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  1. #1
    Senior Member John_V's Avatar
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    OT: Bought a new bike carrier.

    My wife retired yesterday so we picked up our new bike carrier on Thursday night. It's going to be used for our biking across Florida and U.S. trips. We got the idea from another couple that bought one (red, without the rear seats) for the same purpose and they really have theirs set up nice. I'm going to follow what he did on his, as much as I can, in order to get this one ready for the road trips. I have to wait until the arm and shoulder are fully recovered before I can start the modifications.



    Since this is going to be our primary vehicle (selling her car and my truck), the wife insisted on having the folding rear seats, which lessens the amount of space I have for the bikes. I now have to come up with some creative way of getting her recumbent trike in there along with my road bike. Lots of modifications to do on the rear panels and ceiling that will hold the cycling gear (shoes, helmets, tools etc.). Will post photos of the finished product when the project is done.

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    USMC Veteran qcpmsame's Avatar
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    Looks like y'all now have a retirement project to get on with. Should be a good hauler when you finish the interior to your needs. Good luck with the set up.

    Bill
    "I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me" Philippians 4:13

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  3. #3
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John_V View Post
    I now have to come up with some creative way of getting her recumbent trike in there along with my road bike.
    Shouldn't be too difficult. That looks like it has more interior room than my Honda Element and we fit a SWB recumbent (bigger than a road bike) and a (folded) Greenspeed GT3 into ours rather easily. A few years ago I bought some plastic tubs from Target. They're just the right size to hold a pair of cycling shoes, helmet, gloves etc. so all that stuff is together and easy to find. My wife and I each have one.

  4. #4
    Senior Member sparrish's Avatar
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    What a great project. Congratulations on your wife's retirement. Cheers!

  5. #5
    Senior Member John_V's Avatar
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    RG,

    We took her trike to a dealer to see if it would fit before we made the final decision to purchase one. They didn't seem as if they were willing to have us try more than one way to get the bike in. The bike fit with the seats folded up and the rear wheel sitting on top of the seat. We are going to try other ways of getting the trike in, including boom first. We'll do that later today or tomorrow morning. Once we figure out exactly how the bike is going to be secured, I can get my parts list together and start the modifications.

    I plan on putting some painted plywood on the side, where the optional second side window goes, and putting some netting on it to hold shoes, gloves and other items. I also plan on dropping a shelf from the roof, by the rear doors, to hold the helmets, small tool and parts box and other small items. I also hope to figure out a way to use the wasted space above the wheel wells by mounting some plastic boxes. The Fred Transit I mentioned has this setup and everything really fits nicely in place.
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  6. #6
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    You do realize that your spare time will be significantly reduced due to the fact that all those minor chores The Boss put off until she had some time will now come to the forefront of her mind as she now has all this time that is not commited to her job so you therefore have all this time to commit to her chores because she has all this spare time. Have fun ingenuering (combining ingenuity and engineering) the fixes and work arounds to the bike hauler in your spare time.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John_V View Post
    We took her trike to a dealer to see if it would fit before we made the final decision to purchase one. They didn't seem as if they were willing to have us try more than one way to get the bike in. The bike fit with the seats folded up and the rear wheel sitting on top of the seat. We are going to try other ways of getting the trike in, including boom first. We'll do that later today or tomorrow morning. Once we figure out exactly how the bike is going to be secured, I can get my parts list together and start the modifications.
    You might think about how to make use of all that vertical space without having stuff fall over during sharp turns. I'd be thinking about trying the trike on it's side.

    My recumbent goes in diagonally back wheel first. No disassembly is required. It just makes it with the handlebar tucks behind the folded seat on the right. We pop the seat off of Mrs. Grouch's trike and fold the frame in half. The trike goes in through the right side door onto it's side. It's about a 5 minute disassembly or reassembly job. The rear seats of the Element are supposed to be easily removable but I haven't tried it yet. That'll probably happen this summer between the times when our grand children go back to Seattle and Mrs. Grouch and I go to Steven's point for the Midwest Recumbent Rally.

  8. #8
    Senior Member marmot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John_V View Post
    RG,

    We took her trike to a dealer to see if it would fit before we made the final decision to purchase one. They didn't seem as if they were willing to have us try more than one way to get the bike in. ...
    Really? I think I would have walked away and bought from someone else.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marmot View Post
    Really? I think I would have walked away and bought from someone else.
    Yeah, that would have been a negative with me but not necessarily a deal breaker. There's more than one factor to juggle when you're buying a car.

