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Thule Speedway vs. Saris Bones rack

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Thule Speedway vs. Saris Bones rack

Old 07-25-08, 01:36 PM
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trek1
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Thule Speedway vs. Saris Bones rack

I was just about to order the Saris bones rack (which I think looks the best) but after reading comments on the warranty being needed more on Saris models than thule or Yakima, I decided to look at the Thule Speedway (doesn't look as good) but maybe better in the long run. I can also get a great discount on the Thule through a friend so it is almost forcing me to go with it. If anyone can tell me if one is better than the other or if the Thule is sufficient for the job, please reply. Thanks
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Old 07-28-08, 06:13 AM
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Nobody with any recommendations on these two racks?I can get the Thule 3 place for $80 but I am not sure it will be as stable as the Bones.
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Old 07-28-08, 08:26 AM
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I've had the Saris for about 12 years now with no problems. Originally I was worried about the little plastic screws holding up, but no signs of fatigue, and after this long, I couldn't really complain anyways. Holds the bikes securely. Folds up quite small when not in use. Haven't found a car yet it won't fit on.

My friend got the Thule this year. Seems to work ok, but I like my Saris better. It doesn't fold up as small. Certain spoilers or trunk designs can give it problems. The anit sway device doesn't seem as effective.

However, it sounds like there is a big price difference for you, so I don't think there is enough difference in the racks to pay significantly more for one over the other.
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Old 07-28-08, 09:03 AM
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I hate bike racks that grab your bike by the frame. No matter how clean you keep it, it will scratch your paint (or worse if you have a high-end lightweight bike).
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Old 07-28-08, 09:21 AM
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I have the saris Bones 3. My only gripe is that it's started to mess up the paint on my car where the little rubber feet touch, but pretty much any rack will do this.
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Old 07-28-08, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by RazorWind View Post
I have the saris Bones 3. My only gripe is that it's started to mess up the paint on my car where the little rubber feet touch, but pretty much any rack will do this.
Not hitch racks.
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Old 07-28-08, 01:18 PM
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I have the Speedway double. I like it except that I can't get my road bike and mtb on at the same time and be able to secure both of the seat tube anti sway clips, which annoys me. I hang it from two hooks against my garage wall and use it for a repair stand.
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Old 07-28-08, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by TOLOCOMan View Post
My friend got the Thule this year. Seems to work ok, but I like my Saris better. It doesn't fold up as small. Certain spoilers or trunk designs can give it problems. The anit sway device doesn't seem as effective.

However, it sounds like there is a big price difference for you, so I don't think there is enough difference in the racks to pay significantly more for one over the other.
It seems either rack will be prone to wear a spot on the bumper from repeated use. I am not crazy about the steel tube with padding on the Thule and the Saris has the nice square feet.
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Old 07-28-08, 03:03 PM
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I have the Saris Bones-2. It is a great bike rack. Very lightweight and convenient. My only gripe is that is does tend to scratch the paint on the side of my seat tube. Its not a huge issue, but it is an area of concern. If it were not for the scratch on my seat tube i would give it a 5/5.
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Old 07-28-08, 03:57 PM
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I have the Thule Thruway 2-bike rack. I think that might be the older version of the Speedway(?). Only $60 from performance here:
http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...estore_ID=1788

I've only put one road bike on it, but it seems to be pretty solid. I've taken it on the freeway and through normal streets with small bumps and it doesn't seem to move at all. The lateral support is pretty solid. The rubber bike supports don't seem like they can scratch the bike paint because they are pretty soft rubber. You will have to secure the front wheel, though (strap to frame or whatever).

Those claiming car scratches likely are putting their racks on dirty cars. Even if your car looks clean, it can have a small layer of dirt and dust. When the rubber part of ANY rack touches it and rubs it around, it will scratch the paint. I always detail my car just under the pads right before I put my rack on. I just take some good detailing spray and a microfiber towel and clean until it is smooth (being careful not to rub the dirt into my car paint). You can use any cleaner, just do it right before you put your rack on.

