Bicycle Carrier For Car


Well-Known Member
May 3, 2015
I need to buy something that will allow the transport of my bike by my humble 20 year old Toyota Corolla. I suspect the bike is worth more than the car. Are there any suggestions? I'd prefer something that won't damage either my car or my bike.

Thanks a ton

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BobCochran said:
I need to buy something that will allow the transport of my bike by my humble 20 year old Toyota Corolla. I suspect the bike is worth more than the car. Are there any suggestions? I'd prefer something that won't damage either my car or my bike.

Thanks a ton

Try asking someone at your lbs. I know the bike store workers in my town are very knowledgable about these things.
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I've been on the lookout for a bike carrier myself recently.

Many thanks for that link, will give them a look.
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"I suspect the bike is worth more than the car."

Unless you are inordinately wealthy, the bike should always be worth more than the car.

"Are there any suggestions?"

1. Remove the front wheel of the bicycle and place it in the trunk.
2. Slide the bike into the back seat.
3. Refer to your vehicle as a Toyota Bike Rack.
4. Profit?

"I'd prefer something that won't damage either my car or my bike."

I have heated leather seats in two of my vehicles. Big whoop. The bikes still go INSIDE the car. Not outside.

If it really matters with a 20 year old Yota, buy one of those el cheapo China Mart Harbor Freight mover's blankets and throw it over the seat before tossing the bike inside. A second one can be tossed over the bike for a security cover.
As always Bob has the best answer! I thought I was the only one whose bikes were worth more then car. I see people driving nice cars and trucks with a 1995 huffy in terrible condition strapped to the back and just cringe.
I also drive around in (total ownership costs are less then most people spend on interest for their cars) 90's Toyota. One bike can fit in the car, just barley with the back seat down.
I have a 4 bike truck mounted bike rack, It's great especially when there are more than just me. I have had it for about 8 years. That's actually the rack I am talking about in my profile picture, being loaded up with 3 DH bikes.
Friends borrow it all the time too, it can actually fit 4 bikes as well.
The metal links that attach to the trunk can wear the paint away, so I have a few old towels that I just put between that prevent that from happening.
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@CampyBob, you posted this after I went to my local bike store and supported them with the purchase of a Saris "Bones 2" trunk style bicycle carrier.

I see the sense in what you are suggesting. I did this one time with my previous bicycle, and it just barely fit. I will experiment and see if my present bike fits inside the car. That would certainly protect it from the elements during a 130 mile drive one way, and with the front wheel in the trunk it would discourage theft attempts, too.

I bet Amazon offers mover's blankets, too.

If I can't get the bike into the car, I will see if it fits inside my wife's car. If it doesn't fit. I'll use the bike carrier, but see if I can shroud the bike in some sort of jacket.

I remember walking about in downtown Ogden, Utah back in 2012. There was some sort of bike race event going on at the time, and an entire large parking lot was taken up with large bicycle team vans. Mechanics, bikes, tents, and large open team vehicles were all about. It looked as if the bicycles were transported inside the large vehicles, which had specially built transport racks. I could see bike frames hanging from racks inside the truck boxes.

Thanks a ton!

BikeBikeBikeBike said:
As always Bob has the best answer! I thought
Unless the trunk is already full.

The thing to remember is there are roof racks, deck racks, and hitch racks. Each has its advantages and drawbacks

Roof racks put the bikes on the roof of the car. Advantages are: bike is protected from collision with vehicles and other ground-based obstructions, rear view is unobstructed, access to rear luggage area is unobstructed, carrier contacts bike only at rear wheel and fork dropouts for most styles, bikes are rigidly attached and will not contact one another, and bikes are somewhat shielded from road dust and gravel. Disadvantages are high liftover, especially for tall vehicles; risk of collision with low ceilings such as garage entrances; removal of front wheel usually required; increased frontal area (and decreased performance and mileage), and increased accumulation of bug splatter. Also, if the car doesn't have factory rails or external rain gutters, the mounting posts will mar the finish.

Deck racks attach to the trunk lid of a sedan or liftback of a wagon, SUV, or hatchback. The mounting posts will mar paint and glass, and hooks on the tensioning straps will mar or the edges of the lid. Other disadvantages are marring finish on the bikes being carried, through contact with the rack or each other, or the carrying vehicle; obstructed rear vision; obstructed access to rear luggage area, and usually less secure mounting. Advantages are quick and easy attachment to vehicle and less expensive.

Rear hitch racks mount to a hitch receiver mounted to the frame. There are basically two types, cradle and hanger. Cradle holds the bikes by the wheels and usually has does not contact the frame. Hanger hangs the bikes by the top tube like the deck rack, but risk of damaging bikes is lessened because bikes hang vertically and are held apart from each other. Advantages are low liftover, ease of use, robustness. Disadvantages are decreased ramp angle, increased vehicle length, risk of collision with other vehicles, contact with exhaust gases and road debris, rack weight, and altered weight distribution (more mass way behind rear axle), especially on smaller vehicles; and obstructed or at least complicated access to rear luggage area. And you have to install a receiver.

Users used to get into arguments over which is better, Yakima, the USA company with its factories in Asia, or Thule, the Swedish company that manufactures for North America in Connecticut. Note that smaller companies, like Rockymounts, have great products, too.
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I have doubts as to if my bike will go in my little hatchback. I'm also debating whether I would be able to get a bike rack for a hatchback too...

I suppose it's a trip down to Halfords to have a chat with the monkeys there :)
Meh. I used to own a Honda CRX. That is, for those that don't remember, a very small 2-door, 2-seat hatchback.

I got TWO road racing bicycles inside that thing EASILY, along with all the gear for two guys to go road racing for the WEEKEND. Usually, two crits/road races.

