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  1. #1
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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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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    I'm in the celtic folk fusion band Baroque and Hungry. "Mended", our new full-length studio album, is now available for download.

  2. #2
    Banned Indy_Rider's Avatar
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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

  3. #3
    . botto's Avatar
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    a toyota


  4. #4
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    Bikes, not Llamas, Botto. You gotta pay attention boy, details, details, details.
    Are you a registered member? Why not? Click here to register. It's free and only takes 27 seconds! Help out the forums, abide by our community guidelines.
    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  5. #5
    . botto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    Bikes, not Llamas, Botto. You gotta pay attention boy, details, details, details.
    same thing.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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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

  7. #7
    Banned Indy_Rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dragracer View Post
    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.

  8. #8
    . botto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dragracer View Post
    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?

  9. #9
    I play in the street. nobrainer440's Avatar
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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.

  10. #10
    sarcasm meter: jerk mode santiago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by botto View Post
    a toyota

    Awesome.
    First Class Jerk

  11. #11
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by botto View Post
    same thing.
    So is this you on your new "bike" Botto?
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  12. #12
    . botto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    So is this you on your new "bike" Botto?
    nope, but with that belly, i think it might be ~ BJ ~

  13. #13
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    Bruce Jenner?

    Bo Jangles?
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  14. #14
    blithering idiot jhota's Avatar
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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.

  15. #15
    Señor Member USAZorro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    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.
    The search for inner peace continues...

  16. #16
    Cosmic American
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    Why use a motor vehicle to carry your bike? Ride, baby, ride!
    “I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag.” - Molly Ivins

  17. #17
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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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.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  18. #18
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LateNite View Post
    Why use a motor vehicle to carry your bike? Ride, baby, ride!
    Um... to get to rides in PA and DE. And Mars.
    Tour Journals, Blog, ride pix

    I'm in the celtic folk fusion band Baroque and Hungry. "Mended", our new full-length studio album, is now available for download.

  19. #19
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    The Chevy Lumina Van, aka the Dust Buster on Wheels
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

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  20. #20
    Crawlin' up, flyin' down bikingshearer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neilfein View Post
    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.
    "I'm in shape -- round is a shape." Andy Rooney

  21. #21
    Why not? EthanYQX's Avatar
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    A Volvo P1800 wagon, if you can find one. Absolutely sweet car, lots of space.
    "It is not the critic who counts."

  22. #22
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikingshearer View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by bikingshearer View Post
    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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    I'm in the celtic folk fusion band Baroque and Hungry. "Mended", our new full-length studio album, is now available for download.

  23. #23
    phony collective progress x136's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrankshaftYQX View Post
    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.

  24. #24
    coffeeeeee p4nh4ndle's Avatar
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    a compact pickup

  25. #25
    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    Is the llama in the back seat wearing a mask? 'Cause that's just suspicious.

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