Best Bike Rack for Carbon Fiber Bike

Best Bike Rack for Carbon Fiber Bike – Reviewed and Rated

by Peter Linsley - Last Updated: November 18, 2020

When transporting your carbon fiber bike, a good quality bike rack is an essential piece of kit. Simple bike racks comprise a metal frame, a set of straps to attach it to your car, and protruding arms to support the bike(s). The very best bike rack for carbon fiber bike include clever design and deliver lightweight, security, durability, and ease of use.

All of which leads me confidently in the direction of the Saris Bones 2-Bike Rack. With over 20 years of experience under their belts, this American brand has all but mastered the art of hanging a bike (or two) from the back of your car.

Top Pick: Saris Bones 2-Bike-Rack

Having spent a good twenty years strapping bikes to the back of my car, I’ve had some pretty unnerving experiences with car bike racks. With a leap of faith, I’ve strapped my bike on board, crossed my fingers, and hoped for the best.

With the Saris Bones Bike Rack any faith or finger-crossing is negated by the double-whammy of strong, durable components, and intelligent design – it delivers in almost every way.

Key Features

  • Stability
  • Two-bike capacity
  • Easily adjustable
  • Non-marking rubber foot pads
  • Incredibly strong engineered resin construction
  • Lightweight
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Modern design

First Impressions

The Saris Bones range offers an unusual and unique design.

The main structure is that of a horizontal “spine” with protruding “ribs” which stabilize the frame against both window and bumper. The beauty of this design is that the weight of the bikes is carried by the lower ribs, which rest securely on the bumper. The straps simply hold the frame in place and don’t bear any weight.

With such security, the chances of you watching helplessly through your rearview mirror as your bike clatters down the road behind are greatly reduced!

Adjustment and Installation

For most makes and models of cars, users suggest the Bones bike rack is simple and straightforward. The adjustment offers an endless variety of positions to suit the shape of your car, and no tools or specialist skills are required.

Helpfully, it also folds up conveniently and is light enough to pop in the boot for storage between usages.

Strength and Durability

With most car bike racks there is a sweet spot where the compromise between strength, toughness, and light weight meet. Saris have moved the sweet spot entirely to create a product of genuine lightweight (9lbs) which they claim to be the strongest frame on the market.

Should performance not quite live up to these lofty claims, the Saris Bones also comes with a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty. Impressive!

Security

If the Saris Bones 2-Bike Rack has a weakness it’s in the lack of any security features. When parked up, the rack (and so any bikes attached to it) have no specific defense against anyone’s theft. Yes, it’s simple to remove, fold up, and stash in the back of your car between uses, but parked up, you’ll need to remove both bikes and rack to be sure of security.

Anything Else?

Be aware that, although it is compatible with a wide range of both bikes and vehicles, some makes and models need additional fittings to allow use. If it is not clear, be sure to check with the manufacturer before purchase.

All told, the Saris Bones is a brilliantly designed and highly functional bike rack, which offers great confidence when transporting your carbon fiber bike. It offers a great balance between form, function, and price tag.

Best On A Budget: Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike Rack

Before we go any further, let’s define “budget.”

We’re talking here about the best bike racks to transport your carbon fiber bike. Chances are the bike is worth a few dollars. If you haven’t quite got an emotional attachment to it (and most cyclists I know have) you will almost certainly have a financial attachment.

This is not the time to be taking risks. You can buy a rack for twenty dollars, but just because you can doesn’t mean you should. I wouldn’t recommend it.

My budget option, the Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike Rack, is not the cheapest bike rack out there on the market but combines a simple, no-frills deign, with a heck of a lot of positive customer experience.

Key Features

  • Fits most cars
  • Simple and sturdy
  • 2 pairs of bike cradles and straps
  • 12-inch long carry arms accommodate a wide range of bike styles
  • Patented tie-down system secures and protects your bike

First Impressions

The Allen Sports Deluxe is small in width and long in arm. It is a simple, solid option that secures at the top, bottom, and sides with straps, and braces against the car with foam pads. Take it off, fold it up, and store it in the trunk.

Nothing here to get too excited about, but equally, no alarm bells or deal-breakers!

