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Thread: Bike Rack Woes

  1. #1
    Senior Member SouthernGirl's Avatar
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    Bike Rack Woes

    After much deliberation and inner debate, I decided I just couldn't justify spending the money right now to have a hitch receiver installed on my car and then buying a rack that costs way more than a trunk mount.

    Of course, there were concerns for my car's paint job with a trunk mount. But, I decided if I make sure the contact points of the car and rack are really clean, maybe all would be well.

    So, I recently purchased the Saris bones 3 bike rack so I could carry my bike and my two sons' bikes a little distance away to a nice place to ride.

    Today I'm ready to load them up and yep, you guessed it, their bikes won't fit. *sigh*

    It was something I was concerned about, but not being the most spatially gifted person, thought maybe with a little effort it would fit. But NEITHER of them will. Oh, mine works like a champ. LBS said there may be a bar we could use to get them to fit. The bars I'm guessing for a step through frame I've read about. My problem is, will their frames be too small and will there be room on their bikes for this? as they're not step through frames, just smaller MTN-type bikes.

    Anyone know of a solutions other than my having paid money for this rack and still having to end up using my husband's monstrous truck when I want to take my boys for a ride?
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    Senior Member SouthernGirl's Avatar
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    Oh, one other question: Are the said bars, if they fit, tension mounted? That would be a concern as well as I don't really trust that a tension mount anything would satisfactorily hold their bikes on our really bad Louisiana streets?

    Thanks. I realize this is not exactly a Clyde/Athena question. Guess it's just more of a comfort zone thing. If it needs to be moved, I completely understand and will try to stick more to topic.

    Thanks again
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Trek 7.3 fx is here!

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    VoodooChile zoste's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear that you're having trouble with it...I would sometimes turn my son's mountain bike upside down in order to fit three bikes, but it worked if I put the bottom tube of the bike on the rack.

    These adapters are telescoping, so I think they'd fit, but they're kind of pricey. I have no experience with them, but I imagination that they clamp on somehow, not just tension mount...
    Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand

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    Senior Member SouthernGirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoste View Post
    Sorry to hear that you're having trouble with it...I would sometimes turn my son's mountain bike upside down in order to fit three bikes, but it worked if I put the bottom tube of the bike on the rack.

    These adapters are telescoping, so I think they'd fit, but they're kind of pricey. I have no experience with them, but I imagination that they clamp on somehow, not just tension mount...
    You know, I considered trying to use the frame and a wheel and did, in fact, get it on the rack. But it's way off balance. I can get it on one side of the rack but not both. With the wheel and frame, not only is it off balance, but I can't wrap the seat tube/post (?). So, I don't know that this would be a viable alternative for more than one reason.

    I'll check into the adapters more. Thanks for your reply.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Trek 7.3 fx is here!

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    VoodooChile zoste's Avatar
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    You can push the "arms" of the Bones rack closer together if the bikes are too small...
    Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand

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    Senior Member cod.peace's Avatar
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    I've gotten my son's 20" wheeled bike on my Saris 3-bones. It was mounted at a weird angle, but as long as you get 2 solid parts on the arms it'll be ok. I always use a few extra bungee cords on every bike I put on the Saris because I'm paranoid.

    Here's my Saris 3-bone complete with 2 recumbents and one semi-recumbent bike:
    old steel Specialized Hardrock

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    Senior Member BigPolishJimmy's Avatar
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    I use a Saris bones rack and found those adaptor rods on my local craigslist used, I got 2 for the price of one. Just before I found them I was considering a home-brew solution. I was thinking of taking an old broom handle, cutting it to size for the bike(from the head tube to the seat tube), then drilling holes near each end to run some shoelaces or leather strapping through. You could then attach these to the bikes and try it out to see if you can make the rack work. The adaptors do work well for step-through frames, i'm not sure how they'll be on suspension 'Y' frame mountain bikes yet. In the past I've also flipped step-through frames and 20" bikes upside down to strap them to the rack. goofy and a bit unorthodox but it'll get you down the road a few miles. I wouldn't want to take a long trip camping like that though.

