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  1. #1
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Experience with Saris Bones?

    Well, I've gone and done it. I finally bought my long awaited rear wheel drive sports car (no longer have a real need for a legitimate back seat). Not thinking all that far ahead, I never checked to see if my Yakima roof rack will fit. It doesn't. So, I'm looking at the Saris Bones 2. Do any of you have experience with this rack? I've got a handful of questions if you do.

    Is it stable enough for longer trips (over 500 miles)?

    Does the rack itself leave any marks or indentations on the car?

    Does it hold the bike far enough away from the car that they don't bang into it?

    Is there anything else a prospective buyer should know?
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
    Favorite rides in the stable: Indy Fab CJ Ti - Colnago MXL - S-Works Roubaix - Habanero Team Issue - Jamis Eclipse carbon/831

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    USMC Veteran qcpmsame's Avatar
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    Pics or it didn't happen.
    "I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me" Philippians 4:13

    "We can't control that we have Parkinson's, but we can control how we live with Parkinson's" Davis Phinney

  3. #3
    Oh! That British Bloke .. ThatBritBloke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOS88 View Post
    Does the rack itself leave any marks or indentations on the car?

    Does it hold the bike far enough away from the car that they don't bang into it?
    No matter what the manufacturer says, all racks of this type will eventually mark and even dent your car's bodywork. You can stave it off by using extra padding on the points of contact, but in the end you will be left with marks.

    I would check if some sort of hitch can be fitted to your car. The hitch on my car isn't actually rated for towing and limited to a 1.25" receiver, but enables it to carry a hitch-mounted rack. The rack and bikes never touch the bodywork of the car.
    Alan

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  4. #4
    Seat Sniffer Biker395's Avatar
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    Whoo boy. I dunno that I would put that kind of rack on any new car I cared about. The Bones may be an exception, but I have some very sad trunk rack stories.

    What car is it? I've heard tell of people doing trailer hitch mounts on sports cars that are so good, they're virtually invisible until you need them.
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  5. #5
    Conquer Cancer rider Boudicca's Avatar
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    I've used the Saris Bones (the three-bike version) for several years on several cars, none of which belong to me, so I have to be extra careful. It seems very gentle on the car, unless the plastic foot has been on the ground and has got covered with grit that scratches the paintwork. I've used it for long distances, with no problems -- Canada to North Carolina over two days. The bikes are held very tightly, and are very stable. They don't touch the car. I usually velcro the rear wheel so it doesn't move and send the pedals spinning around.

    The only disadvantage I can see is that there's no easy way to lock the bikes to the rack, so I fret a little at freeway service stations. I tend to lock two bikes together with a cable lock -- it won't prevent the determined thief but makes it a little more difficult for an opportunist.
    Zero gallons to the mile

  6. #6
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qcpmsame View Post
    Pics or it didn't happen.
    Bill, I won't put car porn on a cycling forum. It just seems....you know....wrong. Maybe after I get the rack thing figured out, I'll post with a photo of a bike on the car?
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
    Favorite rides in the stable: Indy Fab CJ Ti - Colnago MXL - S-Works Roubaix - Habanero Team Issue - Jamis Eclipse carbon/831

  7. #7
    tsl
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    As mentioned, all trunk-mount racks will leave a mark in time. The only alternative is hitch-mount.

    Keeping in mind that I don't even own a car, I own a Saris Bones 3. It is likely the best trunk-mount rack going. It holds the bike stably and far enough away from the car. I add a bungee between the front wheel and downtube to reduce front wheel flop. I've used it on sports cars, sedans, minivans and SUVs. Very versatile mounting, and just the ticket for someone like me who can't predict what sort of car it will next be used on.

    Then my parents went and bought a Buick SUV thingie (Enclave) with a plastic spoiler atop the hatch. The Bones won't work on that. So I now also own a Yakima Hold-Up hitch rack. Weighs an effing ton. But jeepers, it laughs at road bikes.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Paul01's Avatar
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    Thumbs up for Saris Bones and we have a friend who has had one on his Miata for a couple of years with no problem. We retired ours when we got a GTI with a spoiler and had to go to a hitch mount.

  9. #9
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    I have a Bones 3 and no car. I've used it on a rented Honda Accord with good results. And that was carrying a Bacchetta Giro 20, not exactly your standard bike.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

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  10. #10
    USMC Veteran qcpmsame's Avatar
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    Agree with TSL, a hitch rack with the hidden receiver is unobtrusive but really sturdy. Use a locking pin for the receiver when the rack is inserted, I have one for my receiver and keep things locked up.

    Bill
    "I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me" Philippians 4:13

    "We can't control that we have Parkinson's, but we can control how we live with Parkinson's" Davis Phinney

  11. #11
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    The Saris Bones is the best rack of it's kind. It's very easily adjustable to keep the bikes away from the car and very stable. I think the farthest we used it was about 250 miles carrying 3 bikes.

