Now owned by the Saris company, Graber Outback bicycle racks are strong and durable, allowing the user to quickly attach multiple bikes to a vehicle's hitch or trunk for transport. A Graber rack is a great starting point for cyclists new to transporting their bikes by car as it comes fully assembled, simply requiring the owner to attach it to the car.
Clean the surfaces of your vehicle that will come into contact with the rack and remove any debris that might have gotten on the rack's foam pads.
Spread the rack's foam pads apart as far as possible on the rear leg.
Adjust the rear leg of the rack to one of five positions by pressing in on its adjusting levers while lifting the rear leg then releasing the levers so it snaps into place. The higher your vehicle the higher the position will be. For large vehicles such as SUVs you will choose the #5 position. For small vehicles such as sedans you will use the #1 or #2 position and for station wagons and other mid-sized cars you will select the #3 or #4 position.
Set the rack on the rear deck of your vehicle with its front leg resting on the bumper.
Attach the rack's upper hook straps to the top hinge line of the car, which will be under the upper lip of the trunk door.
Attach the lower hook straps to the lower edge of the trunk, in between the tail lights. For some vehicles you may need to attach the lower hook straps inside the trunk then close the trunk on top of them.
Attach the side hook straps on each side of the trunk or above the trunk's upper bend.
Tighten all the hook straps evenly, removing slack until they are taut.
Shake the bike rack to see if it moves. If it moves, re-tighten the straps.
Brace your thumb against the rack's arm cover and pull out on the handle.
Raise the rack's arm a little above the horizontal line and release the handle. You should hear the rack's pins click into place, engaging the arm in the erect position needed to hang bikes from it.
Set up to three bikes on the notches of the arm, switching up the direction of the handle bars for efficient and secure storage. Place the cross tube of each bike in the hold-down saddle of its corresponding notch.
Cover the inner pedal of the first loaded bike so it doesn't scratch your vehicle while you drive. Graber Protect-O-Pads are recommended though any securely tied, thick cloth, rubber or other soft material should work.
Assess the rack's clearance with the loaded bikes. It must be at least 12 inches off the ground.
Items you will need
- Saris Graber Outback (also known as Guardian 3 or 2) trunk rack and all its included component parts including six hook straps
- Graber Protect-O-Pads or other material to soften pedals
- Do not attach the rack's upper hooks to anywhere but the top hinge line. Avoid hooking to glass, unsupported plastic or the roof rack.
- If you own a square-back vehicle, it is important to attach the side hook straps in line with the car's aluminum cylinder.
- Be sure to stop over and check your bike rack after 30 minutes of driving to make sure all the hook straps have been correctly attached and the rack is still tightly secured to the vehicle.
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