Best way of transporting bikes

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by IPavlov, Dec 4, 2005.

  1. IPavlov

    IPavlov Guest

    I'm looking for the best way of transporting two or three bikes
    using a car or a minivan. I've seen people using a rack attached to
    the towing gear of a van or SUV, which takes a few bikes.
    Since I'm not using my minivan for towing and don't have a towing
    gear, I'm wondering if there is another, cheaper way of carrying
    bikes, which will allow to avoid buying the towing gear which I
    won't need for any other purpose but carrying those bikes.
    Also, is there any FAQ devoted to these questions?

    Thanks,
    IP.
     
    Tags:


  2. Rich Clark

    Rich Clark Guest

    "IPavlov" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > I'm looking for the best way of transporting two or three bikes
    > using a car or a minivan. I've seen people using a rack attached to
    > the towing gear of a van or SUV, which takes a few bikes.
    > Since I'm not using my minivan for towing and don't have a towing
    > gear, I'm wondering if there is another, cheaper way of carrying
    > bikes, which will allow to avoid buying the towing gear which I
    > won't need for any other purpose but carrying those bikes.
    > Also, is there any FAQ devoted to these questions?


    Well, I carry up to three road bikes (wheels on), along with three
    passengers and their luggage, inside my Mazda MPV. Other minivans are even
    bigger inside. One of the second-row seats is removed, and the third-row
    seat is folded into the floor.

    This protects the bikes from the elements and costs nothing.

    Failing that, a hitch-mount carrier is IMO the best alternative. You can get
    the hitch installed without the trailer wiring. Roof racks can also work,
    but on a tall vehicle they're both inconvenient and potentially dangerous to
    the bikes.

    RichC
     
  3. pam in sc

    pam in sc Guest

    IPavlov wrote:
    > I'm looking for the best way of transporting two or three bikes
    > using a car or a minivan. I've seen people using a rack attached to
    > the towing gear of a van or SUV, which takes a few bikes.
    > Since I'm not using my minivan for towing and don't have a towing
    > gear, I'm wondering if there is another, cheaper way of carrying
    > bikes, which will allow to avoid buying the towing gear which I
    > won't need for any other purpose but carrying those bikes.
    > Also, is there any FAQ devoted to these questions?
    >
    > Thanks,
    > IP.



    On vans and station wagons, racks that attach to the back hatch work
    fairly well for up to three bikes, so long as your rear hatch or door
    has a straight metal top. They are called trunk racks. I actually like
    my 25 year old one better than the new one I bought because the new one
    is so heavily padded where it rests against the car that it is hard to
    get it strapped on rigidly. On the other hand it is cheap:
    <http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?category=71&subcategory=1021&brand=&sku=14956&storetype=&estoreid=&pagename=>
    and you can adjust the angle of the arms. Over Thanksgiving we drove
    5 hours each way with two cheap mountain bikes (that my kids ride on the
    beach) and my road bike on the back of a minivan. The only problem was
    it took an hour to load the bikes the first time, trying different
    arrangements so the handlebars didn't come out at the same level (three
    bikes only fit on if they nest together well).

    Pam
     
  4. IPavlov

    IPavlov Guest

    On 2005-12-04, Rich Clark <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > "IPavlov" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    >> I'm looking for the best way of transporting two or three bikes
    >> using a car or a minivan. I've seen people using a rack attached to
    >> the towing gear of a van or SUV, which takes a few bikes.
    >> Since I'm not using my minivan for towing and don't have a towing
    >> gear, I'm wondering if there is another, cheaper way of carrying
    >> bikes, which will allow to avoid buying the towing gear which I
    >> won't need for any other purpose but carrying those bikes.
    >> Also, is there any FAQ devoted to these questions?

    >
    > Well, I carry up to three road bikes (wheels on), along with three
    > passengers and their luggage, inside my Mazda MPV. Other minivans are even
    > bigger inside. One of the second-row seats is removed, and the third-row
    > seat is folded into the floor.
    > This protects the bikes from the elements and costs nothing.


    I was thinking about this too. I have Toyota Sienna minivan, recent larger
    model, which is quite spacious inside with flexible sits arrangement, but was
    a little concerned if bikes will cause some rattle and/or be shifting about
    inside the car. Do you carry them lying on the side, or have some arrangement
    where they are fixed vertically?

    >
    > Failing that, a hitch-mount carrier is IMO the best alternative. You can get
    > the hitch installed without the trailer wiring. Roof racks can also work,
    > but on a tall vehicle they're both inconvenient and potentially dangerous to
    > the bikes.

    Sienna is quite tall and I'm worried that bikes on top of it will cause a lot
    of drag and loss of stability. I'll probably opt for a hitch-mount if carrying
    bikes inside won't be an option.

    Thank you for you comment - I didn't know how this thing (hitch-mount) is named.

    >
    > RichC
    >
    >


    IP.
     
  5. I used to have a Ford Aerostar and now have a Dodge Grand Caravan. My
    criterion for buying in both cases is that with third seat removed I
    can roll my bike(s), wheels on, into the back and bungee to second
    seat. They don't flop or rattle. With front wheels removed, I'm sure
    I could fit four or more bikes. Jim
     
  6. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    On Sun, 04 Dec 2005 22:42:38 +0000, IPavlov wrote:

    > On 2005-12-04, Rich Clark <[email protected]> wrote:


    >> "IPavlov" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >> news:[email protected]


    >>> I'm looking for the best way of transporting two or three bikes
    >>> using a car or a minivan. I've seen people using a rack attached to
    >>> the towing gear of a van or SUV, which takes a few bikes.
    >>> Since I'm not using my minivan for towing and don't have a towing
    >>> gear, I'm wondering if there is another, cheaper way of carrying
    >>> bikes, which will allow to avoid buying the towing gear which I
    >>> won't need for any other purpose but carrying those bikes.
    >>> Also, is there any FAQ devoted to these questions?


