Ah! We’ve finally arrived at this vital driver-cyclist point. Well, when asked about Bike Carriers – who other than THULE?
We stepped into their flagship store in IKANO Power Centre and cannot help but are all in awe of the things they have there… For this grueling interview session, we were speaking to Ryan Low – Division Sales Manager of THULE.
BB: Explain to us what is THULE’s current standing in the Malaysian cycling market. How has the cycling market grow lately?
RL: THULE has always had Bike Carriers as one of the main products, but in the recent 2 years, we saw tremendous growth in Malaysia – up to 200%, doubling up the demand!
BB: Please recommend some of the Bike Carriers in THULE. Especially for Malaysian cyclists who like participating in races across state borders.
RL: We recommend Roof Racks (Bike Carriers) as they are more stable and long-journey-friendly in comparison to the strapped-on Rear Racks.
These are some of the most popular Bike Carriers of THULE:-
Short-distance travelers can opt for Rear Racks (RM450), but not all cars are compatible.
BB: Difference between Roof Racks & Rear Racks?
RL: Other than literal physical difference, Rear Racks are more affordable but not long-journey-friendly (ie. 3 hours journey from KL to Penang). 1 Rear Rack can fit up to 3 bikes; but to carry 3 bikes on Roof Rack, you will require 3 sets of Bike Carriers.
BB: Which is the best seller in Malaysia?
Product shown above – ProRide
RL: The best seller is ProRide as it is an “up-a-grade” from FreeRide, stylish aluminum finishing, and it fits most bicycle sizes. However some bikes are not compatible, ie. Carbon Fibre bikes – the strongest part is not where ProRide’s frame holder is holding on to.
BB: There is a growing Downhill market in Malaysia but since the bikes are much sturdier, what are the recommended carriers for this niche segment?
RL: Downhill bikes are relatively bigger therefore we are recommending OutRide as the cheaper alternative (RM 880) in comparison to products specifically designed for Downhill Bikes (Approximately RM 1,200: Imported from the US – which will require a special order and waiting period is 6 weeks to 2 months, depending on the shipment date.)
Product shown above – OutRide
BB: Tell us what cars do most Malaysian cyclists use to mount Bike Carriers.
RL: Perodua Myvi, Viva, Alza; Proton Exora; Toyota Vios; Honda City
(Normal cyclists will not want to bring their Porsche Cayenne into the dirty muddy jungle….! *winks*)
BB: How much does it cost for a starter?
RL: The entire system consists of a Roof Rack System (RM 1,300) & a Bike Carrier (Entry Level -FreeRide is RM 520). In total, it is RM 1,820.
BB: Will the system damage/scratch the car?
RL: No – each car is unique and THULE has a range of “brackets” which fits onto different cars to ensure perfect hold and installation.
BB: What are the other competing brands?
RL: There are definitely many other brands in the market but we are confident to say that we are the worldwide market leader, and the demand for THULE’s products is strong. THULE has competitive edge over other brands other than just good track record, but also the superior product feature, eg. the fixed upright position of Frame holder (as seen in ProRide).
BB: Where can we purchase THULE Bike Carriers?
RL: Headquarters is in Hicom-Glenmarie Industrial Park, Shah Alam; whereas our flagship store is in IKANO Power Centre, where our largest collection of products are. The products are also made available in major bicycle stores.
(DAHON Folding bikes are also sold here)
Well, for more information about THULE, visit the Official Website
Thanks Ryan for giving us a good tour! =)
Prices last updated on 22nd Feb 2012
Photographer: Justin Low