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Old 11-30-11, 11:27 AM   #1
redeyedtreefr0g
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How to transport a bike with a bike? And bike fit.

I posted a sticky note at work because as some of you might know, I'm looking for a bike that my husband can use- he doesn't have one.

A coworker saw my note and will bring a bike for me to look at this afternoon. I'm very excited. She said it is sort of small, but I thought it shouldn't matter because Jamie's legs are nearly the same length as mine, maybe an inch longer.

My question is: If I like the bike, how would I get it home if I rode my bike to work? Found some answers

You can see my bike in my signature- I have a crate bungeed to my rear rack but I could take it off.

Also, because my husband's length is all in his torso, what sort of things can I do or adjust to make his bike, if I get one, as comfy for him as possible? He is 6ft2in with leg inseams around 30-32 inches.

Thanks!

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Old 11-30-11, 11:35 AM   #2
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Try the Utility forum, I believe this has been the subject of a thread on that forum.
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Old 11-30-11, 11:59 AM   #3
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Ah yes, that would make sense, but the trouble is finding it...

got some clues, thanks.

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Old 11-30-11, 02:25 PM   #4
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Take it apart and take the parts home one at a time.

OR

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Old 11-30-11, 03:00 PM   #5
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I am a little concerned about your comment about leg length and height and bike size. How big (what 'size') is the bike you are planning on getting? Also, I am guessing the 30-32 inches refers to his pant inseam length - which is entirely different form the leg length measurement used for sizing bicycles, which is generally defined as the distance from the floor to the pubic bone in stocking feet. I have not seem too many people over 6'0" who are not best fitted on a size 'L' or 19"/20" frame at least.
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Old 11-30-11, 03:17 PM   #6
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For a free bike I can't really be choosy, but I haven't seen it yet.
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Old 11-30-11, 03:26 PM   #7
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I just transported a frameset today. For the first leg of the ride, I had the fork bungeed to my rack with bungee netting and the frame bungeed to the rack on top of the frame. I did this because I had to leave them on my bike while I locked it outside until lunch (in a bike room inside the garage at work, but still), so that way I could run a cable lock through my bike's frame and back wheel and then through the frame on my rack in such a way that it'd be hard to get the fork out from underneath it. While this was ok, bounces (we have crappy roads) caused the fork and frame to bounce apart and then into each other and potentially damage the paint, so on the second leg, the fork was bungeed to my front rack like horns to stab someone and the frame was on my back rack (now longways instead of wide as I'd had it the first half of the ride). That worked much better. I'd say pull the wheels, and you should be able to get it on the rack long and narrow (as opposed to sticking out wide). Have the rear of the bike up under your seat and bungee it so the fork is turned and the front of the bars is securely facing up. Then put the wheels on top and bungee them in place as well. Helps if you have a ton of bungee cords and aren't super concerned that bike stays pristine.
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Old 11-30-11, 03:27 PM   #8
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Or you could wear a backpack and strap it all to that like 10 wheels did. I've seen a lot of people doing it that way (but it wasn't an option for me today).
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Old 11-30-11, 03:38 PM   #9
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If it rolls , and you can ride one handed,& if you can reach the stem of bike #2,
you can lead it well enough, with the second hand.
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Old 11-30-11, 04:03 PM   #10
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Anybody ever pop the front wheel off the second bike and somehow secure the fork of the first bike to their rack? Wondering how hard it'd be to turn the second bike into a makeshift trailer.
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Old 11-30-11, 04:09 PM   #11
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Do I have to take it apart? Can I just bungee or tie the front wheel of the second bike to the side of my rack? As long as the wheel can't move around the trailing bike shouldn't get squirrely, right?
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Old 11-30-11, 04:17 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
Anybody ever pop the front wheel off the second bike and somehow secure the fork of the first bike to their rack? Wondering how hard it'd be to turn the second bike into a makeshift trailer.
Yes, you can clamp an old QR front hub to the back of your bike's rack and then attach the towed bike's fork to the hub. The front wheel of the towed bike can be strapped to the frame's main triangle.

