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Old 02-22-13, 03:38 AM   #1
berninicaco3
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shoving bikes in back of wagon/hatchback?

Hey--

I do not yet have a proper bike rack.

By removing the front wheel, I can in fact fit two bikes into my subcompact hatchback, one on top of the other, both laying on their side. In my wagon, I don't have to remove the front wheel.

Broadly, how delicate are bikes? Is it exceptionally easy to make a rim out of true by wrangling it on its side into a vehicle, or is this a perfectly legitimate way to transport my bike? Presuming of course, that they are not trophies, and a single scratch in the paint won't blacken my day.
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Old 02-22-13, 04:04 AM   #2
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The rims take your weight at speed. I'd have to think they can handle a bit of shoving...
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Old 02-22-13, 04:12 AM   #3
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If you lay one on top of the other, you run the risk of bending derailleurs. If you put too much weight sideweays on a front fork with no wheel in it, you also run the risk of bending one of the fork blades inwards. Bending the fork is something that's not too likely to happen with just the weight of another bike on top of it, but derailleurs are quite delicate.
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Old 02-22-13, 04:17 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by berninicaco3 View Post
Hey--

I do not yet have a proper bike rack.

By removing the front wheel, I can in fact fit two bikes into my subcompact hatchback, one on top of the other, both laying on their side. In my wagon, I don't have to remove the front wheel.

Broadly, how delicate are bikes? Is it exceptionally easy to make a rim out of true by wrangling it on its side into a vehicle, or is this a perfectly legitimate way to transport my bike? Presuming of course, that they are not trophies, and a single scratch in the paint won't blacken my day.
Of course not legitimate.
If you want to take your bikes out for a ride; then ride them there.
Using the car as an intermediary between home and the trails is lame.
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Old 02-22-13, 04:26 AM   #5
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My wife would disagree. She would rather drive to the park then ride. Me? However I ride everywhere... cars are not needed.
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Old 02-22-13, 04:56 AM   #6
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Lay them left side down, and stagger them so the upper bike isn't pressing on the lower bike's derailleur. I also put a thick blanket or quilt between them to prevent some of the banging around and paint dings. I actually have a furniture moving pad from U-Haul that stays in the car. Protects the car from bike droppings too.
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Old 02-22-13, 05:21 AM   #7
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I always try to keep my bikes upright, but I have a minivan. I can fit 2 bikes easily with one 3rd row seat down, with them both down I've had 4 with room for a fifth, except with them both down I only can get 4 people in. More bike, fewer kids? Not a bad way to travel...
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Old 02-22-13, 06:27 AM   #8
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Lay them left side down, and stagger them so the upper bike isn't pressing on the lower bike's derailleur. I also put a thick blanket or quilt between them to prevent some of the banging around and paint dings. I actually have a furniture moving pad from U-Haul that stays in the car. Protects the car from bike droppings too.
+1 I have put several bikes in my hatchback the same way and all I will add is that I put one bike in back wheel first and the other fork first. They way the cranks, hubs, etc don't overlap. Depending on the car you have, you may also be able to fit both bikes upright. If I take both wheels and the seat post off, I can slide bikes in upright. I just carefully put them in so they aren't resting on the derailleurs. Of course, my roof rack is much easier.
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Old 02-22-13, 06:29 AM   #9
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My friend and I used his small hatch-back and/or my truck to haul our bikes 40 some miles down the freeway in order to ride the Sunol Regional Park Trails in the CA Bay Area (there was no way we could "ride them there" within the time restraints we had). We also made more than a few freeway trips to the Berkeley Hills, Point Reyes, and Lake Del Vale. The truck made this easy while the hatch-back required a somewhat annoying "front wheels off, bike on top of bike" storage. Anyway, we never had any problems with this as far as I can remember (the interior of his car probably suffered more "damage" than the bikes). However, you could always use a blanket or moving pad (as previously suggested by Clawed).

