General Cycling Discussion - How small a car can you carry a bike on?
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Apologies if this is a stupid question, but I'm on the verge of getting my first car. I'm thinking of getting something small - say Corsa sized, but I want to make sure that I can use it to carry my mountain bike and my road bike . I guess it'll be too small to fit them in, but is it likely to be too small to get a rear mounted cycle carrier on?
Thanks in advance.
Rear trunk mounts are pretty generic, if there is enough
trunk to call it that you can find a rack to fit. Frame
mount receivers could probably be mounted by an
imaginative mechanic a la Monster garage but you
wouldn't use it for anything but a bike carrier. Roof
mounts are pretty versatile also. Lot of cars have
fold down rear seats and the trunk and back seat create a large flat area you would be surprised what you can
shoehorn into. I saw a 6' + long Rotator Pursuit recumbent put in a slightly larger than Corsa sized car by folding down the front seat as well. Forks ended up where the passengers legs would go but it fit. Steve
01-30-04, 06:44 PM
Get a roof mount......doesn't matter how tiny your car is.
01-30-04, 10:13 PM
That's me back in '88 when I moved from Houston to Los Angeles.
01-31-04, 04:43 AM
Great Pic Blue Chip!!
I've got a Hyundai Accent hatchback. I can fit my bike inside or with my roof rack on top with the Wife's bike. if you are gonna haul your bike around alot, go for the roof rack vs trunk/hitch mount. Your bike will thank you.
01-31-04, 01:40 PM
Shape of car is a consideration too--how do you spell excitement? A Golf with a tandem on the roof crossing the Tacoma Narrows Bridge on a windy day!
Seriously, for all possible reasons the smaller the car the better. What about a Honda Element; that looks like a good stuff-carryer.
01-31-04, 07:57 PM
I had a small Ford Festia years ago and had no problems using a trunk rack. Trunk racks will work on just about anything. Then there are these hitch rack contraptions that are popular here in the USA.
01-31-04, 08:19 PM
Check out the above links. Both make a full range of bike racks, as well as racks for just about anything else. Both sites also have a really conveniant fit guide, and somewhere there is a complete compatibility table for each rack, so you can see what cars each rack fits. Most outdoor/sporting goods stores sell both brands.
01-31-04, 08:31 PM
I've driven my Kia Spectra with four tandems on the roof rack at once, I've also carried six single MTBs on the roof at the same time. It will affect your gas milage doing things like this.
You know it's funny when the bike on the roof is worth more then the car :)
02-01-04, 08:17 PM
I have a Geo Metro 4 door, with a trunk rack. I can fit 3 bikes on safely.
My old mountain bike saw the backseat of a Ford Festiva and we still had room for a week's worth of luggage. We didn't even have to fold the seats down.
02-02-04, 02:25 AM
I believe you can get a rack for a SMART car and they don't come much smaller than that...
02-02-04, 03:32 AM
i am not sure, but i am pretty sure that with the wheels removed you can fit 2 bikes in a Corsa - since i've been in Germany i've been amazed at how many bikes can be fit in small cars! :) probably the most important thing is that the back seats fold down (i'm pretty sure the Corsa's do)... we've fit 4 bikes in a Golf hackback and also 4 bikes in a Ford escort hatchback... with both wheels removed and the seats folded down i would be very surprized if you can't fit 2-3 bikes in the Opel Corsa.
of course a trunk rack or roof rack is easier...
02-02-04, 08:53 AM
I have a Corsa (5-door, 1.2 engine) and I can get at least one bike in the back with the seats down - I could probably get two if I tried.
However this summer I'm going to probably get a Thule bike carrier. I'm not sure whether I'm going for roof-mounted, or one of their clip-on carriers which fit on the hatchback. Either way I do not see there being the slightest problem with the Corsa managing to transport up to 4 bikes on top or on the back.
02-03-04, 11:55 AM
While we're plugging the major rack mfrs, allow me to mention the third of the "big three":
No idea how available any of the three brands are in the UK.
Generally, I'd go for a roof rack over a boot/rear rack. I was rear-ended with a bike on a rear rack. Not only was the bike worth about as much as the car, it sustained a lot more damage. My next rack was a roof rack.
For any passanger car, minivan or small SUV, I would recommend a roof rack. For a midsize, to large SUV, like a Jeep to an Excursion I recommend a hitch rack. For a pick up truck without a topper I recommend a bed mounted rack.
My wife and I have a 1998 Jeep Cherokee. To carry our Vision SWB recumbents we have a Sportworks receiver hitch tray style carrier. Granted it sticks out 3 feet fromthe back of our Jeep but it's better then putting them on the top which is to tall or inside where there is not enough room. Sportworks makes carriers for any kind of bike.
02-03-04, 10:33 PM
I carry my bikes inside my Honda CR-V, and while it's a small vehicle it's still pretty roomy inside. My passengers are always surprised at the amount of legroom and headroom inside, and the bikes fit easily (one at a time, anyway). I bought a fork mount and bolted it to a 3/4" sheet of plywood that was cut to fit the back and covered in carpet. You could make it matching carpet, or you could do like me and just guess while in Home Depot and get a shade that WAY doesn't match... :)
02-03-04, 11:02 PM
In the UK, a Honda CR-V would not be considered a small vehicle. Even in the US, it's classified as a truck. I think the OP's interest is in a vehicle about the size of a Civic hatchback, or a Toyota Echo coupe.
02-04-04, 05:40 AM
I drive a Opel Corsa 1,4i too (Vauxhall for you English guys) and use the rear window/boot carrier. It works just fine, with the added benefit that you can open the boot with the bike still attached to the rack. I used to have a roof mounted system but due to the size of my cars engine I could really feel the added drag. The change to the rear/back window system has been a good move.
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