Saris Bones RS 3-Bike Carrier
My LBS - Boggo Rd Bikes, $375 (at mates rates)
Ordered in and took about a week to arrive
Because I needed yet another option. I have a boot rack I bought in the UK which will transport 3 bikes, but isn't lockable and sways, even with lateral straps. I've got to carry 9 straps to anchor the bikes and it's a real fiddle. I've got set of Thule roof racks but I can't garage the car either at home or work with them loaded. I'm the only one in the family who can lift the bikes up there - so my girlfriend won't use them. On a the long drive back from holidays, three bikes on the roof sure slowed me down and were noisy. All good reasons to trial a boot mounted rack. I can now leave a bike on when I drive into a car park. And carry six bikes.
It's a boot/rear door mounted rack. It's got a "Made in USA" sticker on it and it feels like it made of leftovers from an Abrahams M1 tank. It is a fairly standard design with upper straps but rather than webbing, they are plasticised metal bands. This means the outboard/lateral straps are omitted. The top straps are tightened by a ratchet mechanism which is then possible to lock. Set-up is quick - the Saris website has a suggested position setting for your car model to get the height correct. Ideally theweight is taken by the upper straps, rather than it resting on the lower catches which sit under the boot/tailgate lip. I got this a little wrong first time; simply lift the rack while tightening it solves that.
The bike mounting is brilliant. Three bikes fit will well thought out straps that are simple to use and won't get lost. I can fit even a 16" wheeler on there. The straps are soft and are very frame friendly. Regarding configuration, for bikes without a cross bar, you might need a cross-bar substitute; I'd suggest having a trial-fit first though.
+ Solid. As a rock. I can drive obliquely over speed-bumps and the bikes don't wobble. Stopping suddenly - no frame clashing. The bike mounting means I don't have to rely on umpteen bits of velcro, foam or bungee cords to hold the bikes on. I'm pretty happy about the security when a cable lock to the frames is added.
-The arms of the rack are bulky and with the straps, it can be a bit fiddly to thread a frame onto them. The rack also weighs 8kg unloaded so it's a bit hard to position as you close the boot/tailgate. Of course it obscures my numberplate and doesn't have a numberplate mount. I've seen plenty of photos where it doesn't obscure your rear plate, but I guess it's pretty car model specific.
It mostly fulfils the purpose I wanted it for - a rack that my partner can put on, load & take off. I still put it on as it's heavy, but it's a big advance on her trying to load the roof-rack.
Really happy, but is heavier than I thought.
Value for money