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Transporting a bike with disk brakes

Old 12-15-20, 11:44 AM
  #1  
55tele
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Transporting a bike with disk brakes

Iím getting a new bike soon thatís equipped with disk brakes....Iíll be laying the bike down in the back of my Highlander SUV like so....

Anyone have issues with transporting this way with disk brakes, especially calipers? Iím really careful, but I donít want to unduly stress calipers..mounting....a little more concerned about the front fork caliper mounting..

Iím sure itíll be ok...just donít want to mess up a new bike!

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Old 12-15-20, 11:48 AM
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Why don't you take the wheels off, then lay the frame down derailleur side up and pad around it really good.
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Old 12-15-20, 11:56 AM
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I can do that but would like to avoid taking wheels off as you can see I have plenty of space in the car...just wondering if any one can comment if they are transporting the same way and if any issues..
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Old 12-15-20, 12:09 PM
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No, disc brakes don’t add any complications into the mix.
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Old 12-15-20, 12:12 PM
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unless you plan to off-road your car in such a way that the bike will bounce all over the place, I can't imagine any scenario in which you need to worry. I drive with my disc brake-equipped bikes in the back of my hatchback (front wheel removed to make it fit) like that all the time and I've never given it a second thought.

Last edited by mack_turtle; 12-15-20 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 12-15-20, 02:28 PM
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An old single bed mattress or sheet of foam? Just don't let the neighbours see it...
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Old 12-15-20, 02:48 PM
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Yes, I just ordered some heavy duty moving / furniture blankets....

Thanks..
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Old 12-15-20, 03:18 PM
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Just make sure the brake rotors don't contact the floor of the car, to avoid bending them on any big bumps.
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Old 12-15-20, 03:24 PM
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No issues with that. I've done it plenty of times, albeit with the front wheel detached as it won't fit in my car otherwise.
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Old 12-15-20, 03:55 PM
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You did not mention whether your new bike will have hydraulic or cable disc brakes. If they are hydraulic some manufacturers recommend not laying it on its side. Chances are it will not cause issues but this is from the Shimano safety instructions (document SI-8KC0A-001-00) for their Deore disc brakes:

"When turning the bicycle upside down or on its side, the brake system may have some air bubbles inside the reservoir tank which are still there when the bleed screws are replaced, or which accumulate in various parts of the brake system when it is used for long periods. This disc brake system is not designed to be turned upside down. If the bicycle is turned upside down or on its side, the air bubbles inside the reservoir tank may move in the direction of the calipers. If the bicycle is ridden in this condition, there is the danger that the brakes may not operate and a serious accident could occur. If the bicycle has been turned upside down or on its side, be sure to operate the brake lever a few times to check that the brakes operate normally before riding the bicycle. If the brakes do not operate normally, adjust them by the following procedure."

If you put it on its side just check the brakes before you start riding and you will probably be fine. Also if you remove your front wheel do not touch the rotor with your hands and keep the rotor clean and free of grease and oil. Finally, when the wheel is off do not push the brake lever or you risk pushing the pistons out of the caliper (if it is a hydraulic system).

Last edited by ARider2; 12-15-20 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 12-15-20, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by ARider2 View Post
Finally, when the wheel is off do not push the brake lever or you risk pushing the pistons out of the caliper (if it is a hydraulic system).
All my bikes that came with Shimano Hyd disc brakes came with caliper pad spacers to keep this from happening.

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Old 12-15-20, 04:55 PM
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I've always transported my bike upright inside my CRV using a fork mount bolted to a piece of 1/4" plywood. I remove the front wheel and the seatpost and it fits very well.

For disc brakes you will need a bit more clearance so a higher fork mount is required. Here is a modestly priced good candidate and it is available to fit a range of thru axles and quick release hubs:

https://www.backcountry.com/kuat-dir...IaAlBGEALw_wcB
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Old 12-15-20, 09:05 PM
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Thanks for all the replies...I learned something here......I indeed used to transport my bikes in a minivan with the fork mounts....20 years ago....My car has a pretty low roofline and I am tall...the new bike (with Ultegra hydraulic brakes BTW) would require taking the seat post off or down, so Im going to try to lay the bike down...sounds like some of you do that with no issue...

