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Old 09-11-02, 07:03 AM   #1
Bokkie
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Don't laugh...this is a serious transportation question?

I'll confess first. The car we own is a Fiat Punto.

To the US folk, that translates into a sub-sub-compact I think?

We're taking the bikes on leave with us. I have a rear rack that fits to the back, but the bikes stick out to one side more than I'd like to think is safe - for the bikes that is. I measured the inside of the car. With the rear passenger seats down, if I take the wheels off both bikes, we'll get the bikes inside the car quite comfortably.

Only thing I'm a bit concerned about is what might happen to the rear mech? Are there any precautions you think I need to take to protect them?
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Old 09-11-02, 07:18 AM   #2
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Bokkie,
I carry my bike in the back of my mini-van, admittedly a more spacious environment, and sometimes stuck between front and back seats with one wheel removed. I figure as long as I can position it so that the rear der doesn't get banged or leaned ont, it should be ok. If the space just won't allow allow some "breathing room", see if you can get a piece of foam a couple of inches thick to at least cushion any little bumps. I think they will be ok this way. How about turning them upside down if you can do that without putting pressure on the levers? Or one upside down, one right side up? Or somehow standing up, resting on the rear dropouts? Explore different positions. Not THOSE positions, cheeky devil!

If you can't get things situated to your satisfaction AND you are comfortable readjusting the ders if necessary, just pull them off and reinstall them when you get there. It only takes a few minutes and a 5 mm allen wrench and may be the ultimate protection. Take a couple of extra cables and your cable cutters. in case one gets buggered with frayed ends. Spare cable's not a bad idea anyway.
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Old 09-11-02, 07:33 AM   #3
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If you can't get things situated to your satisfaction AND you are comfortable readjusting the ders if necessary, just pull them off and reinstall them when you get there. It only takes a few minutes and a 5 mm allen wrench and may be the ultimate protection. Take a couple of extra cables and your cable cutters. in case one gets buggered with frayed ends. Spare cable's not a bad idea anyway.
Gulp! This is getting a bit complex. I'll try the padding angle. Upside down sounds more feasible, but does that pose a problem for the forks though?
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Old 09-11-02, 08:51 AM   #4
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Bokkie,

I have a Fiat Uno, and often throw my bike in the back with the front wheel off and the seats down. Course, that's just the one bike.

I reckon you could knock up some kind of rear mech protector out of cardboard or something. I normally put mine in with mech-side upwards, so it depends if you're worried about the two bikes catching on each other.

Tell you what though, it does make me go over bumps a lot more slowly. Don't want to hurt the bike!!

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Old 09-11-02, 08:58 AM   #5
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I have a Fiat Uno, and often throw my bike
Someone has a smaller car than we do! Now we are approaching nano-technology levels!

I suppose laying the beasts down with a cushion betwixt them to protect the mechs is probably the easier way out. Then of course, I'd now have to turn the bars around.

How much would it cost to post the darned things?
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Old 09-11-02, 09:03 AM   #6
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Bokkie,
The thing I am always concerned about is just not to have undue pressure on anything sensitive, which to me means I don't want undue pressure or the weight of the bike or anything else bouncing around on
1. the rear derailleur or
2. the shift levers
Other than that things are pretty sturdy as long as you aren't off road bouncing everything all over the place. Because the rear der is hanging down below the dropouts, the weight of the bike would be on it, jiggling it about. That's why I suggested upside down, again, making sure you haven't exposed my other tender part, the shifters, to rough treatment. Upside down shouldn't hurt the fork unless it puts the fork in the position of being pressed very hard by the seat or something. Here's another thought. If the bars are in the way when trying to go upside down it is very easy to loosen the quill and either turn the bar sideways or pull the quill out and let the bar sit on the floor/seat by the bike. Put a towel between bar and frame to avoid scratches, maybe even tape the bar to the fork with a towel between. Pulling the bar would be very simple and quick. Try some different options. Since you are dealing with two bikes i would definitely put a blanket or something of that sort between them to avoid scratches. I'm sure you will work it out with a little ingenuity.
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Old 09-11-02, 09:06 AM   #7
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You could just unattach the rear mechs and strap them somewhere safe.
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Old 09-11-02, 09:17 AM   #8
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You could just unattach the rear mechs and strap them somewhere safe
If I do that, can I safely assume that if I just reattach them then I wont have to readjust anything after. Just a bit concerned about the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" syndrome.

