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Last updated: May 16, 2022

Saris MTR 2-Bike Rack Review: Does It Really Work? (Summer 2022)

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By
Reviewed by
Reviewed by
Last updated: May 16, 2022
Rack Advisor is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links.
Ideal for:
  • Those who need to carry two bikes securely
  • Cyclists who want straight out of the box use
  • Those with a low roof line vehicle, lifting up the bike is needed
Key features:
  • Can accommodate a variety of bikes up to 60 lbs. each
  • Easy to install with minimum assembly
  • Supported with a limited lifetime warranty
Editor's Rating
9.6
out of 10
  • Functionality 9.5
  • Load Capacity 9.7
  • Durability 9.6
  • Ease of Storage 9.7
Users’ Rating
4.4
out of 5
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    4.4
    out of
    5
    142 Users’ Ratings
    • 5 stars
      46%
    • 4 stars
      46%
    • 3 stars
      6%
    • 2 stars
      2%
    • 1 stars
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Cycling is a popular hobby with over 45 million of us enjoying this activity in the US alone. However, many people don’t live in areas where we can simply bike into nature from our front porch. This means that you’ll need a reliable bike rack on your vehicle, and if you like to bike with a friend, it will need to support two bikes. Fortunately, the Saris MTR fits the bill. In this Saris MTR-2 bike rack review, we’ll explore this model in more detail to help you decide if it is the right choice for you.

Specifications

Mount
Hitch
Material
Aluminum, steel, plastic
Dimensions
52 x 20 x 13 in
Max. bike wheelbase
53 in
Max bike wheel diameter
20 - 29 in
Max tire width
5 in
Load capacity
Up to 60 lbs. per bike
Weight
42 lbs.

Review

Saris has been producing bike racks for over 40 years Trusted Source 40 Years of Innovation, One SUPERBones | Saris Recently we’ve taken a breath to reflect on our history and what led us to our big product announcement – the SUPERBones trunk car rack. www.saris.com , so it is no surprise that they produce innovative products. However, this product is not perfect, so here we’ll look at the functionality and performance of this rack in more detail.

Design and Functionality

The Saris MTR-2 is a relatively new bike frame that’s designed to carry up to two bikes without causing damage to the bikes and the vehicle. The MTR portion of the name stands for Modular Tray Rack, it’s a durable hitch mount unit that uses straps to secure the bike frame. Certain bike racks that use this system are not well regarded because the bikes can shift during transit and they may even rattle. But, the MTR-2 is different, the bike setup is not vertical, the mount is flat and it stretches from the car hitch. The bike wheels are clamped to the flat tray in a similar way to a roof or truck hitch.

The bike feels very secure when it’s clamped in-place because the bike is secured at the wheels. This orientation also prevents the lateral movement that can create the sway that loosens straps. This gives the driver extra peace of mind if they drive around sharp corners when transporting their bikes. As the name suggests, the MTR-2 is a customizable unit that can accommodate bikes with larger frames and wheels. This is possible because the bikes can be adjusted further apart which is great if you want to transport bikes of different sizes.

When you’re done using the Saris MTR-2, it simply folds flat to save space and reduce vehicle dray. This bike rack can accommodate a pair of bikes, but you can purchase extra trays to transport as needed. The MTR-2 system can carry up to 4 bikes if you buy the two extra trays which is a wonderfully flexible design. This system may change the way that you look at transporting bikes because you are in control of the carrying space.

Mount

Saris MTR 2-Bike Rack Review: Does It Really Work? (Summer 2022)

To mount the MTR-2 bike rack onto you car, you just need to slide it onto the hitch, fit the threaded hitch pin and tilt the rack in a downwards position

The MTR-2 comes almost fully assembled right out of the very large and heavy box. This bike rack weighs 55 lbs, it’s powder coated to protect the frame and it’s pretty easy to install. Simply slide the MTR-2 onto the hitch, fit the threaded hitch pin and tilt the rack in a downwards position. The end cap is then installed and an integrated wrench is supplied for this step. Now the anti-wobble unit is in place, the bike rack can be tightened and no extra tools are needed at this stage.

After the rack installation and the hitch pin positioning, it’s time to set the depth gauge. This is a post that you can adjust to make future bike rack installations easier because you won’t need to line up any holes. This is a classy feature, when you’ve completed this stage, install the rack until the hitch is touched and then you know it’s placed correctly.

The MTR-2 has the arms in the up position out of the box and they must be tilted down to use this bike rack. Pull the rectangular tab at the top and the arm will swivel down until it snaps into place.