Those that say a bicycle doesn't fit inside a car must own a Lotus Seven
Quote by OBC:
"Users used to get into arguments over which is better, Yakima, the USA company with its factories in Asia, or Thule, the Swedish company that manufactures for North America in Connecticut."

Gentlemen never enter into the Thule/Yakima debate. Much like the shimaNO/Sram debate it's pointless and mind numbing. Rather, one buys the Italian La Prealpina rack system. It's much nicer and if you're going to spend big money on a rack 'system' you might as well purchase the Campagnolo of bicycle racks.

Like Campagnolo, La Prealpina takes a bit of shopping prowess to find, but it's not that tough.

And the classic La Preaplina...


One has to remember that, at the very least, the vehicle clamps often get tossed in the trash when one updates to a new car/truck with a roof rack 'system'. Sometimes the cross bars have to be chucked also. With product life cycles often less than five years for spares and major design changes, it's not unheard of for a complete $800 rack package to become useless in short order.

This applies mostly to roof rack systems, but also to the custom deck lid (trunk mount) and hatch systems.

The more universal and often far less expensive units such as the Saris Bones the OP picked up may be a better bang for the buck as far a usefulness goes, but the buyer must balance cost with security (as well as other factors both tangible and intangible as OBC pointed out so well in his reply).

Receiver hitch racks of the tray/cradle type get good ratings in my opinion.

Lastly, if the rack shopper is carrying mid-range to high-end carbon road racing bicycles. be certain the rack will not damage the frame and fork by either the rack contact/clamping points OR by the stresses it places on the frame during high speed transit and the bumps and jolts transferred to the frame from the road.
Quote by BBBB:
"I thought I was the only one whose bikes were worth more then car.

As a broke, itinerant bike racer I am here to report that the parking lot and staging areas of Cat. 4 to Pro-I-II races in the 1970's through the 1990's were absolutely full of $500 to maybe $2000 beaters with high-end racks strapped to the gills with race bikes.

Travelling money was hard to come by and entry fees were always creeping up. Then there was spare parts and stuff for the bikes. And those shorts with the newly 'ventilated' ass weren't going to work for the next race and that was your last freebie pair from the sponsor...
Hi CampyBob -- I have a feeling that I can't afford even a 1 inch section of a La Prealpina vehicle clamp, let along an entire rack system. Also, I'm not sure if you have gone to the UK, but Halfords is a British store and the cars there are assuredly very small. Very. Smaller than an American model Honda CRX -- easily. I wouldn't have been able to fit my current bicycle into any of the cars I rented while in the UK.

oldbobcat mentioned one has to be careful not to let a bike tire come in close contact with a car's exhaust pipe and the installation diagrams that came with my Bones 2 caution about it as well.

Just as soon as this rain stops, I will see if I can squeeze my bike into my Corolla without damaging either vehicle.

Thanks a ton!

There's room for another bike and some gear inside this standard Mini Cooper (i.e. not a Countryman or Clubman).


I would have positioned the bike on a single layer of the blanket and folded it over the frame to protect it from the wheels. Add another blanket and another bike. Head to the criterium with the "Pays to 15 Places!!!" only two states away...

I've never packed a Mini, But Corolla's...Civics...the German Ford Fiesta from the 1970's (I owned three of those money-saving pieces of trash! Talk about small...they make the modern Mini look like a Cadillac.)...a German Mercury MGB-GT...and a bunch of craptastic little cars I'm still trying to forget I owned.

The Honda CRX once went to a race carrying me, a team mate, FOUR bikes (2 inside and 2 on the roof) plus gear for the two of us. Cheap gear bikes also make excellent padding for the bikes.
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Hi CampyBob, thanks for showing me that a bike can be put in an American model standard Mini Cooper. I've taken your discussion about a better packing technique to heart.

Thanks a ton

Good luck with your Saris Bones, Bob. Those are great racks for the money IMO. They are probably the 'go to' rack in my area and they seem to hold up well. One guy I do business with is a marathon runner and only a sometimes cyclist. His Bones has been on the back of his Black sun-soaker Easy Bake Oven Corolla for about three years and it still looks like a new one.

You should have seen that silver 1976 Fiesta after it was packed up to go to a race.


It had the old 1600cc Kent pushrod engine in it that made all of maybe 50 HP and 0-60 time measure in Calendar Days. Once you hit the interstate and got it up to 65 MPH after rowing through the 4-speed transmission it wasn't a bad way to get to a race without going broke. After the first two phony 'oil shortages' the econobox became the bike racer's vehicle of necessity rather than choice.
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Here's an example of a smoking hot Yakima rooftop rack from Craigslist:

Only $200 for what set the original owner back over $600...'if' you have a Jeep Cherokee from year xxxx to year xxxx. Otherwise...useless for $200 and only of interest to someone with the skills, the tools and the spare parts to adapt it to other makes/models/vintage.

And another 'obsolete' Thule rack 'system' component:

"For sale is a new in Box Thule Prologue Roof Rack Bike Carrier. This usually retails for about 140$ I am asking $70 O.B.O, the only reason i am getting rid of this is I no longer have the vehicle I bought it for. If interested please text.

These deals on 'obsolete' rack systems are out around.
CAMPYBOB, I owe you a pint.

From seeing that pic of the Mini, I now have quite a bit of confidence that my bike will quite happily go in the back of my Focus with the back seats folded down.. I'll be honest I never thought about taking both wheels off and stacking them on one another and I guess I was a little worried about damaging both the bike and car.

Just out of interest, what type of CRX did you own? Was it the Del-sol version or the other one that I forget the name of?

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