Reviews You Can Rely On

Saris Bones 2-Bike Review

An affordable and highly adjustable trunk rack that lacks security features
Saris Bones 2-Bike
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $180 List | Check Price at REI
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
Manufacturer:   Saris
By Curtis Smith ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 29, 2019
  • Share this article:
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
46
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#23 of 23
  • Ease of EveryDay Use - 20% 6
  • Ease of Removal and Storage - 20% 4
  • Versatility - 20% 4
  • Security - 20% 2
  • Ease of Assembly - 10% 9
  • Durability - 10% 5

Our Verdict

The Saris Bones 2 is a basic but functional trunk-mount rack that utilizes contact with the rear bumper of the vehicle for support. It is highly adjustable and will fit a broad range of vehicles. It holds bikes by the top tube, making direct contact with the frame, and is best suited to carrying road bikes and hardtail mountain bikes with more traditional frame shapes. It has a 35 lbs per bike weight limit (70 lbs total), and it also comes in a 3-bike version.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Saris Bones 2-Bike
This Product
Saris Bones 2-Bike
Awards  Best Buy Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price Check Price at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
Check Price at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$249.00 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$249.95 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$45.80 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
46
78
77
77
53
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Lightweight, fits a wide range of vehicles, does not require front wheel removalReasonably priced, highly versatile, solid construction, user-friendly tilt release, comes with locksSecure hold, easy rack installation/removal, no bike frame contactVery secure hold, no frame or fork contactVery 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 featuresSits slightly closer to vehicle than some, some assembly requiredWorks best on lower vehicles, harder to load bike, lock cores not included for integrated lockDesign seems a little over-complicated, limited to vehicles with low roof height, you have to lift bike to height of roof to loadNot 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 featuresA versatile hitch-mount rack that provides a high price to performance ratioA quality roof-mount bike rack that is particularly easy to install and remove and works best with lower vehicles and lighter-weight bikesA roof-mount rack with an exceptionally sturdy and secure hold of your bicycle with no frame contactA very affordable, bare-bones trunk rack for the infrequent rack user on a tight budget
Rating Categories Saris Bones 2-Bike RockyMounts MonoRail Yakima HighRoad Thule UpRide Allen Deluxe 2-Bike...
Ease Of EveryDay Use (20%)
6.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
5.0
Ease Of Removal And Storage (20%)
4.0
7.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
Versatility (20%)
4.0
9.0
7.0
7.0
4.0
Security (20%)
2.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
2.0
Ease Of Assembly (10%)
9.0
6.0
10.0
10.0
9.0
Durability (10%)
5.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
Specs Saris Bones 2-Bike RockyMounts MonoRail Yakima HighRoad Thule UpRide Allen Deluxe 2-Bike...
Style Trunk Hitch (tray) Roof Roof Trunk
Bike Capacity 2 2 1 1 2
Lock? No Yes Available but not included Available but not included No
Weight 8 lbs 9 oz 44 lbs 2 oz 18 lbs 17 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 T-slot compatibility with additional SmarT-Slot Kit Round, Square, Aero, 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.

Performance Comparison


Rubber coated quick release straps are used to secure bikes.
Rubber coated quick release straps are used to secure bikes.
Photo: Curtis Smith

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.

Versatility


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.

The Saris Bones 2 is well suited to carrying road bikes, since they...
The Saris Bones 2 is well suited to carrying road bikes, since they have a typical triangle shape and a straight top-tube.
Photo: Curtis Smith

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.

Security


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.

Durability


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.

Plastic screws used to set the support arms on the splines of the...
Plastic screws used to set the support arms on the splines of the rack were a weak point during testing.
Photo: Curtis Smith

Value


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.

Conclusion


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