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  1. #1
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    Help me choose a bike rack (temporary attachment to rental carsl)

    I am mostly car-free. Occasionally I rent a car when I want to travel a significant distance for a few days, but I have never been able to bring my bicycle. In the future I plan to buy a folding bike, but for now I'm trying to figure out how to take a full-sized bike on my trips with a rental car. Renting an SUV or van is out of the question (cost, fuel economy etc). I'm looking for recommendations for a bike rack that easily and temporarily attaches to a compact-sized car without leaving any marks or damage when removed. I'm also looking for ideas on securing the bicycle (from theft) to the vehicle on the rack when I am away from my car. Removing my bicycle from the rack/car every time I'm away from the car to run an errand is not practical.
    Please share your ideas

  2. #2
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Depending on the car, you can often fit a bike in the trunk if your remove the wheels. I've also thrown an old blanket over the back seat and stuck a bike in after removing the front wheel. There are strap-on bike mounts that sit on the trunk and bumper too. I have one of these and it works well enough. To lock the bike and rack you need to find a place under the car to run a cable or chain lock through.

  3. #3
    tsl
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    I own a Saris Bones 3-bike unit for exactly that reason.

    I don't own a car and can't predict what I'll be able to rent or borrow when I need one. The Bones is incredibly versatile. I've had it mounted on compacts, hatchbacks, a full-sized Buick, a station wagon and a van. Worked just fine with them all.

    I had a "WTF?" moment when I first took it out of the box, but once I figured it out I was amazed at how versatile it is and how easy it is to adjust. They now have an installation video.

    The trick to not damaging the paint is to be sure the paint and the rack's feet are perfectly clean, then cinch it down for all you're worth. If it can't move, it can't scratch the paint.

    To secure the bikes, I use a cable around something underneath the car--usually a bumper mount or trailer hitch--which I run through the bikes and lock with a U-lock--the big, bright yellow Kryptonite New York Lock.
    Last edited by tsl; 02-28-11 at 06:02 PM.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  4. #4
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    I will second the Saris Bones racks, they seem to be the most versatile of the rear mount racks. Avoid cars with spoilers however.

    Aaron
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    The Saris Solo is a minimalist $50 trunk rack that works well for one bike.

    http://www.saris.com/bike-racks/vehi...&category_id=7

  6. #6
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by techman View Post
    I am mostly car-free. Occasionally I rent a car when I want to travel a significant distance for a few days, but I have never been able to bring my bicycle. In the future I plan to buy a folding bike, but for now I'm trying to figure out how to take a full-sized bike on my trips with a rental car. Renting an SUV or van is out of the question (cost, fuel economy etc). I'm looking for recommendations for a bike rack that easily and temporarily attaches to a compact-sized car without leaving any marks or damage when removed. I'm also looking for ideas on securing the bicycle (from theft) to the vehicle on the rack when I am away from my car. Removing my bicycle from the rack/car every time I'm away from the car to run an errand is not practical.
    Please share your ideas
    Pardon me but why waste the cost of a car rack when you could use that same money to help buy a good folding bike?!?! Are you really in that much of a hurry?
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

    Originally Posted by krazygluon
    Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

  7. #7
    Senior Member lucille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
    Pardon me but why waste the cost of a car rack when you could use that same money to help buy a good folding bike?!?! Are you really in that much of a hurry?
    +1

  8. #8
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    I own a Saris Bones 3-bike unit for exactly that reason.
    Me too. It will even accomodate my Bacchetta Giro 20 recumbent, though it's best to remove the bike's seat for that.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
    Pardon me but why waste the cost of a car rack when you could use that same money to help buy a good folding bike?!?! Are you really in that much of a hurry?
    There are many reasons somebody wouldn't, and most are pretty obvious, so I won't reiterate them here.

  10. #10
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    If you still looking for a bike rack I know a great place online that will help you find something that is versatile for any car you rent. I found a great bike rack here for my car and now I can take my bike anywhere. Check them out here http://bike-racks-for-cars.net

  11. #11
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    Bring a blanket

    Drape the blanket over the back seat

    Take the front wheel off your bike.

    Place bike in back seat and secure with seat belts or luggage between it and the back of the front seat(s).

    Remove rear wheel if necessary to accomplish this.

    Place luggage in trunk and don't mess with the exposure to the bike from dangling off the back of the car and the hassle of getting in to the trunk when the rack is on there.

    I'm pretty short (5-8) and have a ~medium (54-ish cm) frame and can actually usually place the bike on the floor in the back. I'm talking about fairly small size cars - older Subarus (the new ones are much larger and of course would work better). A taller person (front seat moved further back, larger frame) would have to put it on the seat, thus the need for the blanket.

  12. #12
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    I used to own a Mitsubishi Mirage. The metal on that puppy was so thin that there was no way to attach a bike rack and bike without buckling the metal on the trunk lid. I did manage to get a number of bicycles to fit onto the front passenger seat with a blanket to keep grease off the seats.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  13. #13
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    I know that finding the right bike rack is super tricky it took me forever to find on I liked for my 4 runner. With so many styles and makes to choose between finding one that fits all your needs is rather hard. What did you end up finding or are you still looking I finally settled in on a nice hitch rack but I don't think that is an option for car. I found mine here http://bikeracksforcars.us I would check them out I got a great deal on it and love being able to take my bike anywhere.

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