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Old 03-23-12, 10:03 PM   #1
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Saris Bones rack for tandem

I'm think of buying a Saris Bones rs rack for our sedan as a backup to the ATOC on our wagon. Anyone using this particular trunk track for their tandem? I'd plan on removing both front and rear wheels (and chain) to narrow the package as much as possible. Oh, and I'd us the rack for my single so I don't have to stuff it in the back seat of our 2004 Passat.
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Old 03-24-12, 10:08 AM   #2
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Yes, this has worked for us. We have an older Saris Bones rack that we use to carry our Santana. We only take the front wheel off if the trip is 20 miles or less. For longer trips, we take off both wheels. I don't take off the chain though. I use a piece of cutup mtn bike innertube and cover the chainstain with it and then use a cut-up road tube to tie the chain to the chainstay in two places. So far, no scratches and no problems with the chain.

It does take a little playing with the positioning of the arms, both vertically and horizontally to find the "sweet spot". We keep ours pretty close to the car to prevent swaying and use two padded twist-its (sorry, don't know the technical name, we got ours at Performance bike) to connect the frame to the bottom legs of the Saris. We get a very solid connection with this set-up and have had no problems with trips of 4 hours or so in length.

Once I got the set-up figured out, I've found that it takes me about 7 to 10 minutes to put everything on the car and be ready to roll.

The only bad part is that the feet of the rack have definitely marred the paint surface of our Honda Accord. We're thinking we'd like a bumper hitch rack to prevent this for our next purchase.
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Old 03-24-12, 10:14 AM   #3
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I bought one for my single bikes a while back and returned it a couple days later. Wasn't really impressed with the build quality. As for putting a tandem on the back ... only if it doesn't stick out past the sides of the vehicle, you lock the handlebars straight with a strap of some sort, and you don't plan to put another bike on at the same time. They are only designed to carry so much weight, but a single tandem weight should be fine. My 2-cents.
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Old 04-03-12, 09:54 AM   #4
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I've got a Bones-2 in the garage that I'd used for 10 yrs for our road singles (which we no longer have). Even pulling both wheels, I'd be reluctant to carry a tandem on a Bones. On my wife's Hyundai Elantra, our bike's forks would still be outside of the rear bumper (but not by much). Our singles used to flop around a bit on the highway though the rack itself seemed stable. My general recommendations for the Bones is to insure that all 6 straps are snug (use an opposite strap tightening sequence (like torquing lug nuts on your car) and use felt scraps between the leg pads and the body panel (a good wax job at least the pad points is also encouraged). For the tandem-specific, I'd use the handle bar strap from your ATOC (I'm guessing they included one). And unless you get a separate cable lock, your tandem may be a theft risk. Hope this helps.
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Old 04-03-12, 10:34 AM   #5
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I have used a Bones 3 for a tandem on a few occasions. Not ideal for a tandem, but it can be done.

I take off both wheels, and I tie ropes to the front and rear of the frame. The arms of the bones aren't very wide apart, so it's not stable without the additional ropes.

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Old 06-14-12, 08:12 AM   #6
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The Saris Bones RS is a great bike rack, but if you're mounting a tandem and travelling any great distances, I would consider taking the wheels off, or even getting a hitch mount rack for more security and stability on the back of your car, or possibly a roof mount rack because they'll fit your tandem in a streamlined fashion.
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