I need to transport an "open frame" bike on a Saris Bones 3 car rack. This is the bike - http://arragons.com/online-store/bikes/hybrid-bikes/ridgeback-element-open-frame - and this is the rack - http://www.wiggle.co.uk/saris-bones-3-bike-rack/.

I'd like to like to know whether I need to shell out for one of these bars - http://www.wiggle.co.uk/saris-bike-beam-bar/ - which create a temporary top tube for ladies bike. The top tube on the bike in question doesn't seem that low so I might get away without the bar.

What would the effects of not using a bar? I've read that these bars are necessary for ladies bikes, but why if all it means is the bike sits more level? Will the rack be unstable? Will it mean other bikes won't fit on the rack? etc etc

  • 1
    At first glance, it appears that you should be able to make that bike fit, so long as any other bikes on the rack don't interfere. But sometimes you have to be a little creative. I've seen bikes hung upside-down, etc, to make them fit. Commented Oct 13, 2013 at 22:14
  • I've had a Saris Bones in the past and used one of these bars. Having the bar certainly made life easier, especially when carrying 3 bikes on it. Basically the more "regularly" the bike sits on the frame, the easier it is to fit three bikes together.
    – PeteH
    Commented Oct 14, 2013 at 7:30
  • @DanielRHicks thanks. I've also heard of people tying rope between seat post and stem as a makeshift top tube!
    – barry
    Commented Oct 15, 2013 at 15:05

2 Answers 2


It depends on the exact size. To figure it out, you'd need some detailed measurements. If it fits, there's really no problem.

It's more likely a problem with a "ladies" (low top tube) bike if it's smallest size and/or if the frame is sized for a suspension fork.

Look at the picture of the bike. See how the distance between the top tube and the down tube is quite narrow up by the head tube? It's possible that with the smaller sizes of this bike, there isn't enough room to fit both of the bike rack's posts inside that triangle.

However, that bike comes in 3 different sizes. The bigger sizes have a longer head tube and a longer top tube, so there's more room.

If the bike fits on the rack without that "beam" bar, there's really no significant problem. There won't be any rack stability issues, since the weight of the bike really doesn't change much with that tilt. The handlebars probably won't tilt far enough to hit anything. It's possible that it will interfere with fitting 3 bikes on the rack, since the rear wheel will be up where the bike next to it's handlebars need to go.


I have two daughters and my wife, so 3 girls bikes. I am able to easily load on my Totem Pole Bike rack. The bikes are hung vertically by the front wheel. No need for the adapters.

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