When my wife and I first got our bicycles, we had a lot of our friends laughing at us. Not for the fact that we were riding, but because our bikes were so different. She on her Electra Townie, and me on my full suspension mountain bike, we definitely turned a few heads. After a few months of this ridicule and once the realization hit me that the most dirt my mountain bike had seen was a long driveway, I ended up trading it in for a road bike.
Unfortunately, this didn’t solve all of our mismatched bike problems. Much worse than a few snickers was the fact that taking our bikes anywhere by car was next to impossible with the two very different sized frames. At least it was until we found the Bones 3 by Saris that helped expand our biking area dramatically.
Anyone who has gone bike shopping recently will agree that there is a staggering amount of bikes available, and they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Even a casual observer would note that not every bike is going to fit nicely onto a standard fixed frame car mounted rack, especially when there is more than one bike to tow.
Sure, you could spend hundreds of dollars getting a roof rack and all the attachments, but that adds up quickly and doesn’t seem worth it when you just need to transport two bikes for a few weekends here and there. Besides the fact that it’s difficult to get heavier bikes on roof racks (*ahem, Electra*), it also permanently changes your car‘s appearance, which doesn‘t appeal to everyone. For the spur-of-the-moment biker who prefers being able to go through a drive through with low height clearance, or for someone who needs to pull into a garage, the trunk mounted rack is absolutely the way to go.
The problem we found with most trunk racks is that if you have two very different kinds of bikes to mount, there is a very good possibility one of them isn’t going to fit right. The first rack we tried had my bike nice and straight across the back while the Townie, with it’s step through frame, was tilted up at a crazy and rather unsafe angle. At that moment, my wife refused to let her beloved bike ride tandem with mine and we were relegated to biking directly from home if we were going to ride at all.
We’re lucky to live in an area that is highly populated with bike trails and lanes and can easily get to most of them within an hour of biking without a problem. But, with small children in tow we were all of a sudden a lot less mobile now that we needed to avoid heavily congested roads. For long jaunts, we ran the risk of the kiddos being finished biking before we even reached the trailhead.
For us, finding an easy to use rear trunk was becoming more of a necessity and we began our search to find the perfect solution. We needed a strong and sturdy frame rack that could hold the weight of the Townie as well as my road bike and our daughter’s little frame bikes, and we needed that rack to adjust in numerous ways to accommodate all three at once. We needed quick installation and removal to keep us as spontaneous as possible, with no damage to either set of wheels. The Saris Cycling Group’s Bones 3 Rack was the only rack we found with all of these features and more, and it came with the added bonus of delivering this high functionality with style to spare.
The heart of the Bones 3 Bicycle Rack by Saris is an aluminum center tube with grooves all around it. Mounted to the tube are arch shaped legs which work with these grooves to fit practically any vehicle, from SUVs to sedans and station wagons, and even on cars with a spoiler. The multitude of grooves allow you to move each leg independently to almost any angle to get the fit perfect for your vehicle. In addition each mounting leg has a rubber foot to insure you don’t scratch your car in the process.
Once you get the rack mounted and it’s time to load up your bikes you’ll see another area where the Bones 3 really shines. Each bike has its own specific place to sit with rubber lined channels with their own set of ratchet straps. Once again, each arm can be mounted at different angles to make sure everything fits perfectly. If your bike is still hard to mount – like a step through frame - there are even straps on the sides of the arms that allow you to mount to your seat post so your bike will stay level and secure, no matter what the shape.
Bones 3 Bicycle Rack features and pictures, courtesy of the Saris Cycling Group website:
Injection-molded arms and legs are the strongest on the market.
Articulated rubber feet to protect the finish on your vehicle.
Built with 100% recyclable, non-rusting materials.
Ratcheting anti-sway straps secure and stabilize bikes.
Arc-based design fits over most spoilers,and separates bikes on different levels.
No overhead lifting, twisting, balancing or hefting required, so you can save your energy for the ride.
Saris Community and Advocacy:
You gotta love a company that gives back, and Saris Cycling Group gives back in a big way. This is only a partial list of the campaigns and community involvement programs Saris belongs to:
- Prevent Child Abuse Wisconsin
- Boys & Girls Club of Dane County
- Wisconsin Off Road Series
- Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival
- Camba Festival of the Trails
- 12 Hours of Blue Mound
- Insane Terrain Challenge
- L'Alpe Bl'Huez Time Trial
How could you not love a company like Saris? Innovative designs, tried and true functionality and a commitment to leaving the world a better place simply speaks for itself. Click any of the above links to get involved with a cause that moves you!
Price: $130 for 2 bikes, $160 for the 3 bike rack and they come in a variety of colors