get with a conventional rack.  At Cracks and Racks we have a variety of flush mounted options such as the Rocky Mounts LiftOps, The Thule Universal Ski Flat Tops and Pull Tops, and the Whispbar Snow Mount WB300.

2013 Volkswagen Golf with Rocky Mounts LiftOp medium flush mounted onto a Flush Whispbar rack.
2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee with the Thule 92726 Universal Pull Top Ski and Snowboard Rack flush mounted onto a Thule AeroBlade. The Pull Top pulls out from the roof of the vehicle for easier loading and unloading of skis and boards.
Toyota 4 Runner with the Thule 92726 Universal Pull Top Ski and Snowboard Rack, displaying how easy it is to load and unload skis or boards with its added feature of being able to "pull out" from the top of the vehicle.

-Note:  If you already have one of these Thule Universal Ski and Snowboard racks, but without the Flush Mounting hardware, not to worry.  You can buy the Thule Flush Mounting hardware on our website,

-Note:  If you do not have Thule Aeroblades or Whispbars, but do have a Thule Universal Ski and Snowboard Rack that you want more flush to your Thule Load Bars, then you need the Thule Load Bar Flush Mount Ski Hardware.

-Note: The Thule 92726 Universal Pull Top Ski and Snowboard Rack does not work well with Whispbar Rack Systems beacause the curvature of the crossbar tends to bind the sliding mechanism.

Here is an example of the Whispbar Snow Mount WB300 flush mounted to a Whispbar Flush crossbar. Notice the "channel" the Ski Rack hardware is mounted into. Creating a much more clean, integrated and aerodynamic look.
Posted in Cracks & Racks By Cracks & Racks

Thule AeroBlade Flush Mount Ski Rack Hardware

Tuesday, July 21, 2015 7:51:39 AM America/Denver

Thule's new ski racks, the Thule 92724, 92725, and 92726 now come equipped with the new SpeedLink Hardware.  The SpeedLink hardware is easy to install, lockable with Thule's One Key System (included), and fits a broad range of crossbars, including factory installed crossbars, Whispbar Racks and the new Thule AeroBlade Crossbars.

What we have found is that the SpeedLink hardware - while functionally excellent - looks a bit chunky and awkward.  Of course this is only our opinion, but when mounting to slotted crossbars like the Thule AeroBlade, Rapid Aero, and Whispbar crossbars, we think the install could look and function a little better.  That is why we developed an original hardware kit that allows you to flush mount the ski rack to the crossbar by utilizing the T-channel on top of the bar.

Cracks & Racks' Original Thule AeroBlade Flush Mount Ski Rack Hardware Kit

Thule Ski Rack Flush Mount
A small modification to the existing hardware with the new Thule Ski racks enables you to mount the rack flush to Thule AeroBlade crossbars
Thule Flush Mount Ski Rack Install Hardware
Flush mounting a Thule Ski rack is easy when you utilize our Flush Mount Ski Rack Hardware Kit.
Thule Flush Mount Ski Hardware
Removing the original SpeedLink hardware and replacing it with our Flush Mount Hardware Kit makes the Thule ski racks look really good on top of Thule AeroBlade crossbars

This hardware works perfectly for the following Thule Ski Racks:

Note: Brand New Thule 92725 come with flush mount hardware included


This hardware works perfectly for the following Crossbar Styles:

You can download the instructions to installing our Flush Mount Ski Rack Hardware by clicking this link here -->  Flush Mount Ski Rack Hardware Instructions

If you're not sure if this hardware kit will work with your ski rack or your rack system, please contact the shop and we'll help you make a good decision.

This hardware modification is not recommended for use with the Thule 92726, Thule 91726 or 726 because the natural curve present in the Thule AeroBlade Crossbars and Whispbar Racks will bind the slide-out mechanism.  However, if mounting to Thule Xporter crossbars, or other OEM installed racks that have level crossbars, you will find adequate compatibility.

Whispbar Rail Bar
The Whispbar RailBar has a slight curve, which will bind the Pull-Top mechanism of the Thule 92726 Ski Rack
Thule Ski Rack Whispbar Mount
The curve of the Whispbar Crossbars works great with Thule 92724 and 92725 ski racks, but will prevent the Pull-Top ski racks from sliding smoothly
Posted in Ski Racks By Cracks & Racks

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