Saris Bones vs Saris Bones Ex | Trunk bike rack for hatchbacks, SUVs, and Sedans

Published by Bike Scientist on

Saris Bones Ex and Saris Bones majorly differ in compatibility. Saris bones are the flagship bike rack from Saris which was developed at least 25 years ago by leading designer Fabio Perdrini while Saris Bones Ex is a later development that evolved the existing Saris Bones to become compatible with almost 90% of the top 50 vehicles being sold int he USA. Both bike racks have further two options which differ in the maximum capacity of 2 versus 3 bike racks.

Difference between Saris Bones and Saris Bones Ex

Bones ExSaris Bones
CompatibilityCompatible with 20% more vehicles and those with spoilers as wellFits almost 70% of the top-selling 50 vehicles in the USA
Price10% More ExpensiveAlmost $220 without a sale
ColorsBlack, Blue, and RedBlack
Capacity2 and 3 Bikes2 and 3 Bikes
VehiclesSedans, Hatchbacks, and SUVs 
Weight11 PoundsLighter – 9-11 Pounds
Other specsRust-free, Injection Moulded Arms, Spring loaded ratchet100% Recyclable Material, Anti-sway
Bike SecuritySold SeparatelySold Separately
Max Load35 Pounds per bike35 Pounds per bike
Saris Bones versus Bones Ex

Saris bones, the flagship model, differ mainly in terms of price and compatibility from its latest counterpart Bones ex by Saris. The newer model can accommodate more types of SUVs, hatchbacks, and sedans such as the Honda fit sport which the previous one could not. Apart from that, it has a spring-loaded ratchet which helps it fit perfectly on the vehicle. The reason we believe conventional Saris Bones 2 and 3 continue is because of the price difference. Saris bone is cheaper. Also, the 2-bike Saris Bones version is lighter by 2 pounds which might make a difference to some people who have difficulty picking up heavier bike racks.

Differences between Saris Bones 2 and 3

The conventional popular models of Saris trunk bike racks, Bones 2 and 3, have most of the features in common. In this article, we will explore the few different features between the two and then see which one suits your bike rack requirements the most. We will also rate the security, aesthetics, capacity, compatibility, and value of money according to our Rack Score. 

Check other hitchless bike racks for cars and SUVs, with thorough comparisons

Saris Bones 2Saris Bones 3
Rack lock NoNo
Bike lock NoNo
DimensionsL:19.79 inchesW:8.75 inchesH:22.31 inchesL:22 inchesW:9 inchesH:20 inches
Bike rack weight11 lbs.12.23 lbs.
Load Capacity70 lbs.105 lbs.
Hitch requiredNoNo
Customer Satisfaction83%83%
PriceAround $215Around $220
Rack Score (Overall)7.85 8.1 

Rack score

The Rack Score or R score is a rating system that we have devised for reviewing different aspects of bike racks. Based on this, we rate the features, price, security, customer satisfaction, brand value, capacity, and aesthetics of a bike rack on a scale of 10. Once we have assigned a score to all these aspects, we come up with a total R score for the rack and use it to compare with other racks. In this way, you can make your decision easier. 

Rack Score comparison of Saris Bones 2, Saris Bones 3, Bones ex 2, and Bones ex 3

Saris Bones 2Saris Bones 3 SarisBones Ex 2 BikeSaris Bones Ex 3
Brand value 8888
Features 888.38.3
Security 6666
Aesthetics 10101010
Value for money 786.87.8
Capacity and Compatibility898.39.2
Customer satisfaction 8888
Total R score 7.858.18.28.2
Comparing Bike Rack Scores Across different models of Sarib bones
Bones Ex-2 Bike
Bones Ex 3-Bike

Brand value 

Saris is located in Madison, USA, and is almost 45 years old. Previously operating under the brand CycleOps, the company has been producing a lot of indoor exercise equipment along with bike racks. Currently, it is producing bike racks ranging from trunk bike racks to specialty bike racks such as quick-release traps designed for truck beds. Recently they have faced some financial issues because of ‘Covid whiplash’ due to which they produced surplus inventory owing to initial uplift in demand. Perhaps this is the reason they have good discounts on almost all of their bike rack. Apart from racks, they also offer bike trainers and advocacy. For the brand value, we give Saris an R score of 8. 


The Saris Bones 2 is a lightweight bike rack weighing only 11 pounds whereas the Bones 3 weighs a bit heavier at around 12 pounds. These racks have very strong frames and are designed in such a way that bikes can be separated on different levels. This prevents them from coming in contact.  Both racks have injection-molded arms that make them durable. They are rust-free so you won’t have to worry about weather changes. The car does not experience any scratches due to the rubber feet that rest on the vehicle. These racks can be used with most spoilers which makes them suitable for most cars. 

