What is it?
After running into some difficulties, wedging my bicycle onto the back of the car and invariably scuffing the leather seats and beige door pads, I realised it’s better to play safe and get myself a bicycle rack. Now there are some things that need to be ticked off the list when you are looking for a way to carry your bicycle around. To begin with, it has to be strong and keep the bicycle secure over the less than ideal roads that we have. Secondly, the rack ought to be small enough to store inside your car.
The TrunkZ universal bicycle rack addresses all these apprehensions and more. In this two-part review, we will be putting the rear mounted rack through some tests and gauge its functionality, durability and its flaws.
Part of the BikerZ line of racks for cars, the TrunkZ rear mounted rack can be fitted on to the back of sedans or hatchbacks/SUVs with a vertical tailgate. Its frame is made of aluminium and the whole thing can be attached to the vehicle with six adjustable straps and rubber protectors.
What’s included in the package?
The package includes the main aluminium frame rack, six adjustable straps, a spare 2.5 metre long bike tying strap, protective rubber beading, pedal protector, Allen key and an instruction manual. The rack itself is light and weighs around 3.5kgs but it is sturdy with a 2mm thick tube. The claimed weight bearing capacity, meanwhile, is 45kgs which means one can easily carry two adult bicycles at a time.
How do I fit it to my car?
Now although the aluminium frame comes fully assembled, attaching it to the car’s boot and aligning the bottom arm on the bumper is a little nerve-racking. Initially, the installation process had me briefly confused with the top U arm and the bottom arm, however, it’s just a matter of getting used to the rack’s layout which is fairly straightforward.
Once the bottom arm is down, the top U arm resting on the boot lid and the frame is in place, you can lock the whole thing by rotating the plastic handle clockwise to tighten up. This will help keep the U arm in contact with the boot lid and the bottom arm likewise.
At that point, the user needs to make sure that the bar that holds the bicycle is set at an angle of around 120 degrees (it should be directly proportional to the load). Getting the angle right is crucial because it will help push the load evenly on both the arms.
The next step includes strapping the rack down firmly with the adjustable straps. While you get six of them, it’s the pair on top that actually take most of the load besides the top U and bottom arms. The bottom and side straps have been provided for added stability. So it makes sense to pay a lot of attention while tightening the top straps to secure the rack.
The other important thing to remember is to tighten the straps in a way that they are at minimum distance from the boot lid. Even the slightest amount of slack will lead to the hooks slipping off the grooves which may loosen up the straps.
The side straps, as we found out, didn’t come across as much help, at least on our test car. The problem is that the metal hook is too thick to slip between the boot shut lines and may not work with most modern cars with an edgy boot profile.
The rack is capable of carrying up to three bicycles (two full-size and one kids’ size), however, we would recommend you limit it to two bikes. Regardless of whether you are carrying a mountain bike, a hybrid or a touring bike, the TrunkZ has got it covered. As for loading the bicycle, it’s just a matter of aligning the bike’s frame on the bar and hanging it using the rubberised bike holders.
The only potential downside here is that these holders do not have any locking mechanism - meaning you cannot really leave your beloved bike unattended on the rack. Also note, in case you are carrying a single bicycle, it makes sense to strap it via the middle holder for better stability.
Lastly, you need to set the front wheel perpendicular to the bicycle so that it touches the bumper. By doing that you will have enough leverage to strap the bike’s bottom half by using the additional strap that comes with the rack.
The ideal way to wrap and tie the bicycle is by running the strap firmly through the front wheel, the frame and the rear wheel, to restrict the swinging movement. All in all, installing the rack may seem like a task at first – in fact, it took me over 30mins the very first time. But once you get the hang of it and get familiar with the ideal configuration for your needs, it’s a fairly easy install.
Would it leave scruff marks on my car?
No, unless you install it eerily every time. Both the top U and bottom arms that are always in contact with the car are covered with foam pads to keep the paint safe. The hooks on the adjustable straps are also plastic coated for added measure. What’s more, you even get a foam pedal protector that you can use to cover the pedal that will face the boot lid.
Where can I buy one?
The BikerZ rear mounted bicycle rack is available on Amazon India for Rs 5,990 (click here for the listing). Alternatively, you can order one through their official website at a slightly less price (Rs 5,490).
Stay tuned for the full review including the verdict in the next month’s report.
Frame material – Aluminium
Weight – 3.5kgs
Tube diameter and thickness – 30mm/2mm
Weight bearing capacity – 45kgs
Warranty – 1 year
Pictures by Kaustubh Gandhi