SeaSucker Mini Bomber
2021    photos: Stan Koolen

SeaSucker is an American brand that has its origins in fishing. It uses a system in which the bicycle carrier is attached to the roof of the car by means of vacuum cups. SeaSucker has several versions: the Talon, the Mini Bomber, and the Bomber, which can carry one, two, and three bicycles respectively. For professional use there is even a model for nine bicycles, these are used by various professional teams and you may have already seen them in one of the Grand Tours. SeaSucker caught my attention by the fact that nothing extra is required to fix the bike rack. I don't have a tow bar or roof rails, and with children taking up their necessary space in the car, this seems to be an ideal solution. Transporting the bike(s) on the roof saves space in the trunk. Still, I was quite hesitant to test this product. After all, a road bike is one of your most precious possessions and it would be a minor disaster if something would happen to the bike.

The SeaSucker consists of two separate parts. A thick flexible deck with 3, 4, or 5 cups (Talon, Mini Bomber or Bomber) to mount the front fork on and a single vacuum cup with a velcro strap that should be long enough for the tallest of rims and widest of tires to mount the rear wheel on. You can attach the suction cups anywhere on the car as long as it is reasonably flat and doesn’t have too much of a curved surface. With some cars, it can be mounted on the tailgate or rear window as well. The rear cup is supplied with a double-sided Velcro strap as standard, but a version with a click system is also separately available. The carrier has a maximum load capacity of 20 kilos per bicycle, which should generally be more than sufficient. In terms of weight, I would especially look at what the roof of the car can handle. The heavier the bicycle, the greater the chance that the roof of your car will dent, especially if you place the bicycle exactly in the middle of the roof. For the test, I use the Mini Bomber, the version for two bicycles. However, I’ve only used it for one bike.


For the Mini Bomber that's reviewed here, SeaSucker attaches four vacuum mounts to a thick but somewhat flexible deck that has just enough give in it to match a car's curved roof. Aluminum fork mounts bolt to the top of the deck, and there are different angle settings so you can keep each bike's handlebar from smashing into its neighbor. The rack comes stock with quick-release fork mounts that are probably useless to a lot of bikers these days. So additional adapters are needed for bikes with thru-axle mounts. The installation of the rack proceeds without significant problems. It’s not rocket science. On advice, I made the cups wet and wiped clean the surface of the roof to improve the adhesion of the cups. Because the fork and rear wheel mounts are completely separate pieces of hardware, you'll need to install the deck first and then the bike with the usual thru-axle, measure where the cup should be for the rear wheel, and then fix it too. An additional double-sided velcro strap is included to secure the crank arm. The front-wheel goes in the trunk or on the roof with an extra attachment that can be purchased separately. The bike will be on the roof in no time. To check whether everything is properly secured, push buttons with an orange indicator line lets you know when it's grabbing firmly enough. After pumping a few times, the orange indicator disappears and you know for sure that everything is fixed. If any orange is showing, more pumps are needed. It'll also let you know if the cup is losing its grip; the orange indicator being visible means that you should investigate.

The first ride goes to Limburg, an 1.5 hours ride. Because the bike catches quite a bit of wind and was making some noise during the ride, I decide to stop halfway to double-check all cups and straps, it was more the thought of “what if…” that made me stop. But everything was still in place like when I left home. On arrival, removing the bike and the Mini Bomber went extremely smooth. All you need to do is remove the bike and pull up gently on each of the vacuum mount's tabs, at which point they'll pop off with no effort, the pressure is released and the SeaSucker can be easily removed. There was a small imprint on the roof, but after washing the car, it quickly disappeared. An additional advantage is that the SeaSucker takes up little storage space due to its compact size. My space at home is limited. So I can't put a tow bar bicycle rack in my shed or in the attic.

While using the Mini Bomber, I haven't really come across any major drawbacks. Due to the weight of the bicycle, the sheet material of the car somewhat dents, but it does not cause permanent damage. The vacuum mounts prefer a clean surface to grab onto, and you'll need to take the time to wipe down whatever part of your car that you're attaching them to. I suspect that putting a vacuum cup on a dirty car could lead to some paint damage over the long run as well, but I wasn't going to test that. Also, the cups are made of soft rubber so they can conform to different surfaces. But it is not indestructible. If a cup is damaged, it won't be able to hold onto the surface as well as it should, so care needs to be taken with these types of bike racks. Another drawback is the fact that the whole thing is easy to steal when you stop for coffee along the way. Seasucker does offer an anti-theft solution by closing a cable anchor inside a trunk or hatchback seam. But still, it doesn’t give me enough confidence to leave the car at a service station. And you should keep in mind that you can't just drive into a parking garage with a bike on top of your roof. But this does not outweigh all the advantages of the Mini Bomber. In short, the SeaSucker makes traveling more fun and definitely a lot easier.


The system is recommended for cyclists who don’t have a car with a tow bar, roof rails, or a huge trunk. It’s lightweight and is incredibly easy to install which makes you think you may not have done it right.  Additional accessories are available, allowing you to carry the front wheel on the roof as well as bikes with a lefty fork.

The SeaSucker mini bomber is available for €529,-
Adapters for thru-axle bikes are separately available.