The Best Saris Bike Racks


Bike racks have been around for some time now; the chances are high that you have seen one on top of an SUV or at the back of a car while traveling. And regarding bike racks, Saris is undoubtedly one of the most trusted and reputable names. Ask anyone who has used a Saris bike rack before; you will probably hear good and encouraging reviews about the brand.

Saris bike racks can open a world of possibilities for you. With it, you can transport your two-wheeled possessions to new locations and not be restricted to biking around your neighborhood. You don’t have to disassemble your bike with a bike carrier to bring it along for a road trip. You load the bike into the rack, ensure it is secure, start your car, and head off to your destination.

Our Pick!

Saris Superclamp EX

The Saris Superclamp Ex is designed to slide onto your hitch and carry four bikes. Yet, despite its abilities, it is surprisingly compact and attractive.

  • Best Overall – Saris Superclamp EX
  • The Saris Superclamp EX is designed to slide onto your hitch and carry four bikes. Yet, despite its abilities, it is surprisingly compact and attractive.
  • Best Trunk-Mounted Saris Rack – Saris SuperBones Bike Rack
  • Saris proclaims the SuperBones as the ultimate trunk rack and says it is built on the knowledge and experience they have gained over the last 20 years. It is certainly a work of art.
  • Best Saris Hanging Hitch Rack – Saris Bones Hitch Bike Rack
  • The Saris Bones hitch bike rack can carry up to three bikes thanks to its injection-molded arms, which are reputed to be the sturdiest on the market today.

The 10 Best Saris Bike Racks

1. Saris Superclamp EX 4-Bike Rack

Saris Superclamp 4 Ex

The Saris Superclamp 4 Ex is designed to slide onto your hitch and carry four bikes. Yet, despite its abilities, it is surprisingly compact and attractive. But that’s not the only thing it has going for it! This Saris bike rack can support four bikes weighing 60 pounds each; in total, you can load it up to 190 pounds; that’s impressive for any bike rack and one of the reasons it’s in the number 1 slot.

Fitting this rack is deceptively easy. The first thing you’ll note is how light it is. At just 63 pounds, you shouldn’t have any issues picking it up. However, you should know this is designed to fit 2” hitches.

To install, slide the rack into your hitch. You can then drop the hitch pin into position and use the integrated lock to ensure it can’t be removed without your permission.

You’ll notice a simple lever at the back of the rack; pulling on this will allow you to tilt the rack away from your vehicle, giving you access to your trunk.

Two solid bars on the base with a tray on each side allow the four bikes. These trays are fully adjustable to accommodate virtually any type of bike; even an electric bike can stand in them.

The umbrella-style clamps rise from these solid bars; they are designed to clamp down over the wheels of your bike, holding it firmly in position.

To fit your bike, slide the umbrella clamps outwards, giving you enough space to position the bike or bike. Once the first two are in position, you can bring the umbrella clamps back; they have built-in ratchets to allow you to adjust them to the size of your wheels. Then repeat with the other two and add the supplied cable locks, effectively securing your bikes to the rack and preventing opportunist thefts.

The trays are built to cope with wheelbases up to 48” and tires as wide as 4”; there are not many bikes that won’t fit.

This Saris bike rack folds into itself, making a surprisingly small profile when not in use; even with the umbrella brackets up, you’re unlikely to find the rack obstructing your rearview; of course, that will be different once the bikes are on.

It is worth noting that the bars are elevated to help avoid conflict between the bikes as you put them on. But you may still find the second bike on each tray a snug fit.


  • The rack has a secure hold and does not require any frame contact
  • It can accommodate most types of bikes, including fat tire bikes and e-bikes
  • It can be easily installed and removed


  • More expensive than some other bike racks
  • Limited adjustability

2. Saris Superclamp EX 2-Bike Rack

Saris Superclamp EX 2-Bike Rack

The second Superclamp on this list is just as rugged as the first but designed to take just two bikes. Again, it’s designed to attach to your hitch and is incredibly easy to fit. The style is simple yet functional; a straight hitch attachment slopes upwards to ensure your bikes have adequate ground clearance when traveling. There’s one solid bar with a tray on each side for the wheels of your bike and two bars coming up with umbrella-style clamps.

The first step is to lift the surprisingly light rack; it’s just 35 pounds. Then, you can slide the rack into your receiver, which will fit 2” receivers or one ¼ inch. To finish fitting the rack slide the locking into position and engage the lock. This will ensure your rack is safely locked into position.

