When your pride and joy is strapped to the roof or rear of your car, you want to ensure the rack that’s holding it there is designed with care and security in mind. Step forward bike rack manufacturer Saris, which entered the market in 80s with some distinctive designs and has become one of the best-selling rack companies worldwide.
The origins of the company date back to 1989, in Madison, Wisconsin in the United States. Chris and Sara Fortune purchased the family-owned bicycle rack company Graber and put their mark on it. First off came a rebrand – Saris – which is a combination of the owners names. They then partnered with Italian designer Fabio Pedrini, to develop a line of racks to be made in the US and distributed globally.
The first Saris bicycle rack, the Mountaineer, received rave reviews and Saris began to expand its range. The Saris Bones, released in 1994, is still one of the most recognisable and best-selling bike racks in the world. Saris is now an international brand, with the company’s bike racks available in more than 50 countries.
Today, the Saris Cycling Group has expanded to include other popular brands such as CycleOps and PowerTap, but its stated aim remains the same: ‘To develop innovative, well-designed racks and performance training products for customers worldwide.’
The Saris bicycle rack range
Saris Bones Racks (from £130)
A simple creative design available in two- or three-bike models, the Saris Bones Rack is made from 100 percent recycled materials. It comes in a range of colours, and the arc-based shape is designed to fit over cars with rear spoilers. The unique shape of the adjustable arms enables you to accommodate a whole family’s rides – from an adult road bike to a kids’ 24in MTB.
The Bones RS was specifically designed with the needs of busy biking families in mind. The rack has a steel-belted band and ratchet system to make installation quick, and a locking mechanism to keep it secure.
If you have a carbon bike, you won’t want anything clamping onto the frame that might cause damage. Enter the Saris Grand Fondo, which secures the bike via the wheels without touching the frame at all. Importantly, it also leaves the rear window mostly clear as keeping the rear lights uncovered, so there’s no need for a separate lighting board.
A rack designed to take everything from tri-bikes to recumbents, the Saris Freedom locks them in place with ratcheting straps and Cuscino hold-downs that are gentle enough for a carbon frame. There’s even a fat tyre adaptor kit available.
Designed by Fabio Pedrini, the Thelma is an innovative and lightweight bike rack that doesn’t come into contact with your frame at all, making it carbon-frame safe. At only 26lb (11.8kg), it’s light enough to be installed and removed by one person. The Thelma 2 and 3 models accommodate a variety of wheel sizes and widths, from road slicks to 29in MTB tyres – and they also come with a lifetime guarantee.
Axis (from £130)
Inspired by the Bones racks, the Axis is a new model that uses a sturdy hanging hitch rack style, with a simple locking mechanism for security.