Saris Bones 2-Bike Review
Cons: Difficult to adjust, direct contact with frame, all plastic construction, no access to rear vehicle compartments, no security features, not intended for speeds over 65 mph
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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, a feature that is not found on some of the other racks we tested, like the Allen Deluxe 2. 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. 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. The design makes attachment frustrating, and we prefer the design of the Kuat Highline, which uses individual straps for each point of contact.
This model has a two-bike capacity and a weight limit of 70lbs. 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. Saris warns against off-road use, as nearly all rack manufacturers do, but goes a step further, stating the rack is not designed for speeds over 65mph. We tested it at 75mph on the highway with no issues, but we must recommend that you follow the manufacturer's instructions. The support arms on the Bones 2 are adjustable and will fit a wide range of vehicles.
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. This is slightly easier than the Kuat Highline which requires a small amount of assembly, approximately 5 minutes, to finish the assembly.
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 other than the Thule Raceway Pro 2 that comes with locking security cables for both the rack and the bikes.
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.
This rack is best suited to carrying road bikes and hardtail mountain bikes. It is not well suited to transporting full suspension bikes or bikes with unique frame shapes. We recommend it for the occasional user who will be transporting bikes short distances, and who do not plan to leave bikes or the rack itself unattended on the vehicle.
At $160, 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. Our favorite trunk mount rack is the Thule Raceway 2-Bike, which is much more pricey but functions much more smoothly for the frequent user.
The Saris Bones 2 is a trunk mount rack that is best suited to carrying road bikes. A high price and lack of security features limit our ability to recommend the model.
— Curtis Smith