Inexpensive Bike Rack Acceptable?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by ILLUMINAIRE, Sep 11, 2004.

  1. ILLUMINAIRE

    ILLUMINAIRE New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2004
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    I read as much as I could on bike racks here but nothing definitively answering my question. I just don't get why some of these trunk mounted bike racks are so expensive! I called the LBS and they have one for $150 whereas I saw one on the Wal-Mart website for only $30! It doesn't look any different from the one the LBS has!

    I will not be traveling any great distances with the bike. Mostly, just taking it about 20-25 miles to a friend's house to ride. Oh, and for those saying "just ride it there", well, you don't want to try doing that on interstate highways in Houston! ;)

    This is the one I am looking at...

    http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.gsp?product_id=3918

    Seems acceptable if all I am doing is using it occassionally across town. Any reason I should not get this or specifically choose something else instead? I need to make a purchase quick so please respond even if you have an idea. Thanks!!
     
    Tags:


  2. Scotty_Dog

    Scotty_Dog New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2004
    Messages:
    1,107
    Likes Received:
    3
    I completely agree. For $30 you really can't go wrong. The only thing I would be concerned about are the rubber bike mount straps, but you can always use bungees if they break over time. Just keep an eye on them for cracking or other degradation.

    My first rack was of lesser price and quality than the one your questioning, and I used it weekly for 1-1/2 years before upgrading to a hitch mount rack (started riding more and got tired of installing and removing the trunk mount).

    FYI: The more expensive trunk racks usually offer easier bike attachment, increased durability/life-span, can carry more bikes, and your LBS can probably get replacement parts should anything break.

    Hope this helps. :D
     
  3. ILLUMINAIRE

    ILLUMINAIRE New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2004
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    Cool! Thanks for your insight! I definitely plan on getting a nice Yakima roof mount option at some point but it's really expensive. I just spent enough on the bike itself ($1500 is a lot for me!) so I don't really have the money left over for an extravagant bike rack. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't doing something terribly foolish by getting something like this for the short term. Thanks again!
     
  4. Randybaker99

    Randybaker99 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2003
    Messages:
    324
    Likes Received:
    0
    Be aware that some of the rubber mounts on the cheap racks are hard on a nice paintjob, so if your bike isn't cheap like the rack, consider using some soft clean rags draped over the mounts to protect the contact points on the bike.

    Another factor to consider when looking at a cheap rack is the number of bikes you will be carrying at once and the distance travelling.

    I see a lot of roof racks for bikes, but I would go with a hitch rack instead. It turns out that you can add a hitch to almost any car and a good hitch rack is about the same price as a roof rack, but much easier to use, take off and on, etc.
     
  5. ILLUMINAIRE

    ILLUMINAIRE New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2004
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the tips, Randy! I was definitely going to wrap the attached portion of the frame with some soft cloths. My new bike has a bada$$ paintjob I don't want messing up. ;)

    I thought it was a bit pricey to add a hitch to a car though? Perhaps I'm mistaken. I don't have one right now. That's definitely not a bad idea though for the future! I was only considering the roof mount but now that I think about it, a hitch would be less obtrusive. My only concern though is that my friend has one. His tends to wobble more than I like. I'd like it to be a bit more steady. What's been your experience with this wobbling?
     
  6. Randybaker99

    Randybaker99 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2003
    Messages:
    324
    Likes Received:
    0
    UHaul installs hitches for about USD $100.00. I never went ahead with it, but they saw no problem adding one to a Ford Focus. I even saw a Miata pulling a trailer once! So, $250.00 would be enough for a hitch and a very good hitch rack.
     
  7. tin kicker

    tin kicker New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2004
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have that same rack and use it about twice a month to take my bike to nearby places for a ride. I have taken it as far as Dallas and back (live in Houston) with no problems. The straps broke pretty early on and I had to switch to bungee's. You can't lock the bikes on very effectively but if you don't plan to leave them alone on the car, the rack works pretty well.
     
  8. ILLUMINAIRE

    ILLUMINAIRE New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2004
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    Cool! Thanks Tin! I went ahead and picked it up tonight at the local Supercenter. It was $40 but I guess the one on the link is cheaper because it's online. I didn't mind spending the $40 in order to have it now.

    I've seen the "Saris Bones 3" on eBay for as little as $90. It looks like a really nicec rack for the money. I might consider picking one of those up if this one doesn't work out too well. Considering I'll mainly just be using it to transport the bike across town though, I'm sure it will be ok.

