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Anyone using the Seasucker Mini Bomber bike rack on their Model 3?

Misterbee

Member
Apr 2, 2016
196
257
Los Angeles
Possible but difficult to believe since windshield installers use very similar vacuum suction cups to move these pieces when they are being installed.
Yes, and they do that once, when the glass installed. It’s a static load. While the car is stationary. And there is not a bicycle attached to the suction cup. And windshields are engineered differently than rear windows.

Believe me, I would *love* to use a Seasucker on my M3, so I could carry a bike on the roof while I tow my teardrop trailer. But that roof glass is simply not designed to handle that kind of dynamic load for long periods of time, with the car moving at highway speeds. If it were, it would not have cracked. It’s the wrong application for the Seasucker.

Still trying to determine if the Seasucker will stick to the roof of the trailer. It’s an exotic aluminum composite material called Azdel.
 
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Nelson

Member
Oct 28, 2016
51
26
New Jersey
Have had a mini bomber for the past 6 years and have not had significant problems. Love the rack, so easy to take on and off and it is the best solution for me because I don't use the rack that often. Began to use it on the model 3 last fall and mounted it down near the trunk glass with the rear wheels on the roof, again no issues but I did see that Seasucker now recommends mounting it on the trunk lid. I have been using the rack on 3 other cars mounting it to glass and never thought twice about the glass not being able to handle it, have to believe it is the glass integrity specific to the 3. The drawback to mounting it on the trunk is that it leaves some watermarks from the vacuum pumps on the trunk deck, they come out but takes a bit of effort to get them off. You are supposed to mist the cups to get them to seal (I keep a little spray bottle in the trunk) when you mount the rack and I have read that you should use distilled water to prevent leaving water marks.


https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1524/8364/files/Tesla_Model_3_Special_Instructions.pdf?637

So I have been mounting the opposite way of this advice with the front of the bike on the trunk, figure that is where more of the weight and force would come from, plus it is easier to get the fork in the mount since it is lower..who knows.
 
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Rottenapplr

Active Member
Apr 6, 2019
1,013
483
LOS ANGELES
How do these seasuckers work on all glass roofs? From the pics I keep seeing, part of the bike usually sits on a regular metal roof.
Is there any risk of cracking the Model 3 roof?
Unmmm there’s a risk. I really wouldn’t put this anywhere near my m3. But hey if it breaks suck it up and don’t blame anyone.

It’s not gonna break right away but we are talking about so constant stress on the glass with g forces when turning, wind pushing, stopping and going. It all factors into potential cracking.
 
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Fernand

Active Member
Mar 22, 2019
1,538
1,539
Northern california
When the car is moving the bike is going to develop a
rhythmic motion with the forces going into that suction
cup. You can see the outline of the cup AND you can
see a central point of impact, presumably where the
cup's shaft kept pounding the glass. These sorts of
sways are tuned to the dimensions of all the elements,
and have brought down entire bridges. It's possible that
a slightly different bike or a differently shaped glass roof
would not have set up these same harmonics and could
work without issues. Still glass is a fragile material, no
flex, whereas metal would only bend and pit, worst case
lose the paint and leave an ugly dent. Doesn't strike me
as a good way to mount a bike. Might even be better to tie
something behind the bumper and toss the bike on there.
 

voip-ninja

Give me some sugar baby
Mar 15, 2012
4,124
4,694
Colorado
Unmmm there’s a risk. I really wouldn’t put this anywhere near my m3. But hey if it breaks suck it up and don’t blame anyone.

It’s not gonna break right away but we are talking about so constant stress on the glass with g forces when turning, wind pushing, stopping and going. It all factors into potential cracking.

Everything you say is correct but it’s also worth pointing out that Seasucker has sold LOTS of these racks and they have been used on a very wide variety of cars with glass roofs, sunroofs, etc.

If glass breakage was common, Seasucker would get terroble reviews but they don’t... they get very good reviews.

At the end of the day you are taking a chance with something like this. For that matter we have people in the forum using Tesla’s rack who have managed to damage their car.

