Suction cups, for a bike rack? That’s like trusting your bottles to stay magnetically attached to your bike’s frame. Well that’s been done too, and, like the magnetic bottle attachment, the suction-cup bike rack from Florida based Seasucker surprised us. Mightily so! – By TREAD Editors
With a background in marine products, Seasucker developed a range of suction products that counter the need to drill holes in boats. Seems an obviously good idea. With this in mind, they developed a range of suction cup mounts in a variety of bike rack conversions too.
We had the Mini Bomber from the local agent GoCycling for a few months to try out. It’s a two-bike rack that can be used on the roof, a SUV boot or a hatchback. We used one of our editors’ small-scale SUV’s, a Mitsubishi Pajero iO. Much to his apprehension we also included his personal bike amongst the test bikes for the duration of the review. This was after the obligatory suctioning the cups to office doors and panels then hanging off them like giddy baboons, hey if 70-100kg of human can be held…
Photos: Dino Lloyd
Installing a Seasucker rack is pretty straightforward and it attaches to metal, glass or fiberglass surfaces. Clean the mounting area you choose on the car and, making sure the rubber suction cups are clean, start to pump the small suction lever until the white/orange band is no longer visible. This takes all of two minutes approximately and is straightforward. Once done, remove the front wheel, mount the bike via the front fork clamp and a Velcro strap on the rear (uprgradable with a ladder/ratchet fastener) and hey presto, ready to go.
Seasucker reckons any of the racks are safe at around 120Kph with weights up to 20.4Kg on each bike. There’s also a YouTube clip of them doing 225Kph around a race track as well as a car doing rally drifts on a dirt road.
We’re a little more law abiding than that, so we peaked at round 140kmh to be sure. And we carried bikes on the Mini Bomber on really rough dirt roads. This included a rocky road that required the Pajero to use low-range gearing to conquer.
Despite some apprehension, the suction system worked really well. We noticed no movement or shifting at all!
When it came time to remove the rack, it was a case of pulling a tab on the suction mount and the suction cup depressurising to slide off easily.
On longer journeys we’d recommend checking the pressure from time to time (you can check by monitoring the white/orange bands for colouration changes). We found though that the suction cups consistently held their pressure over days at a time through all kinds of weather. For added security there’s a padlock hole on the fork mount. Sea Sucker also sells a cable anchor that mounts into the door frame.
Overall we really couldn’t fault the usability and security of the system.
We’re impressed with the level of ingenuity and engineering of the Sea Sucker. It may seem gimmicky and pricey at first with the admin/monitoring over constant use, but there’s also large range to choose from that accommodates any bike, including those with thru-axles.
The cost of a tow bar and a standard two-bike tow-bar rack is generally higher than that of the Seasucker Mini Bomber we tested. Also useful if you fly and use hire cars as the Seasucker packs into a relatively small carry container.
PRICE: R7 999
CONTACT: (updated) Token Cycling SA – 011 465 4819
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*Originally published in TREAD Issue 37, Dec 2015 – All rights reserved