History of Graber Products
Graber Bicycle Racks started in 1974 when a small Madison bicycle shop partnered with a local manufacturer to produce the first US made bicycle racks for cars. The resulting product, the original Bike Porter rack, was a roof rack system which could also mount on the trunk since the cars of the '70s had enormous trunks. The Graber rack line expanded and soon made the market’s first strap-on trunk car rack and bicycle accessory products.
The company manufactured their car rack products in a reconditioned chicken hatchery, and combined boots on the ground sales efforts and a "get 'er done" entrepreneurial manufacturing philosophy to grow the business and make good product in the US. Focusing on steel fabrication and streamlined manufacturing, the small group of machinists, steel stampers and fabricators took ownership in making the most cost effective and high quality car rack products, and were the best source for optimizing products.
According to Curt Merlin, a 30 year veteran of the company, the core team would often bring piece work home to finish and he recalls fondly the days of sitting outside putting together foot pads for car racks. The camaraderie and team focus on the manufacturing floor is evident in the products and ability to provide a value driven product to the consumers.
In the 40+ years since those days, Graber manufactured roof, trunk, and hitch racks in the USA by identifying the needs of their consumers and the technology associated with car racks. A true innovator ahead of their time, Graber is the first car rack brand to offer hitch racks, integrated locks, and ratcheting straps in their products.The product innovations exemplify the manufacturing philosophy – practical, well-engineered, and easy to use.
Purchased in 1989 by Chris and Sara Fortune, Graber has produced more trunk and hitch car racks in the US in the past 40 years than any other manufacturer. By staying close to their roots, and investing again and again, in US manufacturing, Graber has been able to expand the overall product offerings to include trainers and other bicycle accessories.
We are proud of achieving this level of success and look forward to another 40 years of producing high quality, easy to use, safe products to make cycling a more positive experience.