I have a zero glass deductible on my vehicle and only plan on using this rack a handful of times a year. Guess I will take my chances.
 
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voip-ninja

Give me some sugar baby
Mar 15, 2012
4,124
4,694
Colorado
Here's a Model 3 owner review of the Seasucker Mini Bomber.

SeaSucker Bike Rack Tested On Tesla Model 3

Interestingly she mentioned in the video that Elon Musk actually recommended these racks in a tweet.

Sure enough there is one tweet where he made the recommendation around Model X.

Elon Musk on Twitter

SeaSucker

So we have a dilemma... Musk himself, who is not an idiot recommends these types of products, and we also have apparently four specific examples of these racks breaking Model 3 roof glass.
 

cucubits

Active Member
May 17, 2019
1,697
886
TX
Yeah, it's tricky. To be honest I wouldn't be very comfortable putting this thing with a bike on the 3.

The review is nice but as one dude said there, it would've been even nicer to have her show how to put the bikes up and maybe small video of the bikes on the rack on the highway.

Also seem to be using extremely lightweight bikes. I'd need to carry to XC bikes which would probably weight twice as much as those in the review.

Elon's tweet may have been taken out of context. I'm not sure if he's talking about bikes or skis being mounted. Huge difference. Also because he mentioned falcon wing doors, he's obviously talking about the X.

I've been using the Thule Raceway 2 to carry bikes on a Mazda 6 but it did end up leaving slight marks on the bumper. Not sure if I'd want to use it on the Model 3.

upload_2019-7-22_9-20-31.png
 

North75

Member
Mar 28, 2017
608
739
MA
I went with the Tesla rack with a Thule Upride single wheel on bike rack.
I found the Tesla rack to be super solid. I was also amazed it how little efficiency loss there is from the Tesla rack bars. I thought I was going to have to take the bars on and off to avoid an efficiency hit, but I'm just going to leave them on for the riding season and take them off in the winter.

I take the bike rack on and off the bars, because I'm assuming it will add a quite a bit of extra drag.
It's relatively easy to mount and dismount the rack to the bars so that's not too bad.

I'm a bit paranoid about cracking the glass, so I throw a blanket on top of the glass when mounting the rack and when putting the bike up there just in case.

The rack with the bike (31lb mountain bike) on it seems very solid as well. Much better than the same setup mounted on the factory bars of our Acura MDX. On the MDX the bars themselves flex quite a bit when the bike wobbles going over bumps. The Tesla is much better.

Overall I feel much more confident with this setup than the seasucker racks.
 

voip-ninja

Give me some sugar baby
Mar 15, 2012
4,124
4,694
Colorado
I have used pretty much every type of bike rack available over the years including decklid racks.

Out of everything I've used, rear mount racks for sedans are simply the worst. Straps to adjust, scraped paint on the car, and always the risk of a bike coming loose on the highway at speed. They also take a decent amount of time to put on or take off.

If you search around you can find reviews of the Seasucker rack where they use it on the highway. There's a guy with a BMW 3 series who mounts the bike to the rack BEFORE putting it on top of his car and he puts the forward-most suction cups on top of the sunroof glass and goes out of his way to recommend that mounting to glass is preferable to mounting it on body panels.

Apparently the racks are rated for up to 40 lbs for the single bike version and 80 lbs for the dual bike version but people with heavier e-bikes have successfully used them. They are rated for speeds up to 75 mph but our aforementioned BMW owner has used them at 80mph for extended periods and says the manufacturer has track tested them at speeds of up to 140mph successfully.

The bike I need to transport is a trail bike that w/out the front wheel would weigh around 25 lbs. I'm not terribly worried about the weight or stress damaging the glass. I'm more concerned with glass that might have been marginal when new and is more predisposed to failure.

It's also possible the suction cup got loose on the roof that cracked and this caused the plastic anchor behind the suction cup to pound on the glass for hours. Who knows.
 

