After spending millions of dollars on R&D, Thule has redesigned a component that sells for less than $200. Indeed, the Thule Traverse foot is an unsexy and minor item from a company that makes lux cargo boxes and bike and ski mounts of all type. But the foot, new this winter, will be the first significant base rack component upgrade in years from the company. It promises to make life easier when adding a rack on a car, Thule says.
According to the company, the newly-designed foot grips your vehicle 25 percent tighter than other racks out there. It has a tension system that indicates when the rack is safely attached. A torque indicator is built into the hex wrench that you use to tighten the feet. Gone are the days of screwing the foot tighter with a handle/bolt.
The company says the new foot is designed to better fit sloping, aerodynamic roofs. It has half as many parts as the current Thule foot component, and it needs half the amount of time to install, Thule cites.
After three years of development, racks with the Traverse feet will be available in January for Thule Aerobars and Square bars ($165 and $160 respectively). www.thule.com