Saris Bones Ex Trunk Carrier
Saris claims the Bones arms are among the strongest ones on the market, so users dont need to worry about the rack bending under the weight of three bikes, and it fits 90% of Americas bestselling cars. Its built entirely with recyclable materials, and its guaranteed not to rust. Its arc-shaped design means it can even be mounted on cars equipped with a trunk-mounted spoiler. Saris Bones is more of a premium product than basic options like Allens rack, but it will make your life considerably easier if youre a frequent rider.
How To Choose The Best Bike Rack For You
Compatibility with your car
The first, and most important thing to consider when choosing the best bike rack for your needs is to ensure that whatever you buy will be compatible with your car.
To do this, you need to understand how each of the types of bike rack works. Ahead of each section above, we’ve explained the details of how they function, but a quick run-through is as follows:
Roof-mounted bike racks fit onto the roof bars fitted to your car, which you may need to invest in if you don’t have them already. Nearly all cars will allow this, but you’ll need to ensure you get ones that are compatible with your car.
Hitch mounted bike racks need your car to have a tow ball/hitch fitted. If your car doesn’t have one, you can get one fitted but this will come at a cost, of course, so first consider whether it’s better value than opting for an alternative type of bike rack.
Trunk/boot mounted bike racks use straps and clips and simply fix to the rear of your car using tension applied to the straps – usually using a ratchet mechanism. These come in different forms that are compatible with saloon and hatchback type cars respectively.
How many bikes?
The next thing to consider is how many bikes you wish to transport. Of course, the more bikes a bike rack can handle, the more expensive it’s likely to be, so while a rack that can carry four bikes might be nice to have just in case, you might be paying for something you never actually use.
Compatibility with your bike
If You Need To Carry More Than Two Bikes: Saris Superclamp Ex 4
If you need to carry three or four bikes, we recommend the Saris SuperClamp EX 4-Bike hitch rack, which provides a nice balance of ease of use, features, and price. The SuperClamp EX held our bikes securely with clamps on the front and rear tires, without contacting their frames. And it can accommodate bikes up to 60 pounds each in the two positions nearest to the car, and 35 pounds each in the two positions farthest from the car.
At 63 pounds, the SuperClamp is one of the lightest four-bike tray racks available, so its easier to get on and off of the vehicle than its competitors. By using a nifty pull handle at the rear, you can easily fold the rack up when its empty or tilt it down for access to a vehicles cargo area. The SuperClamp has integrated cables for locking bikes to the rack, and it comes with a hitch lock for securing the rack to the vehicle.
As with all four-bike tray-style racks, the SuperClamp EX is available only for 2-inch hitch receivers. Securing the SuperClamp to the hitch isnt as easy as with the Kuat Sherpa 2.0you need to go old-school and use a wrench to tighten a bolt in the hitch receiver, instead of simply turning a knob. The Saris also doesnt have that Kuat models convenient foot release.
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Where The Rubber Meets The Road
As you can see, its easy to mount a bike rack on almost any car, truck, or SUV. So can bike racks go on any car? Well, you just need to buy the right kind and follow the manufacturers instructions to ensure a proper fit, and then the answer is yes!
So what are you waiting for? Order a bike rack, and expand your riding horizons as far as your vehicle can travel.
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How To Choose A Trunk
A trunk-mounted bike rack rests on the trunk or back of your vehicle, held in place by straps that connect to the trunk, hatch, or bumper. A trunk-mounted rack is a goodchoice if:
- You don’t have a hitch or crossbars on your vehicle
- You have standard bike types
- You don’t use a bike rack very often
- You want the most economical option for hauling your bikes
Consider the following when choosing a trunk-mounted bike rack:
Trunk-mounted bike racks work with most types of bikes. To make sure that a rack will work with your bikes, consider the following:
Number of Bikes
Trunk-mounted bike racks work best with bikes that have a large frame and a horizontal crossbar. The rack’s arms will easily fit inside the frame and thehorizontal crossbar will ensure that the bike rides level. Remember that your bikes should ride as level as possible, and they should have adequate groundclearance so that they won’t contact the ground while you’re transporting them.
Bikes that don’t have standard frames – step through frames, women’s bikes, children’s bikes, bikes with small frames – may not fit well on a trunk-mountedbike rack. But you can usually carry these types of bikes if you remember the following:
Arm spacing varies among different brands and models of bike racks. If your bike has a small frame, consider racks that have narrow arm spacing so that the armsfit.
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Which Type Is Right For You
Many types of bike racks work on most models of cars. When youre trying to determine which bike rack will best meet your needs, check out this quick comparison of each model.
