Saris SuperClamp EX 2 Review: Does It Stack Up To The Challenge?

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The Saris SuperClamp EX 2 hitch bike rack is a personal favorite of mine. I have used it more times than I can remember. It has been with me for over two years, and I must say, it was a wonderful experience.

There were a few things that I thought could be better, but the downsides were not significant enough to become a deal-breaker. The pros outweigh the cons greatly; high chance you will also feel the same once you take a look at my Saris SuperClamp EX 2 review.

If you’re wondering about getting the rack or not, then might I suggest you scroll down to learn the capabilities and limitations of the SuperClamp EX 2? Trust me; it’s worth the read.

A Detailed Review of The Saris SuperClamp EX 2

Saris SuperClamp EX 2 Review

Here, I have described all the features of the SuperClamp EX 2 in detail. Make sure to take a hard look to know the ins and out of the rack. It should help you comprehend everything there is to know about the carrier.

Saris SuperClamp EX 2 Review

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Build and Design

The Saris SuperClam EX 2 looks a little different from your typical hitch-mounted racks. Although it is a platform-style carrier, it doesn’t have separate platforms for multiple bikes; instead, the rack comes with a single bar, four tire cradles (two on each side of the bar), and ratcheting arms to keep bicycles secured.

In any case, the carrier has an astounding black finish with a touch of yellow here and there. There are light reflectors on the tire cradles for increased visibility at night. So even if the tail lights are hidden because of your bike, the reflectors will allow other drivers to know your exact location on the road.

The carrier weighs around 38 pounds only, so it’s pretty easy to move around. I was able to haul the rack to the hitch receiver all by myself without breaking a sweat. The overall construction of the Saris SuperClamp EX 2 looked and felt very sturdy and durable.

I believe I used it for almost two years, and within that time, it didn’t break or wear down. Yes, there were a couple of scratches here and there, but it was actually my fault. So, I don’t think you’ll be dissatisfied with the look and the build of the rack.

Bike Quantity and Maximum Weight Capacity

The Saris SuperClamp EX 2 can carry two bicycles, but I think you already got that from the name. There is also another model of the same rack called SuperClamp EX 4, which can carry four bicycles.

The only few differences between the EX 4 and EX 2 are the former is much heavier but can accommodate four bicycles. Note that the Saris SuperClamp EX 2 doesn’t allow the use of adapters or extenders, unlike the Yakima HoldUp EVO or Thule T2 Pro XT; therefore, if you buy the EX 2 model, you will only be able to carry two bikes.

So, make sure you’re buying the SuperClamp EX 2 with the intention of carrying only two bicycles. If you want to haul more than two bikes, then you should look into the EX 4 version of the rack.

Nevertheless, the maximum weight capacity of the carrier is 120lbs, meaning 60lbs for each bike. You should start with your heaviest bicycle, then haul the second one on the outer portion of the rack. It is safer that way.

I was able to carry a wide range of bicycles because of the high weight capacity. The SuperClamp EX 2 didn’t have any issues accommodating even the heaviest of bikes. So, I was able to haul fat-tire and even e-bikes on the rack.

The heaviest bicycle I loaded on the carrier was the Aventon Level 2, which weighs around 59.9lbs. Honestly, I was a little scared at first because it was a $2000 bike (almost). So, I took it out for a test run before going on a long trip, and what do you know, no problem whatsoever.

I became a little more confident after that, so in the next few days, I took the bike to a friend’s house. It was a 70-mile drive, but the rack was able to hold on its own without any issues.

Bike Fit

More often than not, it becomes challenging to mount a wide range of bicycles on a rack. For instance, you can’t haul bikes with a slanted top tube like the Yeti SB130 on a hanging-style hitch rack such as the Yakima FullSwing without the use of an adapter.

However, the Saris SuperClamp EX 2 doesn’t require a flat top tube or any top tube at all. There are adjustable wheel cradles and multiple shepherd’s hooks that can keep your bikes secured without the need for frame-to-bike contact.

The wheel cradles and the adjustable ratcheting hooks can accommodate bicycles with a wheelbase of 50-inches and tire width of 4.5-inches. So, there are almost no bikes that you can’t carry with the SuperClamp EX 2.

My first test run consisted of the Yeti SB130 and the Trek Farley 7. Both of them are mountain bikes, but they have different sets of wheels. The SB130 is 29er with 2.5-inches wide tires. On the other hand, the Farley 7 features a wheel size of 27.5-inches, but the tires are 4.5-inches wide.

As the Farley 7 is heavier than the SB130, I mounted the former first and then the latter. I had to adjust the hooks and the cradles a little bit, but it was a perfect fit. I often took these two bicycles with me, and so far, mounting them on the rack felt like a piece of cake.

For the purpose of testing the limits of the Saris SuperClamp EX 2, I tried mounting a 29er and a kid’s bike on it. Honestly, hauling the Yeti SB130 and the Woom 4 was a little bit more challenging than I expected them to be.

