The Ultimate Guide on How to Install Saris Bike Rack on SUV

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Are you looking to carry your bike for a cycling adventure far from the city? You don’t need any prior experience – just the intention to go on an adventure. This article will discuss installing a saris bike rack on an SUV.

Whether you take your bike to the beach or lose yourself in the woods, a bike carrier helps you take bikes wherever you like. You can place it at the back of your SUV or on the roof or attach it with the hitch. 

In most cases, you can install the bones ex bike carrier without using any tools. However, some carriers require a few tools to make adjustments here and there.

To mount a saris bones ex rack to your SUV, secure the upper and lower legs of the rack for stabilization. The separate legs are movable and adjustable to fit at the back of the SUV. 

In addition, the rubber feet at the angles of the legs are rotatable and allow further personalization of the saris bones ex rack. Loosen the tightening bolt, remove and adjust the placement of the upper legs as per need.

Saris bones bike racks can carry up to three adult bikes when attached to the SUV. The trunk rack comes with a trunk rack accessory to hold additional bikes. 

The installation method depends on various factors, such as the model, rack, and SUV you possess. You can make notes from the following guide to successfully set up your own saris bones trunk rack at the top or back of your SUV.

Two women biking

Installation on the Roof of the SUV

If you need convenience in using your car’s rear view mirror, you can consider buying a roof-mounted bike rack. Before purchasing, measure the crossbars of your SUV and order the correct size of bike rack. The roof-mounted bike rack takes the support of the crossbars at the roof of your SUV. 

To install, unpack your box of the roof bike rack and put it together on the floor. Then, place it on the crossbars, carefully aligning it with the tracks on the crossbar. Be mindful about placing the rear of the rack facing the rear windshield. 

Next, stretch the excess strap with the crossbar tightly and adjust its length as you need. Lastly, after positioning all the components correctly, secure the remaining attachments. 

Using roof-mounted bike racks gives you multiple benefits:

  1. It provides easy access to the trunk of your SUV.
  2. Also, it permits an unimpeded view of the vehicles behind you.
  3. Moreover, roof-mounted racks offer additional space for adding multiple bikes compared to other racks.

Additionally, you can buy anti-sway cradles if you are unsure how rough your road route may be. These cradles will limit the movement of your bikes.

The downsides of having roof-mounted bike racks include the exposure of bikes to dust and debris, among others. Moreover, each rack holds only one cycle. Hence, you will have to purchase more racks to fit more bikes.

When buying racks, measure how many bikes the crossbar can hold. If you do not have a crossbar, you can get it installed at your car’s service center.

Installation on the Trunk of the SUV

A saris trunk rack is an ideal choice when you want to travel to places with routes having height restrictions. It is also useful when the roads are narrow and have low-lying trees and bushes along the sides. The trunk-mounted bike rack can hold about 1-2 bikes. 

The installation of a trunk-mounted bike rack is technique-sensitive and requires you to follow the manual religiously. Go through the company guide first, and then unbox your rack. The rack and bike may scratch your SUV if you don’t secure it properly. 

Hence, before you order the rack, enter the model of your car on the company’s website and browse for available options. Next, choose the rack that best suits your needs and order accordingly.

Secure the standard straps at the top, bottom, and sides of the cargo door. Additionally, the trunk rack comes with extra straps to hold the rack firmly. The assembly doesn’t require much work to install except for the strapping. 

You can install the trunk-mounted bike rack two ways. First, strap the top belt to the crossbar or the top of the cargo door and tighten it. 

Next, lock the side straps at the sides of the rear door. Lastly, secure the bottom strap at the base of the SUV’s back door. 

The second method buckles the side straps by pulling across the door and locking it inside the vehicle. This method guarantees better immobilization of the bike carrier. 

To complete the entire process, adjust the pads and ensure their center alignment. To avoid frustration while it rains or avoidable damage to your car, be careful that the bike does not obstruct the function of the rear windshield wiper. 

Installation of a Hitch-Mounted Bike Rack

SUV with roof rack

Some SUVs have a hitch for trailers to which racks are attached. The hitch receiver is strong enough to hold numerous bikes simultaneously and it offers the maximum weight-bearing capacity among all the available types of saris bone racks. 

For multiple cycles, you can buy other valuable saris bone accessories. The accessories are hooked to the arm of the rack on which the bikes are held. 

If your car already has a hitch, you can install the hitch-mounted rear rack in a few simple steps. 

First, however, contact your car’s service center if there is no hitch. They will help you with its fitting. 

Next, install the hitch underneath the backside of the car. By implication, you need to bend or even go under the vehicle to fit the lower end of the rack. 

If you must do this, you have to be incredibly careful. Ensure that the floor jack is set properly as you would likely need it to raise the car while making your installation. 

When you buy a hitch-mounted bike rack, assess the shape and configuration as per your SUV’s rear door frame. Additionally, make sure that the bumper does not hinder the rack placement.