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    Senior Member SouthernGirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoste View Post
    You can push the "arms" of the Bones rack closer together if the bikes are too small...


    OMG! I swear somewhere rolling around the cavern that is my skull, I knew this. Jeez! What a moron!

    Okay. I got them on the other day. It wasn't pretty, but it worked.

    The angle of the frames on their bikes is pretty tight and it's difficult to get it over the "holders" on the rack. Good Lord their bikes are heavy. I wonder if I should put mine on first or last? I did first, but dang. Scratched the everloving *&#! out of my bike with one of their pedals Wanted to barf when I saw it. It's quite the little dance we were doing. I'll have to practice a few more times for sure. Mine goes on like a dream. Definitely need bungees for faster roads.

    Thanks guys!
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Trek 7.3 fx is here!

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    Senior Member SouthernGirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigPolishJimmy View Post
    I use a Saris bones rack and found those adaptor rods on my local craigslist used, I got 2 for the price of one. Just before I found them I was considering a home-brew solution. I was thinking of taking an old broom handle, cutting it to size for the bike(from the head tube to the seat tube), then drilling holes near each end to run some shoelaces or leather strapping through. You could then attach these to the bikes and try it out to see if you can make the rack work. The adaptors do work well for step-through frames, i'm not sure how they'll be on suspension 'Y' frame mountain bikes yet. In the past I've also flipped step-through frames and 20" bikes upside down to strap them to the rack. goofy and a bit unorthodox but it'll get you down the road a few miles. I wouldn't want to take a long trip camping like that though.
    I've decided they just need bigger bikes. Would make my life so much easier! Nevermind whether it would fit THEM! It would work for me
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Trek 7.3 fx is here!

  10. #10
    VoodooChile zoste's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernGirl View Post


    OMG! I swear somewhere rolling around the cavern that is my skull, I knew this. Jeez! What a moron!

    Okay. I got them on the other day. It wasn't pretty, but it worked.

    The angle of the frames on their bikes is pretty tight and it's difficult to get it over the "holders" on the rack. Good Lord their bikes are heavy. I wonder if I should put mine on first or last? I did first, but dang. Scratched the everloving *&#! out of my bike with one of their pedals Wanted to barf when I saw it. It's quite the little dance we were doing. I'll have to practice a few more times for sure. Mine goes on like a dream. Definitely need bungees for faster roads.

    Thanks guys!
    I guess it sounds like you'd be better off putting yours on last. Less chance of scratching...and if yours is secure on the outside, the ones on the inside aren't going anywhere! No need for bungees that way, either: I lugged my bike from Philadelphia to Tucson on a Saris Bones without a bungee...did you know the speed limit on I-10 in west Texas is 80? I never gave the bike a second thought.

    When I first got my rack someone suggested that when I got three bikes on it I should take a bunch of pictures from different angles so I'd know just how to get the thing loaded the next time
    Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand

  11. #11
    Pedals, Paddles and Poles Daspydyr's Avatar
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    Will they fit if you put them on upside down. Watch those handle bars?
    I think its disgusting and terrible how people treat Lance Armstrong, especially after winning 7 Tour de France Titles while on drugs!

    I can't even find my bike when I'm on drugs. -Willie N.

  12. #12
    Senior Member SouthernGirl's Avatar
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    Getting theirs over the little holder thingies on the top is really a struggle which is why I didn't want to put theirs on first... but I'd really like to not scratch my bike anymore! So will try that next time. It takes two people to get them over the the thingies. But they have little fingers and can help. I like the picture idea! When we got to the park I remembered thinking "If I can get them off, I may not be able to reassemble this jigsaw puzzle to get them home again!"

