Sunday, April 6, 2014

Review: Seasucker Talon Bike Rack

Max wrote not long ago about the travails of mounting a bike rack on a coupe.

Unlike Max' dreamy little number which, thanks to advanced German engineering, includes an Integrated Rack Management System, as punishment for shopping for my cars on the bargain rack I have no such capability on my Japanese blue-light special. Further, while the BRZ forums abound with stories of people throwing their 55cm road bikes and correspondingly midget-sized mountain bikes in the boot (that's the trunk, for you Americans), my full-size road bikes have absolutely no chance of fitting back there without removing everything off the frame that can be readily removed. And that goes triple for the mountain bikes.

I live at the end of a half-mile of dirt which empties onto an unpleasant state highway, so most of my rides leave from work or a few locations between home and work. Lacking a good bike rack solution for the 28 MPG BRZ, biking has resulted in me opting for the 13 MPG pickup truck instead.

Yes We Can! (fit three bikes in the back seat of a pickup truck)
So I suppose you could argue that it was an intense desire to simultaneously save the environment and reduce America's dependence on foreign oil that prompted me to give the Seasucker Talon a try.
The plain brown box belies the genius held within
The seasucker is, as the name sort of implies, a suction-cup based bike rack.
OK, I understand "sucker", but why "sea"?
The company has a nice youtube tutorial for installing the rack, in which they throw things around quite a bit for no good reason. (There is also a video some guy driving a race car around a track with a seasucker on the roof. Best comment ever: "I hope you uploaded this to Strava."). But suffice to say, installation is about a 5 minute affair. In my case, since my car's roof has some curves and bends, the toughest part of the install was finding a way to fit those three suction cups on flat portions of the roof.
White showing: No suction
Each suction cup has a little integrated pump. When it shows white, that means insufficient suction. It takes maybe 10-15 pumps to get suction.
There's also a suction cup for the rear wheel, of course. In my case I had to make sure that the pedals would clear the back window. They did, barely.
Horizontal top-tube for that classic bike look.

Even with the bike on the roof, my car is still shorter than my truck.
Having the bike on the trunk lid is growing on me.
I've got a tall garage, so driving a car with a bike on the rack into the garage has never been a problem. But for many people that's a nightmare scenario. One potential benefit of the seasucker is that the overall height of the bike is a couple feet lower than if it were on the roof. So I bet many people could drive their cars into the garage with a bike on top.

So far I really like the sea-sucker. Though not everything is completely rosy.

  • Based on Amazon reviews, the company seems to have some major customer service "issues".. As in, they don't respond to customer concerns. That bothers me.
  • Unlike typical bike racks which are "install and forget", you do need to keep an eye on the Seasucker, making sure that the cups are suctioning
  • There is some periodic maintenance of the pumps required.
  • The seasucker is really designed to be removed from the car when not in transit. It could be stolen in, literally, about 3 seconds. Even with a bike attached.
  • Besides, without a bike on it, it looks a bit goofy.
  • Pricey. Over $200 for a rack that holds a single bike. Though not unreasonable if you're comparing to a 'rack system' that you'll use only for bikes anyway.
But as I use this a bit more, if it continues to perform as it has so far, then those concerns are ultimately not significant.

1 comment:

Max said...

I like it. I like the easy mount and removability feature. I suppose it kills any sunroof use, right?

Having said that, you won't be getting 28 mpg with the bike on top!

Request for next visual: Seersucker on top of the truck.