The hooks don’t align when you’re trying to carry bicycles with significantly differing wheel sizes. The SB130 has 29-inch wheels, while the Woom 4 has 20-inch wheels. Hence, only one of the wheels of the smaller bike can be set inside the hooks properly. The other wheel will stay in contact with the secondary shepherd’s hook but not entirely. So, you will need to make some more adjustments.

Nonetheless, the ratcheting straps on the wheel cradles and one of the perfectly aligned hooks were more than enough to keep the Woom 4 safe and secured. Yes, it will look a little weird, but it will surely get the job done.

Hitch Size and Accessories

The Saris SuperClamp EX 2 comes with two hitch options. You can choose between the 1.25-inch or 2-inch hitch. For maximum efficiency, I suggest you stick with the 2-inch hitch, as it is safer and able to withstand more weight.

However, if you already have a 1.25-inch receiver installed on your vehicle, then it’s a different case. Don’t bother changing the receiver because the difference isn’t significant enough. Once you have a receiver installed, it takes only a few minutes to attach the carrier to a car.

The rack comes with an included anti-rattle bolt and a lock to keep the rack secured to the vehicle. I already had a 2-inch receiver installed on my Subaru Forester 2019, so installing the carrier was a piece of cake.

The anti-rattle bolt made sure there was no play when I was driving my SUV. Although the rack was fully loaded, I haven’t seen it bouncing or jumping much at the back. Yes, there were a few times when I heard or felt the carrier rattle a bit, but it was mostly there when I was driving through bumpy roads.

Usually, racks do not include a lock for the hitch, and even if they do, you will know from the first look that the included locks have very poor quality. So, it leaves you with no option but to buy a separate sturdier lock for the hitch.

However, this isn’t the case with the SuperClamp EX 2. The included lock was much better than I expected, and never did I have to worry about the rack being stolen from my car.


I already told you guys about the hitch lock, so your rack won’t be going anywhere once you use it, but what about your bikes? They are actually more important and costlier than the carrier itself. So, unless your bicycles are safe, there is no point in keeping the rack locked, right?

Well, fear not because the SuperClamp EX 2 comes with integrated locking cables that can keep your bikes safe on the rack. There are a total of two locks on the carrier, and both of them feature 41-inches long cables.

They are located at the corner of each side and connect at the center. The cables were long enough for me to take them through the wheels and the bottom tube of my bike. Remember, you will need to unlock the locking pin with the included key before you can firmly attach the cable ends.

Once the cable lock ends snap in place, you will need to use the key to lock them in place. In case you’re wondering, the key can unlock/lock both the cable locks and the hitch lock. So, one key to lock them all. Makes it easier to keep track.

Although the rack features integrated cable locks, it still won’t be able to protect your bicycle from a veteran thief. With the right tools, they can slice up the cables pretty easily and steal your bikes. The lock is only meant to keep your bicycle safe when you have to make a quick stop or when you’re driving slowly. On such occasions, the cable lock is enough to ensure the safety of your bikes.

However, if you’re making a big stop, it’s better to take the bicycles with you or put them indoors or keep them somewhere safe.

Tilting System

You know that you’re hitch rack is incomplete unless it can tilt or swing away. If your carrier doesn’t come with a tilting mechanism or swing-away feature, you can’t access the rear or trunk of your vehicle without removing the bikes or the rack itself.

The good thing is the Saris SuperClamp EX 2 comes with the ability to tilt upwards and downwards for storage and rear vehicle access. I was able to tilt the rack down even when it was fully loaded, so you shouldn’t have a problem doing the same. It tilts down enough for you to take out almost anything from the rear or the trunk.

You will see a small lever at the center of the carrier. You can pull it to make the rack tilt. You won’t need to remove the bikes but tilting down will be a little difficult by yourself if the bicycles are loaded.


With the Saris SuperClamp EX 2, you can find the true definition of the cherry on top. Even after offering so many features, it still comes with more. So, what is this ‘cherry’ I’m talking about? Well, the rack can be folded to make it more compact.

I’ve already mentioned the tilting upwards features, but in order to do that, you will need to first fold the carrier. The arms on the sides, with the push of a grey button, can fold flat. So, when you’re not carrying a bike, fold the arms to make the rack compact.

Once the arms are folded, you can use the lever to tilt the rack up. The carrier will remain in an upward direction, allowing you to park your car more freely. The tilting feature is a blessing for people like me who don’t want to remove the entire rack just to park their vehicles.

How to Install and Mount Bikes on the Saris SuperClamp EX 2

There’re to parts to the process. You have to install the rack first. Then, you need to mount your bikes on it. Let’s dissect each part and discuss them separately.

Installing the Rack

Tools Required

  • Adjustable Wrench
  • Included 2mm Hex Key

Assembling and installing the SuperClamp EX 2 is easier than taking candy from a baby. Babies cry a lot, plus it’s not right to take away their candies. However, the rack won’t throw tantrums at you when you’re installing it.

So, this is how it goes. Check the hitch receiver of your car, and if it’s 1-½-inches, then you will need to remove the adapter from the rack’s hitch. If it’s 2-inches, then go on and insert the bar into the receiver.