This is a handy feature because the arms on many hitch racks can make it hard to negotiate tight spaces. Folding up the MTR-2 arms can make parking in a smaller garage much easier.

Load Capacity

The Saris MTR-2 bike rack can hold a pair of bikes out of the box and the maximum weight capacity of each bike is 60 lbs.

Bike Compatibility

Saris MTR 2-Bike Rack Review: Does It Really Work? (Summer 2022)

If you want this rack to fit smaller tires, you’ll need to adjust the tire cradle

The only real drawback to this bike rack style is that the wheel support cradle will only accommodate a certain size of wheel and tire. To make these fit a smaller tire or wheel, it’s necessary to adjust the tire cradle. This may seem like a hassle, but to their credit Saris has made this process easier with a single Allen bolt that’s stored in the end cap. So you will always have this little tool on-hand when you need to make an adjustment.

The plastic cradle is designed to stay in place even if the retaining bolt is removed and it doesn’t come away from the metal upright easily. The cradle can slide up or down the upright to reach other positions and the process is simple. Align the cradle to the holes, tighten the bolt and move on to the next upright. This only takes one minute for each side, but if you change bikes sizes regularly using the tool to complete this process can be annoying. So, this is a compromise to a tool-free solution, it works well, but frequent changes may be a drawback for some users.

The Saris MTR-2 can accommodate most fat bikes immediately and no extra adaptors are needed. The rack should fit wheels from 20” up to 29” in diameter with a tire width up to 5”.

The tire cradles and v-shaped channels make this rack work with standard road bikes and fat bikes equally well. The trays work well, they are long and that makes them an ideal choice for mountain bikes that can have a wheelbase up to 53” long.

Vehicle Compatibility

The Saris MTR-2 bike racks are designed to fit most vehicles and the company has a calculator on their website for you to check the compatibility. This tool is easy to use, enter the location, vehicle type, and the bike rack that you’re considering. Then click the “Find My Fit” button and you’re taken to a catalog page for the category of bike rack you want to check. On this page, you should see a banner heading for that vehicle and the information you need to check the compatibility.

Durability

The MTR-2 is made from American sourced aluminum and steel which can accommodate a bike up to 60 lbs. This is even more impressive when you consider that the average weight of a bike is only 17 lbs. The construction can withstand plenty of weight without breaking or bending. This frame is built to last and it comes with a lifetime guarantee.

Security

Saris MTR 2-Bike Rack Review: Does It Really Work? (Summer 2022)

The bike comes with some locks for extra safety

The Saris MTR-2 comes with some locks, they are sufficient to get started, but for extra safety, you may want to invest in some additional high-quality locks. The hitch pin has a dedicated yellow colored lock which prevents a thief from stealing the rack off your vehicle. Both supplied trays have an integrated lock cable which is kept in a holder and activated with a ¼ turn. The cables are only long enough to reach around the bike frame which makes the wheels vulnerable. At least a single lock extra locking cable will be needed to keep the wheels safe from theft. Another option is to use a comprehensive locking system to lock all the transported bikes together.

Warranty

All Saris products are supplied with a limited lifetime warranty that will protect against any defects found in the workmanship and materials. Some people have noted that their MTR-2 arrives with smaller components broken or missing. In every case that we are aware of these problems were corrected quickly and replacements were supplied. This warranty demonstrates that Saris has confidence in their well-engineered products which gives the purchaser extra peace of mind. Any warranty issues can be processed if the owner can contact Saris customer support by phone or email.

PROS CONS
  • The MTR-2 is customizable to carry larger bikes.
  • The system can accommodate two bikes right out of the box.
  • The bike stability is guaranteed.
  • A pair of extra trays can be added to hold a maximum of four bikes at once.
  • This frame will fold away when you don’t need it for easier storage.
  • The Saris MTR-2 extends out from the car.
  • You’ll need to work above shoulder height to install this bike frame.
  • The supplied locking cable doesn’t reach around the bike frame.

 

 

Conclusion

Hopefully, this Saris MTR-2 Bike Rack review has shown you that there are reliable and sturdy racks that can carry two bikes without breaking the bank. Although the MTR-2 does have some potential issues, it is easy to use and can be customized to carry larger bikes.

References

1.
40 Years of Innovation, One SUPERBones | Saris
Recently we’ve taken a breath to reflect on our history and what led us to our big product announcement – the SUPERBones trunk car rack.
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