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  1. #1
    Junior Member The_Pelican's Avatar
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    How small can a bike get?

    I'm going to be staying at my relatives for awhile and need a way to break a bike down so I can put it in a box and have it fit in the trunk. So, what is the easiest way to take a bike apart without completely taking it apart?
    Remember, it just needs to be small enough to fit in a car trunk.

  2. #2
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    It depends on the car. In mine, removing just one wheel should make a small-ish framed bike fit in the trunk. Both wheels should come off for a large frame in my trunk.

    You may also need to rotate the handlebars 90 or remove them ... again, depending on the bike and vehicle.
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    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    If you have fold down rear seatbacks and passthrough you might be able to toss it in whole.

    In 4-doors w?o passthrough - old Corollas, Mitsu Mirage, Accords, etc I just pull front wheel, put in fork first from passenger side, rear wheel on passenger side floor, fork up on the seat. Put old towel on seat/console to prevent oil transfer from chainrings/chain
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    Junior Member The_Pelican's Avatar
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    I was thinking I could remove the pedals(just the pedals, not the sticks the pedals go on, not good with the technical names), front tire, and rotate the handlebars 90* so that it will sit flat.
    Also, it is a subaru outback, I believe from late 90's early 2000, it is my grandmothers car I need to squeeze it into. So, I've got a good amount of surface area, however it isn't very tall.

    But I've got a lot more stuff to put in, I'm going to be with her for awhile.

    I want to get it as small as possible, just so I will have the room.

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    Time for N+1....

    http://www.nycewheels.com/brompton-folding-bike.html


    Only problem after that would be your wallet and the fear of leaving it in your car....

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    The_pelican,

    The other option is to buy a bike rack for the roof off Craigslist and sell it when you get to where you are going. Of course this depends on what market you are in and where you are heading.

  7. #7
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Pelican View Post
    I'm going to be staying at my relatives for awhile and need a way to break a bike down so I can put it in a box and have it fit in the trunk. So, what is the easiest way to take a bike apart without completely taking it apart?
    Remember, it just needs to be small enough to fit in a car trunk.


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    Senior Member Raging_Bulls's Avatar
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  9. #9
    Senior Member MNBikeCommuter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raging_Bulls View Post
    Does that come as a folder or with couplers?

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    "The other option is to buy a bike rack for the roof."

    A rear rack might be cheaper and would be safer; the consequences of forgetting about a bike on the roof and driving under an overhang or into a garage are severe.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
    "The other option is to buy a bike rack for the roof."

    A rear rack might be cheaper and would be safer; the consequences of forgetting about a bike on the roof and driving under an overhang or into a garage are severe.
    Get one of those $40 rear mount racks.

    If you decide to remove the pedals, keep in mind that you will need a proper wrench, and that the left side pedal has reverse threads, meaning you turn clockwise to remove. Somehow, people manage to screw up their threads installing pedals, so be careful and thread by hand as much as possible before using the wrench for the final tightening.
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

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    Lower saddle, remove front wheel, possibly rotate bars. If you still need room, remove back wheel BUT tape some protection over the dirty chain. Place the rear wheel cog side up to avoid dirtying the car.

    Fenders pose a problem if you have them.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Pelican View Post
    I'm going to be staying at my relatives for awhile and need a way to break a bike down so I can put it in a box and have it fit in the trunk. So, what is the easiest way to take a bike apart without completely taking it apart?
    Remember, it just needs to be small enough to fit in a car trunk.
    After you've reduced the size by disassembly a box will just add space and remove flexibilty in packing. Even with both wheels off a box will take up a very large amount of room in the trunk. What about a Bike Transport Bag? That will keep other items from getting dirt and grease on them, keep the parts together and yet give you a bit more room and flexibility in packing. Unless you are planning to literally throw heavy items on top of the bike I don't think the lack of padding/protection is an issue. There are some good suggestions in the reviews. I used a similar item on a bike/train tour of Italy and had no problems. It's also on sale - outstanding price.
    Last edited by cny-bikeman; 09-15-12 at 12:42 PM.
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  14. #14
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terrierman View Post
    No wonder everybody hates you.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Pelican View Post
    I was thinking I could remove the pedals(just the pedals, not the sticks the pedals go on, not good with the technical names), front tire, and rotate the handlebars 90* so that it will sit flat.
    Also, it is a subaru outback, I believe from late 90's early 2000, it is my grandmothers car I need to squeeze it into. So, I've got a good amount of surface area, however it isn't very tall.

    But I've got a lot more stuff to put in, I'm going to be with her for awhile.

    I want to get it as small as possible, just so I will have the room.
    Putting it in a box is one thing - most bike boxes are made to require removing either the front or both wheels.

    Now, a Subaru Outback is a far different story.

    Is this an Outback station wagon?

    If so - all you'll have to do is fold down the back seat, and slide your bike in rear wheel first. The handlebars will probably have to be turned so the front wheel is near-vertical to close the rear gate, but it works easy. We load our bikes into our 2000 outback all the time. Almost as easy into our 2002 Forester (the small kind, before they went huge with these things.).

    In otherwords, just put it in the car, no parts removal necessary.

    If it's an Outback Sedan, at the most, you'll have to remove both wheels only.


    What we do with our kid's Impreza (much smaller than an Outback), is to cover the back seat, cover it with a blanket, take off the bike's front wheel, and just put it in the back seat. Again, very easy. I do know that a full size bike transport case will fit in the back seat of an Outback and similar size cars for what it's worth, but again, you need to do significant dissasembly to put the bike in a box.

  16. #16
    Senior Member PatrickGSR94's Avatar
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    When you all say rotate the handlebars 90 you mean just turning the bars/stem/fork right? Not actually loosening the stem clamp.

    I fit my bike in my car (fastback style with folding seats) on a recent vacation by removing both wheels, turning the bars 90, and removing the pedals so it would lay flat on the floor of the cargo area. I also removed the chain so it wouldn't be hanging there in space with other stuff packed around it. Then the wheels went in on top of the bike with towels and pillows all around it to pad everything. We had the car packed to the gills and the bike fared great.

    Do certain pedals need special wrenches? I use my normal 15mm Craftsman open/box end combo wrench on my platform pedals.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
    Do certain pedals need special wrenches? I use my normal 15mm Craftsman open/box end combo wrench on my platform pedals.
    Most pedals are 15mm, however some do not have enough room for a "normal" wrench and require a thinner 15mm "pedal" wrench. A few others only take an allen wrench from the backside of the crankarm.
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

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