With the cargo area, engine, and thule gear pod all on the back of my Vanagon, I wanted to shift some of the weight forward, so I’ve installed a Saris Bones bicycle rack in a way that the manufacturer never intended.
I drove around bumpy Brooklyn streets all day with a bike on there, plus a bit of highway driving, and everything still seems as tight as it was before. My only concern is that the top straps might slide down, so I’m toying with the idea of putting a big-ass pop rivet through them, but I hate making holes in the van.
It did require two bungee cords to keep the front wheel from swinging around and generally damp out lateral movement, but this is not the rack’s fault; I have a full-suspension bike and had to move the hanger arms pretty close together to get it on there. They sell a thing that goes from seat tube to stem for hanging girls’ bikes and full suspensions, but I’m going to try a giant turnbuckle before springing $25 for each of those.
There’s a cable lock looped through the tow loop and through the aluminum tube that forms the center of the rack. When I’ve got bikes on there, it’s threaded through the frames too.