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Which bike rack should we get?

Old 12-18-11, 10:26 PM
  #1  
krystle920
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Which bike rack should we get?

My fiance and I just bought a 2011 Specialized Ariel Disc and a 2011 Specialized Crosstrail Disc. We are looking for a non-hitch, non-roof rack bike rack that would fit both our cars (a 2011 Subaru Legacy Sedan and a 2009 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport). What bike rack do you recommend? We are based in CT and plan to drive to nearby and regional trails without having to worry that the bikes would fall off or scratch the car. It would be great if the rack would work for both cars and we won't need to remove bike tires or anything. Basically, make it as easy as possible, but still be great quality.

Budget is less than $100, ideally $50. Thanks!
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Old 12-18-11, 10:34 PM
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The only way you'll find something that cheap is to go to your local sporting goods store. And even then you'll still have to buy super cheap. I have a roof rack. You could change the clips out and move it to another car if you wanted too. But it's made by Yakima, and is far far out of your price range.
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Old 12-18-11, 11:03 PM
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My recommendation, Saris Bones, is just outside your budget. However, I see them regularly on Craigslist for less. Hold out for the Bones 3 because it has four legs instead of only three.

I like the Bones because it fits everything I've tried it on--sedans, minivans and yes, an Outback. It's easy to adjust from car to car. It folds up for storage. And it has a three-point mounting system for the bikes instead of only two. This keeps them from swaying. In order to ride any more stable, you'd have to weld them to the car.

As for removing wheels, on bikes with sloping top tubes, that may be necessary unless you buy an adapter cross bar. It's an add-on bar that goes between the head tube and the seatpost to level the bike out for transport. I don't remember how much I paid for mine, but it was really handy for my old hybrid.

Last edited by tsl; 12-19-11 at 06:43 PM. Reason: typoze
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Old 12-19-11, 05:41 AM
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Saris Bones...no bones about it

I use the Bones 2, but as tsl pointed out the Bones 3 has the extra leg. I use mine on a Honda Accord Sedan with two heavy Raleigh 3 speed bikes on it with no issues.

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Old 12-19-11, 12:47 PM
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No matter how soft the pads on the rack, dust and grit that gets under them while driving can abrade the car's paint. To prevent, this put some clear plastic stick-on protective film on the car where the rack would contact the paint.
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Old 12-19-11, 12:56 PM
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Another vote for the Saris Bones 3. I've had mine for years and have used it on 4 different cars without any issues.
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Old 12-19-11, 08:05 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions. The Saris Bones 3 looks great but it just seems a bit pricey.

Any thoughts on Allen bike racks? They seem to get decent reviews on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Allen-Deluxe-3...4346704&sr=1-5
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Old 12-20-11, 08:09 PM
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If you get one of the Saris Bones trunk racks, be careful when closing the trunk. My friend has one and I have banged one of the arms on my head, this has happened more than one.
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Old 12-21-11, 06:00 AM
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Originally Posted by krystle920 View Post
Thanks for the suggestions. The Saris Bones 3 looks great but it just seems a bit pricey.

Any thoughts on Allen bike racks? They seem to get decent reviews on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Allen-Deluxe-3...4346704&sr=1-5
Not to be a smart azz, but this is one of those cases you get what you pay for. I have used a variety of racks over the years, the Saris has been the best by far. The others may have done the job at the time, but they all had their issues. I had an Allen years ago, before the Bones came out. It did the job, but eventually started rusting, and I had issues with the bike staying tied on to the rack. It looks like they have changed the top arm mounts since that time, so it may work. YMMV

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"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
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Old 12-21-11, 09:31 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by krystle920 View Post
Thanks for the suggestions. The Saris Bones 3 looks great but it just seems a bit pricey.

Any thoughts on Allen bike racks? They seem to get decent reviews on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Allen-Deluxe-3...4346704&sr=1-5


The problem with that kind is that they hold the bike only by the top tube. Every time you stop and every time you start, the bikes swing into the car and into each other.

Yeah, it's cheap. Yeah, it'll get your bikes from point A to point B. But is it worth the damage your bikes and your car to spend only $39.54?

Hold out for a second-hand Bones. The three-point mounting (there's also a mount for the seat tube) means the bikes don't swing around as you're driving. Hardly a week goes by around here when I don't see one on Craigslist for considerably less than the $125 list price.
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Old 12-21-11, 02:20 PM
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Recently used a Yakima rack for a trip from New Olreans to South Carolina. It was something like the Superjoe, total with TTL came to around $90. This rack has a holding bracket that attaches to both the top tube and the seat tube to keep the bike from swinging too much front and back. Used it on a Honda Civic but it comes with different ways to attach to different vehicles. Overall am very happy with it.
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