I DO normally hang my Serotta with rim brakes upside down for storage.....sounds like that is not a good idea with these hydraulic brakes....I have a new Park Team workstand, so I guess I'll transfer that down to the basement during the winter and mount the new bike in that , then use it in the garage to store the new bike in the good weather....

And yes, I know about the caliper spacers when wheels come off.....

Thanks again
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Old 12-16-20, 03:48 AM
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I would much rather lower my seatpost or remove ..instead of laying flat. In an accident, you could regret that one when the bike becomes a flying obstacle. I do the same as hillrider in my crv.
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Old 12-16-20, 04:31 AM
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Just keep the rotors side-up and you're golden
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Old 12-16-20, 04:46 AM
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Originally Posted by ARider2 View Post
You did not mention whether your new bike will have hydraulic or cable disc brakes. If they are hydraulic some manufacturers recommend not laying it on its side. Chances are it will not cause issues but this is from the Shimano safety instructions (document SI-8KC0A-001-00) for their Deore disc brakes:

"When turning the bicycle upside down or on its side, the brake system may have some air bubbles inside the reservoir tank which are still there when the bleed screws are replaced, or which accumulate in various parts of the brake system when it is used for long periods. This disc brake system is not designed to be turned upside down. If the bicycle is turned upside down or on its side, the air bubbles inside the reservoir tank may move in the direction of the calipers. If the bicycle is ridden in this condition, there is the danger that the brakes may not operate and a serious accident could occur. If the bicycle has been turned upside down or on its side, be sure to operate the brake lever a few times to check that the brakes operate normally before riding the bicycle. If the brakes do not operate normally, adjust them by the following procedure."

If you put it on its side just check the brakes before you start riding and you will probably be fine. Also if you remove your front wheel do not touch the rotor with your hands and keep the rotor clean and free of grease and oil. Finally, when the wheel is off do not push the brake lever or you risk pushing the pistons out of the caliper (if it is a hydraulic system).
I've had hydraulic brakes for lots of years. Zero issues putting the bike on its side as long as you don't press the brake lever in that position. I wouldn't put it inverted for a long time though, although I do it a few minutes to fix flats and it's a non-issue.

In any case, if you accidentally press the lever with the bike on its side (or with the bike upwards) the lever will probably go soft. You can solve that by putting the bike horizontal again and pumping the lever. It's that easy.
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Old 12-16-20, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by spilot101 View Post
Just keep the rotors side-up and you're golden
If he has this concern on the disk brake side I am sure he isnt going to lay the bike on the derailer side.
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Old 12-16-20, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by sloppy12 View Post
If he has this concern on the disk brake side I am sure he isnt going to lay the bike on the derailer side.
If I have to lie my bike, I always lie it on the disc side. The fork and frame hit the floor before the discs, and a properly tightened caliper shouldn't move, so it's a non issue unless you do it on a surface that isn't protected and can scratch the frame or fork.
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Old 12-16-20, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Amt0571 View Post
If I have to lie my bike, I always lie it on the disc side. The fork and frame hit the floor before the discs, and a properly tightened caliper shouldn't move, so it's a non issue unless you do it on a surface that isn't protected and can scratch the frame or fork.
Same here. The OP is probably just asking this question because disk brakes are new to him/her.
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Old 12-16-20, 08:01 AM
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If you lay down the bike with the calipers up....the bike will be derailleur down and that is the last thing you want to do.

Personally I would just get a bike rack.
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Old 12-16-20, 08:32 AM
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Thanks to all

I’m going to transport drive side up

I’ll use moving blankets / pads and bungees for support and secure the bike

For the new bike I am investigating my options for garage storage as I presently store inverted on hooks with the Serotta

Last edited by 55tele; 12-16-20 at 09:36 AM.
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