I am new to all this - got a bike as a retirement present and bought a Saris Bones 2 bike rack. It seems to me as it is just clip on it could be stolen while I am happily off riding my bike - is this a serious risk or am I just being paranoid? If it is, any solutions?

saris 2 bike trunk rack

  • Depends on the design of the rack. One could use a piece of flexible steel cable to tie the rack to something inside the truck, but unfortunately such cable is easy to cut. (Which makes me wonder why no one sells cut-resistant cable, but that's a different issue.) – Daniel R Hicks Apr 8 '18 at 13:35
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    Just ride your bike and leave the car at home? – Criggie Apr 8 '18 at 19:52
  • Park beside other vehicles with nicer racks ? – Criggie Apr 8 '18 at 23:08
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    Edited to add manufacturers photo of the rack because I thought it was a pannier rack and not a car rack when I read the question. – RoboKaren Apr 8 '18 at 23:35

The metal brackets that clip on the edges of the trunk lid cannot be removed when the trunk is closed and locked, so no-one is going to casually unclip the rack and walk off with it.

I suppose someone could lever the brackets out, but that would damage the trunk lid and surrounding bodywork, so you would have a bigger problem and an insurance claim.

Also the straps could be cut, but what is the point of stealing a ruined rack?

  • The straps are easily replaced if cut... – R.. GitHub STOP HELPING ICE Apr 8 '18 at 17:03
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    I have the rack the OP asked about. I don't have any problem removing the rack even with the trunk closed. ::shrug:: – compton Apr 8 '18 at 23:26
  • I've had my bike rack stolen by someone who cut the straps. Presumably they'd replace the straps. – jiangty Apr 8 '18 at 23:41
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    @compton I was basing my answer on my Yakima rack. – Argenti Apparatus Apr 8 '18 at 23:53
  • @ArgentiApparatus The Yakima rack sounds better, maybe I should have gotten that one. – compton Apr 9 '18 at 0:13

Nothing is theft proof for a determined thief. The best you can do is make more difficult to steal than a similar item close to yours. If your rack is hitch mounted a small cable looped through the chain eyelet or a hitch pin lock should be sufficient. A trunk mounted rack can be secured in a similar method. Attach a length of cable to a block of wood. String the cable through the rack and place the block of wood in the trunk. The rack cant be removed unless the trunk is opened. You could also remove the rack and store it in the trunk while you are riding.

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    +1 for the suggestion of hiding the rack in the trunk - for me it seems the only reasonable solution. – Mike Apr 8 '18 at 18:47
  • I have this exact rack. I just take it off and put it in the trunk while I'm riding. With practice, it only takes 5 minutes at most to put it back on. I think the upgrade path is to get a trailer hitch and a hitch rack that can be secured with a chain. – compton Apr 8 '18 at 23:24

Taking it off and put it in the boot is the best protection, however if someone is prepared to steal the rack off the boot, they are just as likely to break into the car and help themselves to its contents.

You could add a steel cable requiring bolt cutters to deter the thief but it won't stop them. If the bike rack is harder to steal than just breaking into the car (which is trivially easy for those that don't care about damage) it is as secure as possible. To prevent damage to the car and associated costs, you may be better to let them get the rack.


Make it so nobody would want to steal it. Paint it Pink! And who is going to go walking down the street with a pink bicycle carrier? Not only is that embarrassing, but anyone who can see it would take extra notice of the guy. Because you have got to want to know what guy has a pink bike carrier.

Of course if it was a girl thief then the pink carrier might not be so out of place, but it still will get noticed. (although I think the likelihood of a girl bike carrier thief is a lot lower than a guy)

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    -1 for the ridiculous sexism and the assumption that the asker wants an embarrassing bike carrier on the back of their car. – David Richerby Apr 11 '18 at 0:08
  • As a woman, I don’t mind. I mark many of my tools in bright pink to deter theft. – RoboKaren Apr 11 '18 at 0:25

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