It may be an unconventional system compared to regular racks, which rely on straps, nuts and bolts, or other hardware, but sucker pads like those on the Talon have long been used in the construction industry on a larger scale to manoeuvre large panes of glass onto buildings.
So it shouldn’t be a problem for a bike, right? In fact, it’s a great idea for carrying a bike on the roof of your car, particularly if you don’t like the faff (straps, buckles, and everything else) associated with a lot of racks, your car can’t take a permanent roof rack (or you don’t want one there permanently), or even if the increased fuel bill that can come from leaving a rack in place when it’s not being used irks you.
In the box you’ll find the front mount (an one-piece arrangement of three vacuum pads with a quick release mount for the fork), a single vacuum cup with a velcro strap to hold the rear wheel of your bike, and a spare vacuum pad. There’s also a small tube of grease to increase the longevity of the pads and improve the quality of the seal if required.
Each pad has a plunger which removes any air to create the vacuum seal. The plunger itself acts as a safety indicator: if the white section is exposed then you need to keep pumping. My first attempt at getting the Talon adhered to the top of the car was a little slow, as I found that you need to put a little gentle pressure directly onto each cup as you pump the plunger, as the pads have a little flex and this helps shape them to the curve of the roof.
But from then on it’s a breeze and takes very little time to get everything in place. Moistening the section cups with a little water, and having a clean car, also helps to improve the quality of the seal. Then you just have to place the dropouts on the fork into the quick release mount (it takes 9mm dropouts as standard, but you can get additional brackets for 15mm or 20mm through-axles), before putting the rear wheel suction pad in place and using the velcro strap around the rim to keep everything secure.
The Talon is equally easy to remove, with the pads released of pressure with a pull on the rubber tabs on the top edge of the vacuum cups. The rack is pretty light, too, with the whole thing weighing around 2kg, and it’s also compact, so I’ve just left it in the boot of the car when not in use. The versatility of the system means that you can also transfer the carrier from one car to another without having any extra bits and bobs to play around with.
SeaSucker say the rack is suitable for a bike weighing up to 20kg, so you shouldn’t have any problems at all with a road bike, and while the Talon is design for only one bike, the more expensive Mini Bomber (£349.99) can take two bikes, and the Bomber (£449.99) has room for three.
The SeaSucker Talon is a superb solution for riders who regularly travel by car with their bike and who want a quick, simple and secure rack which poses no danger to bike or car. Bike racks no longer make me nervous.
– Quick and easy to install and remove
– Vacuum pads are very secure
– Suitable for a wide range of cars
– Compact, easy to store
– Not cheap