Axis Aluminum: Not Lighter than Air, But Pretty Darn Close

Axis Aluminum: Not Lighter than Air, But Pretty Darn Close


This fact always seems like a total shock and has taken a long time for me to accept – I'm not getting any younger. Or any taller. For years, I've tried to ignore, push against, or mock this fact, and the results of these actions have ranged from foolish to dangerous – though always slightly hilarious. But now I'm coming to grips to this – wider bike seats are looking more appealing; elevator vs. stairs is a more appealing option; and enthusiastically going for 'one more' is a less appealing option. So, I'm stating for the record that I'm getting older and I'm remaining small. And, to really get personal here, I'm also not very strong.

With this acceptance of my reality, I've also realized that I'm not alone – MOST people in the world are not that young, not that tall and not that strong. In fact, we design our bike racks for people just like ME. Yes, it helps a lot that I'm on the development team, and the designers LOVE to watch me use products for the first time (it's not pretty, but at least we can all get a good laugh). I'm a regular consumer who likes to bike and is independent (read: stubborn) enough to not want to ask anyone for help getting my bike rack out of the garage and putting the rack on the back of my car. For all these reasons, one of my all-time favorites of our Saris car racks is our Axis Aluminum 3-bike rack.

The reasons for my rack love are clear – this beauty is light, I can install it quickly and easily by myself, it's easy to put my bikes on it, and it's light and easy to remove. Did I mention that it's light and easy?!?

Just how light is the Axis Aluminum? It weighs a mere 14.5 lbs – that's 14.5 lbs ALL IN. To put this into perspective, I asked our engineers how many balloons it would take to lift one Axis Aluminum. They told me that it would take 470 balloons worth of helium to lift the Axis Aluminum. I can picture that – Up style visual of the Axis Aluminum floating away by a bunch of colorful balloons (without the hidden Boy Scout stowaway). Then they went all enginerd on this, and qualified that to actually lift the rack PLUS the balloons and 2 ft. ribbon, it grew to 1,370 balloons. Woah. Common sense tells me the weight of the materials (rubber balloons + ribbon) of 470 balloons and ribbon is harder to lift than the Axis Aluminum bike rack alone. So, imagine one big balloon the size of 470 little ones and up goes the rack.

Before I knew it, I was off on a quest to find out what else could lift the Axis Aluminum, and I learned that one North American Bald Eagle could lift the Axis Aluminum and carry it off to its nest. That's cool!

And that's not all. Carrying the Axis Aluminum is as light as carrying:

  • 2 gallons of milk
  • A 12 pack of bottled beer 
  • 148 pack of size 4 diapers
  • An 11-week-old chocolate lab puppy

These are all items that I happen to have vast experience toting around. And carrying most of these items has never been as easy, nor as fun as taking out my Axis Aluminum and loading it onto my car because the ease of installing this rack on my car means that I have more energy in the reserves to keep up on the ride. And, at my age, I need all the help I can get.

How important is a lightweight rack to you? Let me know if I'm alone in my acknowledgement that I love a light and easy car rack. And, as always – keep riding my friends! #longfortheride

By Sarah Reiter, Product Manager