You’ll now be able to unfold the umbrella arms into their upright position; they’ll lock into position themselves. The bikes sit on the tray attached to the main horizontal bar, and then the umbrella clamps slide down onto the wheels, holding the bike firmly in position.

This is very easy to do but, more impressively, is the fact that the bikes are clamped at the front and the back. You’ll be pleased to see no frame contact, helping to ensure your bikes stay in perfect condition.

The Superchamp 2 bike Ex can handle 120 lbs; that’s 60 pounds per bike. The trays are designed for 20” and 29” wheels and tires up to 4” wide.  As well as the built-in hitch lock, a locking cable incorporated into the rack will ensure your bikes are safe on the rack, even if you need to leave them there.

The rack also benefits from a tilt mechanism operated by a lever at the rear; this gives you easy access to the trunk with or without the bikes on your rack.

Several small features enhance the ease of use with this rack, specifically the adjustability of all the parts to ensure you have the perfect fit for all your bikes. You should be able to load two bikes and go in less than 5 minutes.

This is the one area that you need to be aware of that can cause issues; the bikes are very close together when on the rack; if you’re trying to put two big bikes on, you’ll find that you have to balance one bike while lifting the other into position; this can be a challenge.


  • Locks included for frame and crossbars
  • Torque limiter dial
  • Frame protection


  • Screws might not accommodate all crossbars
  • More expensive than most other roof mounted bike racks

3. Saris Freedom EX 2-Bike Hitch Rack

Saris Freedom EX 2-Bicycle Universal Hitch Rack

The third hitch-mount rack from Saris takes a slightly different approach. Instead of using the umbrella-style clamps that the Superclamps use, it has a more conventional approach with a central support bar and wheel trays.

However, in testimony to Saris’s engineering abilities, this simple-looking rack can still handle two bikes at 60 pounds each. It also has an easy tilt option; pull the lever on the rear of the rack, and the frame will tilt away from your vehicle, allowing you access to the trunk. This lever and the hinge mechanism are very smooth; it’s even easy to lift back up despite the weight of your bike.

It’s also good to note additional safety features like the reflectors that will help people see you if they don’t take note of your registration board.

The rack weighs just 27 pounds, making it one of the lightest hitch-mounted bike racks on the market. It will add just under 2 feet to the length of your vehicle but will accommodate bikes with tires up to 4” and 50” long. Alongside this, you can purchase fat tire wheel holders that attach to the holders on the rack and allow you to carry much wider heels.

It is designed to work with bikes with wheels between 20” and 29”, but you will be pleased to note that electric bikes are not an issue with this Saris bike rack. It can accommodate their size and weight!

You can fit this rack onto a one ¼ inch receiver or the 2” one; it simply slides into position and locks in with a pin. An integrated lock ensures the rack cannot be removed without your knowledge. It also benefits from an integrated cable lock, ensuring your bikes are secured to your rack.

Adding your bikes to the rack is incredibly easy. Lift them onto the tray and slide them into the right position for your wheels. You can then pull the straps tight around your wheels. The central support bar has two clamps, one on each side, one for each bike. These are designed to go around the lower bar of your bike; they can be moved to ensure they get the correct angle for your bike. Slide the bike frame into the clamp and pull the strap tight, and you’re ready to go; it’s that easy!


  • Locks included for frame and crossbars
  • Torque limiter dial
  • Frame protection


  • Screws might not accommodate all crossbars
  • More expensive than most other roof mounted bike racks

4. Saris Bones EX Trunk-Mounted Bike Rack

Saris SUPERBones 3-Bike Rack

At first glance, you’d be forgiven for wondering what this is! It certainly looks different from the hitch-style racks. This is a stylish and extremely practical trunk-mounted Saris bike rack. It’s perfect if you’re an occasional user or are sure you won’t need to get into your trunk.

Saris proclaims this as the ultimate trunk rack and says it is built on the knowledge and experience they have gained over the last 20 years. It is certainly a work of art!

The curvature of the arms is designed this way to ensure it can fit as many different vehicles as possible; this makes it a good option if you have two vehicles and only one has a hitch. It can be fitted to hatchbacks, saloons, or even flat-backed vans.

Thanks to the injection molded plastic construction, you’ll instantly notice that this rack is very light to ensure longevity. Fitting is as easy as putting the rubberized hooks over the top and bottom of your trunk; two at the top and two at the bottom. You can then press the lever in the middle; this brings in any excess strap, automatically locking it tight to your vehicle. Locking the lever into position ensures the straps can’t work loose while driving.

