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What is your experience with bike racks on the SLK-350?

  • I use a bike rack, and have no issues. It works great!

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I use a bike rack, and have problems with it (car damage, rack not stable, etc.)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I want to use a bike rack, but I'm afraid to on this car.

    Votes: 9 100.0%

  • Total voters
    9
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Discussion Starter #1
I went for a test drive in the 2012 SLK-350 this weekend, and I love the car! However, I also love cycling, and roughly twice a month I'll need to transport my bike 20 miles.

I have read a few posts on this forum regarding the use of bike racks. Some people had luck with Saris trunk-mounted racks. However, other people scratched their cars using the racks. Some were also worried about damaging the roof-stowing mechanism. The Mercedes manual even says that you shouldn't mount anything on the roof or trunk.

So I'm torn. I love the car, but I'm worried about purchasing a $60,000 vehicle that isn't compatible with my favorite hobby. Thus, I'd like to know more about your experiences with the SLK and bike racks.

Here is the poll:

1) I use a bike rack, and have no issues. It works great!
2) I use a bike rack, and have problems with it (car damage, rack not stable, etc.)
3) I want to use a bike rack, but I'm afraid to on this car.
 

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Premium Member
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1,149 Posts
I've not used a bike rack on the SLK but thought about it a few times and done the research. I can't really justify separate racks for each car, so make do with one for the sensible car. My reading of the comments on here is:

- People who use the Saris rack say it is great. Same for other roadster forums ie MX5 & BMW.

- People who have no experience of bike racks suck their teeth and say "I wouldn't do that if I were you".

If it was me I'd get a trunk rack, you don't have that as an option on your poll!

As for marking the paint, they don't seem any different to the hatchback racks I've used many times that haven't damaged paint. Just need to make sure the clips on the edge of the trunk and the other supports have a soft coating or neoprene insert. Also make sure the paint is clean of dirt before you put the rack on.

Obviously potential for paint wear will be higher at higher speeds and prolonged use, so start off carefully and check if the surface is getting marked until you have confidence in how fast you can go.

Obviously if detailing and a mirror finish is your passion then you wouldn't do it, but the evidence of hundreds of thousands of other roadsters and hatches with this sort of rack is that it seems to be OK for most people.

Enjoy it!

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edit to add ...

A google of "Saris bike rack paint scratches" brings up few reviews where people seem to say that obvious precautions with a soft neoprene sheet or similar prevents paint damage.

http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=saris+bike+rack+paint+scratch

http://www.mtbr.com/cat/accessories/bike-rack/saris/bones/prd_357577_98crx.aspx

http://www.rei.com/product/724094/saris-bones-3-trunk-rack

http://www.sciroccocentral.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=5564
 

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Administrator 2009 SLK 55 AMG/Founding Member 2006
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97,379 Posts
Jamesastro,

Welcome to the World’s Premier Mercedes-Benz SLK Community from Valrico, Florida!


Please update your location/vehicle (model and year) in your profile as it helps the members answer your questions which usually are based on that information.
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aka John
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13,012 Posts
Huge Saris fan, not used it on the SLK, but would not be worried at all. Just keep the trunk partition open so you don't accidentally drop the roof.
 

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Registered
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55 Posts
I just built a "Hidden Hitch" for my SLK that can't be seen with the bike rack not inserted, and utilizes a standard Yakima roof mount rail system.

I took it off after fab tonight, and will be painting it tomorrow. As soon as it is complete, (and I have enough posts to attach pictures) I will post some up here.
 
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