Review: Saris Freedom Superclamp 2-Bike

Hitchin' up to the Road Pig
Hitchin’ up to the Road Pig

Being the captain of a land yacht such as my 1995 Chevrolet Suburban, a.k.a. The Road Pig, is a lot of fun. But it’s even more fun when I can toss a heap of bikes and buddies in it and haul down the road to some trails. Now that I’ve added the Saris Freedom Superclamp 2-Bike to the list of the Road Pig’s running gear, such an expedition has gotten infinitely easier.

As you probably know, using one of those two-pronged bike racks that rely on a bike’s top tube isn’t practical for mountain bikes, especially not 29er bikes in frame sizes as large as mine. Maybe those racks are okay for a little road bike, but my bike’s wheelbase is longer than most normal passenger cars are wide.

Old school tray-style bike racks are okay, but you have to remove your front wheel. That’s a pain in the chamois. Now that most mountain bikes come with thru-axles, using a tray requires a thru-axle adapter thingy. And let’s not forget that to use a roof rack you’ve got to heft your bike up onto the roof while remembering not to let it bust through your sunroof glass or fall over and break your face.

All of these concerns bring us to hitch mount-style racks such as the Saris Freedom Superclamp, which is available in a 4-bike model and a 2-bike model. I have the 2 bike. It looks like this when not attached to the Road Pig.

Legs not included.
Human legs not included.

Bikes, with their wheels still attached, lift easily into the trays and then get clamped down by pushing down on these clampy things. There are clamps front and rear, and the front and rear clamps move independently on their arms so bikes of any wheel size can fit. And as you can see here, the clamps are wide enough to accommodate your sweet fat bike or your roadie.

The bike on the right is not yet clamped properly.
The bike on the right is not yet clamped properly.
Plastic straps also hold wheels to the trays.
Plastic straps also hold wheels to the trays.

Though the Freedom Superclamp is made to fit a 1 1/4″ hitch, it comes with an adapter block to make it fit a 2″ hitch such as the one on the fantail of the Road Pig. And it has a bolt that not only goes through the hitch to secure the rack, but snaps into a locking metal attachment that secures the rack to your hitch. You use an included key to open it again.

The Freedom Superclamp also has an integrated cable lock you can use to thread through your bikes to protect them from opportunistic thieves. They won’t protect your bike against any attempt to make off with them, but it is handy for a little piece of mind while you’re in a Mexican restaurant stuffing your face with tacos after the ride.

Bike locking block extends from inside the frame on the end of a cable.
Bike locking block extends from inside the frame on the end of a cable.

If I have a quibble about the Freedom Superclamp, it would be that the Road Pig’s rear compartment doors aren’t able to open with it attached. But you can’t really fault Saris for this, as most cars have a trunk or hatch, whereas the Road Pig’s doors open like a barn. They’re also the same size as a lot of barns. And smell the same too.

I bet most cars’ rear compartments would open just fine with the Freedom Superclamp, and a quick look at the manufacturer’s Q&A section confirms as much.

Using the Freedom Superclamp is easy. It arrives assembled except for two bolts, which are so easy to put in that even I was able to do it. But the real advantage of this hitch rack is that you get all of these features at an extremely competitive price point.

At an MSRP of $389 and a street price closer to $350, the Freedom Superclamp is a great option, and taking a look around the internet reveals many favorable reviews. There are one or two even cheaper options from other manufacturers, but you’re going to have to give up some of the Superclamp’s features to pinch those pennies.

Thanks to Saris for sending the Freedom Superclamp 2-Bike over for review.

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