Saris Bones EX 3 Bike Rack Review

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Review of the Saris Bones EX 3 Bike Rack


Colin: Hey everyone. I'm Colin here at eTrailer. Today we're going to take a look at the Bones EX 3 bike rack from Saris.Now this is a trunk mounted bike rack, so it is going to mount to the trunk of your vehicle. It's going to help eliminate the need to get a hitch mounted bike rack if you don't have a hitch, or even a roof bike rack if you don't have a roof rack.It's going to be able to transport three of your bikes to and from the trails.Now as you can see, we do have a wide variety of bikes on our bike rack right now. It's going to be able to hold mountain bikes, road bikes. See, we also have a kid's bike right here.

Really, even be able to hold women's bikes and bikes with alternative frame styles.Now something to keep in mind, and this goes for all trunk mounted racks and hanging style racks: take example our kid bike right here, we have a small slot between our down tube and our top tube. So we do need that bike adaptor bar to get it to fit on our bike rack. That's going to be the case for most kid bikes and most alternative frame style bikes. And we have plenty of these Saris bike adaptor bars here at etrailer.com.Now what sets this trunk mounted bike rack apart from a lot of others out there on the market is that this one will account for mounting to vehicles which have spoilers on their hatch. A lot of times manufacturers will recommend not putting their trunk mounted racks on those vehicles because the straps could damage the spoiler.Now with this one, with our dog legs right here, they come over the top and kind of become flush with the top of the spoiler, and the slots in the top of the dog arms is where your strap would go to hook into the top of the trunk.

And that way the pressure is being pulled down on the bike rack itself and not the spoiler.All four of our feet are going to be made out of a nice, soft rubber material. It's going to help protect the finish of our vehicle. Or if you have it on a sedan, where the pads might be touching the window, it's also not going to harm that either.The Bones EX is going to have a weight limit of 35 pounds per bike, so it's going to fit all of your kids' bikes, your road bikes, and your smaller to mid-sized mountain bikes.One thing I do want to point out is that with the bike rack installed, you will not have access to your trunk or hatch. If you're interested in something that is going to give you access while the bike rack's installed, I'd recommend looking into a hitch mounted bike rack or even a roof bike rack.Now I've gone ahead and removed two of our bikes. Let's take a closer look and see how this bike that's still on there is connected.

We're going to have three different straps. We're going to have two on the top tube right here, securing it down into the cradles. And then we're also going to have an anti-sway cradle with a strap down here on the seat post tube. That strap and that cradle just help to take out a lot of the unnecessary movement from our bike. It's going to help prevent a lot of bike to bike contact or even bike to vehicle contact.And you can see there still is a bit of movement right there, but without that strap, it could literally just fly straight up and make a lot of contact, causing some damage.What's really nice about these straps is that as you tighten them down, you can see it literally just forms to that circular shape of your top tube right there.

