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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Greetings,

I'm looking to take advantage of the REI 20% sale for a Thule Motion XT L carrier. The Thule website recommends three different cross bars for the Ascent:
WingBar EVO 135 with Rapid Crossroad Foot Pack
AeroBlade Edge 7503
SquareBar 135 with Rapid Crossroad Foot Pack

Any tips on their relative merits and demerits?

(Preemptive disclaimer: yes, I searched Thule on the forum and read through some threads. The amount of related material is quite large.)

Thanks!
 

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More than everything you need to know.

For heaviest *stationary* loads, use the Subaru branded "OEM" Thule Extended bars. They will carry up to 700 pounds stationary and come with locks.

Otherwise, all others are limited as follows (I am not including the feet options, since that's entirely up to you which you wish to use - except in the case of the Subaru branded ones, which are as noted below):

  • Subaru branded "OEM" Thule EXTENDED bars: 700 pounds stationary / 176 pounds in motion. Has locks.
  • Subaru branded "OEM" Thule Aero bars: 176 pounds stationary / 176 pounds in motion. No locks. No available refit locks (per Thule).
  • Thule AeroBlade Edge bars: 165 pounds stationary / 165 pounds in motion (lowest limit). NO Locks included. Locks AVAILABLE (OneKey system).
  • Thule WingBlade Evo bars: 220 pounds stationary / 176 pounds in motion. NO Locks included. Locks AVAILABLE.
  • Thule SquareBar bars: 220 pounds stationary / 176 pounds in motion. NO Locks included. Locks AVAILABLE.
NOTES:
  • Weight limits are the LOWER of the vehicle limits (176 in motion 700 stationary) or the bar limits.
  • The weights above do NOT include the bar weights. You MUST subtract that from the maximum load capacities, so, if your bars weigh 10 pounds, and your bars are rated at 10 billion pounds, your in motion luggage weight must be 166 pounds or less. If your bars weigh 20 pounds and their max weight is 165 pounds, then, your limit is 156 pounds.
I did a post here:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, Robert. Appreciate the info.

The box I intend to buy is limited to 165 lbs, so the load capacity isn't a big factor. I'm wondering more about the fit, height (apparently some bars can interfere with the moonroof), ease of use, and security. The AeroBlade Edge look like perhaps the most convenient, but they also look secured by a rubber strap that could be cut.

Any thoughts out there?
 

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Thanks, Robert. Appreciate the info.

The box I intend to buy is limited to 165 lbs, so the load capacity isn't a big factor. I'm wondering more about the fit, height (apparently some bars can interfere with the moonroof), ease of use, and security. The AeroBlade Edge look like perhaps the most convenient, but they also look secured by a rubber strap that could be cut.

Any thoughts out there?
Wow, that's baffling. I always assumed it used the same steel mesh cable reinforcement their locking straps used, or employed a cover, but, it doesn't.
 

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Thanks, Robert. Appreciate the info.

The box I intend to buy is limited to 165 lbs, so the load capacity isn't a big factor. I'm wondering more about the fit, height (apparently some bars can interfere with the moonroof), ease of use, and security. The AeroBlade Edge look like perhaps the most convenient, but they also look secured by a rubber strap that could be cut.

Any thoughts out there?
The rubber strap is steel reinforced.
 

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Thank you

The rubber strap is steel reinforced.
Thank you, bern, I can add that to my knowledge on the product and roof rail options available. I couldn't find that info anywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The rubber strap is steel reinforced.
Thanks. That is good to know. Strange that Thule wouldn't mention this in the product info.

Anyhow, the rapid crossroad foot for attaching the WingBar Evo uses the same kind of strap (so it appears). So I suppose it just boils down to either having the bar within the rails (the AeroBade Edge) or having the bar extend over the rails (the WingBar Evo).

Hmmm, style vs versatility.....
 

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Thanks. That is good to know. Strange that Thule wouldn't mention this in the product info.

Anyhow, the rapid crossroad foot for attaching the WingBar Evo uses the same kind of strap (so it appears). So I suppose it just boils down to either having the bar within the rails (the AeroBade Edge) or having the bar extend over the rails (the WingBar Evo).

Hmmm, style vs versatility.....
I will say that the non-locking Subaru branded Aeros are nice, in that they're quiet and a minimal hit on mpg. The Aeroblade are like the prettier version with the helpful rubber strip as well (something I wish the Aero had). Oh, and the locks.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
That's a good find. REI sale price is about $400 without the locks. (Plus tax but without shipping expense.)

If not for two things, I'd probably jump on it.
1. I'd prefer six key cores so I can "single key" the box as well.
2. I kind of prefer the silver bars. Something to breakup the red and black of the car.

Hopefully someone else can take advantage.

Best regards.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
can ya'll rich folks post some pics of thule crossbars installed on the ascent?
Ha! Hardly rich- particularly in these parts (Northern VA). But I know the Thule bars are kind of a splurge and that others can do the job for less. I might be overly enamored by the notion of single-keying the box and the bars.

As for pictures- sure. Though it will be a while- I have to order the bars and pick up next week.
 

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...by the notion of single-keying the box and the bars.
Don’t forget an extra lock core or two for the trailer hitch pins! I feel your northern va pain. SE is much more affordable, which is why I don’t make it up to my sisters place in Fairfax too often.
 

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If the box is the only thing you are carrying then having the crossbars with the T tracts isn’t a big deal. If your carrying bike, kayak etc. accessories the feature allows you to use the entire length of the crossbar.

We went with an aero type of bar because we didn’t want to run a fairing and I didn’t think it would work with our moonroof. Meaning, the furthest position where I can put the front crossbar most likely wouldn’t be far enough forward to allow the fairing to clear the glass.

Now, full disclosure, we have the Yakima setup which is very similar to Thule’s setup. The strap to secure the feet to the rails is also a rubber covered steel strap. We run a Thule cargo box.

If we had to do it over again, I would go with black bars because bug guts are really noticeable on silver.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
If we had to do it over again, I would go with black bars because bug guts are really noticeable on silver.
Badge of honor(?)

Have you had any problems with the bars interfering with the moonroof? The Ascent has such high rails that I'm hoping it's not an issue.
 

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Badge of honor(?)

Have you had any problems with the bars interfering with the moonroof? The Ascent has such high rails that I'm hoping it's not an issue.
No interference at all. You can also position the crossbars to where it won’t obstruct the view and still fit our Thule Cargo box when on. At least for our size box.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Took me a while to get to it, but I finally attached the bars this morning. Worked out well. The moon roof has about an inch of clearance when open, so no trouble there.
480
481
 

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Bringing back this old thread to ask if the grapple hooks of the cargo box which fasten around the crossbars to hold it on....whether the moonroof opens without bumping into them. They would be the lowest item on the setup.
 

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Thule cargo box claws don’t impede our moon roof opening on the Yakima Jetstream Setup. I guess it depends on the crossbars set up. My Jetstreams sit high
 

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Bringing back this old thread to ask if the grapple hooks of the cargo box which fasten around the crossbars to hold it on....whether the moonroof opens without bumping into them. They would be the lowest item on the setup.
Thule Motion XT XL using Subaru Aero bars, in the worst position, with the clamps exactly above the black band in the moonroof leaves plenty of space to open the glass. In this position, there is more than 1 inch with the open roof, and perhaps 1/2" minimum when the roof moves. In this worst-case position, the grapples are directly above the edge of the glass when it comes out at an angle and goes up, that leaves the 1/2 inch. It works great.
 
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