You will see a hole for the anti-rattle bolt on the driver’s side. Line up the holes correctly. Thread the bolt inside and tighten it with the adjustable wrench. Once it is tightened, take the hitch lock and push it through the other side. You’ll hear a snap, which indicates the rack is locked to the vehicle.

It’s time you move your attention to the carrier itself. On the crossbar, you will see two bolts with rubber covers. Remove the caps and align the bolts to the brackets on the end of the hitch. Now, use the wrench and included hex key to secure the crossbar to the hitch.

If the wheel cradles are not attached, then you will need to do it as well. It’s pretty easy. You only need to slide the cradles inside the bar and tighten the gray notch knob. With that, you’re done installing the Saris SuperClamp EX 2.

Mounting Bikes on the Rack

Hauling bicycles on the carrier is also child’s play. It only took a few minutes on my worst days. On my best days, I was able to do it in only just a minute or two.

First of all, you will need to open the hook arms as wide as possible. Press the grey button on top of the arms, and you should be able to do it. Now, adjust the wheel cradles to the length of your bike. You will find a knob on every wheel cradle; loosen it to move them and tighten it to keep them secured in one place.

Once you’re done adjusting the cradles, place your bicycles on them. Make sure to keep the heaviest bike closest to the car. Now, adjust shepherd’s hooks and attach the ratcheting straps to secure your bicycles on the rack.

One more thing I would like to add is if you’re carrying two bikes, make sure they are facing in different directions. It should eliminate any contact between the bicycles.

Who is This for/Not for?

I’d buy this rack if I am or one of:

  • Someone who uses a wide range of bikes
  • People who like to take more than one bicycle on their journey
  • Anyone who prefers a compact, lightweight, and a low-profile rack
  • People who don’t want to spend a lot of time and effort to install and mount bikes on their carrier

I wouldn’t buy this rack if I am or one of:

  • People who need to take more than two bicycles
  • Someone who prefers to switch between 2-bike and 4-bike options

Comparing The Saris SuperClamp EX 2 with Thule T2 Classic

So, I’ll be comparing the Saris SuperClamp EX 2 with the Thule T2 Classic, as the racks are pretty similar in terms of price and features. It should give you a proper idea of the capabilities and limitations of the SuperClamp EX 2.

Weight Difference

Let’s start with the weight. The EX 2 weighs around 38lbs while the T2 Class is about 56lbs. You think it doesn’t matter, but it actually does. The former will be easier to move around and haul to the vehicle, but the latter is going to require some serious muscle.

The difference is almost 20 pounds, and it’s not something you can look past. It will take a toll on the overall mileage of your vehicle and your back if you move the rack around a lot.

In terms of Bike Fit

The maximum weight capacity of both racks is 120lbs, so there is nothing much to discuss. Both carriers can accommodate a wide range of bicycles, but the T2 Classic is better at keeping different types of bikes on it simultaneously.

For instance, you will have a tough time placing a 29er and a kid’s bike on the SuperClamp EX 2, but you can do it easily on the T2 Classic. However, there is a catch to it. The complication happens because EX 2 has a total of four shepherd’s hooks (two hooks for each tire). The T2 Classic, on the other hand, has two hooks in total, meaning one hook for the front tire.

So, the T2 class is suitable for different types of bicycles set together because it is less secure than the SuperClamp Ex 2.

Use of Adapters

This is where the Thule T2 classic shines, and the Saris SuperClamp EX 2 falls a little short. The former can accommodate four bicycles with the Thule T2 Classic Bike Add-on, but the latter doesn’t support any type of adapter.

So, with the T2 Classic, you can switch between 2-bike to 4-bike options. However, it is not included in the rack, so you will have to purchase it separately.

Durability and Design

So, I have tested out both bikes, and I must admit the SuperClamp EX 2 is more durable than the T2 Classic. Despite being highly similar in terms of features, the former is much more durable than the latter and will last significantly longer.

If you take a look at the design of both racks, you will see that the EX 2 appears to be more stylish than the T2 Classic. It can be a personal preference, but I found the overall look of the former to be much more appealing. In your case, it may be totally different, and you may find the latter more attractive.

Final Takeaway

As you can see, the Saris SuperClamp EX 2 is an excellent hitch bike rack. It comes with many features to provide you with a smooth journey.

A few drawbacks, like the inability to use add-ons or making it difficult to secure an adult bike and a kid’s bike together, can be a little annoying. The price can also be a little too much for people who are on a tight budget.

However, these few things aside, the rack is simply amazing. I hope you got to know everything you were looking to learn from the Saris SuperClamp EX 2 review. Now, it’s up to you to decide whether you want to add the rack to your collection or not.

Jeff Phillips Racktutor
About the author

Jeff Phillips is the able founder of In his professional life, he has been offering Paintless Dent Repair and Hail Repair services in North Texas since 1990. He is the owner of DentMasters. He is still passionate about outdoor adventures with his family, bikes and cars. So he has first-hand experience on bike racks. He is regularly testing suitable racks for his upcoming trip. His aim is to create a user-friendly free website where bikers can easily read bike rack informations without any hassle.

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