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Exterior Accessories Tips & Advice

Saris Bones for Tesla Model 3 Owners: Good Product, Bad Fit

Saris, though a popular bike rack lineup, doesn’t seem to be a preferable choice for the Model 3.

The reason? Their products come as a universal fit—they aren’t specifically manufactured for Teslas.

Based on the community’s experience, none of the Bones models fit the Model 3 properly.

The company’s website, though, claims that the Bones hitch racks will fit the Model 3’s body, but I didn’t find any owner actually using or recommending them.

Should you decide to go with it, know that it’ll be at your own risk.

The Good Thing About Saris Bones

Saris Bones Tesla Model 3

Saris Bones carries lightweight, durable, and stylish hitch racks that can carry 2, 3, or even 4 bikes.

Their lightweight makes them easy to maneuver around, install, or deinstall. Lower weight also goes in favor of your vehicle’s range.

Overall, Saris Bones’ customers review the product favorably. They loved how easy it was to install. Just attach 2 bolts and you’re done.

It sways and fits loose for a few customers, but it largely depends on the body shape of the car you own; it works great with some and disappoints others.

Customers also repeatedly admired the company’s customer service. They are friendly, reply quickly, and give satisfactory answers.

Though this item went great with other cars, will it be a similar case with Tesla? 

Read on to find out.

Note: Model 3 Performance doesn’t have a tow hitch. You’ll have to buy an aftermarket one to use this rack with your Performance model.

Pros

✅ Well-built products
✅ Easy installation
✅ Great customer service
✅ Available in 2-bikes, 3-bikes, and 4-bikes versions

Cons

❌ A few owners complained that the hitch fits loose.
❌ No evidence of it working well with the Model 3.

What Does the Community Say?

Saris has a great reputation in the bike rack industry. However, I found many Model 3 owners disappointed that it didn’t fit their cars.

A few owners who did try the Bones racks had a tough time maneuvering around after mounting them on.

Here’s a post by a Model 3 owner that gives some valuable insights:

I drove three bikes about 40 miles, to and from our destination today. I want to say that I wouldn’t recommend this solution for a few reasons. 

The first is that it simply doesn’t feel safe: I drove carefully at or slightly under the speed limit, avoiding potholes and imperfections in the road because I felt that the straps would pop off. It happened once en route when we hit a seam between new and old asphalt and I had to pull over and reattach a weight-bearing strap.

The second issue is definitely the risk to the paint.

Finally, placing the bikes behind the car disrupted the sensors, including the rear camera and ultrasonic sensors. It didn’t confuse autopilot, but I was getting constant pop-up messages about ELDA being disabled and false proximity detections.

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All things considered, though Saris Bones is a great bike rack lineup, I wouldn’t recommend using it with the Model 3. 

If you decide to go with it, do share your experience with us in the comments.

On the other hand, there are other great racks available on the market that work great with the Model 3 and have been tested and verified by hundreds of Tesla owners. 

Better Alternatives That Work

SeaSucker »

SeaSucker’s roof-mounted rack, as its name suggests, sucks into the roof of the Model 3 (or any other car you’d like to use it with).

Its working mechanism effectively rules out the chances of glass breakage as Tesla uses the same procedure to install glass in the first place.

Moreover, no metal interacts with the body of the vehicle, so the paint also remains intact. 

Many YouTube creators said great things about this product in their unbiased reviews. 

Here’s Scott of SD Tesla walking us through his thoughts and impressions of the SeaSucker bike rack on his Model 3:

Review starts @ 2:51.

“That’s good! But roof-mounted racks badly affect the efficiency of the car, don’t they?”

That’s absolutely right, but with a bit of creativity, this problem can be easily dealt with.

Here’s what an owner did to reduce the effects on efficiency as much as possible:

Saris Bones Tesla Model 3
SeaSucker’s bike rack placed closer to the rear area of a Model 3. Credit to voip-ninja.

The further back you place the rack, the lower the airspeed and the fewer the miles you lose in range.

Overall, considering its price point, functionality, and quality, I’d rule in the favor of SeaSucker anytime. 

Though on the higher-end cost-wise, this product is worth the investment.

Allen Sports 102DN-R »

The best advantage that Allen Sports102 offers is its price; it is 8–10 times cheaper than most of the aftermarket bike racks out there, including SeaSucker.

The company lists the compatible car models here.

Though Tesla isn’t included in the compatible cars list, many Model 3 owners have tested this particular model with great success.

Saris Bones Tesla Model 3
Allen Sports trunk bike rack on a silver Model 3. Credit to Bend.

Aside from a few owners reporting paint damage on their trunk lids, I didn’t find any major downside to this product. It fits perfectly, has a great quality, and remains stable—all in all, a greatbang for your buck.

To counter the paint damage though, I suggest you shop for some scratch protectors (don’t worry, they won’t cost you an arm and a leg).

With nearly 15,000 ratings and a 4.5-star average, this may be the best bike rack for price-conscious Model 3 owners.

Final Thoughts

As evidenced by the community’s experiences, Saris Bones is definitely not for the Tesla Model 3.

It’s a great product, but it’s just not a great fit.

On the other hand, the bike racks from SeaSucker are greatly preferred by many Tesla owners. They aren’t cheap, but they fit the bill.

And if you’re a price-conscious Model 3 owner, Allen Sports 102DN-R is a worthy alternative for you to consider.

By Zac Ludicrous

Mechanical engineer by profession. TSLA shareholder before the hype. EV enthusiast all day long. Zac enjoys learning about the future of battery technology, autonomy, and EVs. He considers Tesla Model 3 the most important vehicle of the 21st century -- and is in a quest to improve the ownership experience of every Model 3 owner he possibly can.

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