Thule T2 rack vs. Saris Cycle

FFT

Gay & Stuffy
After reading the rack talk in the for sale section I figured I would share my experiences with trailer hitch racks.

For a few trip I borrowed a friends Saris Cycle on rack. I loved it, so I did what any moron would do, I looked for a better deal. I was offered a Thule at dealer cost plus an additional 10% for a web training sorta thing. He's the skinny:

The Thule rack is heavy, but constructed with cheap hardware. The buckles are plactic strips that can be stolen or lost if not removed or clipped while traveling - They are rivited to a tab on the rack, the rivit is weak and has rusted in it's first year - and may break off. The pin that the rack rests upon when in the down position is bent badly - my friends opt to put their high end bikes in the bed of the truck rather than on the rack, I dont blame them. Two thumbs down for the T2 - also use a 2 bike attatckment. Also only rated for bikes to 50 lbs - probly funny to most on here, but not to a downhiller. The website states 60lb bikes, with a max of 200lb(4bikes) WTF?

The Saris: I cant remember if it was lighter, but it may be. The fasteners for the tires are ratcheting control claw that are shaped like a C - they are very strong and will not be lost, stolen, or rust away. They are clearly a better design. The mechanism on the arm is also stonger - the arm is rectangulat tubing as opposed to the Thule which is round - I prefer the beefier tubing. The Saris rack is equiped with a knob that removes all the play from where the hitch slides into the receiver, a great option then driving down the parkway at 80. This rack would be my first pick even if it was more coin.
 
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MEAN IRISH GUY

Horse-faced space dog
After reading the rack talk in the for sale section I figured I would share my experiences with trailer hitch racks.

For a few trip I borrowed a friends Saris Cycle on rack. I loved it, so I did what any moron would do, I looked for a better deal. I was offered a Thule at dealer cost plus an additional 10% for a web training sorta thing. He's the skinny:

The Thule rack is heavy, but constructed with cheap hardware. The buckles are plactic strips that can be stolen or lost if not removed or clipped while traveling - They are rivited to a tab on the rack, the rivit is weak and has rusted in it's first year - and may break off. The pin that the rac rests upon when in the down position is bent badly - my friends opt to put their high end bikes in the bed of the truck rather than on the rack, I dont blame them. Two thumbs down for the T2 - also use a 2 bike attatckment. Also only rated for bike to 50 lbs - probly funny to most on here, but not to a downhiller. The website states 60lb bike, with a max of 200(4) WTF?

The Saris: I cant remember if it was lighter, but it may be. The fasteners for the tires are ratcheting control claw that are shaped like a C - they are very strong and will not be lost, stolen, or rust away. They are clearly a better design. The mechanism on the arm is also stonger - the arm is rectangulat tubing as opposed to the Thule which is round - I prefer the beefier tubing. The Saris rack is equiped with a knob that removes all the play from where the hitch slides into the receiver, a great option then driving down the parkway at 80. This rack would be my first pick even if it was more coin.

first off thats what she said, secondly i thought that saris was a cheaper brand than both thule and yakima?
 

syadasti

Wet Rag
I've had various Sportworks racks (the three main revisions and some of the subrevisions Thule made). I've also had a Saris Cycle-on Pro and currently have a Yakima Holdup.

Thule has indeed cheapened the design to cut costs but I would not rank it above the Cycle-on. Both of racks will develop rust and I've seen it firsthand. The Cycle-on does not have adjustable trays so in many cases you get bike interference (even with All Mtn bikes with standard 135mm w/regular BB spacing vs a wide ass DH rear and BB).

The Thule is rated up to 60 lbs a tray just like Saris but when using a 1.25" hitch it only has a 100 lbs. max total dual bike load due to maximum load limits of 1.25" hitch (hitch carriers are heavy and they want a safety margin plus there are lots of idiots out there), its 60 lbs per tray for a 2" hitch. As far as 4 bikes go, the Saris is only rated at 60 lbs for the first two and 35 for the add-on so its capacity is again about the same (actually 10 lbs less than the Thule).

The Saris is only more desirable in a situation when you have a spare tire or giant bumper to clear as it sticks way out and is not an option for vehicles with minimal ground clearance - you'll bottom out like crazy in transitions. My friend has bottomed his a few times and his car has decent clearance (Ford Explorer).

The 4-bar linkage pivot on the T2 is by far the best pivot setup - much stronger and less play. The finish on the Saris is better but not the best out there.

I only know of two people with failures (both incidents with DH bikes) and they both occurred at the brace from a possible defect in the metal:

rack1ak6.jpg


I have a Yakima holdup now. The only negatives I have with that so far are the cheap main tray bolts (they started rusting a week or two after I got my rack and I don't leave it out in the rain) and its heavy (actually slightly lighter than the T2 but more awkward to carry). There is more play in the single vs. the four bar pivot design of the T2 but that is more of annoyance than a significant problem. The rack does tilt down slightly if you remove the pin, but not nearly as much as the T2.

