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.
5 thoughts on “Saris Bones bike rack front-mounted on a Vanagon”
Ha, I used to make those bike racks at my old workplace in Oconomowoc, WI. We shipped them everywhere…even overseas. Apparently they were popular in the Asian market.
Small world…I myself was made in Milwaukee and raised for 7 years in Pewaukee!
I was made in Milwaukee.. lived there 17 years.. and moved out here to Ashippun ( 10 miles North of Oconomowoc )
Got pictures of bike rack on front of Vanagon?
Oops – some older photos got lost during computer housekeeping. I’ll try to restore them, but the front-mounting seemed hard on the bikes, and blocked our view, so we changed that after a week on the road.
We ended up putting it on the rear hatch, where it worked very nicely. This made it a major pain in the neck to open the hatch because of the weight of the bikes, but we rarely needed to open it, and the bikes rode high enough that I could get at the oil/coolant hatch behind the license plate. Also that made it convenient to secure them with a locked cable through one of the tow loops under the rear bumper.
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