I've also used fietbob's method above for short distance transport of a bike - hold the stem of the towed bike with my right hand while keeping my left hand on the handlebar/front brake of my bike. It's hard to shift gears, so this works best on fairly flat terrain. OTOH, it's great for doing 'track stands' at traffic lights.
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Old 11-30-11, 06:48 PM   #13
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Do I have to take it apart? Can I just bungee or tie the front wheel of the second bike to the side of my rack? As long as the wheel can't move around the trailing bike shouldn't get squirrely, right?
You'd think that would work, but you can't really secure it with something stretchy like a bungee. Trust me on this, I've tried towing bikes several times and it several ways, secured with bungees and secured with ropes. It always ends in heartache. It's much harder than it sounds.

The best way I've found to transport a bike is to take the wheels off and use a backpack. Use the backpack load compression straps on the side to strap the frame to the backpack, then zip-tie (not bungee, zip-tie) the wheels to the frame.

After messing (and failing) with several methods of towing, the backpack method is how I do it now. I've never had a problem with the backpack method. You do have to careful not to get a pedal in the @$$, and I use a bungee to keep the fork straight so that the bars don't swing around and hug my shoulder.

As an ancillary benefit, cars will give you huge space when they pass.
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Old 11-30-11, 06:53 PM   #14
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Yes, you can clamp an old QR front hub to the back of your bike's rack and then attach the towed bike's fork to the hub. The front wheel of the towed bike can be strapped to the frame's main triangle.
When doing this, it depends completely on how well the hub is attached to the rack and that you've done it in such a way that the hub can rotate allowing the towed bike to pivot up and down over bumps.

I was unsuccessful in this one too. It's another one of those things that works well conceptually, but not well at all in the real world.
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Old 11-30-11, 07:01 PM   #15
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Also, because my husband's length is all in his torso, what sort of things can I do or adjust to make his bike, if I get one, as comfy for him as possible? He is 6ft2in with leg inseams around 30-32 inches.
His inseam doesn't matter at all if the issue is with his torso. I have just to opposite build--I'm all legs and no torso.

Adjusting a bike to fit the legs is easy--you just move the saddle up or down. If the seat post is too short, get a longer one.

Adjusting a bike to fit the torso is hard. The bike's top tube is welded in place and is not adjustable. You can move the saddle forward or back a bit, but too much in either direction and you end up with knee and leg problems. Same with the stem and handlebars. Too short or too long in the stem/bar combination and you begin to have handling problems.

Free is good. But free and doesn't fit and can't be made to fit is a problem.

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Old 11-30-11, 07:04 PM   #16
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If it rolls , and you can ride one handed,& if you can reach the stem of bike #2,
you can lead it well enough, with the second hand.
If it's a rolling bike, this the way I always take them home.
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Old 11-30-11, 09:39 PM   #17
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If it rolls , and you can ride one handed,& if you can reach the stem of bike #2,
you can lead it well enough, with the second hand.
I tried that one time. Ended up having to walk both bikes home. I simply could not get any decent control of the 2nd bike. It was fairly hilly and that may have contributed to the problem, but it didn't work for me. I'd try doing with a second bicycle at home it before committing to having to do it on the streets.
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Old 11-30-11, 09:45 PM   #18
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It can be difficult on steeply crowned roads. Good practice is walking beside a bike and pushing it down the sidewalk, grasping it by the stem. After a while it gets to be second nature. If you can't trackstand on one bike, chances are better you can track stand with two. It's almost like leaning against a slightly wobbly pole once you get used to how your riderless bike is going to act.
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Old 11-30-11, 10:55 PM   #19
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I've ridden 10 miles once riding one bike and holding the stem of the other. I wouldn't recommend that method for a distance like that, but it can be done.

The easiest way is to load the other bike into a trailer, I have one of the trailers made to hold 2 kids, I just take the front wheel off, set the bike in upside down, throw the wheel in the trailer, and use bungees to hold it together.