Adjustment and Installation

The Sports Deluxe arrives fully assembled and folded up. Simply unfold, pop the pins in to secure, and you’re away. Short of having your own, personal bike rack mechanic on hand to do the job for you, it really couldn’t be easier.

Installation should also see you avoiding an embarrassing wrestle with the rear end of your car. Position the rack, hook the straps in place, and tighten.

Strength and Durability

As mentioned above, this is a solid, sturdy bike rack. The frame has a chunky, hardwearing feel to it; as if any concession to finesse or form has been sacrificed in favor of function. Considering this is a budget product, I mean that as a compliment.

Regarding the straps, although the vast majority of customers report a positive experience there are some (rare) reports of straps failing in transit (a batch failure, perhaps?) – my advice would be to make regular checks for wear and tear, and ensure you don’t overload the rack.

Security

The Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike, like the Saris Bones, offers no specific security solution. Removal when not in use is recommended.

Anything Else?

The Sports Deluxe comes in twice the weight of the Saris Bones – as described, it’s a simple, no-frills piece of kit that lacks any of the niceties of more expensive models.

If you’re transporting your carbon fiber bike on the back of your car I wouldn’t suggest cutting your budget any further than the Allen Sports Deluxe – essentially a simple, practical, and solidly reliable bike rack with the classic strap fittings.

Best Tow Bar Mounted Rack: Thule Xpress 2-Bike Rack 

If your car has a tow bar you may prefer the solid coupling and convenience of a tow bar mounted rack. One simple anchor point, and no straps or buckles, might tempt you towards this option. Thule, one of the most renowned names in the world of car storage solutions, offers the Xpress 2-Bike.

 Key Features

  • Easy to attach
  • Simple to use and store
  • Lightweight (9.5llbs)
  • Added security – lock carrier to car, and bike to carrier
  • Straps for fixing of bikes included
  • 5 year manufacturer’s warranty

First Impressions

It’s so simple. A vertical V-shaped bar, two horizontal arms to attach bikes too, and that’s that.

Adjustment and Installation

You pop the tow bar ball between the gap in the bottom tube, then push down to the tension, and job done. In less than a minute you can have the rack fitted, and a bike-mounted and secured.

Strength and Durability

Tensioned correctly, the Thule Xpress 2-Bike takes some considerable muscle to shift once in place. The tow bar coupling is ISO approved, offering a guarantee of quality. The bars/frame itself exhibit the usual high Thule standards of construction. All told, it’s hard to fault.

Security

The Xpress comes with security solution designed. With additional accessory (ref: 538) the bike locks to the carrier with minimum fuss. With a padlock, the carrier locks to the car. Et voila…peace of mind is yours.

Anything else?

It’s worth noting that the Thule Xpress doesn’t have a tilt feature which would allow you to access the car boot/trunk. In addition, and perhaps obviously, a tow bar is required. For those cyclists who have, or intend to fit, a tow bar, the Thule Xpress is an excellent solution.

Praised by users for its simplicity and ease of use – it could be worth fitting a tow bar just so you can get one.

Conclusion – Best Bike Rack For Carbon Fiber Bike

If you’re transporting your carbon fiber bike – and, let’s be honest, your pride and joy – on the back of your car, you’re undoubtedly going to want something strong, secure, and durable.

You won’t want to take any chances.

If your bike rack of choice is simple and easy to use, then all the better. If it looks pretty cool too – you hit the jackpot.

The Saris Bones 2 Bike Rack is a seriously good (and good looking) piece of kit. Cleverly designed, well thought out, and more than capable of looking after your best bike. Its combination of strength and weight puts it in a different class from many of its competitors.

If you have a tow bar, the Thule Xpress 2-Bike is equally impressive (and only misses “top pick” status because of the tow bar requirement). There might be no simpler, easy-to-use bike rack solution on the market.

If you do want to cut the budget slightly my advice is don’t cut it too far, and opt for the Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike for a no-frills performer.

With any bike rack, you need to ensure correct assembly and installation, secure mounting of your bike(s) and pay attention to the maximum load-carrying capacity.

Oh…and once you’ve reached your destination, don’t forget to enjoy the ride!

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