Saris Bones 3-Bike Rack


Rack ‘n Roll

We have come to expect the unexpected in bicycle design – Pinarello’s swoopy frames, Knog’s quirky lights, Poc’s bold helmets – But Saris was the first to make the dowdy bike rack a thing of beauty.

Thankfully, this is not a world peace-please Miss World entrant; the beauty is backed up with real-world functionality. Hook-and-strap racks are pains in the proverbial, as a rule, requiring the agility of an octopus, and as many arms, the first time you fit them to a car.

To be honest, the Bones is still a bit fiddly, but the American manufacturers have supplied it with a comprehensive manual, and stamped each of the six hooks with where they should go on the car: top ×2, bottom ×2, side ×2. All six hooks are rubberised, so they won’t damage your car if you are careful, and keep them clean. The rubberised feet are also paint-friendly.


For our test, we attached the Bones to three different cars – the chunky Golf SV pictured here, a slinky Polo and a squat, square Fiat peoplecarrier – and found the rack to be extremely sturdy on all three.

The hatchbacks were a little more suited, and once you have fitted it properly, the flimsiness of nylon straps and small steel hooks disappears, with the only movement when you try and make it wiggle coming from the car itself. The Bones 3-Bike can carry more than 45kg, so you are unlikely to reach its tolerances with three bikes, even
DH monsters.


Fitting the bikes to the rack is simple – drop the top-tube onto the twin cups, and tighten the toe-strap style straps (which remain attached to the rack, permanently, so you won’t scrabble for them at 4am on the way to the CT Cycle Tour). A third strap locks the seat-tube to the relevant arm, and your bike is as secure as any rack we have tested, without miles of bungee cord and pool noodles. We did struggle a little with smaller frames, so make sure you try before you buy, but even this was just a niggle, not a dealbreaker.

They still fit, it was just a bit of a wriggle to get the strap/arm assembly through the main triangle. The USP of the Bones series of racks is their horizontal adjustability. All six arms – four to fit the car, two to hold the bikes – can slide inwards or outwards, so you can customise the fit, to your car and to your bikes, better than most of its rivals.

The folding design means that it stores easily between uses too, and without fear of forgetting how you set it up the last time. Simple to use, rock-solid and pretty, money-no-object there isn’t a rack we would prefer.

Saris Bones 3-Bike Rack
Price R2 995