On the topic of Thule, they like to buy or steal competitors designs (like the T2 - they bought from Sportworks) and cheapen them up.

The Kuat aluminum top tube style rack has been out over a year but Thule is already trying to rip them off only their version (as usual) cuts corners - half of the rack is steel and its heavier:

http://www.rackoutfitters.com/car-r...ke-Rack-For-2-or-1-1-4-Inch-Hitch-33p2099.htm

Nice thing about the Kuat is it has a 100 lbs weight limit and they said you can use DH bikes on it. All the other brand other than Thule only have a 35 lbs bike limit.

The new Kuat tray racks sound like a potential new class leader - look forward to see them:

http://www.bikerumor.com/2008/09/29/interbike-2008-kuat-bike-racks/#more-945

There will be two versions of the tray style rack. The "Bike Caddy" is the one that weighs 27lbs, but it does not come with all the bells as the "NV" (estimated weight 36lbs).

Bike Caddy features:

2bike capacity 45lb bikes
tilt down and fold up
hand tight hitch system

NV features:

2 bike with bike add on capability 50lb bikes
lever tilt down & lever fold up
integrated bike lock
hand tight hitch system
Built in mechanic repair stand (fully functional repair stand)

There is another new company coming out soon, but I don't find it that interesting. Its a swing away tray rack. From the ad in the Dec 08 issue of bike on pg. 67 it looks like they made their own bottom section but the trays are T2 trays in the photo (huh?):

http://www.mweracks.com/
 
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FFT

Gay & Stuffy
Thank you for adding more information, I wish i had read up on the racks before I pulled the trigger on my rack.
 

syadasti

Wet Rag
Thank you for adding more information, I wish i had read up on the racks before I pulled the trigger on my rack.

The T2 was the class leader for a long time and its still a decent rack.

This company puts out a great blog, much more helpful than anyone else, local or otherwise. He's been doing it for years and now competitors and even rack manufacturers are doing videos:

http://rackoutfitters.blogspot.com/

Here are a couple of videos:

Premium Platform Racks
http://rackoutfitters.blogspot.com/2008/04/which-platform-rack-is-best-for-you.html
Video
http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=8645248032593756933&hl=en

Cheap Platform Racks
http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docId=2820407995857939749&hl=en

Yakima Holdup
http://rackoutfitters.blogspot.com/search/label/Rack Outfitters Yakima HoldUp Bike Rack
Video
http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docId=652581789491979910&hl=en
 

FFT

Gay & Stuffy
Could you guys wait until I sell my rack to post anymore;)

-Jim.

Sorry Jim, it will sell at that price - I just like to add some value to the site here and there, and was thinking about selling mine as well, so I basically f***ed myself. Good luck.:eek:
 

The Rose

New Member
I have the saris cycle on. I love it. easy loads and unloads. It holds the bikes stable and nothing touches the frame. I've had it for over a year , it even made a trip to Mass. for the Kenda fest, and it did great. great rack.
 

TonyC

Active Member
I have the saris cycle on. I love it. easy loads and unloads. It holds the bikes stable and nothing touches the frame. I've had it for over a year , it even made a trip to Mass. for the Kenda fest, and it did great. great rack.

does the Saris hitch rack accept 29er wheels?
 

TonyC

Active Member
I've seen 29ers on T2 and Cycle-On racks before.

I only have MTBs and a road bike, no 29ers:cool:

I just checked Saris website.

I was thinking of the Thelma model from orig post. It does not accept 29er wheels.

Didn't realize they made the T2 type rack called the Cycle-On model. And Yes it accepts 29er wheels. ;)
 

syadasti

Wet Rag
Nobody mentioned the Thelma, its not in the same class as these racks. It only has a 35 lbs per tray weight limit.
 

Fogerson

Former Resident Nerd
I've seen 29ers on T2 and Cycle-On racks before.

I only have MTBs and a road bike, no 29ers:cool:

The T2 is happy w/29er wheels, though with a big tire (like a 2.4 conti) it is a tight fit to get the arm over the tire. Tight, but works.
 

syadasti

Wet Rag
Hadn't heard about this before (no details of why it failed).

T2 add-on failure:

http://www.ridemonkey.com/forums/showthread.php?t=208263

I personally think that carrying more than 2 bikes (especially DH/heavy ones) on a hitch tray rack is asking for trouble. Reality doesn't like big levers plus it extends your vehicle too much for maneuvering and going up/down abrupt transitions (bottom out).
 
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sixseven

New Member
Any thoughts on the Saris Bones 2 or 3?

I had a Bones 3. It will work if your top tube is straight and not interrupted by anything like a shock mount.

It gets a little crowded even with 2 bikes on it, I doubt that you could get three on it unless one was a unicycle or a kids bike. The Bones 2 might make more sense...
 
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