This rack weighs 35 pounds but can handle three bikes of up to 35 pounds each. The curved arms have three anti-sway clamps, one for each bike you intend to carry. They can be moved in all directions to ensure they are in the perfect position for your bikes. Once your bike is in the cradle, you can pull the straps tight over it, securing the bike ready for transit. It’s worth noting that a third cradle is designed to wrap around the seat post; this helps to ensure the bike won’t move.

It is pleasing to see an integrated locking system that prevents the straps from being loosened and ensures the bikes are firmly attached. Of course, it is still possible to cut the straps to remove the rack, but this is not something the opportunist thief would be looking to do.

The rack has rubber pads to protect your vehicle where it makes contact and rubber coating inside the clamps to protect your bikes from harm during transit. However, you may wish to add an extra strap to the lower part of your bikes, ensuring no movement or damage.


  • Locks included for frame and crossbars
  • Torque limiter dial
  • Frame protection


  • Screws might not accommodate all crossbars
  • More expensive than most other roof mounted bike racks

5. Saris Bones 3-Bike Hitch Rack

Saris Bones 3-Bike Hitch Rack

If you have an SUV, this Saris hitch bike rack is the more appropriate option for hauling your bikes.  As you may already know, a hitch makes towing secure and easy. Hitches tow anything from small boats, trailers, or campers without damaging the car.

This hitch bike rack can carry up to three bikes thanks to its injection-molded arms, which are the sturdiest on the market today. It is surprisingly lightweight at just 16 pounds, up to 25 percent lighter than its competitors. Despite its weight, you can be assured that this hitch rack can carry your favorite bikes with enough security.

This hitch rack comes pre-assembled. Thus, you can use it straight out of the box. The unit is paired with a well-illustrated manual to guide you through installation.

This rack has a universal hitch, which can be easily used in any vehicle equipped with a tow bar. It has an included adaptor, enabling it to move through different hitch sizes.

You can also access the rear door of your SUV with this hitch rack because it can be tilted downwards. This can save you time and effort as you no longer have to unload the bikes from the rack to get your food or things stored in the trunk part of your vehicle.

Saris is known for its excellent craftsmanship and is fully displayed with this hitch rack. The ratchet straps are dual molded and well-made to secure the bikes while transporting. The straps are also designed not to damage the finish of your bike.

The brand offers a lifetime warranty on this product, but the rack may outlast the warranty with how it is built. The injection-molded arms are paired with a steel frame that provides superior strength to the rack.

You won’t have to worry about the bikes falling off as the Saris Bone 3-bike hitch rack has plenty of tie-downs. It also has anti-sway fold-downs that separate the bikes while in transport. Once you have brought down your bikes, you can fold down the arms to still leave the rack on the car without it getting in the way.


  • Locks included for frame and crossbars
  • Torque limiter dial
  • Frame protection


  • Screws might not accommodate all crossbars
  • More expensive than most other roof mounted bike racks

6. Saris Bones 2-Bike Trunk Rack

Saris Bones 2-Bike Trunk Rack

The Saris Bones 2-Bike Trunk Rack is the model that started it all for Saris. For more than two decades, it has served as a measuring stick by which all bike racks are measured. It is one of the best-looking trunk-mounted bike racks with a design that has stood the test of time. No wonder it is the best-selling trunk rack on the entire planet.

The Saris Bones has an arc-based design that fits most SUVs, sedans, and minivans. Despite weighing less than 9 pounds, it is sturdy enough to carry two bikes not exceeding 35 pounds each for a total carrying capacity of 70 pounds.

It has two horizontal arms where the bikes are held and secured. Support arms are adjustable and can fit numerous vehicles. Three plastic straps are available to fasten the bike at the seat and top tubes. Such a design is best for carrying bikes with typical front triangular shapes and horizontal tubes. We’re talking here of road bikes as well as mountain bikes. On the other hand, it may not be the best choice for carrying bikes with uncommon frame shapes.

Saris warns that the rack is not designed for vehicles speeding over 65 miles an hour. Despite that, it does a great job of keeping steady over rough road surfaces, corners, and speed bumps. The Saris Bones 2-Bike Trunk Rack is easy to install. It is ready for attachment when you get it out of the box, with no tools and assembly required.

