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Does This Bike Rack Fit My Car?
Step-by-step instructions for how to use the Saris Fit Guide for trunk racks.
The most frequently asked question we get is some version of: does this bike rack fit my car?
The fit of a trunk rack has to do with a handful of variables, including:
- How the rack connects to the car
- How the bike weight load is supported
- The shape of the trunk and bumper size
- The materials used to make the vehicle
- Design of the trunk, including the presence of spoilers and slope
Understanding how these elements interact is crucial in determining if a bike rack is a fit or not. That’s where the Saris Fit Guide comes in. Complete with vehicle-specific fit notes, the Saris Fit Guide is the go-to resources for all questions regarding trunk rack fits.
Here are step-by-step instructions for how to use the Saris Fit Guide:
For our example, we'll stay in our home-country to check the fit of a Toyota Camry 4-dr Sedan from 2019 for a trunk rack.
In our example, we find ourselves on the trunk rack catalog.
The next most common question is: can I see the rack on my car?
In many cases you can see a photo of a specific Saris bike rack on your car, and in some you cannot. We have thousands of fits in our database and photos for many, but not all.
If there’s a photo of your vehicle model, you’ll see it next to the Vehicle Fit Notes. Looking again at our example, the Bones 3-bike shows a See It On Your Vehicle option. Click on the magnify glass to enlarge the photo.
What do these Vehicle Fit Notes mean?
The length and content of Vehicle Fit Notes vary from rack-to-rack and vehicle-to-vehicle. These notes are here to help you properly install the rack. They also let you know if you’ll need any additional accessories to fit a trunk rack to a sedan, SUV, van or hatchback.
Here’s a brief explainer on what the Saris Fit Guide Vehicle Fit Notes mean:
- Place lower feet into the license plate well. This means that the feet of the rack will overlap with the license plate a little bit on either side. It is okay. This is the approved fit of the rack.
- Part #3035 Hatch Hugger required. Hatch Huggers are a trunk rack accessory that may be required to allow for approved fits on certain vehicle models. If Hatch Huggers are not used when recommended, the fit is no longer approved.
- Place lower rack feet on bumper. Installation instructions for the Bones EX and Bones state to put the lower rack feet on the trunk face, except when recommended. If your vehicle displays this fit note, place the lower rack feet on bumper instead of the trunk face.
- Upper strap should be placed over the leg. The Bones EX trunk rack has a strap holder on the upper leg. Use this strap holder for the upper strap if instructed (see photo below for reference).
- Disable/do not use rear wiper when rack is installed. If your vehicle has a rear wiper, you really don’t want use it when there’s a rack in the way.
- Do not open trunk with rack installed. This fit note is true for all approved fits. Please remove your bike rack before opening your vehicle’s trunk or hatch. And yes, this is still true even when there is no bike on the rack. Opening your trunk with a bike rack still attached – loaded or not - can bend the hooks, or worse, damage your trunk.
Close-up of the Bones EX upper arm and strap holder.
Frequently Asked Follow-Up Questions
Discovering which bike racks fit your vehicle is only part of the process. If other questions arise, our Bike Rack FAQs may have you covered. Here’s a quick run-down of some of the most common follow-up questions regarding bike rack fits:
- Q: What’s the difference between the Bones EX and the Bones trunk racks? They look the same to me, yet my vehicle is only an approved fit for the Bones EX.
A: The upper leg of the Bones EX is the key difference from the Bones trunk rack. The Bones EX’s upper leg is specifically arched to avoid contact with most plastic spoilers. By keeping rack straps off the spoiler, the bike load can be distributed through the rack’s contact points as designed and tested. Weight from a bike-toting rack on a plastic spoiler may damage the vehicle.
The need for the Bones EX arose with the prominence of plastic spoilers on many of the best-selling sedans, hatchbacks, and SUVs. With this unique upper leg, the Bones EX fits 20% more vehicles than the classic Bones rack. For comparison, the Bones EX fits 90% of the top vehicles sold in the USA, while the Bones fits around 70%.
- Q: Is it okay to put the foot of the bike rack on my windshield?
A: Yes. Each fit is tested for safety. If your vehicle has a large, glass surface area, such as a large glass hatch, and the Fit Guide says your vehicle make and model are an approved fit for the bike rack, then it is okay to place the rack feet on the windshield/glass hatch.
- Q: I don’t see any racks listed for my vehicle. Do you have any racks for my vehicle?
A: If the Fit Guide doesn’t list any trunk rack fits for your vehicle, then unfortunately there are no approved fits for your vehicle. This means the only type of Saris car rack compatible with your vehicle would be a hitch rack.
- Q: Can I transport 3 bikes on a 2-bike rack if the combined weight of the bikes does not exceed the recommended max weight of 70 pounds (aka: 2 bikes, up to 35 lb/bike)?
A: No. Weight limits are shown for individual bikes, and both total and individual limits need to be followed.
- Q: Can I take my Saris bike rack through the car wash?
A: No. Commercial car washes may damage a car bike rack (or vice versa). Always remove your car rack before going through the car wash.