We’ve seen a car-top bike rack that uses electric suction cups before, and we’ve also seen a rack that carries the bike upside-down. Fovno’s new ES-H1B, however, combines both features in one unusual product.
The system consists of two suction cups that are clamped onto either end of the handlebars (while the bike is still off the car, right-side-up), a third suction cup that’s strapped to the seat, and a suction-cup-equipped electronic control box. All four components are linked to one another via pneumatic hosing.
Once the cups are attached to the bike, it gets flipped upside-down and placed on the roof – so the cups are in contact with the metal – along with the box. When the box’s power button is pressed, an electric pump within the device draws air out of all four suction cups, creating negative pressure that causes them to suck down onto the roof.
If the seal on any of the cups should subsequently break, the control box will reportedly detect the loss in pressure, and respond by resealing the cup. Additionally, an alarm will sound on a wirelessly-linked console-mounted module inside the car, alerting the driver to the situation.
The system works with both flat and drop handlebars, and can be extended to carry a second bike – in that scenario, the three cups on each of the two bikes will be connected to a single control box. That box weighs 650 g (1.4 lb), is powered by a 3,400-mAh lithium battery (there’s no word on runtime), and is IP65 water-resistant – that means it can withstand low-pressure jets of water from any direction. Total weight for the whole system is a claimed 3.3 kg (7.3 lb).
The Fovno ES-H1B rack was recently unveiled at Eurobike, and should sell for US$295.
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