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No bike rack

Old 11-12-17, 01:52 PM
  #1  
jazzchip
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No bike rack

Just got into biking. We have 2 bikes and a Subaru Outback. We want to put the bikes in the back of the car rather than get a rack. Our drive to where we bike is less than 5 miles. What are the risks to the bikes of doing this? What precautions would you suggest.
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Old 11-12-17, 01:56 PM
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don't have the tire hanging behind the engine exhaust pipe.
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Old 11-12-17, 02:03 PM
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Bent spokes, scratched frame, bent rear derailleur hangers, dirt and grease on your upholstery... depending on how much value you put on your bikes, it is likely worth at least considering a roof-mounted rack, like a Thule Outride.
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Old 11-12-17, 02:19 PM
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Sooo much easier to hang them on a rack, you’ll be glad you got one. Good point made above about dirt and grease, you’d be surprised.
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Old 11-12-17, 02:48 PM
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bike those 5 miles. Like in going for a bike ride and using the bike?

If you need to use a car.... put them on the non-drive side. I assume you need to fold down the rear seats. Put some old blanket under the bikes. you just have to try out how they will fit in. Depends in bike size and the actual interior dimensions.
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Old 11-12-17, 02:49 PM
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An Outback is a great car for carrying bikes. A friend of mine has one and she has been using it to carry her and her boyfriend's bike to rides for years. A couple of old blankets to cushion the bikes is all that is needed to protect them from damage. However, most of the people I know would consider a 5 mile trip to the start of a ride to be far too close to consider putting bikes into a car
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Old 11-12-17, 02:50 PM
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if you ride in inclement weather, a little rain or whatever & if you ride on any unpaved trails. whatever gets on your bike in the way of water & dirt or mud might get on the inside of your car. suppose if you had a thick moving blanket it would protect the interior & another thick moving blanket between the bikes would protect the bikes from ea other
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Old 11-12-17, 03:08 PM
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hug the bikes as you would a tree before you put them in...just kidding....
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Old 11-12-17, 03:54 PM
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I own a '17 OB, I have one of these rear seat/cargo area protectors. I also got my OB with the black interior so smudges wouldn't look as obvious.

https://www.amazon.com/Cargo-Univers...seat+protector

With rear seats folded down, I've transported 2 bikes in the car, front wheels off, a blanket between the bikes. It works, but is a PITA when the pedals and h-bars get hung up on something, as well the top bike is a heavy load to lift up and over the lower bike.

Thus I'd recommend either a hitch rack or roof rack. They are not cheap, running $700 or so for a good system, but are useful when taking trips and you want the bikes long, just not inside.

Lots of posts here on hitch racks, roof racks, etc....
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Old 11-12-17, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
An Outback is a great car for carrying bikes. A friend of mine has one and she has been using it to carry her and her boyfriend's bike to rides for years. A couple of old blankets to cushion the bikes is all that is needed to protect them from damage. However, most of the people I know would consider a 5 mile trip to the start of a ride to be far too close to consider putting bikes into a car
I would run five miles to warm up for a trail run rather than drive - let alone on a bike.
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Old 11-12-17, 04:13 PM
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Everyone keeps saying to ride the 5 miles, if it was a road or hybrid sure no problem but if it was my mountain bike I would not enjoy a flat 5 mile ride on roads. Hitch receive bike racks are a lot cheaper than a roof rack system and you can find them on Craigslist regularly. You will likely scratch up your bikes having two in the back of any rig unless you have room to fork mount them like my friend with a small SUV does.
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Old 11-12-17, 04:15 PM
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But a heavy blanket over the bottom bike. They'll be fine.

Bigger consideration - consider theft. From a bike rack, it will cost you the bikes and maybe the rack. From the inside of your car, you will have to replace the rear window and perhaps have other damage to the car. Plus side - if you forget and drive into your garage, the inside the car option works out far better.

Ben
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Old 11-12-17, 04:35 PM
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Bike rack

Put a hitch on your Subie, 2" receiver, and get a bike rack. I bought one on the Internet for about $175 that is solid as a brick **** house. Can't remember the company, but you can research the net. I throw my bike in the back sometimes, but it often has my golf clubs or other stuff in it so I can always throw it on the back. I've had 4 bikes on the rack when we head to the Harpoon Point to Point ride.
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Old 11-12-17, 04:39 PM
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[QUOTE=Larry77;19988393 Hitch receive bike racks are a lot cheaper than a roof rack system and you can find them on Craigslist regularly. .[/QUOTE]

Seems we've had this discussion.

A U-Haul 2" hitch installed is $185. A good quality non-hanging Yakima 2 bike hitch tray is $300. So $485

Yes, they can get cheaper hitch bike holders that the bikes hang on, a nice Yakima is about $200, so total becomes $385

If the OP already has an OB with the factory cross-bars, they only need bike trays. 2 - Thule Circuit trays might run $330. The Yak models that hold the wheels are $380 a pair.

If they need a roof kit and crossbars, that adds to the price.

Craigslist is always showing hitches, hitch bike holders, roof racks, etc.... so easy to find some of the parts cheap.

Simplest and cheapest rack might be a good model that mounts on the rear hatch.

Last edited by Steve B.; 11-12-17 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 11-12-17, 05:21 PM
  #15  
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Welcome to the forum.

+1 on riding the bike to the trail.

My Thule 2/4 bike rack is a secure method for bike transportation. The rack is locked to the hitch. The security bar is locked to the rack.


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Old 11-12-17, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
But a heavy blanket over the bottom bike. They'll be fine.