Another way to transport a frame or wheels is to throw it on top of a rack mounted milk crate, and bungee it down. If it is not a large frame, and your milk crate is well secured, I'd think it would be possible to do the frame on top, and wheels on the sides. I haven't tried that though. Otherwise, with two trips this could be a good method.
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Old 11-30-11, 10:58 PM   #20
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Here's how I got my last frameset home. (I had a few other goodies with me too)


2011-08-21_15-51-40_205.jpg by Lester Of Puppets, on Flickr
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Old 12-01-11, 12:47 AM   #21
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Well, I tried it. I failed miserably.

The bike is a huffy somethingorother, purple, and the tires were cracked all along the sides, the tubes whooshed air right back out. Otherwise its in great shape. It does seem very small. I forgot how mountain bikes are short from wheel to wheel and tall compared to mine. It may not be ok for him at all. I need to ask if she wants it back if he can't use it.

I tried to take both wheels off, but couldn't loosen the rear axle nut with my multitool. So I tried the fork-to-the-rear-rack method. It makes the empty bike very high. I had muletape and bungees. I got maybe 50 feet before the death wobble started, must have loosened my tying, and then when I stopped, the empty bike fell over. I admitted defeat as the surprise was not worth making my husband worried because I was late. He came with the car and got me + 2 bikes.

Really I think it could have worked if the dropouts could have actually hooked around the rack parts, but the fork was too fat to let them drop in nicely. It's an interesting puzzle that would be handy to figure out for later.
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Old 12-01-11, 01:23 AM   #22
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I'v tried that method once and gave up, and tried tying the front wheel to a side basket once, I made it home with that, but I'm never trying it again. If you stop or take a corner too sharp, chances are you are going down.

Some Huffys are ok bikes, and some are not worth putting any effort whatsoever into fixing. If she doesn't want it back, and it ends up being to small, I'd see if it has Shimano metal friction thumb shifters. If so, they are definitely worth keeping, and I'd say they might be the best shifters I've every used. The bikes they came on fall into the ok category. The wheels might be the heaviest ones ever made, but the frames aren't terrible, and as long as everything is in adjustment, they seem to work without issue. Of course, this time of year it should be pretty easy to find something on Craigslist that will be better than any Huffy.
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Old 12-01-11, 11:28 AM   #23
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Well, I need to take the bike back anyway. The lady said this morning that she wanted $30 for it, which is not what was implied yesterday at all. I'm not paying over half the price of a new bicycle for one that is scratched, needs parts, and looks small anyway. Also it is, according to Hubby, pink. I say purple, but I guess he is picky enough to object to free pink bikes, hehe.

And here is the photo of how I attempted to transport the bike.

Like I said, this failed badly. The trash can is helping to hold the bikes upright because I have a wimpy kickstand.
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Old 12-01-11, 11:42 AM   #24
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Good effort!

But, yeah, that is a small frame. Most women's frames (as that one is) are in a 16 or 18" size. 18" would be a borderline fit for someone 6'2" if you have the time and money to swap parts and modify the bike. Trying to stuff him onto a 16" is basically just a way to convince him that he doesn't want to ride. If a bike does not fit (as this one does not), even if it is a free bike, then it is not worth the price you paid. Really. A bike that fits the rider is more important than you can imagine. Sore knees and muscles and back will result and the cycling experiment will be over. There is a 'range' of bike sizes that will be useable for any one person, but for a tall guy the range is from large to-extra-large.

Shop thrift stores, craigslist, salvation army, yard sales, and look for something with a large frame. Old 10 speeds are often very good value (people seldom expect to get more than $30 for them and often less) and can often be found in large frames.
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Old 12-01-11, 12:20 PM   #25
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And here is the photo of how I attempted to transport the bike.

just guessing since i'm going by a pic, but that might have worked with some small ratchet straps. not like bungees that stretch, these don't expand and have a small ratchet to adjust their length. if you have a harbor freight or big lots (odd lots in some places) nearby you can get smaller ones, which ought to be plenty strong enough for what you're trying. not cinch straps or belts (which will be displayed in the same area in the store and at first glance might look the same), actual ratchet straps. usually sold in pairs or sets of four, but sometimes they'll have single ones, which should be enough for this, for a couple bucks.
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