You needn’t be a handyman to mount this rack. Start by loosening the knob on the center arm for it to slide into one side. Rotate the knob again to secure the center arm into position.

Place the feet on the vehicle’s bumper and the center arm into the middle of the trunk. Hook two clips each into the trunk’s top, sides, and bottom. Tighten all the clips by pulling and tying off all the straps.

Loosen the knobs on the bike-carrying arms, then move these towards the center lock for angle adjustment. Adjust the angle so that the arms will be slightly above the horizontal. Load the bike into the arms and secure the straps.

One potential concern that you may encounter with this rack is that it may not be secured when mounted on a hatchback. The good news is that Saris offers Hatch Huggers that can replace the straps of this rack.

The Hutch Huggers are easy to put into the straps of the Saris Bones. Please take off the original straps and replace them with the Hutch Huggers. Once installed, these replacement straps keep the Bones rack secure, even if the other straps fall off.

If there’s one chink in the armor of the Bones rack, then it would have to be durability. Made entirely of plastic, there’s the tendency for some of its parts to fall off. And just like most trunk-mounted racks, the Bones will prevent you from accessing your trunk compartment when mounted on your vehicle.

But overall, the Saris Bones rack is one of the best in the market today. There’s a reason why many bike enthusiasts consider it the measuring stick against which all other bike racks are pitted.


  • Locks included for frame and crossbars
  • Torque limiter dial
  • Frame protection


  • Screws might not accommodate all crossbars
  • More expensive than most other roof mounted bike racks

7. Saris Bones 4-Bike Hitch Rack

Saris Bones 4-Bike Hitch Rack

Hitch racks are generally the most popular and practical option when transporting bikes; they are usually very easy to fit and often allow access to your trunk, even with the bikes fitted, which makes it hardly surprising that there is another hitch-mounted option on this best Saris bike rack list.

This rack fits one ¼ and 2-inch receivers; an adaptor is included to ensure a smooth connection. A solid pole up leads to dual arms, which can be folded against the frame when not carrying bikes. This makes it easy to keep the rack in position when not in use, but you’ll need to remember that it’s there while driving.

The rack measures 13”x 17” x 34” and weighs just 20 pounds. A small lever at the bottom of the main pole allows you to tilt the rack away from your vehicle, providing access to your trunk. The weight is surprising, considering this is made from powder-coated steel and injection molded arms.

It is designed to carry four bikes; there are four anti-sway straps on each arm; all you have to do is lift your bike into position, slide the clamp into the appropriate spot on your bike, and pull the strap tight. The soft material inside the clamps will protect your bike’s frame, although you should keep an eye open for cable pinching when putting the bikes on the rack.

For complete safety, you may want to add a strap to the bottom of the bikes, ensuring they can contact each other while you’re driving.

Each bike can weigh up to 35 pounds, and virtually all frame sizes will fit. But, it is important to note that the rack does not have an integrated lock; you’ll need to purchase a hitch lock separately and a locking cable; this will make sure your bikes are safe while on the rack. You should also be aware that unusual frame styles can be awkward to fit this rack, although a universal bar can help with this, providing a standard top bar for the bike to slot onto the rack.


  • Locks included for frame and crossbars
  • Torque limiter dial
  • Frame protection


  • Screws might not accommodate all crossbars
  • More expensive than most other roof mounted bike racks

8. Saris Sentinal 2-Bike Trunk-Mounted Rack

Saris Sentinel 2-Bike Trunk Mount Rack

The Saris Sentinel 2-bike trunk mount is a good choice if you’re looking for a cheap, easy-to-mount, and reliable bike rack for your sedan, especially if it has a spoiler. It can also be used in hatchbacks and vans.

This mount rack features unique cradles that can be adjusted to accommodate bikes of different widths. You can also tilt these cradles to fit different styles of bikes. It has soft foam pads on the upper and bottom portions to protect the car’s finish and prevent the rack from slipping. The rubber paint coating is also in the clips to prevent damage to the car’s painting.

The Sentinel has a 70-pound weight capacity and can hold two bikes. It weighs less than 8 pounds and folds flat for easy storage. It is compact enough to be stored in your trunk.

The Sentinel is reasonably priced, too, making it a practical option for the occasional rider or weekend warrior.

