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    TrunkZ bicycle rack for cars: Review and Verdict

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    Sagar Bhanushali

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    First Impressions

     

     

    Bicycle racks are something we almost never talk about because, well, they are not popular items. However, if you think about it, a bicycle rack is something that almost all ardent cyclists need and the TrunkZ bike rack is just the thing if you need to carry your bicycle on your sedan/crossover. It's the sort of apparatus that will either make you go, “that’s a great idea!” or “nope, cannot leave my expensive bike hanging off at the back”.  

     

    We decided to check out the TrunkZ rear mounted bicycle rack since it is the most popular affordable option among cyclists. It is known to be a sturdy rack that’s ideal for both city commute and long drives. Having used it for over two months on our test vehicles (including a sedan and a crossover), we would like to add that this rack didn’t throw up any nasty surprises. Barring a couple of niggles (more on that later), the TrunkZ works just fine as a budget rear-mounted rack. Here’s our full lowdown. 

     

    The rack rests on the vehicle’s boot lid or tailgate, and is held in place with multiple straps attached to the top and bottom of the boot or the hatch. To make it more stable, this TrunkZ model also comes with two additional straps that can be attached to the sides of the boot or the hatch. Since we have already covered the installation process in full detail (click here to read our step-by-step setup review), we will head straight to all the positives and negatives we encountered throughout the test.     

     

    So Good

     

     

    First things first, it may seem like rocket science to unbox the aluminium rack, unhook the top U arm and the bottom arm for the first time and place it over the boot, but in reality, it’s not difficult to install this rack. Following some confusion with the U arm and the bottom arm and with all the fumbling with the straps, it took me 30 minutes to set it up for the very first time. However, once you get the hang of it and get familiar with the ideal configuration for your car, it’s a fairly easy install and should take between five to ten minutes. 

     

    Once mounted correctly to the back of the vehicle, the TrunkZ sits sturdy and remains stable. The straps linking the rack to the car are easy to tighten. As we found out, the rack wouldn’t budge even after some heavy contact with the bicycle during the mounting process. 

     

     

    So how does it sit on the move, you may ask? 

     

    The hybrid bicycle that we mounted on the rack throughout the test was pretty firmly held there. This is thanks to the nylon strap (part of the package) that needs to be tied firmly through the front wheel, the frame and the rear wheel to restrict the swinging movement on the move. Now although this rack doesn’t come with any speed limit rating, it makes sense to use it within the speed limit of the given road.  

     

     

    The other good thing about this rack is that you can access your luggage even when it’s mounted to the boot-lid. Because it’s strapped to the top and bottom edge of the lid, you can open the boot by simply pulling up the top U arm. Now if you are wondering, the same cannot be done with the bicycle mounted to the rack – you ought to demount the bicycle before opening the boot. 

     

     

    No Good

     

    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. Also, the rubberised bike holders that hold the bicycle onto the frame do not have any locking mechanism, meaning you cannot really leave your beloved bike unattended on the rack. 

     

     

    There is a lack of space between bicycles in case you load two at a time. Unlike roof mounted racks which allow for some space between two frames, there isn’t much loading area which inevitably increases the chances of contact between the bikes over bumpy roads. This brings us to the other inherent disadvantage of all rear mounted racks and that’s the added weight they put on the vehicle’s parts, specifically the boot-lid mechanism. The combined load of two full-size bikes and the rack itself can put a bit of stress on the boot-lid or the tailgate over time.   

     

     

    The other major gripe I have with the TrunkZ or any other rear mounted rack for that matter, is the fact that it renders the car’s rear-view camera and parking sensors useless. As we found out in our test cars, the bicycle blocks the camera and constantly triggers the parking sensors as you engage reverse. 

     

     

    Speaking of blocking, visibility from both inside rear view mirror and the right side wing mirror is hampered when the bike is hanging off the rack. That said, the view isn't completely blocked and it isn't a big issue if we are honest.    

     

    Verdict

     

     

    At first it will take you a while to set it up and mount it firmly onto the car, but if you are someone who rides regularly, the TrunkZ rear mounted rack can be installed much quicker with each passing attempt. Its aluminium frame is light and the rack itself is compact enough to be stored inside the boot. More importantly, it does what it says on the box and holds the bike firmly even over long distances. Considering that they don’t really have much in terms of competition, the TrunkZ rear-mounted rack is the best option for cyclists looking to carry their bikes on a vehicle without spending a whole lot of money. It’s currently listed on Amazon India for Rs 5,990. Alternatively, you can order one through their official website at a slightly lesser price of Rs 5,490. 

     

    Photos by Kaustubh Gandhi 


    Click here to read our introduction and installation review story of this rack

     

    Specifications

    Frame material – Aluminium 

    Weight – 3.5kgs  

    Tube diameter and thickness – 30mm/2mm 

    Weight bearing capacity – 45kgs

    Warranty – One year 

     

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