One of the great things about Thule is that it prioritizes customer satisfaction—and not just in the durability of its bike racks and overhead storage containers but also its security. While some Thule bike racks come with their own keys and lock cores, others give you the option to install and use your own. With that said, you may be wondering whether Yakima locks are compatible with Thule.
Yakima’s locks don’t work with Thule because Thule’s lock cores are longer and come with different locking mechanisms. For instance, Yakima’s locks have four tumblers, while Thule’s has five. To replace your Thule’s key and lock mechanism, you will need to use one made by the brand.
Before purchasing a Thule lock core and key, you’ll want to make sure that it’s compatible with your bike rack. Continue reading to learn more about which locks work with Thule and how to secure your property.
What Locks Work with Thule?
Although Thule and Yakima products are produced in the same factory, they are not compatible. They only work within the brand; for example, Thule lock cores only work with Thule products—and vice versa for Yakima.
However, while Yakima’s locks are not compatible with Thule’s products, other parts of their devices are, like their racks’ crossbars, towers, feet, and fit components. This compatibility is not only limited to the brands’ bike racks; their kayak racks, roof baskets, and cargo boxes also have parts that work together.
You may need to buy an adapter or other parts to have everything work together seamlessly. But, you can make it work with a bit of willpower and creativity.
Yakima vs. Thule Lock Systems
Both Thule and Yakima lock cores are “SKS,” which stands for “same lock system.” Yakima makes eight different SKS models, each that require their own keys. With each purchase, you get three keys: two that unlock the device and a “control key,” which unlocks any Yakima lock.
Thule locks also come in different varieties and, like Yakima, provide three keys upon purchase. You can also order additional keys at any time, depending on your purchase’s specifications.
What Can Yakima Locks Work with?
As noted earlier, Yakima’s locks only work with their line of products. Yakima makes the following storage devices:
- Skyline Roof Rack System
- Topwater Rooftop Fishing Rod Box
- FrontLoader Wheel-On Mount
- RidgeBack Tilt-Away Hitch Bike Rack
- FatCat 6 EVO Rooftop Ski and Snowboard Mount
Some of these products already come with Yakima lock cores and keys. However, for your convenience, you can replace them with a compatible core at any time.
What if You Lost the Key to Your Thule Lock?
You might be on this page because you lost the key to your bike rack and want to know whether a Yakima or Thule key will work. While the short answer is “no,” the long answer is that you have replacement options.
How to Replace Your Thule Key
If you lost the key to your Thule bike rack, simply look at the number on your lock core. So, for instance, suppose it says “N113.” That means when buying a replacement key online, you would look for a key that says N113.
How to Replace Your Yakima Key
Replacing a Yakima key is a bit more complicated. You would follow a similar set of instructions above, except there’s one problem: you won’t be able to locate your lock’s number because it’s inscribed on the lock core, which is not visible.
Here, you have some options. You can contact a local Yakima service provider and have them remove the core. If this is not feasible, then you can contact a locksmith to remove the core for you.
Alternatively, Rack Attack, which manufacturers both Thule and Yakima keys/locks, says that you can order every type of Yakima key, try them out on your lock, and then just return the ones you don’t need.
Can You Pick a Yakima or Thule Lock Core?
There is no lock core on today’s market that is “unpickable.” However, Thule and Yakima are built with security in mind. While some users online note that these locks are easy to pick, for the most part, it takes considerable skill and effort.
If you lost your key and need to access your bike rack, you’re better off calling the lock’s customer support hotline. If you do it on your own, you risk breaking the lock core, adding another layer of complication to getting it open. Alternatively, as we mentioned before, you could call a locksmith to do it for you.
In short, Yakima locks do not work with Thule bike racks; only Thule lock cores work with Thule bike racks–and vice versa. However, if you happen to lose your key, know that you at least have replacement options online.