Installation should not take more than 10 minutes, even if you are not a handyman. Mounting this rack on a vehicle starts by pulling apart the two arms and placing the bottom pad on the lower part of the bumper. Pins on both sides of the rack can be removed to adjust the fit of the rack on the trunk. The pins should then be replaced to secure the arms of the rack into position. The upper and lower clips are then put into position and pulled to snug so the bike rack is kept in place.

This rack has wraps that can hold down each bike and prevent the bike from crashing into another. The wraps also serve another purpose: to keep the bike from wobbling while the car moves.

Like the other Saris bike racks, the Sentinel has its drawbacks. Arguably, the most noticeable is the lack of an anti-sway function, which is present in other Saris bike carriers. One could argue that this feature has been sacrificed because of the low price of the Sentinel.

Despite that disadvantage, there is no denying that the Sentinel is one rack that can give you value for your money. If you’re a weekend warrior concerned about your vehicle’s spoiler, you might as well go with this carrier.


  • Locks included for frame and crossbars
  • Torque limiter dial
  • Frame protection


  • Screws might not accommodate all crossbars
  • More expensive than most other roof mounted bike racks

9. Saris Solo Trunk-Mounted Bike Rack

Saris Solo 1-Bike Trunk Mounted Rack

As the name suggests, the Saris Solo is a trunk-mounted rack that can carry a solitary bike. It is ideal for the avid biker who doesn’t want to disassemble a bike, store it inside the car trunk, and assemble it again upon reaching his destination. It can also be a good choice if you don’t want to store a huge multi-bike carrier in your garage. This is likewise a practical choice if you have a limited budget for a bike carrier.

According to Saris, the Solo is the first and only bike rack designed to hold a single bike. It has a bike weight capacity of 35 pounds. You’d love it for its quick and easy installation. It is made of injection molded plastic, so you can be assured it won’t fall prey to unsightly rust. It is also compatible with most vehicles.

Fitting the Solo is fast and easy. Place this on the trunk of the vehicle, take the upper set of clips, and hook these into the top part of the trunk. Pull the clips and fasten them to keep the bike rack in place. Once the clips are snuggled down, get the bottom set, snug them, and secure the excess strap. Installing the Solo on your car in two minutes or less is possible.

One thing you’ll appreciate with this bike carrier is that, unlike the Saris Bones bike racks, it is relatively short, so you don’t have to take it off your vehicle before parking. You can also open and close the trunk of your car even with the rack on. It can save you time and energy, which you would rather use in biking.

Moreover, it is small and lightweight at 2 pounds, so the storage of this carrier should not pose a problem. It can fit nicely in the trunk of most cars. Like the other Saris bike carriers, the Solo has feet made of rubber to protect your car’s paint.

Despite those good points, the Solo may present some problems. However, these problems can be easily addressed. One concern you may encounter is that the bike pedals may come in contact with the car. This can damage the car’s finish, especially when moving fast. You can fix this by wrapping the pedal with a protective cloth.

There’s also the risk that the Solo would rattle when the car moves at high speeds. This underscores the need for you to ensure that the straps are tightened. You may even have to use additional tie-downs to have the peace of mind that the Solo will remain in place while in transit.

Still, there is no denying that the Saris Solo is your best bet if you have a single bike to transport. It is also highly recommended if you are in the market for a lightweight, affordable, and easy-to-mount bike carrier.


  • Locks included for frame and crossbars
  • Torque limiter dial
  • Frame protection


  • Screws might not accommodate all crossbars
  • More expensive than most other roof mounted bike racks

Saris Bike Rack Buying Guide

As you may have noticed, shopping for a Saris bike carrier can be overwhelming because of the numerous types available. Each type has pros and cons, making choosing a rack confusing to a novice buyer.

Before shopping for a Saris bike rack, you should determine your budget. This will guide you in determining the rack that fits your needs. Expect to cough up at least $50 for a Saris bike rack, with the price going up depending on the capacity and design. If you are enticed to buy accessories such as wheel stabilizer straps or tire wheel holders, you must spend at least $10 more.

Aside from your budget, you should also consider the type and number of bicycles you have at home. Do you have a regular BMX bike? Or do you regularly ride large mountain bikes? As you may know, mountain bikes have bigger and heavier frames than BMX bikes. Thus, you would need a bike carrier with a higher load capacity if you own mountain bikes.

Your vehicle can also affect your bike rack buying decision. A bike ride is your natural option if your vehicle has a hitch. But if your car doesn’t have one, consider another style, such as a trunk mount track.

