Long Term Test | 10,000km With The Thule EPOS Platform Rack

The not-so-minor details


Thule EPOS Bike Rack


Thule Australia



$2,199 AUD




- Excellent stability and adjustability
- Bikes are quick to load and don't touch each other
- Compact storage
- Lockable security


- Number plate holder required minor modifications
- Circular 13pin light socket adaptor required to suit Australian vehicles
- There is no getting around the price

Thule debuted its sophisticated EPOS platform rack in late 2023. While it shares similarities with other offerings in its lineup, closer inspection reveals some key advancements in functionality. Boasting a sleek new design and an incredibly adaptable clamping mechanism, the EPOS has emerged as Thule’s premier platform rack, showcasing the brand’s commitment to innovation and excellence.

The Thule EPOS is a classy, secure, feature packed bike rack designed for thousands of highway kilometres.

 EPOS Details

The sleek design of the EPOS carries over the platform-style wheel holders with ratcheting tensioners that Thule uses on its VeloCompact and EasyFold racks. Where things start to get different is the clamping mechanism, which is where we see a departure from the horizontal telescoping arm and barrel clamp configuration, which is restricted to clamping of the top tube only. Instead, the vertical telescopic and ratchet clamp system on the EPOS has adopted a similar design approach to the ratcheting wheel tensioners, allowing the bike to be safely clamped in place and protecting the frame via rubber inserts.

The clamps can be positioned anywhere on the frame or even the wheels, offering more adaptability and compatibility with different bikes. Each clamp includes a lock for a little extra peace of mind, which can also be coupled with the additional EPOS-specific ABUS lock for extra security. When in use, the ratcheting system is robust, and the adjustability is brilliant. The overall design proved to be a faster and easier system to load compared to previous offerings. 

The EPOS is available in a two or three bike option, is compatible with aluminium and carbon frames, and can be adjusted to suit all types of bikes including e-Bikes, gravel bikes, and bikes with fenders or racks. 


Thule EPOS key specs

Thule EPOS Accessories

Thule offers a variety of accessories designed specifically for the EPOS, including a bike repair stand, foldable loading ramp, and a fully integrated locking mechanism, making the EPOS the most versatile rack in Thule’s line-up.  

Bike Repair Stand Connection | $129 AUD

One of the most compelling accessories Thule offers for the EPOS rack is the bike repair stand. Initially, it might appear gimmicky and won’t replace a proper work stand; however, its integration into the rack is executed in a clever fashion. This accessory isn’t just a simple add-on—it’s designed to be a permanent fixture on the rack, ensuring it’s always available when needed. The stand even features a magnetic tray for tools, pretty cool. This setup has proven quite handy for routine maintenance tasks such as lubing chains or tuning gears, making it a nifty addition.

Loading Ramp | $149 AUD

The loading ramp accessory simplifies the process of mounting heavy bikes, e-MTBs or for individuals who might find lifting a bike challenging. It is effortlessly user-friendly: simply clip out the ramp, fold it out, and walk the bike up onto the rack. This feature underscores why platform racks are particularly suitable for those who prefer not to lift heavy objects. With the ramp, no lifting is required at all.

Advanced Locking System Developed with ABUS | $149 AUD

Perhaps the most useful accessory is a sophisticated locking system developed in conjunction with ABUS, similar to that of the Kuat Piston Pro recently reviewed. This locking mechanism is permanently attached to the rack and includes a cable that wraps around the bike’s frame to secure it firmly in place.

The rack features an impressive five locks in total, enhancing security significantly: one lock under the tow ball, three individual bike locks around each clamp, and one extra heavy-duty lock for additional peace of mind. This integrated locking system is highly appreciated for its robustness and ease of use, providing an extra layer of security for transporting valuable bikes.

Fitment & Storage

Fitment onto the Flowmobile is as easy as it gets due to some clever engineering and user-centred design. The rack drops onto your vehicle’s 50mm tow ball (supplied is a Thule towball, which will ensure a good fit; some 50mm towballs won’t work) and clamps via the large locking lever with no excessive wobbling or movement, even on rougher terrain. While this may seem like a fairly run-of-the-mill feature, finding a rack that is secure without an array of clamps is hard to come by.

While not unique to the EPOS, the tilt feature has proven to be extremely useful, allowing the bikes to be tilted out of the way to gain access into the boot of the car with a simple foot lever located near the number plate, leaving our hands free to lower the bikes into the tilted position. Once finished, the rack gets tilted upright and securely locks into place with minimal unwanted movement. When fully loaded this obviously becomes rather heavy, but was never found to be so much so that it stopped us from using the feature.

Loading of bikes is not too dissimilar to Thule’s previous offerings and most platform racks, which may be a little fiddly at first, but hassle free following the initial adjustments.

The sizeable wheel holders handle tyres up to 29×3.2in and can be adjusted to suit the wheelbase of each bike up to a total length of 1350mm. There is an allowance for a generous 250mm between each of the bikes to reduce the risk of bike-to-bike contact, which we found to be plenty sufficient to avoid damage to our precious bikes. 