Btw, hauling our bikes around (from time to time) greatly increased our trail riding experiences.
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Old 02-22-13, 09:00 AM   #10
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If you are careful you should be alright. You should be able to find a rear rack cheaply enough on Craigslist or similar, problem solved. I avoid roof racks because of the danger of damage to bikes, vehicle and overhang if you forget and drive under one. One of the insurance company's TV ads shows this happening and I'll bet that it is a common occurrence. If you get rear-ended with bikes on the back it is on the other driver, with the overhang it is on you.
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Old 02-22-13, 09:44 AM   #11
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Lay them left side down, and stagger them so the upper bike isn't pressing on the lower bike's derailleur. I also put a thick blanket or quilt between them to prevent some of the banging around and paint dings. I actually have a furniture moving pad from U-Haul that stays in the car. Protects the car from bike droppings too.
+1 here too. During the road salt months i will carry bikes in my hatchback this way. Like many things in life a little care and thought goes a long way. Andy.
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Old 02-22-13, 10:00 AM   #12
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If you have to remove the front wheels to get the bikes into the car, it's probably worth making up a couple fo fork dropout protectors. New bikes come packed with a plastic bar that snaps into the fork dropouts and most LBSs throw them away so you should be able to get some at no cost. You can make up more permanant ones from scrapped front qr hubs or just the axle, locknuts and qrs from front hubs.

One hint for those who carry bikes on rear or roof racks. Protecting your saddle from rain is iffy even with a saddle cover so I've taken a short section of searpost cut from an over-long MTB post and covered the end with duct tape and installed it in the frame after removing the seatpost and saddle. It acts as a "cork" to keep dirt and water out of the frame while the saddle/seatpost are safely inside the car.

Last edited by HillRider; 02-22-13 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 02-22-13, 11:00 AM   #13
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Nothing wrong with doing it that way unless you put a loaded steamer trunk on top. The only suggestion is to use an old blanket or sheet of cardboard between the bikes to prevent scratches and settling.

Be aware that bikes can settle as you drive, with pedals slipping though spoke, or cables snagging, so be careful patient as you disentangle the bikes when you remove the upper one.

BTW- the number one issue when putting bikes in a car is forgetting the front wheel. So don't put it down someplace out of your way, or lean it against the side of the car. Out of sight is out of mind, so either load the wheels first, or keep them close and in sight.
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Old 02-22-13, 11:24 AM   #14
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me, I put bikes on a yakima roof rack when I need to transport by car.

stacking them in a wagon/hatch is fine, as long as you don't care about paint chips and such. I drive a little too enthusiasticly when I'm alone on a mountain road, so anything loose in the back of my wagon tends to get pretty shaken up. dangling rear chains will probably get grease on something
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Old 02-22-13, 01:41 PM   #15
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I have two very nice hitch mount racks for our bikes, but I almost always just put the bikes (2x higher-end CF bikes) in the back of the small SUV, wheels on and separated by a doubled moving blanket. Exercise sufficient care not to bend or bang anything up.
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Old 02-22-13, 01:42 PM   #16
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My Honda CRV with one side of the rear seat folded will take one bike inside upright with the front wheel and seatpost removed and the fork clamped in one of those qr equipped fork holders (like this: http://www.jensonusa.com/Truck-Bed-R...ock-Bike-Mount) bolted to a piece of 1/4" plywood. It's secure, out of the wind and weather and still leaves room for three passengers and plenty of luggage. If I fold both sides of the rear seat, two bikes fit in with two separate fork holders but there isn't a lot of space left. So, for two bikes and more stuff and/or people, I use a hitch mounted rack.

BTW, the hitch/trunk rack vs roof rack debate is long and contentious and has been beaten to death elsewhere so, PLEASE, let's not get it going again.
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Old 02-22-13, 02:19 PM   #17
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I bought a Honda Fit just to transport bikes with the rear seats down, as it has a flat load floor.

I can get five bikes in back, front wheel removed, staggered front to back. I sometimes buy two or three bikes at a time. Sellers will ask, don't you need a rack to get them home? I say, watch me. Never fails to drop a jaw or two.