The Two Main Styles of Saris Bike Rack

Trunk-Mounted Racks

Trunk-mounted racks are your best bet if you drive a sedan. These carriers are versatile and fit most vehicles, even SUVs and trucks. Mounting these racks won’t require much effort because of their design and lightweight nature.

These racks are also portable and easy to store when not in use. Mounting and removing these racks should also not be much of a problem.

These are the most practical choices, price-wise, for carrying bikes. Consider getting a trunk-mounted bike rack if you consider yourself a recreational artist. However, trunk-mounted racks have a limited load capacity. The Saris 801 is one exemption, having the biggest capacity of 105 pounds.

Another downside to using a trunk-mounted bike carrier is that you can’t access the trunk of your car when a trunk rack is mounted on it. This could be a bummer, especially when you have lots of stuff stored in the back of your ride.

Hitch Carriers

The other bike carrier Saris, offers the hitch bike type or simply hitch carrier. This is more appropriate if you have an SUV or truck. While you will pay a lot more for it, you will still get your money’s worth as you can transport more than three bikes.

Most hitch carriers are designed to haul up to five bikes. This type of bike carrier comes in two styles: platform and hanging cradle, which have pros and cons.

As the name suggests, the platform style of the carrier has a platform where the bikes are placed. It presents an easy and secure way of loading bikes. It also keeps the bike in place and prevents any damage or abrasion. The platform style has become fashionable over the past couple of years thanks to the evolving design of bike frames.

However, the downsides of this bike rack style include high price and heavy weight, which makes carrying and storage awkward and difficult.

On the other hand, the hanging cradle style has the bikes hanging from the rack. It’s a cheaper option compared to the platform style. It is also more lightweight; thus, carrying and storing it will be much easier than when you have the platform type. Moreover, the hanging cradle-style hitch carrier provides more ground clearance.

But then again, this style of hitch carrier pales in comparison with the platform style in securing the bikes. There is always the risk that the bikes will sway, especially when the car is speeding. There is also the chance that the bikes will contact each other, resulting in minor abrasions.

Roof-Mounted Racks

It’s the kind of bike carrier wherein the bikes are mounted on the car’s roof.

You have likely seen one on the road. The bicycle rack is ideal if you prefer that your vehicle’s rear door or trunk be opened or when overhead clearance is not an issue.

So, as you know, a third type of bike rack is available in the market- the rooftop bike rack. It’s the kind of bike carrier wherein the bikes are mounted on the car’s roof.  You have likely seen one on the road. The bicycle rack is ideal if you prefer that your vehicle’s rear door or trunk be opened or when overhead clearance is not an issue.

There are also downsides to using a roof bike carrier. When a rooftop bike rack is mounted on a vehicle, getting into a garage and drive-thru windows can be hard. The bad news is that the Saris does not offer this bike rack.

Factors to Consider in Choosing a Bike Rack

Now that you know the different types of bike racks available in the market, let’s go through the things you need to consider in shopping for a bike carrier. These factors can help you identify the car-bike rack best suited to your needs.

Type of Bike to Be Carried

Before shopping for a bike rack, you must look at your garage and bike. You must consider not only the style of the bike you would be transporting but also the bike’s weight, frame material, and wheel size, as these characteristics can all impact the type of bike carrier you choose.

For example, if you want to transport an e-bike, you need a stronger rack. The average weight of an e-bike is about 50 pounds, which means a Saris Bones carrier may not be enough to transport it. Or if you are transporting women’s bikes, you may need to use an accessory such as the Saris Bike Beam to fit properly on the rack.

You can refer to the Saris fit guide to find out whether a Saris bike rack you have in mind can carry your bike. You can go online and check the fit guide by clicking this link. This online and expansive database will not only help you figure out if your bike fits in the Saris bike rack, but it will also let you determine if the year, make, and model of your vehicle is a fit for your bike carrier.

Stability of the Rack

Another important factor that you have to consider when shopping for a bike rack is stability. Simply put, the bike carrier should be sturdy, durable, and capable of holding up to bad weather. The last thing you want to happen is for your bike to fall off and cause an accident on the road.

This is where stability straps can come in and affect your buying decision. Look for a bike carrier with stability straps that can minimize jolting and movement of the bikes while these are mounted on your vehicle.

Saris bikes are known for their anti-sway straps. These are designed to stabilize mounted bikes while offering soft-touch protection and preventing the bikes from damaging the car’s paint.

