Hi all, I just bought a Bell 2-bike trunk rack at Wal*Mart last night. I did a fair amount of research and concluded I wasn't going to buy a Saris Bones to carry a $260 bike, and it looked like an $80-$100 Thule or Yakima wasn't much of an improvement. So, before everyone jumps in and says "trunk racks suck" or "Bell sucks," please trust me, I'm sticking with this rack. I'm driving at most 10 miles each way and more like 4 miles on a routine basis. The frame is solid and the hook design is surprisingly good for the price.
So I am going to wrap the pads and the hooks in microfiber towel to ease the pain for my car. That's the easy part.
The biggest weakness of this rack is that it doesn't have side straps, so I want to fashion something to keep the rack from swaying side-to-side. I bought a package of thin nylon rope rated for 90 lbs. I think, and I'm willing to buy hooks. I was wondering if anyone had suggestions for rigging up something in place of side straps, and also something to help keep the bikes in place on the rack itself. The rope packaging says knotting the rope adversely affects its strength and it recommends "splicing" instead, but I'm not sure what this means. Any tips here of any type would be greatly appreciated. It would be -great- if there were a way to make something both tight and capable of fairly quick release (that is to say, undoing 4 double knots of nylon rope doesn't qualify as quick-release). Any tips (and/or photos!) are appreciated!