North75

Member
Mar 28, 2017
608
739
MA
Does the Tesla rack (without bike rack) add any more wind noise in the cabin?
I'd say there is a "slight" increase, but certainly nothing obtrusive or annoying. The aero on the Tesla rack is really good. I'm sure as with anything there could be issues if one of the covers wasn't aligned properly or something.
 

voip-ninja

Give me some sugar baby
Mar 15, 2012
4,124
4,694
Colorado
I went with the Tesla rack with a Thule Upride single wheel on bike rack.
I found the Tesla rack to be super solid. I was also amazed it how little efficiency loss there is from the Tesla rack bars. I thought I was going to have to take the bars on and off to avoid an efficiency hit, but I'm just going to leave them on for the riding season and take them off in the winter.

I take the bike rack on and off the bars, because I'm assuming it will add a quite a bit of extra drag.
It's relatively easy to mount and dismount the rack to the bars so that's not too bad.

I'm a bit paranoid about cracking the glass, so I throw a blanket on top of the glass when mounting the rack and when putting the bike up there just in case.

The rack with the bike (31lb mountain bike) on it seems very solid as well. Much better than the same setup mounted on the factory bars of our Acura MDX. On the MDX the bars themselves flex quite a bit when the bike wobbles going over bumps. The Tesla is much better.

Overall I feel much more confident with this setup than the seasucker racks.

My issue with the Tesla rack is that I really only need the rack functionality a handful of times a year. Installing and removing the Tesla rack is time consuming and on top of that I then have to find a place to store it in my garage. I don't want to leave the rack on year round because in my experience all of these racks will rust out in the winter time, they have drag/noise issues, etc. They also look kind of ugly.

As mentioned I might follow Seasucker's recommendation to only mount to the rear glass and not the roof and I have a zero glass deductible on my vehicle if the worst case scenario happens of glass damage.
 

North75

Member
Mar 28, 2017
608
739
MA
My issue with the Tesla rack is that I really only need the rack functionality a handful of times a year. Installing and removing the Tesla rack is time consuming and on top of that I then have to find a place to store it in my garage. I don't want to leave the rack on year round because in my experience all of these racks will rust out in the winter time, they have drag/noise issues, etc. They also look kind of ugly.

As mentioned I might follow Seasucker's recommendation to only mount to the rear glass and not the roof and I have a zero glass deductible on my vehicle if the worst case scenario happens of glass damage.
I was expecting to have to take the main rack bars on and off as well, but was pleasantly surprised that the drag/noise issues are very minimal. I'm just going to take it off in the winter. Hard to say if this thing would be prone to rusting out or not. The mounting points seem pretty well sealed up, but we'll see. The design is pretty simple without any adjustable parts so I'm hoping it's not a problem. It's actually quite easy to take on and off, but I don't want to continually do the step of getting the J hooks into their pockets under the roof glass gasket. I'm thinking the less times that step is done the better.

I honestly don't mind how they look. With all of the model 3's around here it's at least something distinctive. To each their own on that topic though.

Ultimately I just feel like I won't need to worry about this rack, while I can't say that about the other options you are considering.
I also really wanted a rack where I don't have to take the front wheel on and off, which it doesn't look like Seasucker offers.
Good luck with finding something that works for you.
 

MountainJedi

Member
May 15, 2019
182
119
Colorado
I was expecting to have to take the main rack bars on and off as well, but was pleasantly surprised that the drag/noise issues are very minimal. I'm just going to take it off in the winter. Hard to say if this thing would be prone to rusting out or not. The mounting points seem pretty well sealed up, but we'll see. The design is pretty simple without any adjustable parts so I'm hoping it's not a problem. It's actually quite easy to take on and off, but I don't want to continually do the step of getting the J hooks into their pockets under the roof glass gasket. I'm thinking the less times that step is done the better.

I honestly don't mind how they look. With all of the model 3's around here it's at least something distinctive. To each their own on that topic though.