The Efficiency of Loading/Unloading Bikes

Efficiency not only pertains to the ease of removing the bikes from the rack; it can also refer to the impact of the bike rack on your car’s fuel consumption.

Aside from what has been said earlier about the cons of roof-mounted bike carriers, another disadvantage of the said type of bike rack is that it can affect a vehicle’s overall dynamics. In short, it can make a car less fuel efficient. This may not be a major concern if you are driving short distances, but it can make you think twice about getting a roof-mounted carrier if you drive to the countryside or travel every weekend.

Since gas prices are increasing these days, it might be more practical if you opt for a hitch carrier, as this results in less wind resistance, which can affect your vehicle’s fuel consumption.

Of course, you also want a bike carrier wherein loading and unloading bikes won’t be much of a hassle. If you’re short, you might have problems loading the bikes onto a roof mount. A hitch rack may be the more practical choice.

Safety Components

Bikes are naturally expensive investments that you want to protect. It is thus advisable to look for a bike rack to lock in your vehicle to prevent theft. High-end bike carriers have advanced locking systems to secure the bikes, although you have to pay a little more for this type of rack.

Of course, you can always buy locks or cables separately. Saris offers an eight-foot locking cable to secure bikes. The cable is made of braided stainless steel and comes with two keys.

The bike rack should not hide the vehicle’s license plate or partly cover your vehicle’s rearview.

Ease of Storage

While not as important as the other factors discussed above, storage will still impact your buying decision. You won’t likely want a too big and cumbersome rack to store. This is especially true if you don’t have a big garage.

Moreover, a compact bike rack will be easier to store in the trunk of your vehicle when it is not in use. This can spare you the worry of finding a place to safekeeping the rack, particularly when you are out in the woods.

These scenarios highlight the need to look for one that folds flat so that it will be easy to store. Compact bike racks will also not take up a lot of space in your garage.

Bike Rack Maintenance Pointers

As you may have realized, bike racks are not cheap investments. It only makes sense if you take good care of this piece of equipment the moment you buy one. Bike rack maintenance will help you ensure that your rack will last long. Saris recommends cleaning bike racks regularly. A simple soap and water solution is enough to remove dirt and grime on a bike carrier, although you can also use a water-soluble solution.

You don’t need to take the rack through an automatic car wash, which could damage the carrier. Moreover, remember that Saris does not honor the rack’s warranty if it goes through an automatic car wash.

When cleaning a bike carrier, wipe it down to remove the so-called road smush or the accumulation of sand, salt, and pebbles. Please give it a thorough rinse afterward. You may also apply car wax to the rack for some finish protection. After cleaning the bike rack, you should also ensure its moving parts are in good condition. This includes the arm mechanism, locks, and lock cables.

You may also apply lube to the locks to set it up for your next road trip. Squirt a little lube in the lock surface. Then, insert the key and rotate it a few times to prevent a sticky lock. After use, make it a habit to wipe down the feet of the rack. While at it, check the straps for any signs of wear and tire. Check the rack for loose bolts, which could cause the bicycles to fall off, especially in transit.

You should also avoid leaving the rack on the vehicle when it is unused. If you don’t need the carrier for days or weeks, it is better to give it a rest by removing it from the vehicle and storing it in your garage. This is one tried-and-tested way to prolong the life of your rack.

For more Saris bike rack maintenance tips, click this link. You can also learn more about Saris’ history by visiting this site.


Many years have passed since the debut of Bones, and Saris remains a force to reckon with in the bike carrier industry. This longevity proves the brand produces well-designed, sturdy, easy-to-assemble, and stable bike racks. As you have learned after reading this post, you really won’t go wrong with a Saris bike rack.

Timo Holmquist
 | Website

Timo is an outdoor enthusiast and gear specialist who is constantly exploring. As an avid hiker, he has completed the ADK 46ers, South Beyond 6000, GA4000, and the Colorado 14ers. He's ice climbed Mt. Hood, hiked up half a dozen mountains in the Alps, and spent three consecutive summers constructing a sustainable trail through the Colorado high country.

Was this helpful?

2 thoughts on “The Best Saris Bike Racks”

  1. When is the Freedom EX 2 to be available again? 2021….. first quarter or later in the year?
    Purchased the Freedom 2 but really wanted the EX 2.

  2. “According to Saris, the Solo is the first and only bike rack designed to hold a single bike.”

    I wonder what my Saris MTR 1 is. I sure cannot figure how to load more than one bike on my rack.


Leave a Comment