Bigger consideration - consider theft. From a bike rack, it will cost you the bikes and maybe the rack. From the inside of your car, you will have to replace the rear window and perhaps have other damage to the car. Plus side - if you forget and drive into your garage, the inside the car option works out far better.

Ben

I agree with this post.

A moving pad works perfectly in my Forester, even with a muddy gravel bike. Why spend the money on a trailer hitch and/or rack for a five mile drive?

Several on these forums have been rear ended with bikes on a hitch mounted rack.


-Tim-

Last edited by TimothyH; 11-12-17 at 07:22 PM.
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Old 11-12-17, 06:51 PM
  #17  
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Other than the trouble and inconvenience of taking wheels off and putting them back on again keeping them in the car is ok. One bike is inconvenient but two bikes is a downright nuisance. I have done both and much prefer a rack. Scratches, bent spokes and a few four letter expletives will go with putting them in the back of the car also. Blankets or towels help but I think you'll find that it's still a hassle.

Since you're new to biking I'd stick with the back of the car. If you do decide to get a rack, a roof rack is the way to go but "generally" more expensive than a rear rack (racks plus two bikes carriers). I currently have a nice Yakima rear rack and although it's easier than piling my bikes in the back of the car it's not as convenient as having them on a roof rack. For vacations a roof rack is much better because it leaves the back of the car empty for the rest of your belongings.
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Old 11-12-17, 07:33 PM
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jazzchip
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Thank you all for the excellent insights into this situation. We're going to call UHaul and another company here in Tucson that will mount a hitch to the car to get the actual cost.
I appreciate all the comments.
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Old 11-12-17, 07:38 PM
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I don't even have a hatchback like the Subaru Outback, and when I don't want to bother with strapping the rack onto the back of the car I'll just pop the front (or both) wheels off the bike and throw the frame on the back seat with a blanket to keep things clean. Too easy.

Of course, for a five mile ride I'd probably just ride over there, although there's a valid point of not wanting to wear out knobbies on a good MTB tire.

Still, if you can afford it, one of those nice hitch rail bike racks would be uber convenient and nice to have.
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Old 11-12-17, 08:08 PM
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I've put two bikes in the back of my Honda HR-V without removing anything from them. Depending on which Outback you have, you ought to have either more or a lot more space. It's only a little bit of a hassle, but having some blankets and making sure the pedals of one didn't get tangled in anything of the other (gears, chain, spokes) is sufficient. Not as nice as having a rack, but given that a hitch and rack cost almost as much as those two bikes, not something I was going to invest in until I knew whether it would be a regular thing to do (it wasn't as we got a tandem and ride from home).
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Old 11-12-17, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
I've put two bikes in the back of my Honda HR-V without removing anything from them. Depending on which Outback you have, you ought to have either more or a lot more space. It's only a little bit of a hassle, but having some blankets and making sure the pedals of one didn't get tangled in anything of the other (gears, chain, spokes) is sufficient. Not as nice as having a rack, but given that a hitch and rack cost almost as much as those two bikes, not something I was going to invest in until I knew whether it would be a regular thing to do (it wasn't as we got a tandem and ride from home).
This is what we may do if the cost associated with getting a hitch and rack is prohibitive. I'll find out soon.
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Old 11-12-17, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
I've put two bikes in the back of my Honda HR-V without removing anything from them. Depending on which Outback you have, you ought to have either more or a lot more space. It's only a little bit of a hassle, but having some blankets and making sure the pedals of one didn't get tangled in anything of the other (gears, chain, spokes) is sufficient. Not as nice as having a rack, but given that a hitch and rack cost almost as much as those two bikes, not something I was going to invest in until I knew whether it would be a regular thing to do (it wasn't as we got a tandem and ride from home).
This is good advice. An Outback has much more cargo space than an HR-V. Yes, it can be tricky to put two bicycles into a station wagon, but with a bit of practice it is less work than installing and removing any sort of bike rack when you do or do not need it
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Old 11-13-17, 04:44 AM
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Take the front wheels off and put seat lower. You can easily add a strap so the bikes don't move in those few 5 miles. Should be no problem.
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Old 11-13-17, 05:49 AM
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I've got a 2006 Forester.
I take the bike to work every day, then go for an hour's ride before work.
I have a towbar and a rack for it BUT, the bike travels inside.

It's not hard to take the front wheel out and put the bike in the back. Although I only carry one bike, my son and his wife (2006 WRX) put both their bikes in the back with, I believe, a blanket between them.

I've been carrying bikes on the back of cars and inside them for decades. I don't actually mind hanging them off a rack on the back, but they do cop road crud and it really only works if you're driving straight to the ride point because there's no security. For example, I often stop off at the supermarket on the way home from work and on weekends, stop off for some eats - it's nice to have the bike safely inside rather than hanging on the rack.

I don't recommend a roof rack because there is too much danger of driving underneath something low. Not just your garage or car port (the classic mistake) but also drive throughs AND overhanging trees - yes, I have pulled small branches and leaves out of brake levers and often, you have no option but to go under the overhang.

My best recommendation is to fit a tow bar and buy a good rack. There WILL be times when you can't have the bikes in the car and it's always good to have the option. As for day to day use, you'll work out for yourself what is more convenient, using the rack or putting the bikes inside and you'll find it varies from trip to trip.
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Old 11-13-17, 06:04 AM
  #25  
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I put one bike in my Forester, drivetrain up. Heavy blanket over it and then a second bike. No problemos.
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