Hitch-Mounted Bike Racks
- Fast and easy to install
- Helps prevent the car from getting scratched
- Positioned for easy loading and unloading
- Carries up to 5 backs, making it ideal for families
- Some models block access to the trunk until the bike rack is removed
- Can be on the higher end of the price point for bike racks
- The large design takes up more storage space between uses
Roof-Mounted Bike Racks
- The versatility of design makes them suitable for carrying other outdoor toys as well
- Racks can stay mounted to the car between uses
- All windows and trunks are free and clear
- Creates more resistance than other varieties
- Be careful of low-clearance bridges and tunnels
- Can make it hard to load and unload bikes because it is a long reach
Trunk-Mounted Bike Racks
Our Pick For Hitch Racks: Kuat Sherpa 20
*At the time of publishing, the price was $630.
Of the 70-some bike racks weve tested, the Kuat Sherpa 2.0 tray-style hitch rack is the best overall for transporting one or two bikes. As long as your vehicle has a trailer hitch, this lightweight model is one of the easiest to mount on your vehicle and is simple to load bikes onto. And it holds bikes securely by the front wheel, with minimal side-to-side movement and without contacting the frame. Even with bikes loaded, it easily tilts down so you can open your vehicles rear hatch or trunk. When youre not carrying bikes, it easily folds up and out of the way to fold it back down, you just step on a convenient foot release. The Sherpa 2.0 is available for 1¼-inch and 2-inch tow hitches.
In our tests, assembling the Sherpa 2.0 was relatively easy. A nifty touch: The shipping box doubles as a platform for assembly. The Sherpa 2.0 has a beautiful finish, with a metallic powder-coated frame, and like most of the tray racks we tested, it comes with locking systems for securing the rack to the vehicle and the bikes to the rack. When its not on the vehicle, its also nicely balanced, so it stands on its own, without needing supports. Although the Sherpa 2.0 is more expensive than other types of racks, its price is about average among our test group of tray racks.
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Bike Rack On An Suvs Trunk
The next type of bike rack for SUVs is the trunk-mounted bike rack. Unlike roof-mounting frames, these racks are easier to install. It is also perfect if youre passing through low underpasses and tight parking spaces. More so, it is the least expensive option if you want a bike rack on your SUV.
- Obstructed rear view
- Can damage your cars trunk
Among the most commonly asked questions I receive is about the Schwinn 2 bike trunk rack installation on SUVs. I must say that this rack offers versatility as it fits most passenger cars. Whats more, it has a quick installation process.
Are Thule Bike Racks Worth It
Thule brand bike racks are known for their high quality and durability. Therefore, no matter how often they are being put to use, damages would be rare. Hence, if you decide to invest in a high quality Thule bike rack, you are certain to be able to derive your moneys worth as replacement or repair costs would be nil.
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Saris Bones 2 Bike Trunk Rack
The Saris Bones Trunk Bike Rack is our favorite trunk-based rack. It is recognized for its mix of functionality, practicality, and design. This model fits over most of the spoilers and its arc-based design differentiate bikes on different levels. Its built with 100% recyclable materials, so youd be contributing with the environment when buying. Its designed to protect the paint with articulated rubber feet and anti-sway straps for a safe hold.
Check out our Saris Bones review for a deep dive.
When you first look at it, you are almost concerned that it is too simple. The design is clean, basic, but sturdy, and it works. It provides a surprisingly stable ride for your bikes and just takes a couple minutes to get mounted on your vehicle.
Bike Racks Buyer’s Guide
Whether you’re going away on holiday and want to explore the local roads, or you’re off to the races every week, a bike rack is a really practical way of getting your bike from A to B .
Having a bike rack on your car gives you more room inside for people and luggage, and means you no longer have to worry about muddy or oily bikes making a mess of your interior.
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Bike Racks For The Whole Family
Thule Apex XT is a hanging hitch bike rack that can carry up to 5 bikes. This secure bike rack keeps bikes stable on the trip, and fits a range of frame styles and sizes. Perfect for a bike vacation with the whole family.
Thule Apex XT Swing 4 hitch bike rack has all these perks and more! This bike rack provides access to your trunk with the bikes still loaded.
Transport Your Bike Without Frame Contact
Thule Bed Rider is a fork mount truck bed rack that keeps your bike secure without any frame contact. Perfect for your most precious carbon fiber bike. Installing it to your pickup is easy with no bolting or drilling required.
Thule Insta-Gater Pro is an upright bike rack that attaches to the bike wheel and avoids any contact with the frame whatsoever. With this rack you wont have to remove the front wheel. This bike rack can take a heavy load and a range of wheel sizes, perfect for ebikes and fatbikes.
