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mjw16 09-14-04 12:13 PM

Bike Rack Worries
Several months ago after buying a new car, I puchased a Saris Bones trunk mounted bike rack. I chose this as: 1) it's less expensive than a roof rack system, 2) it's easily removed, and 3) it's supposed to be one of the better trunk mount designs. It has served me well enough for my normal, weekend trips to local mountain bike trails but I have to admit that I'm always nervous watching my bike bouncing around on what seems to be a fairly precarious perch. I recently happend to see a DC cop dragging his bike off the back of his cruiser as his rack came loose and fell off. I used to just throw my bikes in the back of my pickup and never had to worry. Now I'm always watching my rearview mirror with a knot in my stomach worrying about my nice, new Surly or Cove getting bounced right off the back of my trunk as I hit a bump or round a turn. I'm getting ready to leave for North Carolina for a MS 150 (a 7 1/2 hr trip from DC) and have to admit I'm a little nervous of that much highway driving with my bike mounted on this rack. Of course I tighten the straps and check their tension frequently, but I did have a strap come loose on only a 5 or 6 mile drive recently. Given that I can't afford a roof mount system right now, does anyone have any recommendations for securing a bike or two on this type of rack where I won't have to worry?

Thanks as always.

Orion 09-14-04 01:15 PM

I'd just keep a package of the long length black plastic zip ties and a pair of wire snips [to cut the plastic zip ties off with] and you should have the added safety. They're cheap, and are easy to snip off when you arrive at your destination.

Just a thought.

Prosody 09-14-04 05:18 PM

Your bikes should not bounce on a Saris Bones. My Bones rack fits tightly on the trunk, and the bike does not bounce at all. Make sure you are installing the rack correctly, and cinch those straps as tightly as you can.

dominicolom 09-14-04 06:25 PM

I have a bike rack also and it bounces around a lot. I get so nervous. Of course, I have a cheap bike rack, but still it shouldn't bounce like that.

my58vw 09-14-04 07:21 PM

I have a yicama (something like that) and it holds the bike excelent against the hatch on my ford focus zx3. Will get a pic soon...

sjt78 09-14-04 10:28 PM

To ensure the integrity of the rack, make sure after you tighten the strap to make a knot with the strap so that the strap cannot loosen. I've used this method and have had no problems with my bones rack at 80mph. I've never had a strap come loose, nor had my bike(s) bounce when I drove. Something is wrong if they are bouncing. Re-read the instructions.

Retro Grouch 09-15-04 04:03 AM

Another trick is to twist the long top straps one turn. That makes them less susceptable to wind currents so they bounce up and down less.

Bokkie 09-15-04 04:40 AM

I had a similar type of rack on my car. A strap worked loose and I stopped before my bike was wheel fodder to the 30-tonners behind me. I since switched cars and now have a tow-bar rack. Much more secure, and you can get into the boot without having to remove the bike. Tow-bar if you can afford it and justify it. Ottherwise, look for other means to secure the bike and check those straps!!!

mjw16 09-15-04 05:24 AM

I like the idea of tying off the straps after tightening, in fact the instructions say to do that. Saris also recommends checking the rack after the first 30 miles and then every 200 miles beyond that. I've never had a bike fall off but I've also never driven several hundred miles with one of these racks. I'll cinch it up extra snug and tie off the straps and try not to worry about it. Thanks for the advice.

otoman 09-17-04 09:05 AM

I always secure my bike to my hitch rack with two short bunjee cords as well as the straps the Thule came with. Belt and suspenders, baby

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