In this article, we will look at, compare, and discuss the features of the Thule FreeRide 532 vs. ProRide 591 bike racks. We will help you choose the best product for your needs.
Bike racks go beyond transporting bikes. It is vital to consider the security of your bikes, the ease of installation, and the durability of the frame. Each of these racks does provide these three necessities.
However, they each have unique features. Those distinguish one from the other.
The Thule FreeRide 532 is an all-around reliable rack. High points of this one include a secure double lock system, lightweight frame, lower price point, and good durability.
The ProRide 591 is another great bike rack. Some of its highlights we discuss in this review are the scratch-free security, durability in harsh weather conditions, ease of assembly, and the simplicity of attaching a bike.
Quick Look: Comparison Table
|Thule Freeride 532||Thule Proride 591|
|Best For||Lightweight Bikes||Heavier bikes, and shorter owners|
|Price||See on Amazon||See on Amazon|
|Weight||7.7 lbs||9.2 lbs|
|Load Capacity||37.5 lbs||44 lbs|
|Number of Bikes||One||One|
|Good For||Road, Mountain||Road, Mountain, Cruiser|
|Not Suitable For||Electric Bikes||Electric Bikes|
|Mount Style||Roof Mount||Roof Mount|
How Tough are These Racks?
The Thule FreeRide 532 is a sturdy rack known to offer great security. You won’t have to pull over to adjust your bike or rack anymore.
It features a key to lock your bike into place. Many customers were happy to report that these racks stand the test of time.
The Thule FreeRide 532 is a tough rack. However, it’s worth noting that it can only carry up to 37.5 lbs.
The ProRide 591 can carry 44 lbs. If you have a heavier bike, the ProRide 591 may be a better option.
The ProRide 591 is made of durable material, with an aluminum railing, this rack will last a long time.
However, a robust rack is not just about the material used. It’s also about how well it will secure your bikes on those rough roads that lead to the best mountain biking trails.
Even on the windiest of dirt tracks, worry not. This rack won’t let you down, even if you are blasting 80 mph on the freeway the ProRide 591 will stay firmly in place.
Overall, owners of the ProRide 591 are satisfied by how tough and durable these racks are. It is certainly a rack one can feel secure about.
What are the Special Features?
The Thule FreeRide 532 is a single bike rack, made to suit bikes of all shapes and sizes.
- Quick Release Straps – straps are adjustable to fit a variety of bikes while offering firm wheel fixation.
- Bike Locks – multiple locked security points, the rack can be locked to the car, and the bike can be locked to the rack.
- Stable Frame Holder – a concern with bike racks is that the bike might fall off while you’re driving along the road. However, this is definitely not the case with the FreeRide 532 as it offers great security with their smart, stable frame holder.
- Soft rubber wheel holder – this keeps the wheels secure, and the soft material prevents tire damage.
- Designed to save space – easily store when not in use.
The ProRide 591 is also a single bike rack that boasts some great features. It is especially useful for heavier bikes.
- Frame holder and wheel tray – this feature automatically positions your bike for a good fit while it is on the rack.
- Locks – the ProRide 591 provides a separate lock to ensure people can’t steal your bike.
- Quick and easy securing – the bike can easily be secured by turning a knob at the base of the rack – a great option for those who may not be able to reach the top of the bike.
- Secure wheels – wheel holders made to stabilize wheels.
- Quick-release wheel straps – easily strap wheels in and out.
- Soft claw pads – the padded claw offers extra security without scratching your bike.
How Easy Are they to Assemble?
The FreeRide 532 Thule roof bike rack is quite easy to install, simply place on top of your vehicle’s roof railing and secure into place by utilizing the included straps to affix the rack onto the roof and lock it into place.
While it is straightforward to install, a few people were not happy with the instructions. Despite this, they were still able to easily install the rack without the use of the instructions. It became clear after some experimentation.
Some reviewers said two people needed to complete the assembly. Others completed the task solo with little issue.
The ProRide 591 is very easy to install and only requires one person. In fact, it comes with a dial at the base of the rack that secures the bike – making this easy for those who may not be able to reach the top of the bike.
Another feature that makes this rack stand out and makes assembly easy is that the bike automatically positions when you place it on the frame holder and wheel tray. No more holding your bike while fastening it in.
And you definitely won’t have to worry that your bike will fall down before you secure it into place.
Reviewers of the ProRide 591 found the assembly easy and quick; one even found this rack to be easier to install than the 532. One exclaimed that the assembly is so easy they were able to finish it hours sooner. Overall, this rack is very easy to install and is a time saver.
What Are Other Buyers Saying?
Buyers are happy with the Thule FreeRide 532. Overall, they agree that this rack is reasonably easy to attach, lightweight, and offers security they feel good about.
One reviewer notes how easy and simple the rack was to fit attach to their bike. Their overall opinion was that the FreeRide 532 is a good carrier, and they would happily recommend it.
However, there was a clear consensus that the instructions are not clear, making the first time a tad difficult to assemble, but became easier after that.
With one reviewer complaining that the instructions were not at all clear, but that the rack made up for that by being lightweight, and holding their bikes firmly in place.
Despite poor instructions, both reviewers were able to use their rack and enjoy the security and stability it offers.
The ProRide 591 is also a great option; reviewers find this rack to be easy to put on and that it offers optimal security.
One reviewer was thrilled with his rack, especially with the speed and ease of assembly. He mentioned that he assembled the rack himself, and it holds up incredibly well – even when driving through harsh crosswinds.
He goes on to praise the engineering, and recommend what he calls a first rate product and service!
Another reviewer explains that while he’s quite the technophobe and not a skilled handyman – he found putting the rack together self-explanatory, and notes that it practically put itself together.
Which Rack Is Right For You?
Which rack is right for you? Below we will compare the differences between these two racks to help you find which is better for you.
When it comes to size – the Thule FreeRide 532 is smaller, weighs less and takes up less space than the ProRide 532.
However, because it is smaller, it cannot support a heavy bike. In this sense, it would make sense to purchase the FreeRide if your bike is under 37.5LBS and you’d like something more compact, while the ProRide 532 would be better for a heavier bike.
The Thule FreeRide 532 is somewhat easy to install, it may take a few tries before perfecting it. The ProRide, on the other hand, is incredibly simple to assemble.
The ProRide’s frame holder is an additional feature that provides further security and ease of assembly, in addition, with their turning knobs they make installation much better and more accessible for those who are shorter.
When it comes to price, the Thule 532 is about $50 cheaper than the ProRide. Both racks are great options as they will stand the test of time even if you are speeding down the freeway, so ultimately you must decide which is better for you.
As the price difference isn’t a huge gap, it is important to rather take into consideration the difference in size and assembly and which rack best matches your needs.
We Pick our Favorite Rack
Looking at both racks, they are both clearly good at what they do; but given the choice – I would opt to spend that extra $50 and pick up the ProRide 591.
That is due to the ease of putting up your bike and attaching it to the frame. It also provides the option to buy a heavier bike in the future – without the added expense of having to replace your bike rack.