And then when we want to loosen them we can take them all the way back out like so.We're also going to have a nice, soft rubber padding all on the underside of the strap. That's going to help prevent any type of scratches or abrasions occurring on the frame of our bike.Also, you see a lot of these notches that stick up right here. That's going to allow a lot of your brake cables to set in between each notch to make sure the weight of the bike or the pressure from the strap is not crushing them.Now we'll go ahead and unload our bike. The straps are going to work very similarly to a lot of other straps out there. Just push in that tab, the strap comes right out. And we'll do that for each one and on the anti-sway cradle.Now one thing I do want to point out is that with our mountain bike right here, and this might be the case for some other bikes in your household, the opening between the top tube and the down tube is a bit smaller when compared to some other bikes, especially road bikes. So getting it over the cradles of the other two slots may be a bit trickier. You may need to tilt them up or the other way just to get it over. It still is very possible, just might be a bit more of a hassle than you would think. We'll just take your time, go over each, make sure your brake cables don't get caught, and it'll come right off.The injection molded plastic arms and legs are going to be very durable and rust proof. So you're not going to have to worry about it being in any type of bad weather conditions.The arms that hold our bikes are going to be about 17 inches long. That's something to keep in mind because you have added at least that much length to the back of your vehicle. Now it probably is going to be a bit more because the trunk mounted bike rack does fit differently onto each vehicle. You can see the gap between our bottom leg right here and the vehicle we have is about five to six inches. So just keep in mind you are going to be adding a little bit more to the length of the arms.Now with that being said, we can cut down on space added onto the back by folding down our arms when the bike rack is empty. All we have to do is loosen up these little knobs. We'll slide it in until we get to the part with the smooth surface. We'll twist it down as far as we need to go, and then we'll go back, make sure we get on that slot. Push it all the way over and then tighten it back up. We'll do the same for the other side as well.Now we have take away a lot of that space with the arms folded down. This is ideal for if you want to pull in your garage and you don't want to remove your bike rack, but you still need to fit inside.We have six different points where our Bones EX connects to our trunk. Two of them are going to be at the top. We're going to have two rubber coated hooks that go into the top of our trunk. Right here you can see. From there we just use the cam buckles right here to cinch it down tight on both sides.The next two points are going to be on sides. You see we have our same rubber coated hook right above our tail light, and it's going to be the same thing on the other side.And then we're going to have the last two rubber coated hooks at the bottom towards the feet of our Bones EX.Now the rubber coating of all the hooks is going to help protect your vehicle's finish from any type of scratches or abrasions.When you're done securing all of your straps, the excess of every strap is going to have a hook and loop strap to go around the excess and secure it so it doesn't flop around at all while you're traveling, or come undone.Now their straps are a bit unique in that it's not just six individual straps attached to various points of the bike rack. It's actually just three straps that are connected at one point. See, it's all sewn together right here. We have our three straps for the passenger side and then the three straps for the driver side.So it's actually going to come with the straps already installed, but they're going to be fed through this center tube all the way to the other side. That part where it's all sewn together, right here, just sits in the middle. Having it setup like this is just going to help prevent it from being pulled too far to one side when securing it.Now it's going to come out of the box like this. Everything's going to be folded up and compact. We'll go ahead and show you how to get it installed.What we're going to do is set our bottom feet on the bumper just to get an idea of where we want it to be set. Now from here, we're going to get our top legs, loosen those knobs just like we did to fold the arms down. Bring it off the side, and then we're going to bring it up like so. We're going to lift up, try to get a good measurement on. or a good eye on how we want it to sit. You just want to push up as far as you want it to go. That looks about right. We'll do the same for the other side. Once you get it same on both sides, just go ahead and double check and make sure it all lines up and that you have it in the center of your trunk, and then tighten those knobs back down.Now all four of our feet are going to be able to pivot back and forth. That's just to help make sure that they do sit flush on both the top of your trunk and your bumper.Now we're going to locate the upper hooks on both sides. You can tell because they are going to be the widest, but also if you get the right light on it you can see it is engraved with the word upper, letting you know to put it up top. We're just going to set them in place right on top of our trunk, and we're just going to take some of the slack out with our cam buckle. Pull it forward a bit, just to hold it in place. We'll do that on this side as well.Now with the upper hooks installed, we can locate our side hooks, which again is engraved with the word side. It's going to go right above our tail light. In this case we do want to open up our trunk just slightly to make sure the hook gets in place. We'll get both hooks installed before we shut the trunk. From there, you just want to make sure you have the slack out, and then we'll shut the trunk.After you get the slack out of the side straps, we'll locate our lower straps. Again, it is engraved with the word lower. We'll come below, and in our case on our sedan, we don't really need to open our trunk because the hooks just go right up and under. If you do need to open up the trunk, you might want to do that when you're getting the side ones installed. Take up the slack and repeat.Now starting with the top, I'm just going to grab ahold of both of my cam buckles, and I'm going to pull it to secure it. There we go. Now we'll move onto the sides. Again, we're just going to grab both and go at the same time. And then the bottom ones. Give it a quick shake, make sure it's secure. Now we'll just go around and then fold up all of our excess strap and secure it with the included hook and loop straps.And now we're ready to fold up our arms and then load up our bikes. Because it is a universal rack, it's going to be different how you adjust your arms. Basically how you want to do it is lift up until this last outside cradle is level with the ground. And then we're going to find the slot closest to that, and then pull it all the way and tighten it. For the opposite side, just make sure you get it on the same notch.Now we can just get our bike loaded. Now in the event that you have a bike that's making contact with your vehicle up here with the front wheel, because it can turn, you can get a strap sold separately here at eTrailer. You can actually just tie up that front wheel to the down tube right there to make sure it doesn't swing and make contact with your vehicle.Now with our bike and vehicle combination, we don't have a problem with that because our handle bar makes contact with the base before it touches the vehicle.Now because this is a universal trunk mounted rack, we went ahead and threw it on a crossover here, just to show you how universal it is. A lot of other trunk bike racks might not be able to fit on these hatch backs because of the spoiler like I talked about earlier. But you can see right here, with this slot, the strap comes over the top, and instead of pulling straight down on the spoiler it comes through that slot, and that's where most of the pressure is being applied when it is secured.Over here we have it setup the old way where it just comes straight down on the spoiler. Over time, or if you're taking a rough trip, that could just pull down a lot and put a lot of pressure on the spoiler, possibly damaging it.Now overall, I think this is just a really solid rack. It's going to do a great job of hauling your bikes to and from your destination. The thing I really like about it when compared to other trunk racks is the fact that you can mount it to most crossover SUV type vehicles. Like I said, thanks to the legs and how it can take the pressure off the spoiler and put it on the bike rack itself. It's good for if you have multiple vehicles in your household, and you can use this bike rack on both vehicles.And it's also convenient to have that trunk mount rack in case you don't want to invest in both a hitch and a bike rack or even both a roof rack and a bike rack.Let's go ahead and take a look at it on our test course. Up first is going to be our slalom, which is going to simulate side to side action like evasive maneuvering or taking a sharp turn.Now we're onto the solid speed bumps, which is going to simulate the up and down action like going over a speed bump or pulling into your driveway.And now our alternating speed bumps, which is going to simulate driving over uneven pavement like potholes.Thank you all for watching. That's going to do it for our look at the Bones EX 3 bike rack from Saris.


Questions and Comments about this Video

Sathish R.

The crisp and clear information accompanied by video demonstration answered all the questions that I had in mind about this bike rack and also revealed a lot of information that I wouldn't have known otherwise. This is a must watch video for anyone who's planning on getting a bike rack.

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