Research I Industrial Design I Engineering I Prototyping
Thule is a leader in making products that help outdoor enthusiasts and active families get their things from here to there. The Swedish company recognized a shift in bike carrier preference from receiver hitch racks toward trunk racks. The typical product in the highly fragmented trunk rack market was a tangled mess of bent metal tubes and gangly webbing straps. Thule asked Tool Inc. to help them reimagine the traditional trunk mount bike carrier and create a truly premium product.
Compelling styling, intuitive and easy installation, bike security and elimination of loose strap ends were all paramount criteria for this project to be a success. The Thule Raceway, designed and engineered by Tool, is certainly revolutionary in its approach. Instead of loose webbing straps, four easy-to-adjust ratcheting cables hold the Raceway’s plastic body securely to the vehicle’s trunk. No-sway cages prevent bike-to-bike and bike-to-car contact, and molded rubber pads on the cables and the legs ensure that the vehicle is perfectly protected from scratches.
Released to the public in 2009, it’s still available for purchase and might be one of the most enduring commercial runs for a product in which we contributed.