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Old 11-10-10, 08:54 PM   #1
stringbreaker
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convenient bicycle transport

I'm looking retirment in the face in about 4.5 years. My wife and I want a vehicle we can take the bikes and put them in the back without taking the front wheels off, (unless we can't find the proper vehicle) throw bags in the back and take off for wherever we feel like going. Preferably a sunny climate in the midst of our dismal winters here in the PNW. I'm thinking like a Dodge Town and County minivan with the last row of seats taken out and some kind of bike rack that will hold the front wheel in a sturdy fashion. I don't want to haul them on the outside or roof since if we stop for the night at a motel there is that whole taking them into the room deal. I thought a full size pickup with a tall canopy would be good but I really would think there is something that gets a lot better mileage and is a bit smaller that can do this job.
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Old 11-10-10, 09:33 PM   #2
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I wouldn't leave my visible bicycle inside a vehicle overnight.
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Old 11-10-10, 10:13 PM   #3
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http://www.fordvehicles.com/transitconnect/
25 mpg
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Old 11-10-10, 11:41 PM   #4
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We have a Saturn Vue several years old. It is a fair-sized SUV, but to get one bike in it, I have to move the passenger seat forward all the way. I guess the moral is, take your bikes with you when you go shopping.

Something like the Dodge Sprinter would be intriguing to me for that application.

I would also agree that bikes with any real value should be taken in to the motel when you're there. Or if not, concealed or covered some way in the vehicle.
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Old 11-11-10, 07:24 AM   #5
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I've seen the transit and I think it would be perfect. Hopefully Ford will tap into a market just waiting for them to jump into with this not just the business crowd.
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Old 11-11-10, 08:02 AM   #6
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Dodge Town and County minivan with the last row of seats taken out and some kind of bike rack
It is a Chrysler - and it is what we use, and no bike rack is needed. The bikes fit in vertically with the front wheel (however, I enter them into the van at a slant, then get them vertical once they have cleared the lip and top), and I use a bunge cord to attach them to the rear seat-belt. I have had four bikes in the van this way, but we travel with two. The stow and go is a great feature..

And, yes, we just pull them out when we want, and put them back in. We have traveled thousands of miles this way.

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Old 11-11-10, 08:10 AM   #7
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A pick-up truck with a high cap would do the job and provide a lot of freight hauling capabilities both with the cap on or off the truck. The problem is getting around inside the truck bed when the cap is installed.
For my old, beat up knees it's become a major issue.

Personally I prefer a Van or large SUV for convenience purposes. Our full size conversion van (1994 E-150)works quite well, off course it has many uncommon options. Our mid-ship Captains chairs are removable (man are they heavy) and our sofa-bed is also removable. Our sofa-bed can also be mounted mid-ship making the van what is referred to these days as a half-back or five passanger van with ample cargo space in the rear.

I'm not very well versed in the current makes and models and hopefully I won't be in the market again.
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Old 11-11-10, 08:16 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by stringbreaker View Post
My wife and I want a vehicle we can take the bikes and put them in the back without taking the front wheels off... ...there is that whole taking them into the room deal.
Well, you're a smart, experienced guy so I'm sure you understand you will pay dearly for that little bit of convenience in purchase price, insurance and fuel mileage.
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Old 11-11-10, 09:00 AM   #9
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+1 for the Ford Transit Connect wagon. The van itself has been is service for years in Europe and the Focus drivetrain seems bullet proof (proven well enough to me by my daughters).

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Old 11-11-10, 09:34 AM   #10
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I've have been considering a Honda Element when new car time arrives. It seems to fit the bill nicely of being able to store bikes inside, deliver reasonable gas mileage, and to be utilitarian enough to serve other purposes.
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Old 11-11-10, 09:42 AM   #11
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Pretty much what we were looking for. Got a Scion X-B (the newer larger one) and it has fit the bill quite nicely. Actually we got it because my wife liked its looks.....she likes weird looking things, I guess that is how she ended up with me.
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Old 11-11-10, 09:52 AM   #12
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Quote:
I'm thinking like a Dodge Town and County minivan with the last row of seats taken out and some kind of bike rack that will hold the front wheel in a sturdy fashion.
We have a (Chrysler) Town and Country with the Fold In Floor seats. It will hold the bikes with wheels on if you lower the back and middle seats. But we found that removing and re-installing the front wheels was a small price to pay for the additional space we have in the van, especially with the under-floor storage.