Bones Ex has the additional features of a spring-loaded ratchet arm and arc-style arms which make it stronger and come in blue and red as well. Not a huge difference but enough to score slightly higher than the regular Bones rack.

Since the racks are lightweight, they are pretty easy to install on the rear of cars. They can be mounted with straps without any tools. Both racks have foldable arms that can be folded down when the rack is not being used. This can save a lot of parking space. 

Both racks have an Anti-Sway build that protects the bikes. Also, they are highly adjustable racks that do not let the bikes wobble. For these features, we give regular saris bones 8 and bones ex 8.3


This security attribute means that there should be a locking system for securing the rack to the vehicle and a locking system for securing the bikes to the bike rack. While scoring the bike racks, we give high importance to security because while traveling, there will be a lot of times when you have to leave the car unattended. In such instances, you shouldn’t worry about the protection of your bike and rack. 

There is no way to lock the rack or to lock the bikes on these Saris Bones bike racks. The straps can be undone easily in no time. Since the racks are so simple to remove, this can be done by anyone which means that your racks and bikes would be at risk of theft. For such poor security, we give it an R score of 6. 

Saris Bones and Bones Ex both score high on trunk bike rack aesthetics

The aesthetics of a bike rack might not be the most important, but who would mind a graceful bike rack resting on the trunk of the car? The Saris Bone and Bones Ex have an impressive arc-based design. It is made with high-quality injection molded plastic and has a neat finish. The racks are lightweight and can be installed by one person. The construction is aesthetically pleasing and for this, we give both racks an R score of 10. 

Value of money 

The Bones 2 costs around $215 and accommodates two bikes. This means that for each bike you will be paying around $107. Now, this makes the rack expensive but it also has very helpful features so it will be worth the cost. On the other hand, the Saris Bones 3 is comparatively cost-effective. It can accommodate 3 bikes and costs around $220. 

So the cost of both products is almost the same which means that the per-bike price of Saris Bones 3 is much lower than its counterpart. With the same features and increased bike capacity, you can get Saris Bones 3 at almost the same price as the 2-bike version. We give Saris Bones 2 an R score of 7 and Saris Bones 3 an R score of 8. 

Moving onto the Bones ex 2 and Bones ex 3 we see them priced around 230 and 260. Not a big difference compared to conventional bones but still expensive and hence score at 6.8 and 7.8.

Saris Bones scores Ex highest on capacity and compatibility among trunk racks

The Saris Bones racks are compatible with a wide range of vehicles because of their adjustability. It works for hatchback cars such as the 2014 Mazda3, sedans such as the 2013 Mazda3, and minivans such as the 2005 Toyota Sienna. It can be installed on sedans relatively easily as compared to other cars. Installation on hatchbacks is a bit difficult as you will have to sort out the best angle of feet and arms. Also, you will not be able to use the back wiper. 

The Bones 2 has a capacity of 2 bikes and Saris Bones 3 has a capacity of 3 bikes. But according to most customers, it hardly fits 3 bikes. The frame design of the bike determines whether it will hold the third bike. For example, if you load 3 racing bikes, the rack will work fine but if you try you fit 3 mountain bikes, that might not be possible. 

You might also have trouble mounting a kids’ or women’s bike. Women or beach bikes do not have a bar across the frame and this makes them difficult to mount on Saris Bones. For these issues, we give an R score of 8 to Saris bones 2 and an R score of 9 to Saris Bones 3.

Are the buyers satisfied with this rack?

While ranking a rack, we give high regard to customer satisfaction. The Saris Bones racks are rated 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Out of 1,149 global ratings, 83% like the product and have rated it with 4 or 5 stars. For this, we give it an R score of 8. 


The Saris Bones 2 and Saris Bones 3 have different bike capacities. They have earned total R scores of 7.85 and 8.1 respectively. So if you want to carry 3 bikes you can go for Saris Bones 3 at almost the same price as the 2-bike version. These racks do not have a locking mechanism but you can devise your own security system and enjoy the useful features and aesthetics of these bike racks. 

How to install Saris Bones Ex

How to install Saris Bones Ex
Categories: Uncategorized

Bike Scientist

S Chaudhry is the founder and the first writer for BikesRacks. He covers almost all the bike reviews after doing a lot of secondary and primary (hands on) research on the products. Apart from that he is the author of a number of how to do articles as well on the website. He is an avid road bike cyclists who is dealing in a lot of areas related to biking. Currently he has gained experience fixing bikes to retailing accessories related to them as well. His eventual goal is to build an authority site on cycling and also become a profession bike fitter.