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  1. #1
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    Yet *another* bike rack question (New bike owner needs help)

    Greetings!

    I am a grad student who recently purchased a bike for a variety of reasons. The bike I purchased is from the Mongoose brand; it is a men's Domain model. I'm considering buying a bike rack so I can carry the bike on my car when I travel. My car is a 1999 Mercury Sable, and I don't have any form of a hitch on the car.

    I've been looking through the other threads pertaining to bike racks and have tried to find additional information about the brands and models which have been mentioned. One is the Saris Bones II 2-Bike carrier. I've seen pictures of the model alone, but not any that show the unit mounted onto a car. One question I have is this: how does the Bones II attach to the rear? -- the pictures I have seen do not show any straps or *something* with which to secure it to the trunk/rear. The only straps I notice appear to be the shorter ones on the sides which look to me like they would be the bike tie-downs?

    Another question I have about the Saris Bones II is whether or not the unit places most of the bike's weight on the trunk, itself, or on the bumper of the car. Does anyone know?

    The Domain model that I have has a top bar which slants down and then levels-off toward the seat, much like a women's bike, and it has a center shock, so I need to consider how the bike would sit on the rack, as well.

    I am new to bicycling, and am on a pretty fixed budget (my bike was priced somewhere around $130, and I got it for $100); I would like to try to keep the amount I spend on a rack under $100 as well -- watching ebay for some possibilities.

    Does anyone have any suggestions?
    Thank you in advance! I'm looking forward to responses.

  2. #2
    Not Green, Celeste!!! cwodave's Avatar
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    While on vacation this summer we rented a Taurus and put a temporary bike rack on the trunk. It didn't do much damage, but you could see where it had been and proably would have been damaged had we left bike on it longer. Lots of variables in this story, but my advice would be to consider a roof rack.

    Dave
    "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure.
    Helen Keller (1880 - 1968)

  3. #3
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    From the picture at the Saris website, it looks like most of the weight is on the bumper. The straps also hook on the trunk and may cause some paint damage.
    When I had a trunk mount bike rack (not a Saris) I didn't notice any damage or problems with it.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwodave
    While on vacation this summer we rented a Taurus and put a temporary bike rack on the trunk. It didn't do much damage, but you could see where it had been and proably would have been damaged had we left bike on it longer. Lots of variables in this story, but my advice would be to consider a roof rack.

    Dave

    Thanks Dave. Are there any roof racks which can be taken off the roof and put back on as needed? I haven't looked much at roof racks, yet. I would like to avoid permanently mounting anything extra to the roof.

    What about hitches? I've read that they don't work very well with unibody cars because unibody cars don't have the frame to mount a hitch to them and then they only can take a 1 1/4 inch hitch and preferably only 100 lbs weight limit?? I'm not sure if I am correct on that. I'm presuming that my Sable is a unibody car -- what can I look for to tell?

    -- T

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonH
    From the picture at the Saris website, it looks like most of the weight is on the bumper. The straps also hook on the trunk and may cause some paint damage.
    When I had a trunk mount bike rack (not a Saris) I didn't notice any damage or problems with it.
    Thanks Ron. What kind of trunk rack did you have?

    -- T

  6. #6
    My own worst nightmare
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    Quote Originally Posted by tannice2000
    Thanks Dave. Are there any roof racks which can be taken off the roof and put back on as needed? I haven't looked much at roof racks, yet. I would like to avoid permanently mounting anything extra to the roof.
    AFAIK, all of the "big three" (Saris, Thule, Yakima) roof racks have no permanent mountings. Saris is the easiset to install/remove, because on each load bar, both feet tighten to the roof by turning the knob from either side (so you're not running back and forth from one side of the car to the other); this also makes them self-centering.

    BTW, you'll find scads of these, of all three brands, on eBay, for a fraction of what you pay new. You'll probably have to purchase new the "clips" that adapt the bars to your particular car, but I've even seen them on eBay. All three (I think) have fit guides on their web sites, which tell you what parts you need to mount them to your Sable. Then you can just look up those particular part numbers on eBay.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tannice2000
    Are there any roof racks which can be taken off the roof and put back on as needed? I haven't looked much at roof racks, yet. I would like to avoid permanently mounting anything extra to the roof.
    -- T
    I use two cross bars and a Delta carrier kit. The cross bars can be bought for less than $80 (Thule, Yakima, etc. mine are Volvo). The Delta carrier costs less than $40 on eBay stores or LBS, it is very sturdy and much easier to use than Thules or Yakima tray systems (I also have a Yakima carrier and hate it..).

  8. #8
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    Roof racks are $$. Look at Hollywood or Allen rear carriers, they work fine and won't damage your car. I've used both. They are fine. Saris probably does the same for much more $$.

  9. #9
    The Iceman cometh! Bop Bop's Avatar
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    Tannice2000,

    Please look at my similar post entitled "Bike Carrier" in the Recumbent Forum. I've received some good info.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    With that budget, I'm guessing that you'll be limited to a strap-on.

    Of the strap-ons, I like the Saris Bones by far the best of the ones that I've examined closely. It comes with a set of fit notes for various makes and models of cars. In general, they recommend resting the bottom feet on a horizontal surface, like a bumper or license plate well, to support the majority of the weight. It has three pairs of straps to secure the top, sides and bottom. The straps have metal cam locks so they don't tend to loosen up as you drive down the road. The curved legs fit most (but not all) cars and there are no rustable external parts.

    It's biggest drawback, like all of the strap-ons, is that if you use it weekly all summer, by September you'll be able to see where the feet and straps rest on your car. If you're picky about your car's paint job you'd be well advised to get a receiver rack.

  11. #11
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    Thank you to all of you who took the time to respond and give information and suggestions! I truly appreciate it.

    -- Tannice2000

  12. #12
    Nothing here to see!!!!!! flyingscotsman's Avatar
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    I use a cheap rack I got out of Kmart, I drive a 1986 mustang, the rack works fine clipping to the trunk. The weight of the bike rests on the bumber.

  13. #13
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    Thanks, Flyingcotsman, for your comments.

    -- tannice2000

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