The fitting process of the hitch-mounted bike rack is easy and done in 2 ways:

  1. Introduce a shaft in the trailer hitch hole and bolt it with a screw.
  2. At this point, you’ll need to slide underneath the SUV with a wrench and screw; hold the shaft and insert it within the frame’s hole from beneath. Try to match the holes on the shaft and frame. Once found, bolt a screw with the wrench. 

Factors to Consider When Loading the Bike 

While saris bones ex racks are easy to install, it is essential to consider some factors when loading your bike. If you follow these factors, you can protect your assets from scratches or physical damage. Furthermore, it will help keep your car, bike, and rack in mint condition.

Road Clearance and Gap Between Bikes

The rack arms should be mounted in such a way that they are parallel to the ground. It is crucial to achieve absolute road clearance so that the bike doesn’t touch the ground when loaded. It is recommended that the ground clearance be a minimum of 12″. 

Different models of saris bones offer different space options between bikes. For example, some models allow 6.5″ of a gap, while others 9″. These gaps prevent the knocking of bikes, and thus no scratches or damage occurs during travel.

Framework and Bike Mounting

Saris bones give its users the capacity to hold about 20″ kids’ bikes. In addition, these racks can also accommodate large men’s bikes compared with platform racks. 

To mount bikes, place the arms of the racks parallel to the ground. The cradle should face the sky and be away from the ground, positioned sloping up or down. 

Lift your bike and align the rack arms under the top tube. This way, you can hang your bike onto your bike rack.

Convenient Tube Adapters

Top tube adapters are commonly seen in men’s bikes. However, you will have to buy these to carry women’s and kids’ bikes on your rack. Top tube adapters are used since their bikes come with slanting tubes that are inappropriate for hanging on the rack.

If you’ll be going on a trip with your bike, you must plan to attach the top tubes a day before your journey since it is time-consuming. Furthermore, when positioning it, you need to adjust the height of the saddle, too. Repositioning allows for the correct placement of the top tube.

Better Weight Holding Capacity

The hitch-mounted rack has the best weight-bearing capacity. It can hold more than 2 bikes at a time. Moreover, this rack is the ideal choice for carrying large bikes. 

Additionally, protect-o-pads can separate bikes from each other when multiple bikes are being transported. If you’ll be loading your bike, you should keep this in mind.

Trunk Rack Accessories You Should Know About

SUV with roof rackTrunk racks are secured with additional accessories to prevent movement during speed bumps and roadblocks. These accessories need to be purchased separately from the company’s website. The movement of the bikes is influenced by things like a hatch hugger, bike beam, ratchet straps, trunk rack lock, strap management caps, and protect-o-pads. 

Here are a few more in-depth details about trunk accessories for your bike.

Hatch Hugger and Bike Beam

A hatch hugger replaces the regular straps with glass hinge lines. They protect the glass above the hatch of your car. Additionally, they are utilized as a connecting point in vehicles that don’t offer enough space for regular hooks. 

Hatch hugger thus allows for a more personalized fit for SUVs. Bike beams are rods that connect the bike’s seat to the front. 

Use the top tube to hang the bike on the rack mounted on your SUV. Placing the top tube is essential when using hitch-mounted or trunk-mounted racks.

Ratchet Straps and Strap Management Caps

You can buy ratchet straps to hold cargo or bikes in place. They are wound around the bike and fastened to prevent its movement. 

Ratchet straps are handy when transporting multiple bikes. You can secure all bikes with ratchet straps to limit their movement and keep them in place, safe and secure. 

If you are a perfectionist, the strap management caps are for you. The caps allow the extra strap to be neatly stuffed within the rack. The strap caps make your SUV look clean and orderly.

Trunk Rack Lock and Protect-O-Pads

Trunk rack locks help prevent theft while you are enjoying your ride. You can secure the rack with the vehicle using a trunk rack lock. 

Protective pads protect your vehicle and bike from banging into one another. These are placed between your bike and SUV. Moreover, you can also position them between 2 bike racks. 

These act as cushions and prevent any damage due to bumps on the roads. Additionally, protect-o-pad separates bikes from one another.

Benefits of Using Saris Bones Bike Racks

BikeVersatile Fitting

Saris bones ex racks can accommodate numerous kinds of SUV models. The additional attachments like ratchet straps, hatch hugger, and more allow further customization for use in various frameworks of cars. 

In addition, the design of the rack offers convenience for use in different cars. The company strives to develop and improve new racks designs for a more customized experience. The latest techniques prevent contact with the legs with most spoilers.

Convenient Arm Design and Anti-Sway Cradles

An arced arm allows its users to hang bikes without interfering with handle placement. With a straight and flat arm, it would be challenging to keep multiple cycles together due to the spatial configuration of the front wheel. 

In addition, uneven heights allow a better fit and more minor damage to bikes. The anti-sway straps limit the movement of the rack and hold the bikes firmly in place.

Easy to Install and Durable

Most racks are by saris bones – trunk mount, hitch mount, and roof-mount racks – are easy to install since they are lightweight. Moreover, most of the rack is pre-assembled and must be attached to the vehicle. 

Hence, there is no age limit for installing the bike rack. Even kids can do it. However, it should be done under the supervision of an adult. 

