Bike Rack

Hello to all! New member just joined to post about a bike rack I recently fitted to my other halfs MX5. The only approved rack seems to be the Saris Bones, but I wasnt too impressed with the strapping system. I then came across the Thule Raceway which has a very neat rachetting mechanism using only 4 cables & fits the MX5 with a slight modification outlined below.

The MX5 does not appear on the Thule list of recommended cars, & speaking to Thule they would certainly not advise. However, the basic concept of the Raceway is so close to the Saris Bones, I decided to have a punt. Here are a few pics starting with Saris:

And Thule Raceway

Thule Raceway

The only modification is 2 of the cables that clip under the boot lid above the registration plate need to be shortened. Easily done as shown:

My partner has been using the rack for a while now with no issues. Although the Raceway is missing the 2 side cables vs the Saris, the cables are steel as opposed to nylon. The bike is rock solid on this mount with no lateral sway. It is also quick to fit / remove and store. Personally, I would not chance carrying more than one bike on the back of the MX-5.

I realise the Thule costs 2x more than the Saris, but my experience is if something is easy to use, it will get used more often. The 6 straps on the Saris & the method used to tension means fitting the rack will take much longer. I have also read the straps tend to loosen & must be knotted to prevent this. The Thule takes 30 seconds to fit & is consistently easy to secure.

Disclaimer: This rack is modified & used at your own risk & without the approval of the manufacturer. I am also aware of the legalities obstructing the lights & registration plate.

Found a rack from The Roof Box co.

Fits my exsisting boot rack (with a minor modification) without obscuring the rear lights.


Don’t know what happened first time let’s see if this works

Hi Vangelo, sorry to resurrect an old thread but I am now in the market for a bike rack for my NC and saw this post whilst googling around.

I really like the look of your solution with the Thule over the Saris as it looks a sturdier, simpler system without flappy straps which I like. Before I buy a Thule, are you still happy with the solution? Over time, have you experienced any paint work damage?

Many thanks for sharing it as a solution,



Looks like it is not up to two electric bikes. Just have to keep the Impreza and the tow bar mounted electric bike rack for that job.

I would want to put one electric bike on it. Its not light - 23KG I think. It is a worry that it would cause some damage, especially driving over potholes with it jumping around on the back.

Lifting an electric bike to put it on there would do in most people’s back.

Our electric bikes are around 23kg without batteries and a bit over 25kg with batteries.

You can get some that are a bit lighter but they are not so happy on the likes of disused railway lines like the Deeside Line. The good lady will not cycle on busy roads. Not talking about mountain bikes here.

Even with the little ramps that are supplied with electric bike racks to get the bikes on to the rack, they are just a bit too unwieldy.

As we do a good bit of cycling, the Impreza is getting used a bit more to get the bikes to nice biking areas that are a few hundred miles from home.

Thanks for your excellent guide Vangelo. I am now up and running thanks to your excellent guide. I am planning on claming together the end that has been looped back to itself so it has no possibility of pulling back through but apart from that I followed your guide to the letter.

For others, there is quite a bit of weight involved - just under 10KG for the rack itself and then your bike on top. My bike will be a touch over 20KG with the battery removed so 30KG total hanging off the back! 


Sorry, I cant find a way to insert the images, no matter how I edit the URL. [You need the img link in PB]

Sorry Ian. Only got just notification of this thread being activated again.

Wifey got rid of MX5 ages ago, but I adapted rack to fit her Mini.

Didnt have any issues with MX5, but I always fit helicopter tape to pressure points under the rack. I know the contacts are soft rubber, but any dirt/dust trapped under paintwork can scratch.



Hi Vic, thanks for the helicopter tape tip. I had no idea such a tape existed.

My car is immaculate at the moment so this will be essential. Even from testing the placement of the rack without driving it anywhere I can see places where it has begun to rub the paint so that will be a great solution.

Thanks again, Ian.