    The only reason I'm wondering about the bungees is for the front tires to keep them a little less mobile. When all three are on it's no big deal. But when just mine is on, it is moving around a lot. I'll be glad when I stop looking in the rear-view mirror constantly and assessing the movement.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Trek 7.3 fx is here!

  13. #13
    Senior Member SouthernGirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daspydyr View Post
    Will they fit if you put them on upside down. Watch those handle bars?
    Only if they go through a tire and I wouldn't want to mess those up on their little bikes. Man those are some heavy bikes compared to mine! I never realized the difference till I was picking them up to chest level and holding them up there!
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  14. #14
    Pedals, Paddles and Poles Daspydyr's Avatar
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    I would think that a Saints fan would be stronger than this! Look at the burden you have carried for so long.
    I think its disgusting and terrible how people treat Lance Armstrong, especially after winning 7 Tour de France Titles while on drugs!

    I can't even find my bike when I'm on drugs. -Willie N.

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    If you decide on a retractable bar to assist in holding them on the rack, Overstock.com has them at a pretty good price:

    http://www.overstock.com/Sports-Toys...8/product.html

    Good luck,
    P2

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    I haul my bikes with an Allen rack. Before that Grabber racks. My experience is that the racks rarely harm the car. Just make sure you mount it to a clean surface, and everything is tight. Its the bikes that do the damage. They just need to be tight not wobbling to much. One word of caution is to check that the rack is still tightly secured periodically. At least once after mounting a few miles into your trip. And regularly (Once every day or two) if you leave it on. You might try flipping the kids bikes upside down then going through the front wheel (if no part of frame is an option) and part of the frame in the back. Maybe between the seat post and wheel. You'll probably then need to bungee it to either part of the rack or another bike. Don't forget you can zig zag front and back of bikes to help fit them on. I have used a small bungee to hold my front wheel straight on my adult bike. I just went through the wheel and around the frame. Also you might consider a cable lock. It can be used to help secure the bikes in transit and help keep them secure during pit stops.

  17. #17
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    I haul my bikes with an Allen rack. Before that Grabber racks. My experience is that the racks rarely harm the car. Just make sure you mount it to a clean surface, and everything is tight. Its the bikes that do the damage. They just need to be tight not wobbling to much. One word of caution is to check that the rack is still tightly secured periodically. At least once after mounting a few miles into your trip. And regularly (Once every day or two) if you leave it on. You might try flipping the kids bikes upside down then going through the front wheel (if no part of frame is an option) and part of the frame in the back. Maybe between the seat post and wheel. You'll probably then need to bungee it to either part of the rack or another bike. Don't forget you can zig zag front and back of bikes to help fit them on. I have used a small bungee to hold my front wheel straight on my adult bike. I just went through the wheel and around the frame. Also you might consider a cable lock. It can be used to help secure the bikes in transit and help keep them secure during pit stops.

  18. #18
    Senior Member SouthernGirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daspydyr View Post
    I would think that a Saints fan would be stronger than this! Look at the burden you have carried for so long.
    HAHAHA! Love it. You are right, of course May have been heavy, but all these years of carrying that particular burden must have paid off, 'cause I did get 'em up there!
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Trek 7.3 fx is here!

  19. #19
    Senior Member SouthernGirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinsonp2 View Post
    If you decide on a retractable bar to assist in holding them on the rack, Overstock.com has them at a pretty good price:

    http://www.overstock.com/Sports-Toys...8/product.html

    Good luck,
    P2
    That's not bad. I may still do that. I have been able to get them on. But it is tough. Really have to work at it. I think that's why I ended up scratching my bike. Can't just lift them and put them on. Thanks for the linky!
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Trek 7.3 fx is here!

  20. #20
    Senior Member SouthernGirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tornado60 View Post
    One word of caution is to check that the rack is still tightly secured periodically. At least once after mounting a few miles into your trip. And regularly (Once every day or two) if you leave it on.
    Yes, I did do this and was glad of it. I had to really tighten the top straps. Much better now.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Trek 7.3 fx is here!

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