    Take your new car over to your LBS and make sure it will fit before you buy. When our SUV was totaled out we found that we were not able to fit the Bones onto the new car.

    And yes, if you have the Bones pads resting on the trunk lid they will eventually scratch the paint. I ended up buying a receiver hitch off of e-bay and going to hitch mounted rack.

  12. #12
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    I own a Saris bones 2. I would recommend a 3 only because it has 2 upper legs rather than 1 single (more stable). Be aware I lose about 5mpg with bikes on the back. I run a Genesis coupe and the bikes act like a sail back there. They ride well away from the vehicle and will after time leave mild scratches in the paint. I also use mine as a bike stand to clean the chain and check out the bike before rides.

  13. #13
    Senior Member GeorgeBMac's Avatar
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    I originally bought the Sarris Bones Single -- and it was junk. The straps kept coming loose and I had to readjust them with almost every 20 mile trip. I did not feel that my bike was at all safe or secure with it. In addition, the bike was far too close to the car and I got a number of scratches from it.

    Then one day I opened the trunk with the bike attached and, when I set something down, the trunk slammed shut and one of the thin little straps snapped.

    So, I traded it for a Sarris Bones three which I like a LOT better.

    The straps are much wider. The buckles are heavier and hold much better. In fact, I have had it on for several months and it is still tight and secure. In addition, the lower feet rest on the top of my bumper so it seems to be more secure because the weight is being born by the bumper rather than the straps and buckles.

    In addition, the bars that hold the bikes are individually adjustable -- so it holds the bikes whether they have a level top tube of not.

    My only complaints with it are:
    -- The straps the hold the bike itself are thick plastic and they catch on the cables that run under my top tube when I put the bike on or take it off.
    -- The bike mounts are too close for 3 bikes -- but it works well for two.

    And, I still need to use a tie down to secure the front wheel from swinging around.

    But, all of my complaints about the 3 bike rack are really pretty minor. All in all, I am happy with it.

    I suspect the 2 bike model would fall somewhere between the single model and the triple.

    If you get one, I would recommend getting the triple. I suspect the straps & buckles will be higher quality and more secure and it will get the bikes away from each other and your car better.
    --------------------------------------
    bikes: 1992 Cannondale R500, 2012 Trek DS 8.5, 2008 LeMond Poprad

  14. #14
    Senior Member DGlenday's Avatar
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    I have a Saris Bones 2 and recommend it.

    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    As mentioned, all trunk-mount racks will leave a mark in time. The only alternative is hitch-mount.
    Not necessarily true.

    Get "helicopter tape", also known as "heli tape". It's a thick plastic cellophane-like sheet with a gentle adhesive on one side. Put that on the car, under the pads, and avoid marking

    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeBMac View Post
    ...the lower feet rest on the top of my bumper so it seems to be more secure because the weight is being born by the bumper rather than the straps and buckles.
    But you can't open your trunk that way.

    So I put the feet against the bottom of the trunk, and can now open and close the trunk with the rack mounted.



    Also - I got a few small velcro strips to stop the back wheel from spinning and the front wheel from swinging around. Takes all of 9 seconds to put the velcro in place or to remove it.
    Regards,
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  15. #15
    Senior Member tunavic's Avatar
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    I have a sedan and use this rack. I can highly recommend it.

    http://www.thule.com/en-US/US/Produc...latform-2-Bike

  16. #16
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    On the securing bikes on a rack---I have a 10ft hawser and I link that through the bike frames and wheels and then the open end is passed through the Boot and secured to an immovable object within the car.

    Car.jpg

    It can be seen in the pic and is the grey item on the left of the securing strap that runs into the back of the car.

    I have used this basic Carrier for years and never marked a car in any way----Except that the fixings on the straps have strips cut from an inner tube to act as a buffer. The wheels and bars have to be located firmly so they don't swing and hit the bodywork and this is done with the luggage elastics that hold the bike onto the carrier.
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  17. #17
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DGlenday View Post
    I have a Saris Bones 2 and recommend it.



    Not necessarily true.

    Get "helicopter tape", also known as "heli tape". It's a thick plastic cellophane-like sheet with a gentle adhesive on one side. Put that on the car, under the pads, and avoid marking



    But you can't open your trunk that way.

    So I put the feet against the bottom of the trunk, and can now open and close the trunk with the rack mounted.



    Also - I got a few small velcro strips to stop the back wheel from spinning and the front wheel from swinging around. Takes all of 9 seconds to put the velcro in place or to remove it.
    I put the feet against the bumper, and still open and close the trunk. Just need to be careful, and (this is important) keep your damned head out of the way as you are closing it. Oh, and take the bike off first. ;-)

    I should have used the plastic protectors, but I haven't, and you can tell where the pads hit. I could buff it out if need be. Note that I use my rack at least once/week, often more.