Ultimately I just feel like I won't need to worry about this rack, while I can't say that about the other options you are considering.
I also really wanted a rack where I don't have to take the front wheel on and off, which it doesn't look like Seasucker offers.
Good luck with finding something that works for you.
How noticeable is the 3M tape when the rack is taken off? I'm considering the Tesla rack for ski transport in the winter and would like to take off during the summer (opposite of your situation).
 

voip-ninja

Give me some sugar baby
Mar 15, 2012
4,124
4,694
Colorado
How noticeable is the 3M tape when the rack is taken off? I'm considering the Tesla rack for ski transport in the winter and would like to take off during the summer (opposite of your situation).

The Model S I just rented had the roof rack tape on it and it was pretty noticeable but the paint on the car was also pretty poorly maintained and the car itself was filthy.
 

MountainJedi

Member
May 15, 2019
182
119
Colorado
The Model S I just rented had the roof rack tape on it and it was pretty noticeable but the paint on the car was also pretty poorly maintained and the car itself was filthy.
Thanks, that's what I figured would be the case. I suppose I could get some PPF and mock up replacement tape strips and take it off each summer, but that seems like a pain. I'll have to think about some more before ski season.
 

voip-ninja

Give me some sugar baby
Mar 15, 2012
4,124
4,694
Colorado
Okay time for an update.

I've had the Seasucker rack for some time and it's simply taken an eternity for my new MTB to come in so I had an opportunity to try it out. I had ordered a kit from Seasucker that included the rack, the fork spacers for boost space forks (the rack comes with an adjustable fork lock but I wanted an exact fit) and the kit threw in a free cable lock with a special device that fits into the groove in the vehicle trunk to secure it... not sure if that fits the Model 3... but hey, free lock if I ever need it.

Finally the bike (2019 Ripley V4) arrived and I got to use the rack!

First off, I did not crack my glass using this rack although I've only transported it a few times.

Secondly I am following Seasuckers updated recommendations for the Model 3 that has you placing the front suction cups on the rear glass and the back suction cup on the trunk deck lid.

This arrangement does make loading the rack a little easier, but more on that below.

I used some distilled water to wet the suction cups and had no issues with any damage or marks on my ceramic coated paint. The glass did not suffer any damage as previously mentioned.

Loading and unloading this rack is not hard, but I think the time when there is the biggest opportunity for glass damage is when putting the fork onto the rack or taking the bike off of the rack. It is quite easy for the fork to slip and it could easily hit the glass and chip or crack it. For this reason I strongly recommend attaching the rack to the bike fork and THEN placing the entire thing on the car.

The rack handled moderate speeds fine but, conscious of the fact that I was transporting a mountain bike that costs as much as a used Honda I did not do any speed/acceleration tests. I drove a little more sedately than normal. I could see that changing as I got more use and experience with the rack. Other reviewers have reported that they drive up to 80mph and accelerate and corner normally with their bike attached with suction cups.

Setting the rack up takes a bit more time than having a roof rack already on the car with a fork mount already on it. It took me about 10 minutes to get the bike on the car the first time and 5 mins the second time.

This rack seems to be an excellent low cost option for those who will only transport their bikes occasionally. If you transport your bike frequently then the permanent rack will probably be more convenient and offer more security.

All in all I give this rack five stars. It does exactly what the manufacturer claims, and it was reasonably priced at about $350 shipped to my door.
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tvad

Member
Jun 30, 2019
979
972
California
...they drive up to 80mph and accelerate and corner normally with their bike attached with suction cups.
I can neither confirm nor deny this...but it might be true for me. Or it might not. ;)

You will be able to install the rack in 3 minutes with just a little more practice.

Pro Tip: Use one of these BongoTies to keep the crank from rotating. Secure it around the non-drive side crank arm and chain stay.
BongoTies - Handy Elastic Tie Wraps for Cables and Other Unruly Items
 

RobDickinson

Member
Jun 23, 2019
746
666
New Zealand
Just want to point out there have been a number of model 3 glass cracks without things like the seasuckers in place so dont confuse cause/correlation , one incident might just be a coincidence.
 
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