Bicycles Racks For Cars
Allen Sports Tension Bar Bicycle Cross-Bar Adaptor, Model 900B
Bicycles Racks For Cars are aowsome. I have tried a few different bike top bar adapters:
Yakima- solid, strong, well-built…but no internal bungee, locking arms swing upward, which is not the most convenient and has an exposed nut that can catch on bike rack straps.
Swagman- Locking arms swing out (not up), which is more convenient when attaching to your bike, and overall, it will do the job…but it has a very thin internal bungee that offers very little resistance, so I question its effectiveness.
Saris- This one is probably my favorite because it has no swinging arms. The locking mechanism slides open and closed on the bar, which takes a little getting used to, but you get used to it quickly. It is as solid and sturdy as the Yakima, and like the Yakima, it does not have an internal bungee, but they both have an internal “stop” so that the two sides of the tube cannot be pulled apart.
Now for the Allen. At the lowest price point of all of the above adapters, I think this bar is easily the best value. You just need to know what you are getting.
First of all, it has what appears to be a large internal metal spring, which provides a very strong resistance, making it the only bar I tested that had absolutely no movement when attached to the bike. This makes it incredibly stable.
As for the issues that some reviewers have pointed out, the metal lock pin on one end of the bar will probably scratch your bikes paint at some point. However, if your bikes handlebar post or seat post are not painted, this will obviously not be an issue for you. Some who do have these bike parts painted have come up with ways to cover the pin (electrical tape, hear shrink wrap, rubber tube, etc.). For me, I used a heavy duty rubber cable wrap that is split on one side. I cut it to size, and it easily wraps around the metal pin to protect the bikes paint.
One safety issue I have read about is that the metal clip that secures the pin in place can loosen and come off, which would release the pin and the bike would drop. As far as I can tell, the vast majority of people do not have this problem. I can see how over time, pulling the clip across the end of the bar to hook in on might loosen it, but I think it you’re aware of it, an occasional squeeze of the clip is an easy way to make sure it stays tight. Also, a simple nylon wrap or short bungee cord could remove any doubt.
The other thing about this adapter bar is that the locking process (lining up and passing a pin through two holes, then pulling the clip over to the other side to lock the pin) a little more cumbersome than all the others that require a simple swing or slide to lock. Add to this the other placement of a rubber wrap around the pin and may a bungee cord around the locking clip, and it will take a little more time to put on and take off this adapter.
I feel that even with these minor shortcomings, the Allen adapter bar is an excellent product. The lower price makes up for the slightly less convenient application.Promised Review By bcab17