yet another rack question (please help)


Just bought a 2002 elantra GT hatchback (coming from a 2000 wagon with factory rack). So I need to buy a rack system. Mainly hall a 17 ft kayak, bikes and sometimes a canoe. Currently have rockymount bike racks and thule Hydro Glide and Set-To-Go Saddles.

The guys at the local shop told me if I go with Yakima I can put the bars 30 inches a part and if I go with Thule, only 24 inches. I am not so sure 24 inches and a 17-18 ft canoe is a good match. So Yakima seems a good bet, but then I was told that my Thule saddles wont work all that well with the yakima round bars. Stumped as to what to do since I am on a tight budget. Your advice is much appreciated. Thanks in advance.


your thule parts

– Last Updated: Nov-07-06 7:25 AM EST –

WILL work with the yakima bars...
depending on which thule pieces you have you might have to purchase some new plastic clamps to go around the bar...or some like the hullaport attaches right to any rack thule direct-do not trust a shop not to mislead you for this part...

you can also get the SRS from thule...the short roof adapter to provide you a longer bar spread.....

Thule with Yakima Rails
Works - we have mostly Thule saddles and rollers with Yakima rails on two cars, no problem. You must have gotten a young person…

glide and set
Glide and set willl work on any brand rack system.

On my '04 EGT hatchback…
…I have a Saris roof rack, with the bars spaced at ~34.5" center to center. The Saris rack is a superior product to either Yakima or Thule and it goes on and off the car easily, so you don’t have to leave a gas-wasting rack on the roof when you’re not actually using it. They’re not as easy to find, but it’s worth the effort.

Thule Saddles
New Thule saddles will work on most bars, factory or aftermarket. The older version of the saddles, H2Go saddles, will not as thier attachement to the bar was a sheetmetal clamp arrangement that only accepted square tube. If your saddles are Set2Go, Hull Raisers or Hydro Glides from the past 3 years then they attach by way of a rubber coated metal splint that spans the underside of the bar, almost regardless of what sort of bar. Works well, just make sure they are good and tight on Yakima bars as round bars have less contact surface for this sort of attachment.

Feel free to drop me a line if you need a hand.

See you on the water,


Rail system
If you are willing to spend a little you could have a rail system installed - both Yakima and Thule sells rails. There is drilling involved.

The rails ( sort of like slots ) would accept towers, which in turn accept the rest of respective systems.

It is more expensive than the temporary rack set-up and could possibly void some waranties. However, in my opinion, looks much better and is more reliable than temp-rack systems - the spred is much longer, more attachment points.

sell your thule parts?
use the money you get by selling your thule parts to buy similar Yakima parts.

I purchased a rack from Nashbar a year or 2 back. Less than $100 for the bars and towers. Your accessories should fit

Even better solution for you
Same issue with our son’s Ford so he put a trailer hitch (1 1/4) on it. Then used a Thule Goal Post with an adapter to fit the 1 1/4 in square since the Goal Post is 2 inch. The 24 in crossbar spread without the Goal Post works great for bikes and kayaks and with the Goal Post he can carry two 17 foot canoes really solid. They carried four sea kayaks with stackers to Nova Scotia with no problems with the Goal Post. Thule square bars work better in our opinion and the saddles and pads don’t spin around like they did on our old Yakima set up.

Roof rack
Have you considered Barrecrafters? I am very pleased with my canoe setup. Their website has a feature to match their product with various vehicles.


A possible solution…if…
the thule clamps are the same as the ones on their “J” cradles:

Drill a hole down through your Yakima bar and using one of the holes in the center of the Thule clamp use a bolt to hold the cradle where you want it. Then still use the Thule bolts in addition to the new bolt.

I did that three years ago to keep my Thule “J” cradles from rotating on my Yakama bars, and it has work perfectly.

I have both my vehicles set up that way now.



Are the Barrecrafters kayak canoe carriers compatible with Yakima? Thanks.


Keep the set-to-gos for the 30" spread
I had exacly the same issue on my Toyota Solara except I didn’t yet have the STG saddles. I ended up getting the STGs because they grip the hull so well, which is important with the short distance between cross bars.

The STGs go on the round bars fine. It’s just that they want to rotate when taking the boat on and off. Make sure the bolts are short enough that they don’t scratch your roof when the saddles rotate. All in all, STGs are my favorate for this situation, and I needed Yakima to get the extra, and still not very long, distance between bars, just like you.

Paul S.