  10. #10
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    Houston is a fairly large city and there is only one dealer that I know that specializes in trikes. It isn't like having several LBS to choose from when buying a conventional bicycle.

  11. #11
    Senior Member John_V's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by overthehillmedi View Post
    You do realize that your spare time will be significantly reduced due to the fact that all those minor chores The Boss put off until she had some time will now come to the forefront of her mind as she now has all this time that is not commited to her job so you therefore have all this time to commit to her chores because she has all this spare time. Have fun ingenuering (combining ingenuity and engineering) the fixes and work arounds to the bike hauler in your spare time.
    Traveling and cycling is also what she wants to do. She's the one that found the dealer where we bought it. As for the home projects, my son has been staying with us, so those projects will be his payment for room and board.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member John_V's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    You might think about how to make use of all that vertical space without having stuff fall over during sharp turns. I'd be thinking about trying the trike on it's side.

    My recumbent goes in diagonally back wheel first. No disassembly is required. It just makes it with the handlebar tucks behind the folded seat on the right. We pop the seat off of Mrs. Grouch's trike and fold the frame in half. The trike goes in through the right side door onto it's side. It's about a 5 minute disassembly or reassembly job. The rear seats of the Element are supposed to be easily removable but I haven't tried it yet. That'll probably happen this summer between the times when our grand children go back to Seattle and Mrs. Grouch and I go to Steven's point for the Midwest Recumbent Rally.
    Regardless if the trike goes in rear wheel or boom first, the wheels will be in tracks to prevent the trike from going sideways. I just need to figure out the best combination of seat position and bike placement. I plan on placing plywood on the floor to secure the tracks for both of the bikes. Lots of possible solutions to ponder over in the next week or two.
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  13. #13
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    I've been looking at those... I just wish they were hybrid, since the car I would replace is a Camry hybrid. My wife is NOT on board with going on dates with me in it, however.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  14. #14
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Send the wife back to work- she will enjoy it more. If I knew how hard retirement was going to be- I would not have gone for it. I can think of easier things to do than retire.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  15. #15
    Senior Member John_V's Avatar
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    Az,

    I was surprised that my wife actually likes it. She saw the red one at the MUP and saw how it was modified for carrying bikes and has been talking about one since. I would have gotten the one without the rear fold down seat but this is going to be our primary vehicle. I'm still keeping my custom show car and will use it in a pinch.

    Stap,

    What are you doing wrong? I'm loving my retirement. I have decided that not everything around the house has to be done now. If it can wait until tomorrow, it will.
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  16. #16
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Not doing anything wrong but I enjoy gardening but two nasty jobs have to be done--NOW. Fence has to be replaced and I am making my own panels. Get what I want and cheaper. Bottom hedge needs cutting and I only have a months window to do that. It has to come down by 3 ft. Thanks to the wife having a Bantam and her 6 chicks follow her home- I have to enlarge the chicken run and only about two months for that. Bike shed needs proofing and it needs new asphalt on the roof but that can wait till September. Campavan and My son-in law is chasing me to get on with it- That is last on my list as it will not go into operation till next year. And the house needs painting this summer.

    AND then there is the weather. Had two glorious weeks of sun and now I am ready for the Fence- Well the old one is down-It is raining so no work on that tomorrow. Looks like the campavan will get some work done on it IF I do not get out and ride.

    And not every job to be done NOW-- tell the wife. Took the old fence down today and put a temporary fence up to keep the dog in. "Thought you were going to do the fence" she said after taking the grandchildren out for a jolly this morning. Only 3 concrete stubs of posts to get out now and I CAN start putting up the new fence.

    Retirement is great- you can do whatever you like- providing it is in the same priority as the wife's list.

    But that new car of yours. Looks like a Ford Connect. but as you haven't named it I can't tell but whatever it is--I would get the floor and sides lined with Plywood. Makes it look more comfortable and it will be practical. We had all our vans lined at work and have done for years. Cuts down noise- small things getting lost in the panels and saves snagging the bar tape on the "Sharp" body work that is exposed.

    Edit.
    See you have the Lining planned already.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member John_V's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
    But that new car of yours. Looks like a Ford Connect. but as you haven't named it I can't tell but whatever it is--I would get the floor and sides lined with Plywood. Makes it look more comfortable and it will be practical. We had all our vans lined at work and have done for years. Cuts down noise- small things getting lost in the panels and saves snagging the bar tape on the "Sharp" body work that is exposed.