Performance also has the 3-bike version as well for $65:
http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...estore_ID=1788
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Old 07-30-08, 05:43 AM
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Those do look like the older models because I was looking at the Speedway 962XT

http://www.thuleracks.com/product.as...id=8&sku=962XT

Unfortunately I am still undecided because I like the Saris bones for the way it mounts to the vehicle and I like the Thule best for the bike holders and anti-sway strap which can be bought for $19 but won't fit on a Bones rack. It figures that it always comes down to the compromises, why couldn't Saris have better bike mounts on the rack? If there was a way to improve and modify it then I like the bones rack design best.
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Old 07-30-08, 05:50 AM
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Originally Posted by TOLOCOMan View Post
I've had the Saris for about 12 years now with no problems. Originally I was worried about the little plastic screws holding up, but no signs of fatigue, and after this long, I couldn't really complain anyways. Holds the bikes securely. Folds up quite small when not in use. Haven't found a car yet it won't fit on.
The Saris Bones didn't fit on my 98 Altima SE
The area under the license plate was cut out with no place for it to rest.
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Old 07-30-08, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by hally View Post
The Saris Bones didn't fit on my 98 Altima SE
The area under the license plate was cut out with no place for it to rest.
That is rare that the Bones does not fit from what I have read here on the BF. I think the Speedway would fit because the contact area is centered and the Bones is farther apart. I am thinking I will just get the Thule through my friend's discount for $80 for as much as I will really use it. The bike cradles are better and that is what counts here on BF right.....Caress the bike and to hell with the car
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Old 07-30-08, 07:59 AM
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The Saris Bones series is better than the Speedway for several reasons. Saris actually use rubber feet for their...well...feet, Thule just use foam, which means you need to get off and tighten it again, and they are for the most part not very well. We don't carry them for that reason. If your LBS, or online, have Bones RS, I suggest you get that one because they are much better, than even the Bones 2 or 3. Ratchet strap and ease of installation.
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Old 07-30-08, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by TriEngineer View Post
The Saris Bones series is better than the Speedway for several reasons. Saris actually use rubber feet for their...well...feet, Thule just use foam, which means you need to get off and tighten it again, and they are for the most part not very well. We don't carry them for that reason. If your LBS, or online, have Bones RS, I suggest you get that one because they are much better, than even the Bones 2 or 3. Ratchet strap and ease of installation.
I agree with the foam and the rubber feet on the Bones. The RS Bones is interesting but I keep looking at the bike holding straps and don't think they look well designed for preventing bike paint wear. If I could pad or enhance the Saris then I would pay more for it. I just want what is best for the purpose and don't want to have to sell it because it didn't do the job well enough. Tough choice......both have issues.

BTW I checked into going with a hitch and Thules states the following:
• Carries up to 60lbs per tray with a 2" hitch and
160lbs total with a 2 bike add-on (4 Bikes Max)
• Carries up to 60lbs per tray with a 1-1/4" hitch
and 100lbs total (2 Bikes Max)
• The maximum capacity for class 1 hitches
is 2 bikes.

I am pretty set on needing 2 and sometimes 3 so spending more on a Thule T2 with hitch will not even get me there.

Last edited by trek1; 07-30-08 at 08:52 AM.
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Old 07-30-08, 08:54 AM
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I use to have a Thule rack with foam pads. I wouldn't recommend any rack with this type of pads. They quickly desintegrate and leave marks on the car paint.
I now have a Saris Bones 2 which I really like. It's solid, the pads are rubber and won't scratch the paint as long as the rack is properly tight and not swaying. Mine has been on the car (BMW 328 convertible) since I got it (2 years now). I choose touchless car washes so I never have to remove it.
The Bones is, by far, the best rack I have ever used and the support from Saris is outstanding, they replaced the knobs for free after I overtightened them.
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Old 07-30-08, 09:45 AM
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I am pretty set on needing 2 and sometimes 3 so spending more on a Thule T2 with hitch will not even get me there.[/QUOTE]

You realize going to a hitch pushes your price by a factor of two. They are much more expensive and depending what car/truck/suv you have it may not make a lot of sense. Car, go with trunk mounted, SUV a hitch.

The RS shouldn't scrape paint off your frame. the material for all the straps are rubber or plastic which for the most part should be softer than the frame itself. For my transportation, I just grab some handtowels and wrap the frame in the spots I am going to mount onto the rack. Then again, i am anal retentive.
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Old 07-30-08, 09:54 AM
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Whatevers cheaper, they are both fine bike racks
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Old 07-30-08, 10:12 AM
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i have a saris bone 2 rack and i think it's a good rack overall.

the only problem areas i've encountered are:
-seat tube and top tube scratching. i prevent this by wrapping those areas in a paper towel on my nice bike.
-plastic screws. i have stripped three or four of them but my LBS gave me some extras. i also emailed saris about it and they mailed out some extras to me.
-paint scratching/discoloration on the car. i drive a pos kia and the paint is already awful so i just let the rack do its thing.
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Old 07-30-08, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by TriEngineer View Post
I am pretty set on needing 2 and sometimes 3 so spending more on a Thule T2 with hitch will not even get me there.
You realize going to a hitch pushes your price by a factor of two. They are much more expensive and depending what car/truck/suv you have it may not make a lot of sense. Car, go with trunk mounted, SUV a hitch.

