I don’t much care for putting my bike on top of a car. Bikes so transported tend to collect a fine coating of road grime that’s peppered by squashed bugs and dings from flying gravel. And then it rains.
Worse is the tendency to shear off the bike on low overhangs. Drivers are accustomed to their vehicle’s height, and sticking a bike up there increases clearance demands a lot. There’s scant time for some poor rider’s brain, fried from a playful 80-mile
hammerfest, to remember and slam the brakes before entering the local drive-thru (or the garage at home).
After a few, ahem, bad experiences, I’ve always carried my bike in my vehicle. So I was nervous when RockyMounts, a small, innovative rack company in Boulder, Colorado, sent me its new Noose SL system to test. I didn’t have a dispensable bike to perch
up there in harm’s way.
Still, the Noose SL intrigued me. Installing a conventional bike rack with its towers and rails isn’t a job I relish. (I didn’t like Lincoln Logs or Erector Sets when I was a kid, either.) But the Noose mounts quickly, in large part because it dispenses
with dedicated railsand towers. Simply clamp the bike tray to the vehicle’s existing roof rack and away you go. it’s claimed to fit 98% of racks “right out of the box.”
Simple and Ingenious
The mounting system is simple and ingenious. It consists of a 2-part clamp, secured with allen bolts, that sandwiches the vehicle’s rails and simultaneously holds the bike tray. Slipping is prevented by rubber strips similar to those that keep a cyclecomputer
mount from rotating around the handlebar. The front wheel comes off and the fork is held by a typical quick-release skewer.
It took only 15 minutes to mount the rack initially. Removal and re-installation was even faster the second time. In fact, the Noose SL is so easy to mount that you could store it in the garage and put it on top only as needed.
My bike seemed secure although it wobbled side to side a bit more than it would on a standard rack with its own towers. This is inherent in the design because it depends on the vehicle’s rack rails. My bike would have been more stable on top of something
with stiffer rails than those of my “95 Jeep Laredo.
The rack doesn’t include a holder for the front wheel, so it has to go inside. That’s no problem unless you have an especially crowded vehicle — think family vacation.
Bonus features: A locking lever is available at nominal cost ($8). And the trays come in 8 colors for the style conscious.
Despite my bike rack paranoia, I plan to leave the Noose on my Jeep. I’ll still put the bike inside most of the time, but if it’s muddy and wet from a showery ride, it’ll go on the rack. And when I drive with several friends to the start of a ride, one
bike could go up there.
But it may not be mine.
Coach Fred Matheny is an RBR co-founder who has four decades of road cycling and coaching experience. He has written 14 eBooks and eArticles on cycling training, available in RBR’s eBookstore at Coach Fred Matheny, including the classic Complete Book of Road Bike Training, which includes 4 eBooks comprising 250 pages of timeless, detailed advice and training plans. The Complete Book is one of the many perks of an RBR Premium Membership. Click to read Fred’s full bio.