A bike rack that sucks – in a good way
By Ben Coxworth
November 10, 2010
If you’ve ever tried to install a rooftop or rear-end bike rack on your car, then you’ll know what a hassle it can be. You have to put the thing together, carefully line everything up, run the hooks under your roofline or hatch, then try to tighten it all down simultaneously so everything doesn’t get pulled to one side. According to the folks at SeaSucker, however, their racks attach and come off in seconds, thanks to an attachment system that involves nothing but rubber cups.
The bike racks are a spin-off of SeaSucker’s marine products, which are used for attaching things such as rod holders and diving racks to boats. The company is quick to point out that their system uses vacuum cups, as opposed to suction cups. What’s the difference? Suction cups are the generally-unreliable little things that are used for sticking aquarium heaters to glass, translucent decorations to windows, and things like that. Vacuum cups, on the other hand, attach themselves to smooth surfaces using a built-in pump with enough force to allow people to climb up the sides of buildings.
To use the racks, you moisten the underside of each cup, put it in place, then click on the pump button to suck it down. To remove it, you just lift a tab to release the air. The pump button also has a red line which will start to become visible if the cup loses pressure after being attached for a while.
The racks are available in rooftop, hatchback, trunk, or pick-up bed configurations, and hold one to three bikes, depending on the rack model. The company also offers a rather clever work stand, that consists of a traditional bicycle frame clamp attached to a mount that sucks onto the wall.
SeaSucker bike racks are available from the company website, at prices ranging from US$146.99 to $629.99.
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