Thule Square Bar Load Bar Frequently Asked Questions

Thule Square Load Bars  


Thule Square Bar load bars are a main component of a Thule roof rack system which includes a Thule Foot Pack and, when applicable a Thule Fit Kit. The bars span a vehicle's roof between the Thule Feet providing a base for carriers to transport bikes, kayaks, skis, cargo and much more.  The wide surface area provides stability to support the carriers which will not slip or rotate on the bars.  


Load bars are strong, cold rolled steel that is galvanized inside and out for corrosion resistance. The tough polyethylene coating provide grip for accessories and long lasting good looks.  A pair of load bars are heavy duty weighing in at; LB50 = 7.7 Lbs, LB58 = 8.9 Lbs. LB65 = 9.6 LBS and the LB78 = 12 Lbs. Note that the weight of the bar does not lessen the assigned weight capacity of the rack unless a longer load bar then recommended is used, then the difference should be deducted from the weight capacity.  


The load bars, although called Square Bars are actually rectangular measuring 30mm by 20mm/1.375 by 0.875 inch (1-3/8 by 7/8 inch).  The following is the exact length of each load bar.  The two end caps add an additional 22mm/0.875 inch (7/8 inch) to the total bar length.



Thule Square Bars are available in both singles and sets of two.  Thule also offers the 4802 Traverse Half Foot Pack for those needing only a single load support on a truck cab.  The 4602 Podium Half Foot Pack available to add a third load support bar on a track system.  The 4502 Crossroad Half Foot Pack is also available for certain raised side rail applications.

Thule LB50 - Load Bars - Set of 2 Thule LB501 - Load Bar - Single Thule LB58 - Load Bars - Set of 2 Thule LB581 - Load Bar - Single
LB50 - Set of 2 LB501 - Single LB58 - Set of 2 LB581 - Single


Thule Square Bars are compatible with the following current Thule Foot Packs, previous generation Foot Packs may also be compatible.

Thule 450 - Crossroad Foot Pack - Set of 4 Thule 460 - Podium Foot Thule 480 - Traverse Foot Thule 300 - Gutter Foot
Thule 450 - Crossroad Thule 460 - Podium Thule 480 - Traverse Thule 300 - Gutter Foot
 For Raised Side Rails  For Fixed Points
For Flush Side Rails 
For Bare Roof  For Rain Gutters 

Product Comparison

Considering the RoundBar by Yakima®?  The RoundBar™ by Yakima® may offer a specific attribute that make it the right choice for an individual, however, for the vast majority of users the Thule® SquareBar clearly offers an exceptional set of beneficial features that set it apart and above others.

Thule® SquareBar and RoundBar by Yakima® both offer comparable aerodynamic attributes as well as some other common features.  The table below details the key differences among these manufacture's standard steel load bars.

Key Differences

Square Bar™



City Crash Tested Complies with ISO Norm Watch Video (QuickTime) check-mark.png image-x.png image-x.png
Full assortment of carriers that won't rotate on the bars? check-mark.png image-x.png image-x.png
Compatible with the best fitting foot packs in the world? check-mark.png image-x.png image-x.png
Tested and used worldwide since 1962? check-mark.png image-x.png image-x.png
Fits 100% of the Top 25 Selling Vehicles in North America* check-mark.png image-x.png image-x.png
Fits over 95% of the Top 50 Selling Vehicles in North America* check-mark.png image-x.png image-x.png
Manufacture employs over 1000 US Workers? check-mark.png image-x.png image-x.png
Solar Powered Factory? check-mark.png image-x.png image-x.png
70% of Product Line Made in USA? check-mark.png image-x.png image-x.png

Yakima® names and related marks are property of of their respective owners.  Information obtained from manufacture's web sites Aug. 2011.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How wide is too wide?
A: Thule has recommendations for the proper bar lengths to fit each vehicle.  The load bars are strong enough to support loads beyond the foot attachment point but only to an extent.  It is not recommended to use bars more than one size longer than Thule's recommended length.  

Q: Any laws regarding load bar length?
A: In most states the bars cannot legally extend beyond the vehicle's mirrors. Bars that are too long can be dangerous, so make them as short as you need to carry what you want.  
Q: How wide do the load bars need to for all the gear I want to carry?
A: Lay out the gear in the driveway or garage floor in the configuration you anticipate for the roof rack and measure the width.  Sometimes the foot attachment point on the bar could interfere with a planned position of a carrier, so add a some length to your calculation. If the desired length is in between offered bar lengths, choose the longer of the two.  It is possible to cut down the bar to a custom length.

Q: I've installed my Square Bar roof rack, why are the bars are bowed downward in the middle?
A: This is a result of the feet being positioned too close together on the bar and most commonly happens when installing Thule Gutter Feet.  Simply loosen the feet from the bar, pull the foot outward slightly then tighten, the bar will not bow downward.
Q: End caps are not included with the bars, why?
A: In a word, logistics.  Bars are heavy, if they were boxed with end caps they'd get crushed.  End caps are included with Thule Foot Packs and can also be purchased separately.  Other manufactures do the same thing.