Rainman. You have grieved me beyond forgiveness.

I think I'm quite 'modern' in that my bike is a threadless headset, a big fat 1.5 Cane Creek. Quills! On your knees lad, and beg to be forgiven, less I thrash you within an inch of your life, with, with...a Sturmey Archer.
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Old 09-11-02, 10:12 AM   #9
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I drive a Honda Civic hatchback which is the same style car as you have, and my bike fits in there nicely alongside a friend's. If you're really worried about the rear mech, maybe find a solid block of styrofoam to place between the bikes near the rear. That should keep things from touching
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Old 09-11-02, 10:31 AM   #10
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I know I don't fit I am not sure how a bike would. Wow I never thought I would remotely know anyone that owned a fiat.
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Old 09-11-02, 11:12 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bokkie
I have a rear rack that fits to the back, but the bikes stick out to one side more than I'd like to think is safe - for the bikes that is.
You may want to try a vertical rack. You'll need a receiver hitch though. Here are a few options:

http://www.draftmaster.com/

http://www.badgerrack.com/vertical.htm
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Old 09-11-02, 01:47 PM   #12
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Don't over think this problem. Simply put them gently in the car. The bike on the bottom should have the rear mech topside, the second bike, just make sure the mech. isn't crammed against the other bike.

I speak from experience, did this literally hundreds of times when I owned a Honda hatchback. Trust me, these things aren't as delicate as uncooked eggs.
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Old 09-12-02, 01:51 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bokkie


If I do that, can I safely assume that if I just reattach them then I wont have to readjust anything after. Just a bit concerned about the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" syndrome.

I've done it when travelling by plane, to stop the baggage (mis)handlers pushing the cage through the wheel and, as you don't touch the adjusting screws, it all works out all right. The bolt tends to be an allen key one anyway so you probably carry a multi tool with that on it.

By the way, I had one of the original Fiat Uno's in this country (1983) Me and the wife still get misty eyed when thinking of how even in -26 temperatures in the Highlands, it started first time every time and coped brilliantly with the snow when we were going skiiing.. Great car. Fix it again Toni? I don't think so.
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Old 09-12-02, 02:26 AM   #14
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Lots of good ideas guys, thank you....once again

I noticed my Geminis der hanger simply unbolts from the swingarm, so I'll be able to loosen it and lay it flat out of the way (if I need to). That'll 'solve' a problem without having to mess around with any readjustment after.
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Old 09-12-02, 02:46 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by chewa

By the way, I had one of the original Fiat Uno's in this country (1983) Me and the wife still get misty eyed when thinking of how even in -26 temperatures in the Highlands, it started first time every time and coped brilliantly with the snow when we were going skiiing.. Great car. Fix it again Toni? I don't think so.
Well, mine's a 1989 model, and it doesn't start perfectly every time, even with the new starter motor I've just had fitted. Fortunately I now know that I just have to get my steering lock out and smack the starter motor one, and it'll start just fine.

It's cheap (for a car) and useful occasionally (more than it should be)!

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Old 09-12-02, 04:01 AM   #16
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Bokkie,

I don't have any advice to offer you on this, but I want to congratulate you for owning such a small car. It has to be very fuel efficient.

Perhaps relevant to you question is the following Italian joke about Fiat Puntos:

How do you get 4 elephants in a Fiat Punto?

2 in the front and 2 in the back.

I hope you find a good solution. Have a great trip.

Cheers,
Jamie
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Old 09-12-02, 04:09 AM   #17
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Puntos/Unos were also popular with the big fat afrikaaner farmers (boere) in S'Effrica. They could drive with one hand on the wheel and catch a tan on one arm. Then with the passenger window down, they could rest the arm on that door, and get an equal tan on the other. The advantage was that if the brakes failed, they could lower their hands, and slow down by dragging their knuckles on the ground.
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