    When hauling a single bike, I rotate the bars so the front wheel is perpendicular to the bumper, and velcro the bars to the rack. It keep things from bouncing around, but I also have a black mark on the bumper from the tire rubbing against it. When hauling two bikes (rare for me) I velcro the wheels of the bikes together to make it a single stable load.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  18. #18
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Pads, not matter how soft or compliant, will eventually scuff the paint due to dust and road grime that gets trapped between the pads a surface. Putting pieces of clear protective stick-on vinyl on the car in the areas that the pads contact will prevent that from happening. Appropriate material is sold at auto stores as chip guard and under other names.

    That said, I go along with others in recommending going with a hitch. I know guys with hitches on Jaguars and Porches...

  19. #19
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    I think those porche hitches must be for horses...
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  20. #20
    Seat Sniffer Biker395's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
    That said, I go along with others in recommending going with a hitch. I know guys with hitches on Jaguars and Porches...
    As do I.

    I guess it really kinda depends on the car he's got and how he feels about keeping it pristine. If the long awaited RWD sports car is a used car in less that pristine condition, probably no big loss. If it's a new car and the OP's baby, I wouldn't touch it with any trunk rack. Heck, I've driven home in conditions so nasty (roads and winds), my bike's been gusted and bopped around pretty good on a roof rack. I don't even want to think about how a trunk rack would have fared.
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  21. #21
    Conquer Cancer rider Boudicca's Avatar
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    3 bikes on the Bones: it works (as a tight fit) if all three are the same type of bike -- 3 road bikes, or three hybrids. Fitting two roadies and one hybrid, or 2 hybrids and a roadie, can be done, but it's sort of complicated.
    Zero gallons to the mile

  22. #22
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
    As do I.

    I guess it really kinda depends on the car he's got and how he feels about keeping it pristine. If the long awaited RWD sports car is a used car in less that pristine condition, probably no big loss. If it's a new car and the OP's baby, I wouldn't touch it with any trunk rack. Heck, I've driven home in conditions so nasty (roads and winds), my bike's been gusted and bopped around pretty good on a roof rack. I don't even want to think about how a trunk rack would have fared.
    You hit the nail on the head. It's a new, Pearl White, Genesis R-Spec 3.8 Liter Coupe. It doesn't have a spoiler on the back, and Thule doesn't make a roof or trunk mount rack that will fit it. Yakima only makes a roof rack that fits it, and I wanted to avoid that is possible. The Saris Bones is listed as being a fit. However, given the posts affirming inevitable scratches, I may be looking to have a hitch installed.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
    Favorite rides in the stable: Indy Fab CJ Ti - Colnago MXL - S-Works Roubaix - Habanero Team Issue - Jamis Eclipse carbon/831

  23. #23
    Senior Member GeorgeBMac's Avatar
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    Regarding letting the bottom feet of the Sarris Bones 3 rest on the bumper rather than against the trunk:

    Quote Originally Posted by DGlenday View Post
    ...
    But you can't open your trunk that way.

    So I put the feet against the bottom of the trunk, and can now open and close the trunk with the rack mounted.
    ... .
    No, there is nothing blocking the trunk from opening. The only negative is that the straps loosen a little when I open the trunk when I have it positioned with the feet resting on top of the bumper. But that's a small price to pay for the security of having the bumper take the weight rather than depend on the straps and buckles.

    With the bottom feet resting on the bumper, all the straps and buckles do is keep the rack tight against the car rather than supporting the weight (which can probably be considerable when you have 2 or 3 bikes on there and then hit a bump).
    --------------------------------------
    bikes: 1992 Cannondale R500, 2012 Trek DS 8.5, 2008 LeMond Poprad

  24. #24
    Senior Member GeorgeBMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOS88 View Post
    You hit the nail on the head. It's a new, Pearl White, Genesis R-Spec 3.8 Liter Coupe. It doesn't have a spoiler on the back, and Thule doesn't make a roof or trunk mount rack that will fit it. Yakima only makes a roof rack that fits it, and I wanted to avoid that is possible. The Saris Bones is listed as being a fit. However, given the posts affirming inevitable scratches, I may be looking to have a hitch installed.
    I am quite happy with my Sarris Bones 3 -- but if I had it to do over again, I would get a hitch installed.

    When I got it I had just started cycling and didn't know if I would continue and/or how often. So, I didn't want to go the expense and trouble of a hitch.
    ... I wish somebody would have told me this cycling stuff is so addictive!

    BTW: the manager at my LBS likes the hitch racks where the wheels sit on shelves rather than the kind where the bikes hang like from a rack.
    --------------------------------------
    bikes: 1992 Cannondale R500, 2012 Trek DS 8.5, 2008 LeMond Poprad

  25. #25
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    FWIW, my friend has a little hitch receiver installed on his Corvette, so that makes me think you can install them on a lot of cars you wouldn't expect to. I'd vote for that if you can work it out. Although the Bones is an excellent piece of equipment.

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