    >> Well, I carry up to three road bikes (wheels on), along with three
    >> passengers and their luggage, inside my Mazda MPV. Other minivans are even
    >> bigger inside. One of the second-row seats is removed, and the third-row
    >> seat is folded into the floor.
    >> This protects the bikes from the elements and costs nothing.


    > I was thinking about this too. I have Toyota Sienna minivan, recent larger
    > model, which is quite spacious inside with flexible sits arrangement, but was
    > a little concerned if bikes will cause some rattle and/or be shifting about
    > inside the car. Do you carry them lying on the side, or have some arrangement
    > where they are fixed vertically?


    Just cram them in any way you can. A canvas painters' dropcloth is great
    for preventing chafe -- just fold it over each bike in turn, layering
    between them. A long, skinny one is perfect. You should be able to put
    three or four bikes in the back of a minivan without too much trouble. Pop
    the front wheels off, and load the bikes cross-wise, standing up.

    >> Failing that, a hitch-mount carrier is IMO the best alternative. You
    >> can get the hitch installed without the trailer wiring. Roof racks can
    >> also work, but on a tall vehicle they're both inconvenient and
    >> potentially dangerous to the bikes.


    > Sienna is quite tall and I'm worried that bikes on top of it will cause
    > a lot of drag and loss of stability. I'll probably opt for a hitch-mount
    > if carrying bikes inside won't be an option.


    I wouldn't worry about the stability, but the drag will take its toll on
    gas mileage, plus the bikes are susceptible to damage from overhanging
    branches, garages, and road debris. But the biggest problem is getting
    them up there without dropping them on the roof of the vehicle and
    damaging the paint. It's much easier with a car, with its roof at
    shoulder level or lower. So yes, for a larger vehicle, a hitch mount is
    the way to go.

    IMO, roof racks are way overused. Most bikes will fit in most cars, if
    people would bother to try.

    Matt O.
     
  7. I can get two bikes, two people, and enough luggage
    for a three week trip into my Toyota Prius -- a hatchback.

    When I put them onto a hitchrack, which I also have,
    the gas mileage drops from about 50 to 45 on the highway
    using cruise and A/C at about 70mph. So put them inside
    if possible.
     
  8. John Everett

    John Everett Guest

    On Sun, 04 Dec 2005 21:43:34 GMT, IPavlov <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I'm looking for the best way of transporting two or three bikes
    >using a car or a minivan. I've seen people using a rack attached to
    >the towing gear of a van or SUV, which takes a few bikes.
    >Since I'm not using my minivan for towing and don't have a towing
    >gear, I'm wondering if there is another, cheaper way of carrying
    >bikes, which will allow to avoid buying the towing gear which I
    >won't need for any other purpose but carrying those bikes.
    >Also, is there any FAQ devoted to these questions?


    I prefer carrying my bikes inside my vehicle. I have a Bike-Tight
    Glider Board which allows the bikes to be mounted upright (sans front
    wheel). I'm not sure these are still made, but the fork clamp appears
    to still be available at: http://www.acsbmx.com/


    jeverett3<AT>earthlink<DOT>net http://home.earthlink.net/~jeverett3
     
  9. Rich Clark

    Rich Clark Guest

    "IPavlov" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > On 2005-12-04, Rich Clark <[email protected]> wrote:
    >> Well, I carry up to three road bikes (wheels on), along with three
    >> passengers and their luggage, inside my Mazda MPV. Other minivans are
    >> even
    >> bigger inside. One of the second-row seats is removed, and the third-row
    >> seat is folded into the floor.
    >> This protects the bikes from the elements and costs nothing.

    >
    > I was thinking about this too. I have Toyota Sienna minivan, recent larger
    > model, which is quite spacious inside with flexible sits arrangement, but
    > was
    > a little concerned if bikes will cause some rattle and/or be shifting
    > about
    > inside the car. Do you carry them lying on the side, or have some
    > arrangement
    > where they are fixed vertically?


    Standing on their wheels with a blanket draped between them to prevent
    scraping. A couple of bungee cords to the van's hangar-hooks keeps the bikes
    upright. Very simple.

    The Sienna is larger than my MPV. You shouldn't have any problem with two
    bikes. Three if they're road bikes.
    >
    >>
    >> Failing that, a hitch-mount carrier is IMO the best alternative. You can
    >> get
    >> the hitch installed without the trailer wiring. Roof racks can also work,
    >> but on a tall vehicle they're both inconvenient and potentially dangerous
    >> to
    >> the bikes.

    > Sienna is quite tall and I'm worried that bikes on top of it will cause a
    > lot
    > of drag and loss of stability. I'll probably opt for a hitch-mount if
    > carrying
    > bikes inside won't be an option.


    Drag is an issue. Top-heaviness isn't (two bikes, 50 or 60 pounds,
    insignificant).

    RichC
     
  10. IPavlov

    IPavlov Guest

    On 2005-12-05, Rich Clark <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > Standing on their wheels with a blanket draped between them to prevent
    > scraping. A couple of bungee cords to the van's hangar-hooks keeps the bikes
    > upright. Very simple.
    >
    > The Sienna is larger than my MPV. You shouldn't have any problem with two
    > bikes. Three if they're road bikes.


    Thanks for your advice.
    I think I'll follow it and try carrying bikes inside first, as the most
    cost-effective. I didn't think about the drag, but it is an additional
    consideration, especially with the roof arrangement and on long trips.
    Thanks to other participants too for valuable information.

    IP.
     
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