A common problem with majority of racks is their bulk when it comes time to stow them away, making them difficult to neatly store while taking up precious garage space. To combat this, the EPOS has incorporated some clever features to reduce its overall footprint. The wheel holders fold vertically out of the way turning it into a compact unit ready to be stashed in the garage, and even comes with two storage wheels that clip to the base of the rack to make it easier to move in and out of the garage.

Slim and compact, two words not typically associated with bike racks.

Platform Racks vs Vertical Racks

The ongoing debate between platform racks and vertical racks is a contentious one, and we’re not here to take sides. Both types of racks come with their own set of advantages and drawbacks, leaving no clear consensus on which is the ultimate solution to appease all preferences.

Vertical racks in recent years have exploded in popularity here in Australia due to their super speedy loading, improved ground clearance, and offered with up to six-bike carrying capacity, making them a popular choice for the weekend shuttles or family adventures. The height of the vertical racks however makes them potentially difficult to load, especially with heavy e-MTBs, and are not well suited to small kids bikes due to their lack of adjustability.

Fitment and removal of vertical racks can often be challenging due to their size and weight, and while it is certainly possible to do alone, it is far easier with a second set of hands. Storage of vertical racks in general can be tricky, with certain accessories they can double as a bike storage solution, however remain bulky and consume precious garage space. On-road compliance also needs to be mentioned, as generally this style of rack requires a number plate and indicators to be strapped to the back of the bikes after being loaded.

On the flip side, the EPOS, along with platform racks in general, offer a simplified the process of loading and unloading bikes with minimal lifting, while also ensuring a notably easier fitment to the vehicle. Typically all essential components for on-road compliance are seamlessly integrated, meaning there’s one less thing to worry about when you’re itching to hit the trails.

Is the EPOS suitable for weekend shuttle laps? The bikes are quick to load and plenty secure, but it’s not exactly what the system was designed for, leave that to a tailgate pad or vertical rack. Due to the overall length of the platform, the EPOS can run into a few ground clearance issues when navigating off-road dips and water bars. It’s a trade-off that comes with the platform design, but is worth noting for those who might venture beyond city limits.

Regardless of which side of the fence you sit, we’d suggest getting up to speed and ensuring your chosen rack complies with your states regulations for bike racks, including number plate visibility, turn and brake signals, and vehicle overhang limits.

Ditch that gym membership aimed at prepping you for the overhead lift of a 25kg eMTB; there’s minimal lifting required here!

Living with the EPOS

Life with the EPOS has been nothing short of brilliant, with its hassle-free loading, fantastic adjustability and the add ons — this is well and truly a premium rack. The ratchets have remained solid throughout the 12 months of testing with no notable slipping or movement during our travels, and there has been no damage from the clamps on any of our bikes or bike-to-bike contact.

Adapting the rack for use with Australian number plates required a little DIY effort. The European clip-on system didn’t match our NSW plates, so a couple of extra holes were drilled in the plastic plate and the number plate secured with some small nuts and bolts. A simple modification, but necessary for compliance and safety on the road. 

Another area that needed attention was the light fitting adaptation. The European circular light socket didn’t directly fit the flat 7-pin system on the Flowmobile, but the provided adapter made it workable, albeit with some extra cords and a bulky secondary plug to manage. We had to add a little extra care to ensure that these didn’t get pinched or damaged when folding the rack back to access the car boot. Not a deal-breaker, but something to be aware of before purchasing. 

The EPOS’ sleek design was well suited to the Subaru Outback it has been fitted to. The Swedish and the Japanese in pure harmony.

Flow’s Long Term Verdict

Despite the minor DIY mods, the Thule EPOS is an impressive bit of kit with its sleek integration with the vehicle’s design, the ease with which it can be folded and stored, and its user-friendly features like the ramp for heavy bikes and the bike rack work stand fitment. The comprehensive locking system, combining individual locks for each bike with an overall lock for the rack, provides a level of security that gives the user peace of mind when leaving bikes unattended. Overall, the EPOS reflects Thule’s renowned high standards, featuring thoughtful design elements that set it apart as a premium offering. 

The launch of the EPOS pushed the rest of the Thule line-up down the pecking order, and it has truly impressed throughout the 12 months of testing in almost every aspect. Its ability to carry a diverse range of bike shapes and sizes without the bikes touching, rubbing, or getting damaged is a game-changer. Furthermore, the updated ratchet’s ability to securely hold the bikes without necessarily having to clamp the frame it a huge advancement from previous offerings, an update we really value. 

This versatility is especially crucial as it ensures that high-value bikes are transported safely and securely without the hassle of trying to fit them onto the rack. It packs some fantastic features and showcases smart, adaptable, and classy design, making it a top choice for those in pursuit of a high-quality platform bike rack. At $2,199 AUD plus the addition of any accessories, it comes close to one of the most expensive racks available in Australia. The return on investment comes in the form of security, adaptability, usability and peace-of-mind that is like no other, firming its position as a top-tier piece of kit which will serve for many years.

The integrated lighting were sufficiently bright with no issued throughout testing.

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