These racks are of premium quality and if taken care of, they last long. You can also carry huge bikes on these racks. Regular maintenance and cleaning of the rack with correct solutions make it even more durable. 

You can get them maintained at the center. The quality of those services is par excellence and adds to the rack’s durability. 

You can compare 2 bike rack materials by buying the original and a duplicate. You will surely find a huge difference.

Refunds and Warranty

The company offers a limited lifetime warranty when purchasing originals from the company’s website. Moreover, you get a full refund within 30 days of your purchase if you are not satisfied with the product. 

Hence, you get a chance to measure the effectiveness of the product and take a call of keeping it accordingly. Furthermore, we recommend you use the official website to buy racks to prevent spam fraud and abuse.

Cleaning and Maintaining the Bike Rack

Bike and catIt may sound insignificant, but bike racks last longer when maintained properly. Just as you keep your car clean, you must also wash the bike carrier. To keep your rack in a top-notch position, follow the guidelines described in the manual that comes with your order of saris bones ex.

In general, clean the rack frequently with mild soap or detergent. Washing with a bike wash solution also works. Additionally, you can use Turtle Wax to polish the surface of the saris trunk-mount rack.

Next, lubricate the mobile parts of your saris bones bike rack. Some elements, such as the arms of the clamps and locks, require frequent oiling to prevent them from rusting. 

Lubricating these delicate parts will prolong the life of the bike rack. Moreover, your rack will be well-maintained for the next time you open it for use. 

Keeping all the bike rack parts together once you dismantle them after use is also essential. Losing even one element can jeopardize your entire setup. 

Hence, keep each piece you remove in a safe box while disassembling. This step will prevent you from losing even the tiniest part of the assembly. 

Be careful to put all the keys within the locks and hook the screw back on the bike rack. Then, place the extra straps with the rack or attach them to it. 

This might seem unimportant. But trust us, it will help you when you open up the rack for your next journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which is the correct bike rack for my SUV?

As per our research, an ideal bike rack for an SUV is the hitch rack. For most cars, using the roof rack is perfect. But since SUVs are tall and its roof is challenging to access, loading the bikes onto them may be daunting. 

2. How many bikes can I transport at a time? 

Refer to the weight allowance per bike mentioned in the manual. The transport of a single bike is feasible with only a single rack. 

Hence, to carry multiple bikes, you need to purchase additional racks. For a trunk-mount bike rack, the company recommends taking only 2 cycles. However, with a hitch-type bike rack carrying about 4 bikes is possible. 

3. Can the racks be taken through the car wash?

No. Do not take the racks through the car wash. It can damage the racks as well as the car.

4. What if the racks for my car’s model are not listed? 

If racks for your SUV are not listed, there is no right fit for bike racks for your car. Under such circumstances, try using hatch huggers and extra straps for a customized fit. They can help adjust the rack to some extent. 

As an alternative, you can go to the service center of your vehicle and inquire whether or not they can help you install it.

5. Is buying a bike rack necessary to transport bikes? 

A bike rack is an inexpensive yet valuable object. It is not mandatory to purchase a bike rack. But having one ensures the safety of your bike and car. 

With that being said, it is important to ensure the correct installation of your bike. Improperly fastened bike racks may loosen and cause accidents when you take rough roads.

6. How much warranty does Saris bones offer on bike racks? 

Saris company offers a limited lifetime warranty on products purchased from their website. However, the saris bones ex racks are of high quality and rarely require redemption of the warranty. 

7. Does buying from the company website have any benefits?

People who purchase from the company’s website are offered a 30-day refund policy. If you are unsatisfied with the bike rack or any other product you buy, you will get a full refund. 

Moreover, you get free shipping if your order slides over $150. You can protect against spam fraud if you buy these products from the official website.

8. Does the rear window view get affected by a hitch or trunk-mounted racks?

The view is compromised to some extent. However, if you follow the guidelines to place the racks, you should not have major problems viewing from the rear window.


SUV with roof rackSaris bones bike racks provide the best quality racks for an SUV. Saris Bones offers more options on their website based on the model of your SUV. Moreover, the process of installation is quick and effortless. 

You can fasten the rack to the roof, trunk, or hitch. If you are unsure about its installation, you can log in and continue to YouTube for videos that show the process live. Carefully pick the rack that best suits the model of your SUV. 

Opt for the saris bones trunk-mount bike rack if your SUV fails to provide a hitch. It is of the best quality and price.

Depending on your settings of cargo placement, you can purchase additional accessories to hook your bike rack. For example, some models of cars require hatch huggers. These hatch huggers replace the mounting straps and allow a further customized fit. 

You can buy the accessories at an additional cost from the company’s website. In addition, if your road route seems rough, buy anti-sway cradles to help limit the movement of the cargo and bikes. These additional purchases are beneficial in the long run. 

Saris bones trunk racks are the ultimate quality racks available at an affordable price for transporting bikes. Place and remove your bikes from the racks quickly and effortlessly with saris bones bike racks and have fun.