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Old 09-05-07, 08:38 AM   #1
neilfein
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Good car for hauling bikes

Hello everyone. I've posted a few things here in Foo from time to time, but mostly I lurk for entertainment purposes.

I'm looking to buy a used hatchback or station wagon to replace the '95 Saturn my wife smashed up, and it occurs to me I should keep bike-hauling ability in mind. (I'm always nervous when I have two or three bikes on a rack.)

I tend to prefer smaller cars, and the first thing that comes to mind is a Honda Civic hatchback. However, these are very in-demand in NJ, so I'm looking for ideas for other models/makes. Who has a small car that also hauls bikes well? (No, I'm not looking to buy yours, I'm just looking for ideas.) Volvo wagons are good but not cheap. Anyone have a good experience with the VW Jetta wagon?

Thanks!
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Old 09-05-07, 08:43 AM   #2
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Pontiac Vibe/Toyota Matrix (essentially same care, but most people I know that have one preferred the Vibe)
Subaru Outback, or Forster
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Old 09-05-07, 08:54 AM   #3
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a toyota

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Old 09-05-07, 08:56 AM   #4
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Bikes, not Llamas, Botto. You gotta pay attention boy, details, details, details.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 09-05-07, 08:57 AM   #5
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Bikes, not Llamas, Botto. You gotta pay attention boy, details, details, details.
same thing.
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Old 09-05-07, 08:59 AM   #6
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I put this up a few weeks ago for another BFer that had asked me about an old post of mine....

Hauling two bikes inside a RAV4
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Old 09-05-07, 09:04 AM   #7
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I put this up a few weeks ago for another BFer that had asked me about an old post of mine....

Hauling two bikes inside a RAV4
I have a similar set up in my Expedition. I can get 6 bikes in there easily. If you set your mounts at angle you should be able to easily put one more bike bikes the handle bars will be at angle so not to interfere with the bike next to it.
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Old 09-05-07, 09:05 AM   #8
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I put this up a few weeks ago for another BFer that had asked me about an old post of mine....

Hauling two bikes inside a RAV4
why so much work when all you have to do is take off the front wheel, and place them in diagonally?
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Old 09-05-07, 09:08 AM   #9
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I had a 4-door Civic LX with a fold down rear seat that was really easy to toss a bike in with the front wheel off. 2 bikes was possible, but not as easy. I think anything with a fold down rear seat will work for at least 1 bike.


I wrote the following before reading that you wanted a small car:
I will nominate the Honda Element. Yes, it's hideous, but my friend has one and the more I ride in it, the more I like it. It's chunky and utilitarian, the way an SUV should be. Lots of interior space and the interior feels like it could take any abuse you want to throw at it.
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Old 09-05-07, 09:09 AM   #10
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a toyota

Awesome.
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Old 09-05-07, 09:19 AM   #11
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same thing.
So is this you on your new "bike" Botto?
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 09-05-07, 09:21 AM   #12
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So is this you on your new "bike" Botto?
nope, but with that belly, i think it might be ~ BJ ~
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Old 09-05-07, 09:23 AM   #13
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Bruce Jenner?

Bo Jangles?
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Quote:
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 09-05-07, 09:23 AM   #14
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Civic Wagon (88-91) - pro: good on gas, peppy, easy to fit multiple bikes inside. con: hard to find (for sale - owners hold on to them), getting pricey (enthusiast/collector's market, believe it or not), rust-prone, old.
Accord Wagon (91-97) - pro: good on gas, usually nicely equipped, easy to fit multiple bikes inside. con: not overly common, rust-prone (though not as bad as the Civics), getting old.
Honda Odyssey (95-now) - pro: good on gas (trend here, i think), awesome for carrying bikes, drives well (just a tall Accord). con: the 1st gen are really the best, but getting old.
Isuzu Oasis (96-99) - see Honda Odyssey.

that's all i really have experience with that i'd recommend. i mean, i like my Jaguar (both the one i had and the one i have), but i really wouldn't recommend them.
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Old 09-05-07, 09:34 AM   #15
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Bruce Jenner?

Bo Jangles?
Blue Jays

I have a friend who has a very secure means of transporting two bikes in his Element without having to resort to special construction. I just use a rack on the back.
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Old 09-05-07, 02:12 PM   #16
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Why use a motor vehicle to carry your bike? Ride, baby, ride!
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Old 09-05-07, 03:10 PM   #17
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PT Cruiser. Take out either of the back seats and attach fork mounts to a board at the rear by the hatch. Two bikes easily. Three in a pinch.
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Old 09-05-07, 04:05 PM   #18
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Why use a motor vehicle to carry your bike? Ride, baby, ride!
Um... to get to rides in PA and DE. And Mars.
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Old 09-05-07, 04:08 PM   #19
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Old 09-05-07, 04:57 PM   #20
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I'm looking to buy a used hatchback or station wagon to replace the '95 Saturn my wife smashed up, and it occurs to me I should keep bike-hauling ability in mind. (I'm always nervous when I have two or three bikes on a rack.)
Step 1: Get over being nervous about bikes on a rack. I know, it's harder than it sounds, but it's worth doing. Personally, I very much prefer car-top racks to bumper racks or tow-hitch racks, because I hate the idea of a minor fender-bender turning into a major disater for my precious steed.

When you complete Step 1, that allows you to go on to Steps 2 & 3.

Step 2: Get whatever kind of car or truck or minivan or whatever that meets your other needs and wants.

Step 3: Get a good rack for it. As I said, I like car-tops best, and of those, I like Yakimas best (the round cross-bars are pretty forgiving and plenty secure). You can get locking inserts for security, and they have hardward to fit just about everything on the road. You can even get purpose-built tandem racks with swivel mounts to go on it, which beats the heck out of trying to wrestle a tandem into the back of pretty much anything.

For anything other than a serious sports or luxury car, I really think getting a rack so your bikes fit on the car you want makes more sense than buying the car to haul your bikes. Of course, that opinion and a buck and a half will get you a bad cup of coffee.
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Old 09-05-07, 05:29 PM   #21
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A Volvo P1800 wagon, if you can find one. Absolutely sweet car, lots of space.
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Old 09-05-07, 07:11 PM   #22
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Step 1: Get over being nervous about bikes on a rack. I know, it's harder than it sounds, but it's worth doing. Personally, I very much prefer car-top racks to bumper racks or tow-hitch racks, because I hate the idea of a minor fender-bender turning into a major disater for my precious steed.
I have a cheap bumper rack we use on my wife's car, and that would be why I'm nervous. Something attached to the car more securely would be fine.

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Step 2: Get whatever kind of car or truck or minivan or whatever that meets your other needs and wants.
This is a good point, but my other needs include hauling guitars, PA speakers, and other music equipment around. So looking for cargo space is a good idea even aside from hauling the bikes.
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Old 09-05-07, 07:21 PM   #23
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A Volvo P1800 wagon, if you can find one. Absolutely sweet car, lots of space.
Oooh, yeah.



The P1800 (coupe) and P1800ES (wagon) were great-looking cars. Reliable, too. The highest-mileage car in the world, at over 2 million miles, is a P1800. Never thought about it, but an ES with a bike or two on the roof would be very cool.

Unfortunately, like you say, they are kind of tough to find these days.
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Old 09-05-07, 08:31 PM   #24
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a compact pickup
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Old 09-05-07, 08:52 PM   #25
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Is the llama in the back seat wearing a mask? 'Cause that's just suspicious.
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