The Saris Grand Fondo car rack is a different type of strap mounted trunk rack, and is specifically meant for the cycling enthusiast. It takes cues from modern hitch racks in both styling and its lack of contact with your bike’s frame.
The US$349.99 ( £220) rack secures two bikes (rated up to 35lbs each) via a front wheel cradle, strap, and rear wheel strap. It fits 26in, 29in and 700c wheel sizes, and we found in our initial fitting, tires up to 2.35in in width.
The benefits of the rack, which make it suitable for owners of carbon framed bikes, include: the no-touch style bike capture, thus no frame scratches or chance of crushing, and its fitment of both wheels, so there’s no need for wheel removal and subsequent in-car transport.
Saris make the Grand Fondo’s frame out of anodized aluminum, therefore it should weather well, and the wheel carriers are molded from reinforced plastic.
We’ve already used the rack to transport the bike to both our local trail head and for road bike transport. In the former case, when loaded with two 30lb trail bikes, the nylon straps seem to be at their limit — pulling the upper padded feet away from the car — which isn’t surprising considering the leverage 60lbs of bike can exert in the almost vertical rack fitment on our hatch back.
The rack's main selling point is the fact that it doesn't touch any part of the bike's frame
Saris make the racks in their own Madison, WI factory, which is an unexpected value add in our opinion, both in terms of responsibility and sustainability, and the simple fact that they should be able to provide service more quickly, should any problems arise.
Stay tuned to BikeRadar for a full review of Saris new Grand Fondo rack.