    Thanks again for sharing your experience with that rack, Tin! I'll probably see ya on the road tomorrow morning if you ride out to Fulshear on Sundays! :)
     
  9. ILLUMINAIRE

    ILLUMINAIRE New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2004
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, I just wanted to share some information in case anyone else was thinking of getting this rack. I don't know what kind of bike Tin has but my Orbea's frame did not fit over the two poles that hold the bikes! I thought maybe it was just because I have a small frame (48cm) so I tried my friend's Cannondale (52cm). Nope! That one would not fit either. I guess I have to look into the Saris Bones or go the hitch installation route.
     
  10. KGnagey

    KGnagey New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2004
    Messages:
    144
    Likes Received:
    0
    For small frames you can try mounting the left arm of the rack behind the seat post (above the tire below the seat stays). May or may not fit depending on the shape of the tube and amount of clearance you have. The right arm of the rack should still hold the top tube.
     
  11. tin kicker

    tin kicker New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2004
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sorry it didn't work out for you. I have used it with several friends bikes plus mine but they are all Mnt. bikes. At least you can take it back and get your money back. Gotta love the WalMart return policy!
     
  12. ILLUMINAIRE

    ILLUMINAIRE New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2004
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah, these were both road bikes. You certainly can't beat the return policy! I retuned it the next day with no questions asked. :)

    For anyone else interested in an inexpensive but decent rack, I am now looking into the Saris Bones 2 (afterall, I only have one bike)...

    http://www.saris.com/products/bones2.htm

    They can be had on E-Bay for as little as ~$90 or so. The design looks like it would definitely fit my car better (had a bit of trouble with the other, especially with the spoiler involved). Hopefully the bike will fit on it.

    Does anyone have any experience with the Saris Bones models? Any trouble with smaller road bikes (ie. 48cm)? It looks like they sell a special bar to attach to your bike as well in case it doesn't fit normally...

    http://www.saris.com/products/bikebeam.htm

    I thought about going the hitch route but if I did that and then decided to sell the car, or it died on me altogether (my car is not worth much more than my new bike! LOL) then it would be a waste. The roof mount Yakima's are still out of my price range and having bugs splattered on the bike along with high speed wind hitting the bike doesn't appeal to me anyway.

    I will share what I learn from getting the Saris Bones model. Before buying though, I'd appreciate input from anyone who might happen to have this bike rack. Thanks!!
     
  13. KakenBetaal

    KakenBetaal New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    Messages:
    197
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have a Saris Bones 3 and it's a great quality rack. I've not used any other racks so can't compare with other models.
     
  14. John Picton

    John Picton New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2003
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    0
    I bought some foam pipe lagging from my DIY store for my bike rack and covered all rack tubes that touch the bike with the stuff. The result: absolutely unmarked bike and car after a years use.

    Good luck with the search.
     
  15. ILLUMINAIRE

    ILLUMINAIRE New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2004
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just thought I'd give everyone a final update. I got the Saris Bones 2 bike rack. This rack is AWESOME!!! It is infinitely configurable. I cannot see how it would not perfectly fit any car out there. It easily clears my spoiler and holds my bike at a proper level. It is made out of some serious plastic that seems equally ready to handle major pressure as well as the elements. The straps are integrated and are rubber on the side that goes against the frame so it doesn't mess it up. It is also narrow enough to properly hold my bike whereas the others were not. It is a great purchase at only $80 on Ebay. It was $130 at the LBS! Anyway, it is a GREAT bike rack and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for something inexpensive but still worthwhile.
     
  16. sjsielen

    sjsielen New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2004
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    I first bought a $40 2-bike rack at target for $40, but returned it because it swayed too much (probably partially due to only 4 tie downs(top and bottom) vs 6 (top, bottom, and sides) that some have). I got the Saris Bones 3 which is awesome and sturdy, BUT you must make sure the bottom pads are resting on your bumper, as the directions say, otherwise you will put stress where you do not want it, and it may slide on you. The Bones relies on a spline system similar to an ISIS bb which gives it a lot of strength, even on a hatchback like the pt cruiser we have it on now.

    whats also nice about the Bones, is that when you do not have any bikes on it, you can rotate the arms (the ones that hold the bikes) down and out of the way, especially if parking in tight spaces.
     
  17. artemidorus

    artemidorus New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Messages:
    2,307
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have a Saris Bones 3 rack; it's a beautiful piece of kit.
    If you rest the upper rubber pads on your hatch window, give the glass a good clean first or you'll get grit scratches.
    In Australia they cost upwards of $280, so we don't leave it on the car when we park! :)
     
Loading...
Loading...