The RS shouldn't scrape paint off your frame. the material for all the straps are rubber or plastic which for the most part should be softer than the frame itself. For my transportation, I just grab some handtowels and wrap the frame in the spots I am going to mount onto the rack. Then again, i am anal retentive.[/QUOTE]

Yes I realize it doubles my cost but I don't want to make a mistake in the long run. I see that wrapping the bike frame is commonly mentioned with the Bones rack. Even if they are rubber lined straps, any abrasion reflects directly on the bike paint and then it's done. Every Saris is using the same straps from what I see.

Originally Posted by jjiggajouncer View Post
i have a saris bone 2 rack and i think it's a good rack overall.

the only problem areas i've encountered are:
-seat tube and top tube scratching. i prevent this by wrapping those areas in a paper towel on my nice bike.
-plastic screws. i have stripped three or four of them but my LBS gave me some extras. i also emailed saris about it and they mailed out some extras to me.
-paint scratching/discoloration on the car. i drive a pos kia and the paint is already awful so i just let the rack do its thing.
Those are the problems I want to nip in the bud to prevent and if something is better then I will pay for it. I think it comes down to needing to find a convienent wrap cover for the frame to use the Saris Bones. maybe put a piece of 1/2" copper pipe foam wrap from home depot on then sinch it down real good plus with the anti sway it shouldn't move.

Last edited by trek1; 07-30-08 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 07-30-08, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by trek1 View Post
You realize going to a hitch pushes your price by a factor of two. They are much more expensive and depending what car/truck/suv you have it may not make a lot of sense. Car, go with trunk mounted, SUV a hitch.
A good hitch rack like the Thule T2 is better in every way than any trunk rack (by a large margin). Yes, hitch racks cost more, but how much did you pay for your car and bike? If you have a beater car and beater bike, then maybe a hitch rack doesn't make a lot of sense.
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Old 07-30-08, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by johnny99 View Post
A good hitch rack like the Thule T2 is better in every way than any trunk rack (by a large margin). Yes, hitch racks cost more, but how much did you pay for your car and bike? If you have a beater car and beater bike, then maybe a hitch rack doesn't make a lot of sense.
Point very well taken but if you notice in my earlier replies I would be limited to 2 bikes because Thule does not recommend more than that for Class 1 (1 1/4") hitches. It must be the fatigue with the weight being positioned up and reward of the hitch and not directly pulling.
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Old 07-30-08, 01:30 PM
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Thule rules, IMHO. I'm pretty sure I could hang my car from my Thule.
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Old 07-30-08, 02:14 PM
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No experience with the Thule, but their stuff in general is just awesome.

I love the Saris Bones. Really simple and reliable rack.

Originally Posted by TOLOCOMan View Post
Haven't found a car yet it won't fit on.
I now own two cars it won't fit on: Acura TSX and Volvo V70. The rear bumpers aren't deep enough to support the feet... VERY frustrating.

-Mike
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Old 07-30-08, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by jjiggajouncer View Post
i have a saris bone 2 rack and i think it's a good rack overall.

the only problem areas i've encountered are:
-seat tube and top tube scratching. i prevent this by wrapping those areas in a paper towel on my nice bike.
-plastic screws. i have stripped three or four of them but my LBS gave me some extras. i also emailed saris about it and they mailed out some extras to me.
-paint scratching/discoloration on the car. i drive a pos kia and the paint is already awful so i just let the rack do its thing.
I agree completely about the plastic screws. I keep my rack in my trunk, so it is ready to be called on in a moment's notice. Sent it into service this weekend to help move two bikes from Dayton, OH to KY. Only once the bikes were loaded and we were a number of miles down the road did I notice the main trunk arm slipping around on the rack.

A close inspection lead me to a stripped screw. I don't know if was stripped when we left, but I should have checked all the screws before loading up two bikes. Luckily, we moved the bikes to another rack and continued on. Bike shop gave me a screw this week. I am going to write Saris and request more. Other screws look good, but I will keep an eye on them.

I rarely use my rack for long hauls. I'm quite happy with the Saris Bones 2 when I do use it. Using cheap plastic for essential part is dumb, but expected.

-D
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