This Saris Bones RS 3 Bike Rack is no longer available although you may find similar or newer versions below:
No straps? no problem.
The knock on rear racks has always been the straps. So Saris decided to eliminated them. What their engineers created is the first "set it and forget it" rear rack. A pair of steel-belted bands and two ratchets is all it takes to create a stable, secure fit.
Travelling by car with your bike is much easier if you can carry it on the outside. It doesn't take up any room inside the vehicle and you don't get mud and grease all over your upholstery. The simplest racks to use fit onto the rear of the car. Most grip the vehicle with plastic-coated hooks which must be positioned where they can spread the load. With all these racks, it's vital that the rack is firmly attached to the car and it's best if you then fix the bikes to the car itself, not just to the rack. If you have a tow-ball, use it! That way, the rack won't even touch the car and the whole setup is really secure. If your car has roof rails, you can mount cycle carriers to them. This works well but be careful when entering car parks with height barriers! Whichever type you choose, make sure you lock the bikes to the car if you want to keep them.
Home for CycleOps/Saris is in an old farmhouse in bike-crazy Madison, Wisconsin. Their production facilities are behind the farmhouse. Believe it or not their origins are in curtain rods. Two brothers had a company that made window products. After the Graber brothers sold their company they needed something to do. They experimented in their garage and came up with a bike rack. They sold lots of racks under the Graber name and then sold the company. That was sometime back in 1973. Chris and Sara Fortune purchased the company in 1989 when it was selling 80,000 bike racks a year. In 1990 and 1991 Sara and Chris introduced a high end brand of bike rack, renaming them “Saris.” Today Saris is a leading supplier to the bicycle industry in 30 countries. The company expanded in 1999 by acquiring the Cycleops brand of bike trainer. As usual they set out to improve on the design and by 2001 they created a new trainer frame and in 2002 they debuted the world’s first progressive resistance magnetic trainer. It was in 2001 that they heard about a hub that could measure power output and they jumped at the chance to bring this product to cyclists. They bought the company that invented Powertap and started a new round of innovations Dede Demet won the gold medal at the 2002 Montreal World Cup on her powertap.
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How much? Yes, £210 is rather a lot to pay for a boot-mounted bike rack, but then the Bones RS is really rather good.
What sets it apart from other good rear-mounted cycle carriers is the belt-and-ratchet system to attach it to your car in place of the usual straps and buckles.
The steel belts fit loosely, then the ratchet lever tightens them for a secure fit. Most importantly, the belts stay tight, and can be locked in position with a key.
In practice, we found the Bones RS secure and stable. Build quality is much better than that of most cheaper racks, and the lifetime warranty is reassuring.
It just comes down to how much you're prepared to spend. The Bones RS is one of the best rear-mounted bike carriers available, but the Bones 3 is almost as good and costs £75 less.
Secure and easy to use, but very expensive for a boot-mounted rack
Saris are one of the biggest names when it comes to carrying bikes on cars, and this is their top-of-the-range model. RS stands for Ratcheting System, which is at the heart of how the rack attaches to your car. And it works beautifully - so well, in fact, that it's actually quicker to take the rack on and off the car with the bike still on than it is to undo or do up the three straps that fix your bike to it. I even found myself taking the rack and bike combo off the car in one go for quick overnight storage in my garage, before putting the whole thing back on in the morning. Not that we or Saris recommend this technique. The only restriction to this rack's versatility is how the feet attach to the bottom lip of you car boot. If you've got a sunken or recessed lip, the Bones RS won't work.if the feet do hook under your boot's lip so that it'll still close, offer it up, pull out the rubber coated steel belts by squeezing the quick-release triggers and clip the rubber coated hooks over the leading edge of your car's boot.
make sure both pairs of swivelling rubber pads are flat on the surface(they neatly hug the top and back edge of a saloon boot)and then take up the slack in the straps with the nifty grey ratchet levers. Job done. Don't get carried away with the ratchetting though, - the ratchets are so good you'll happily over-tighten them until you either bend your boot out of shape or leave rubber pad-shaped dimples in your bodywork.
There's a lock on each ratchet, hte anti-sway straps attach to the seatpost pivot and accomodate different bike sizes, the aluminium bar is powder coated for a tough finish and the whole thing is solid, simple and tidy.
Fantastic fuss-free design, but a bit pricey and won't fit every car.
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Executive Director: Stefan Barden.