Here's a problem I recently ran into myself: bike racks don't work that great for every car. When I went shopping for a bike rack last year for my wife's '09 Nissan Murano, the new model wasn't even yet included in their company literature. In other words, they couldn't even tell me if a rack would fit the car. And it was April at that point, not like it was days after the model hit the market.
When I finally was able to get a list of racks, I found that there were no trunk racks compatible with the car. So I could spend hundreds of dollars on roof bars and mounts or on installing a hitch, or continue to shove my dirty bike into the hatch. I opted for the latter in the name of saving some all-American green. It's not exactly the best solution, though.
So I was pretty excited to see these SeaSucker Vacuum mounts. Instead of the typical frames, straps and mounts, these consist of powerful vacuum cups that you can mount to the rear or roof of the car and attach your bike to. There's also a trunk lid model for use with smaller cars and a bed model for pick-up trucks. The racks mount up to three bikes.
EDITOR'S UPDATE: The SeaSucker Mount for bicyles no longer seems to be available. You can buy other SeaSucker Mounts here and perhaps fashion you own. You can find out more about SeaSucker Mounts here.
Now when I first saw these, the idea of mounting my precious bike to a moving car with glorified toilet plungers was a little unsettling. But each six-inch unit reportedly holds up to 210 lbs.--way more than the 30 lbs. or so that my clunker weighs. Plus, the max weight can be multiplied when using several of the mounts. I think you'd be dealing with pounds of force, not just straight weight, so I could foresee some type of rapid motion or accident causing them to blow off. I'd drive carefully.
Each sunction cup includes a pump that you use to create the vacuum seal and a visual indicator showing the strength of the seal.
Another advantage of this type of rack is that you can easily pop them off and throw them in your garage or trunk when you don't have a bike to haul. And just as easily pop them back on when you do. Try doing that with a traditional roof rack and you'll be spending more time assembing and disassembling your rack than you will biking.
Single-bike models start at $235 for the roof/rear window mount.
EDITOR'S UPDATE: The SeaSucker Mount for bicyles no longer seems to be available. You can buy other SeaSucker Mounts here and perhaps fashion you own. You can find out more about SeaSucker Mounts here.Via The GearCaster