Saris rack question again

Non-Saris attachments for Saris cross bar?

A lot of the attachments from Thule and Yakima are now termed “fit most racks”. So my understandin is many of the say, Thule attachments (saddles, rollers) will fit even Yakima cross bars, plus “most” factory bars. But the Saris cross bars are really, really fat and BIG. Has anyone tried putting say, Thule rollers on Saris cross bars?

The reason I ask is I’m considering adding a second boat carrier. This second carrier will be used only occasionally. So I would rather get something used and not spend much money. But there’re so few Saris out there, used attachments are pratically non-existing. So if non-Saris attachments fits, my options will be greatly expanded.

Thule J-racks
work with my saris racks, but I had to get longer bolts than the ones that came with the racks. Not sure if the rollers work the same way.


Same with TracRack
Just put a pair of Thule Hydroglides on a students pick up with Track Racks. The 80mm bolts that come with the glides and saddles almost make it but just need to be a touch longer on a thick bar like that. Spread between the bolts of a Set-2-Go or Hydroglide saddle = 3 5/8".

See you on the water,


How handy are you?
The T-track in the Saris rack accommodates all manner of custom-made adapters and fixtures. I made adapters for some older Thule cradles and have been using them for several years. I also made adapters to carry a paddle case on the roof. The versatility of T-track is limited only by your imagination and ingenuity.

Home-made attachments.
I’m reasonably handy. But I’m currently handicaped by lacking access to a workshop to make anything that requires machining of any kind. So if I can bolt it, glue it, or screw it in, I’m out of luck.

One thing I would LOVE to have is a boat loader, which is an outrigger bar that extends from the end of the cross bar to rest one end of the boat on so I can lift the other end onto the saddle. But the Saris cross bars are not hollow like Yakima/Thule. I could use some idea as to how to approach that.

Carriage bolts

– Last Updated: Oct-03-06 12:42 PM EST –

Heads will ride in the track. Modifying things should require only minimal tools/materials.

Note: The bolts only need keep the saddle or whatever attached to the racks in a stable position. The straps and gravity do the real work.

Hex head bolts work, too…
…though like you, I usually use carriage bolts.

Buy a tube
If the Saris bars are solid, then measure the O.D. of them and buy a tube with I.D. to fit snugly over the bar. Slide the tube over the bar when using–making sure that you have enough crossbar extending past the support tower.

In my area, I found a tubing supplier under the Yellow Pages heading of “Fasteners.” A chain called Fastenal sells all kinds of metal goodies, and they were happy to work with a non-commercial (i.e., small quantity) buyer.

The saris bars aren’t round or square…
…they’re airfoil shaped and over 3" wide. That shape doesn’t lend itself to putting a tube over it.

OTOH, it should be a simple matter to make an extension that will slip into the T-slot from a piece of tube or bar stock and a couple of carriage-head bolts.

I thought about that idea. But it’s not quite as trivil (to me).

First of all, the saddles are there, most likely near the edge of the cross bar. Kind of blocking the way of bar. So there’s maybe a few inches of bar left on the outside of the saddle mount. That’s kind of short lever for an ‘extender’.

Also, the T-channel themselves are great for any weight that are applied from above. But it’s less great for forces that pull up, which will be the case for the base section of the outrigger. I would hate to have the bolts breaking free of the T-channels while the boat is resting on the extended section of the outrigger.

OK - How about this?
Allows extention on either side. Materials and attachment method just suggestions:

Good points
You’re right on both counts.

…wouldn’t the pipe runs into the towers?

No - Pipe is nearly full bar length…
… which means it goes past the towers. Pipe is just enough shorter that you can still turn the adjusters on the rack ends.

Pipe would tuck in behind and under the crossbar - and rest against the towers. Actually you could probably attach it to the towers too…

Was the drawing that crude or the description that poor? I was not looking at my Saris when I did it (note scale disclaimer) - and a side view would probably have helped…

Here’s a supplemental image of front bar set - as seen from passenger side - showing pipe placement to rear of bar (no other components shown):

Malone Makes adapters for Saris
When I was researching racks, I spoke with the Malone people, and apparently the people at Malone like to use Saris themselves. Don’t know if Malone has the type of cradle that you want, but the adapters hold just fine on Saris racks.


Thule makes longer bolts
The 835XT comes with two sets of bolts, of which the 65mm are the longest. If 65mm is not long enough, you can get some longer ones (80?mm) from Thule; they show that some factory roof bars require these.

If even the extra-long bolts aren’t long enough (for instance, if you want to clamp the cradles to a 2x4 bar), it is possible though difficult to buy 90mm carriage bolts with metric machine thread. But they are sold in lots of 25 for more than $50. I know because I’ve been through this exercise and decided to build some platforms thin enough for the cradle clamps rather than clamp directly to the thicker, padded 2x4 bars.

Thank you
Now I get it. I’ll give it a try.

Thanks a lot.