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How To Choose The Right Bike Rack
After determining the number of bikes you plan on transporting, you can determine how you want to carry your bikes. There are four options:
- Rooftop bike racks
- Trunk bike racks
- Truck bike racks
Here are the benefits of each, including the features and benefits of each rack style by where they attach to the vehicle:
Yakima Highroad Rooftop Bike Rack
Yakima High Roller Rack
Yakima is one of the most trusted brands in this niche, and they make a couple great roof rack models: The Highroad, and the Front Loader. We like the Highroad the best. The Highroad model is made to transport any kind of bike, of any size. Its also one of the more stable roof racks we have used, because it provides a brace for the front wheel to wedge against. It holds the rear wheel while supporting the front wheel, without touching or putting any stress on the frame of the bike. No wheel removal is needed.
Weighing in at 18 lbs, it doesnt put too much weigh on your roof, and many people like that you dont have to mess with your bikes axle and skewer in order to mount .
It may not be the most economical option of the market however, youll be getting quality and for that price, its completely worth it. You cant go wrong with Yakima.
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How We Tested These Racks And Pads
Our bike-crazed editors have driven hundreds and, in some cases, thousands of miles with their bikes entrusted to these racks. We research the market, survey user reviews, speak with product managers and engineers, and use our own experience to determine the best options for you. We haul road bikes, mountain bikes, e-bikes, and city bikes, as well as bikes with disc brakes, big wheels, fat tires, and more. We keep these racks and pads on our vehicles for months, using and abusing them until we know what works and what doesnt. If we werent satisfied with a particular rack, we didnt include it. So far, these are the 14divided into roof, hitch, trunk, and tailgate categoriesthat earned their spots as the best.
Hatchback Racks: The Right Choice For Small Cars
The Tyger One Bike Trunk Mount has a sleek, minimalist design that bikers love.
So what do you do if youre driving a compact car? Tow your bicycle behind you on a rope?
Thankfully, theres a better way. Hatchback bike racks are lightweight, one or two-bike racks that strap onto your trunk or hatchback. Because all cars are shaped differently, youll need to carefully follow your manufacturers instructions to adjust a hatchback rack to fit your car properly.
Once these racks are assembled, theyre easy to load and unload, since they support your bicycles at a convenient height. However, some models will prevent you from opening your truck or hatchback. Make sure to look closely at any hatchback rack you buy, including reading a few reviews, to make sure you know whether or not you can open your trunk.
Another thing youll want to be careful about before you buy is to make sure the rack you want will fit your car to begin with. Theyre adjustable, but none are universal.
If you own a truck, an SUV, or a roof rack-compatible car, youre probably better off with a different type of rack, like a roof rack or a hitch rack. But if you own a compact car, a hatchback rack will get the job done.
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Which Bike Rack Will Fit My Vehicle
- Class I Hitches: Up to 2k lb capacity, 1-1/4″ receiver size
- Class II Hitches: Up to 3,500 lbs, 1-1/4″ receiver size
- Class III Hitches: Up to 8,000 lbs, 2″ hitch receiver size
Our Recommended Car Bike Rack
Lets cut to the chase. If have a vehicle hitch to accommodate it the best option is a hitch-mounted bike rack that holds the bikes using fixed wheel mounts. The Thule T2 Series is probably the best example of that. If your vehicle cannot accommodate a hitch-based carrier, then the Saris Bones 2 is a good trunk-based rack .
If you are serious about biking, go with the hitch-based option. It is much more secure on long drives. It may require putting an aftermarket hitch receiver on your vehicle.
If some of these terms are foreign to you, read on, because we explain it all.
|Bike Rack / Carrier|
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Backstage 2 By Rockymounts
The RockyMounts Backstage 2 is the first model to provide access to the trunk for cargo and tilts away a full 180 degrees when the bikes are still loaded. Its designed to hold your bikes with no frame contact. The Backstage 2 has an extremely sturdy platform that will hold perfectly, and we have tested it in many different conditions. It comes with a two-spot capacity, with an upgrade to a four-spot, and its one of our preferred models in the market due to its quality-price proportion. You upgrade by adding an extension, which is pretty easy to do.
Like the Thule T2, it weights a little more than 60 lbs so is not light to move around, install, and store. But once you either get the system down, or find a partner to help for just a minute, it will mount securely and give your bikes a quality ride. It has the threaded hitch bolt that we look for as well, making it a more secure install when on your hitch. They call it their anti-wobble technology.
The RockyMounts Backstage 2 is a secure option for your bike rack, and many like that it sits a little lower so you dont have to worry as much about going into parking garages and the like.