Saris Bones 2-Bike Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Lightweight, fits a wide range of vehicles, does not require front wheel removal
Cons: Difficult to adjust, direct contact with frame, all-plastic construction, no access to rear vehicle compartments, no security features
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Saris Bones 2-Bike
|Price||Check Price at REI|
Compare at 3 sellers
|$450 List||Check Price at Backcountry|
Compare at 3 sellers
Check Price at REI
|$36.74 at Amazon|
|Pros||Lightweight, fits a wide range of vehicles, does not require front wheel removal||Reasonably priced, highly versatile, solid construction, user-friendly tilt release, comes with locks||No front wheel removal, holds any axle type, easy install||High-end construction, capable of carrying a wide range of bikes, slightly easier to load than wheel on models||Very inexpensive, no assembly required, lightweight, folds small for storage|
|Cons||Difficult to adjust, direct contact with frame, all-plastic construction, no access to rear vehicle compartments, no security features||Sits slightly closer to vehicle than some, some assembly required||No locks included, difficult to load, not fat bike compatible||Ease of assembly could be easier, have to lift bike to roof level to load/unload||Not adjustable, support arms may not work with all frame shapes/styles, no security features|
|Bottom Line||An affordable and highly adjustable trunk rack that lacks security features||A versatile hitch-mount rack that provides a high price to performance ratio||A favorite for sedans and other vehicles with low roof heights||This is an awesome fork mount roof rack that can hold almost any type of axle||A very affordable, bare-bones trunk rack for the infrequent rack user on a tight budget|
|Rating Categories||Saris Bones 2-Bike||RockyMounts MonoRail||Yakima Front Loader||Kuat Trio||Allen Deluxe 2-Bike...|
|Ease Of EveryDay Use (20%)|
|Ease Of Removal And Storage (20%)|
|Ease Of Assembly (10%)|
|Specs||Saris Bones 2-Bike||RockyMounts MonoRail||Yakima Front Loader||Kuat Trio||Allen Deluxe 2-Bike...|
|Lock?||No||Yes||Yes, sold separately||Yes||No|
|Weight||8 lbs 9 oz||44 lbs 2 oz||13 lbs||7 lbs||7 lbs 9 oz|
|Other Sizes Available?||Yes, 3 bike||Yes, 1.25" reciever, single bike add-on sold separately||No||No||Yes, 3 and 4 bike versions|
|Cross Bar Compatibility||N/A||N/A||Fits Yakima round, square, factory or aerodynamic crossbars||Most factory||N/A|
Our Analysis and Test Results
This contender is a lightweight, versatile trunk mount rack that will fit a broad range of vehicles. It can carry two bikes and utilizes quick release ladder straps to secure bikes to the frame.
Ease of Everyday Use
Loading and unloading bikes is easy, due to its low loading height. Front-wheel removal is not required, eliminating a step that must be taken with some other types of racks. Once a bike is lifted onto the rack, rubber-coated ladder straps secure the frame by the top tube and seat tube. The Bones 2 has an additional strap that wraps around the seat tube to prevent back and forth movement. When the Bones 2 is mounted to your vehicle, you will not have access to the trunk or rear compartments due to the fact that it rests on the bumper.
Ease of Removal and Storage
The instructions are of the pictogram variety with no written directions. We found them adequately easy to follow. Some trial and error is required to achieve the optimum position for the support arms that contact the vehicle. The Bones 2 is designed to deliver most of its support from the bumper, so it is important to make sure the lower arms are contacting the bumper and not the hatch or trunk lid of the vehicle. Attachment is complicated by the design of the nylon straps used to secure the rack to the vehicle. Six points of attachment are utilized. A total of three straps are threaded through the main body of the model, and each strap has a hook and cam-lock buckle on each end. The design makes attachment frustrating; centering the rack is difficult because an equal amount of strap must pass through each cam buckle on a strap for the model to be centered.
Off the vehicle, the 9 lb Bones rack is quite lightweight and easy to move around. It also collapses down into a compact size that can easily be stashed in the trunk of a car and won't take up much space in a shed, garage, or closet at home.
This model has a two-bike capacity and a weight limit of 70lbs or 35 lbs per bike. It holds bikes in the same manner as all other trunk-mount racks we tested, on two horizontal arms. Three plastic straps are used to clamp the bike at the top tube and seat tube. This design is ideal for carrying bikes with traditional front triangle shapes and horizontal top tubes. If you have a bike with an abnormally shaped frame, Saris recommends the use of the Bike Beam which holds the bike from the handlebar to the seatpost and creates a straight tube to better fit the rack.
The support arms on the Bones 2 are adjustable and will fit a wide range of vehicles. We recommend referencing the fit guide on the Saris website to ensure that it will be compatible with your vehicle before purchasing. In their user manual, Saris states that the Bones 2 is not recommended for off-road use, and we would caution against using any trunk-mounted rack on anything other than paved roads. When we tested this rack, Saris also cautioned against using it at speeds exceeding 65mph. Since then, however, Saris has updated their user manual and increased the recommended maximum speed to 80mph.
Ease of Assembly
The Bones 2 comes out of the box ready for attachment, with no assembly required. Once unboxed, you simply have to mount it on and attach it to your vehicle. The printed mounting instructions are okay, but we'd recommend watching the short video on their website for reference.
This bike rack has no security features and leaves both your bikes and the rack vulnerable to theft. This lack of security features is similar to most other trunk-mount racks on the market.
The Bones 2 is made entirely of plastic. During testing, two of the plastic screws that hold the support arms in position stripped, making them useless. This is a complaint cited in several customer reviews on other online sites. While the majority of the reviews for this contender are positive, it seems that screw failure is a recurring issue, and one to be aware of if you purchase this rack. We had no other durability issues while testing the Bones 2.
The Bones 2 is somewhat expensive for a rack this basic. Other contenders function similarly, such as the Allen Deluxe 2, and are a better value. It is relatively user-friendly and may be a good option for the infrequent bike rack user.
The Saris Bones 2 is a trunk mount rack that is best suited to carrying road and mountain bikes with traditional frame shapes. It is basic but functional, although its questionable durability and lack of security features limit our ability to recommend the model.
— Curtis Smith