    Edit.
    See you have the Lining planned already.
    My bad! Yes it's a Ford Transit Connect XLT Wagon. They are made in Europe and have been in the US for just a few years. They are getting to be very popular as service vehicles as they are less expensive and more fuel efficient than regular vans. I'm starting to see more and more of the wagons used as taxis, possibly for the same reason.

    Yes, I have the plans already laid out for the side panels. It's the decking that I have to consider because of the fold-down seat and my wife's trike. We'll start looking at different scenarios tomorrow since today is going to be spent at the wife's retirement party at the library she worked at. She was very popular with the patrons. It's going to be an all day event so that everyone that wants to say goodbye can do so.

    I don't have that much to do around the house. My son is staying with us, so as long as he is here and not working, house stuff is his payment for room and board. Stuff that I do around the house is always done after my ride. That is my rule. So far the wife has been very understanding. We'll have to see if things change over the next few months.
    Last edited by John_V; 06-03-12 at 08:22 AM.
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  18. #18
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Fords have lost favour over here in the last few years but the Connect has proved a popular van. Bit bigger than most and they do an Economical Diesel version and a small capacity petrol that is almost as good on MPG. Those folding seats may cause a problem but I can see putting 6mm ply under neath could work. It does not have be durable unless you are putting piles of bricks in it so a cheap grade with a good enough finish would work.

    And just a tip- Before fixing the ply to the floor with Screws or Bolts- Find out what is underneath the Metal floor before drilling. Had to replace an expensive Rad pipe on mine due to not checking.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  19. #19
    Senior Member k7baixo's Avatar
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    John - pls keep this thread going...it appears several of us are interested. Thanks!
    Cheers, Gerry
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  20. #20
    USMC Veteran qcpmsame's Avatar
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    John,
    In the 70's we did custom vans, not the conversions you see now, and we always installed either sheet of 3/4" plywood or particle board regardless of its final interior. My Dodge had the particle board in it, covering the entire rear compartment and then I put in the motorcycle toe downs. You could put carpeting if that was your thing. Mine was for hauling the dirt bikes so no finishes. On the working or hauling vans we put 1/2 " plywood on the walls using the reinforcing strips to anchor it, With all the premanufactured van items for haulers from the dirt bike use the sky is the limit. Try http://www.rockymountainatvmc.com/?g...FUZN4Aod4we5Vg and look at their trailer and van accessories.

    Bill
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  21. #21
    Senior Member John_V's Avatar
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    I'm planning on using a layer of berber carpet under a 3/8" or 1/2" piece of plywood for the decking. The carpeting will help quiet the sound and the plywood will allow me to screw the wheel rails and other items to the floor. I don't want to screw the plywood to the floor and have water get in the back. I'm not sure if I am going to paint the plywood decking or cover it with non-skid. The rear interior has several places that are there for mounting shelving and parts bins. I plan on using those same mounting points to mount the plywood side panels that will hold the cycling accessories. I'll be posting photos of the project as I go. It should be a good retirement project.
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  22. #22
    Senior Member Timtruro's Avatar
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    Have you considered somehow hanging your bike from the roof? It might create some more room for the bent and or other supplies.
    "If there are no cigars in heaven, I shall not go." -Mark Twain

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  23. #23
    Senior Member John_V's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timtruro View Post
    Have you considered somehow hanging your bike from the roof? It might create some more room for the bent and or other supplies.
    Tim,

    There is enough room for both bikes to fit side by side. I didn't consider hanging the road bike as it would probably swing too much from side to side. I wish I had some photos of the Transit that I am going to base my mods upon. It will give a better idea of what I am trying to do.
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  24. #24
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Those Transits have plenty of room, but get worse gas mileage than my 270 hp SUV. My wife and I fit both our bikes and plenty of travel stuff in the back. If we need more room, a box on the roof rack provides it.

  25. #25
    Senior Member John_V's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
    Those Transits have plenty of room, but get worse gas mileage than my 270 hp SUV. My wife and I fit both our bikes and plenty of travel stuff in the back. If we need more room, a box on the roof rack provides it.
    Gas mileage is not the best, around 22-24 mpg combined and 24-26 mpg highway. The problem is the wife's recumbent tadpole trike. No way it and my bike will fit in an SUV. We tried prior to going with the Transit. If she rode a road bike, it would be no problem.
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