Author Topic: Product Review: SARIS Freedom Spare tire rack  (Read 1285 times)

PajEvo

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Product Review: SARIS Freedom Spare tire rack
« on: January 03, 2018, 01:46:35 PM »
Like many of you here, I'm a mountain biker. I've tried all manner of racks over the years, and have never really found that perfect solution. Hitch mounted racks allowed a nice platform, but you couldn't open the rear door. Roof mounted ones are a royal pain to access, not to mention they affect fuel economy and handling in winds. My fave has always been the spare mounted rack, but they usually hold a bike by the frame. Not great for expensive frames, and a royal PITA when your frame is a full suspension.

Enter the Saris Freedom Spare tire bike rack. https://www.saris.com/product/freedom-spare-tire

It begins with a plate/square tube that you attach behind your spare, using your existing lug bolts. Once it, and your spare are in place, the rack simply slips over the square tube and attaches with a (giant) single bolt.



The rack itself is the platform style, with a fold down arm, and can carry two bikes. The tires strap into wheel holders (adjustable in width) and the bike is held vertical by a well-cushioned adjustable clamp on the down tube. The cushioning even has a name, Cuscino, and is Italian for "pillow".  LOL



Now that you've mounted the rack and adjusted the wheel trays (this need only be done once, unless you're always changing up your bike), your bike(s) go on, wheel straps get fastened, downtube strap gets fastened, and you are good to go.



I carried a rather portly front suspension fatbike from Alberta, down through AZ, into California, and up through WA and Oregon before coming home. During this 7700km trip I had a roof-rack loosen off several times on rough roads, but not once did my Saris bike rack give any trouble.



Yes, before you say it, my bike was likely better protected by being in the slipstream of the giant bat ears on my truck's hindquarters.

« Last Edit: January 03, 2018, 02:08:55 PM by PajEvo »

PajEvo

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Re: Product Review: SARIS Freedom Spare tire rack
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2018, 02:03:28 PM »
So, in summary, this rack is a good option, esp if you use unconventional frame styles, or heavy bikes. Also good for rear access, which in a short wheelbase vehicle, is a must. The convenience of this rack is in the using of it, with bikes. When not using it, or in storage, it can be a giant pain. If you use your bike a lot, this rack will be great for you. If you are an occasional biker, maybe get the folding style, and deal with the inconvenience of attaching the bike when you need to.

There are clearly some factors to keep in mind, which I've covered in the CONS below.



Pros:
-Durable
-Carries all different bike types (even has a fat tray option for oversize tires, which I have),
-Has a fold down arm to make it (slightly) less obtrusive with no bikes onboard,
-Allows you to mount it offset (as I have done) if your spare is offset (Montero/Pajero), so your bike remains centered.
-Easily locked with a cable through the spare.

Cons:
-Heavy (33 pounds with no bikes onboard) and some might argue that you're shortening the life of your hinges with all that weight on the spare? I say bollocks, and have mounted heavy things on my gen1s' spares, my gen2s', and my gen3. Never had a hinge issue. But some say...
-Awkward to store. This thing is a giant tube with a large steel platform at the bottom, with plastic thingies on the ends. No way around it, this thing is a pain in the ass, once you've taken it off the truck. I haven't found a good way to store it yet, aside from just laying it against the wall and tripping over it.
-A clothesline hazard for short people, and a menace to society when left unladen on the truck. Doesn't fold flat like Thule and Yakima. Just sits there, like a giant metal tongue lolling out, looking to lick someone. The upside is there is only one (giant) bolt to remove, and then it can come off. So I rarely leave it there when I'm not carrying bikes. I'd prefer to lay it on the floor and trip over it. :D