When the Sea Suckers arrived in the office, there was a certain amount of trepidation. The Talons are essentially a series of industrial-looking six-inch rubber suction cups, each one with a little push-pump to remove air and create a decent seal. They look like the sort of thing that people use to install windscreens. one of them has a simple trap on top of it, and the other three are attached to each other via a stout plank of resin, and on top of this is a QR mount.
And quite a few people were of the ‘there’s no way that’s going anywhere near my car’ opinion. Scratching, or fear thereof, was the order of the day. But, much as I love my little Seat, I thought they were worth a punt.
The first issue, of course, is that I no longer possess any mountain bikes with a QR front wheel. So 15mm adapter duly installed, I set about installing them onto the roof of my car.
Initially, you simply stick them onto the roof (you can moisten them if you like), apply a small amount of downward pressure and activate the pump. A seal soon forms, and you can tell when the vacuum is sufficient as a little white band on the push pump disappears. It’s a very simple system.
Once one of the cups was attached from the main unit, I found I needed to apply a little more pressure to the other two to overcome the rigidity of the resin ‘body’ of the mount, but it was still pretty easy to get a good seal. And then I have to say, this thing is rock solid. I found the best thing to do at this point was to mount my bike sans the rear stabilising mount, and add that when the bike was safely in place. this way I could judge the distance between the front dropouts and rear wheel much more accurately.
The first drive from the office with my bike on the roof was conducted rather nervously, but I needn’t have worried. It carried my bike for a good few hundred miles faultlessly, and arguably in a much more solid manner than many other racks I’ve used.
And once at my destination, it was a simple matter to lift up the rubber tam on each cup to break the seal, and I could take the rack off and stick it in the car. Voila! Sleek lines of motor restored to factory glory – no need to drive about with unsightly roof bars.
People were also wondering about the propensity for the cups to scratch the paintwork – while I can report that it left a couple of circular marks on the roof when I removed the rack, a quick wash and these had totally disappeared. You can’t tell where the rack has been.
Drawbacks? Well, the QR fork mount, while being versatile – you can get adapters for this for every other axle type, of course – felt a little clunky to me. SeaSucker also do 15mm and 20mm through axle mounts which screw on in place of the QR one (I assume a Boost one is in the works) though. I didn’t get a chance to test the effect on my paint long term, but as long as you wash your car every once in a while I can’t see this being any worse than, for example, running a roof rack – which is the alternative, of course.
Overall: neat, convenient and surprisingly stable method of attaching your bike to the roof. I used the thing a few times a week for a couple of months, and I can safely state that my paint damage concerns were also totally unfounded throughout the test period.
|Tested:||by Barney for 2 months|