Together with a Saris Bones rear rack, I've taken eight bikes total to swaps - five inside, three out.
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Old 02-25-13, 08:25 PM   #18
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Impressive! I shall have to get a fit. My giant wagon simply has too low of a roof to hold bikes vertically, large though it may be.
thanks for the tips! Sounds like a blanket and some car around the derailleurs will work. Also, the blanket will keep pedals from catching in spokes and cables... not a bad idea.

Maybe I'll get a rear hatch rack, later.

Funny story: I work as a mechanic, and we have a switch (piece of air line) that when you run over it, opens the bay door automatically. Keeps the hot/cold weather out in summer/winter respectively, to have the door open and close automatically. Now, it takes some seconds for this door to open ALL the way, so we drive in when it's above the car height, anyway, even if it's not at the full 12,14 feet or whatever an industrial bay door opens to.
I wasn't there for it, but the way the story went is, Kevin brings a car with bikes on the top in for service (probably not an oil change... that wouldn't go up all the way on the lift, now that I think about it), and duly waits for the door to open pulling it in. Completed, he's not thinking about this, runs over the switch to open the door again leaving, and drives out at the correct moment of time if it hadn't had bikes on top.
The bikes are torn off the rack as they hit the bay door, and customer relations and insurance handle the results.

Second story was from Eric at my LBS: A family had a hitch mounted rack, and the hitch itself, however, was naively bolted through the spare tire well (sheet metal!), NOT to the frame. Easier to install, you understand.
On one vacation, taking with them 3 bikes, the torque finally forces the hitch to buckle and give way, twisting the hitch into the wheel well, and lowering the bike rack to the pavement. They don't notice for miles, until the n-th passerby honks at them and they look back and see what happened. The wheels and tires were of course destroyed: I believe the bike were otherwise recoverable.
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Old 02-25-13, 08:38 PM   #19
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I like roof racks, myself. yakima. and I have a couple of the older style lockjaw racks that hold the whole bike with the front wheel still installed.
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Old 02-25-13, 09:43 PM   #20
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BTW- the number one issue when putting bikes in a car is forgetting the front wheel. So don't put it down someplace out of your way, or lean it against the side of the car. Out of sight is out of mind, so either load the wheels first, or keep them close and in sight.
Sounds like the voice of experience
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Old 02-25-13, 09:52 PM   #21
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Sounds like the voice of experience
I've managed never to out and out forget a wheel. But once I was loading the car very late at night, and leaned the front wheel on the side of my car. It was on a steep hill, and I guess the jostling set it loose. It took me over an hour hunting for it in the dark. The dam thing managed to roll over 100 yards before running off the road and crashing in high weeds.

I've not leaned a wheel upright ever since.
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Old 02-25-13, 10:05 PM   #22
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It took me over an hour hunting for it in the dark.
Hah, I bet you reached the point where you like, 'Oh come on. $%# doesn't just #^@&ing disappear!'... while a little part of you secretly wonders if it's popped through a wormhole to join all the missing socks in some sort of attic dimension.
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Old 02-25-13, 10:19 PM   #23
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Yes, lot's of that, but first "it's got to be right around here someplace" followed by "it wouldn't have rolled away" followed by "it couldn't have gone far" I even went so far as to make sure I didn't space out and put in in the car first and cover it with the bike ----- twice.
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Old 02-25-13, 10:37 PM   #24
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Yes, lot's of that, but first "it's got to be right around here someplace" followed by "it wouldn't have rolled away" followed by "it couldn't have gone far" I even went so far as to make sure I didn't space out and put in in the car first and cover it with the bike ----- twice.
Sound like me when i drop a bit off a bike onto the shop floor. "It's got to be right here. It couldn't have bounced too far." Andy (Who has prayed to the god floor too many times).
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Old 02-25-13, 11:48 PM   #25
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Sound like me when i drop a bit off a bike onto the shop floor. "It's got to be right here. It couldn't have bounced too far." Andy (Who has prayed to the god floor too many times).

hey, its always in ... THE LAST PLACE YOU LOOK!


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