A Saris Traps rack in the back lets us fit two bikes without having to lower the middle seats. There is still plenty of room to store stuff using the middle seat under-the-floor storage as well as in the back with the bikes.

We also have an external rack for the times when we need to carry 4 bikes + 2 additional passengers, or when we want to load/unload the bikes quickly without removing the front wheels.

Here's a photo with 2 hybrids and 3 weeks worth of absolutely essential stuff loaded.

IMG_0943-1..jpg

Last edited by Recycle; 11-11-10 at 09:57 AM. Reason: added fitting bikes with wheels on
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Old 11-11-10, 09:54 AM   #13
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We have a (Chrysler) Town and Country with the Fold In Floor seats. We found that removing and re-installing the front wheels was a small price to pay for the additional space we have in the van, especially with the under-floor storage.

A Saris Traps rack in the back lets us fit two bikes without having to lower the middle seats. There is still plenty of room to store stuff using the middle seat under-the-floor storage as well as in the back with the bikes.

We also have an external rack for the times when we need to carry 4 bikes + 2 additional passengers, or when we want ot load/unload the bikes quickly without removing the front wheels.

Here's a photo with 2 hybrids and 3 weeks of absolutely necessary stuff loaded.

Attachment 177754
We just turn the wheels at 90 degrees, leaving the middle seats in, and everything fits fine? I don't understand why you need to take the front wheel off? I move the right hand middle seat forward all the way, and - presto? This is a hybrid and a mtn bike.
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Old 11-11-10, 11:49 AM   #14
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You can fit bikes in the Honda Odyssey with wheels on and upright. There is a new design for 2011, so I'm not sure about the dimensions. Honda reliability is a big plus over the Chrysler brand, IMHO.
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Old 11-11-10, 11:49 AM   #15
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Not impressed with the Element after I rode in one it reminds me of the road noise I had in my old CJ 5 well not that but but not a quiet vehicle at all
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Old 11-11-10, 01:33 PM   #16
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If it was me 4WD/AWD would be a must. Surprised that no one has mentioned a Subaru yet.
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Old 11-11-10, 02:29 PM   #17
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If it was me 4WD/AWD would be a must. Surprised that no one has mentioned a Subaru yet.
Will Subaru rear compartment store bikes up-right?
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Old 11-11-10, 02:51 PM   #18
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Will Subaru rear compartment store bikes up-right?
No they will not. Thats why I'm thinkin minivan. I really like that Ford Transit van and if its available in a nice passenger style incarnation I might go with that.
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Old 11-11-10, 03:35 PM   #19
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XLT Wagon has side windows.
XLT Premium and third row windows, at about $23K
http://www.fordvehicles.com/trucks/transitconnect/
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Old 11-11-10, 03:37 PM   #20
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we can get 2 bicycles in 2005 Honda CRV without taking off the wheels on
however in 2006 they moved spare inside
so I am not sure it you can with the newer CRV's
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Old 11-11-10, 05:48 PM   #21
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Not impressed with the Element after I rode in one it reminds me of the road noise I had in my old CJ 5 well not that but but not a quiet vehicle at all
Well, that just shows why they have both chocolate and vanilla. I've had one for 3 1/2 years and I love it. The biggie for us at the time that we bought it was that it's short enough to fit inside our shortish garage and long enough to fit a tandem bike inside the car standing up. Since then we've bought a recumbent tandem and it fits inside the car too (with the rear wheel removed).

I haven't heard the road noise complaint before. Usually on bicycle boards someone chides me because it only gets 25 MPG on the highway. Neither bothers me.
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