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Is a bike rack mandatory?

Old 05-14-15, 04:20 PM
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Is a bike rack mandatory?

Meaning if I have 1 bike would you say I need one or do most people transporting 1 bike stuff it in their car whether they'd have to take the front wheel off or not?

Does everyone have one?
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Old 05-14-15, 04:33 PM
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I've always carried the bike inside the back of the vehicle (hatchback/station wagon/SUV).

I pretty much stopped driving about 6 months ago, so, transporting the bike means pedaling it where I want to go.
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Old 05-14-15, 04:55 PM
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We'd like to take two bikes somewhere, eventually -- if you have an SUV, that can still work, maybe even with the wheels still on. But good luck getting anything else in the car, like pets or luggage. I'd say unless you want to fit other stuff in the car, or get tired of taking it in/out all the time, it's something you don't need. Extra expense too, sometimes a lot.
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Old 05-14-15, 05:29 PM
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I use this fork mount attached to a 2x4 to transport my bike in the back of a Kia Sportage. I have to take off the front tire and lower the seat, but I've got the process down to just a few minutes now.
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Old 05-14-15, 05:31 PM
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I have an XL frame and 4 door sedan type car and the only way I can fit it in my car is to take the front wheel off every time. I'm trying to figure out if a lot of ppl do that or if it'll become a pain in the ass.
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Old 05-14-15, 05:32 PM
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I can easily fit my road bike or DS in the back of my Civic. if taking the front wheel off is a problem then expect to spend a lot of money at the LBS having the bike maintained.

Rear racks can be a problem if the car is hit from the rear. Roof racks if you ever use a multi level garage.
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Old 05-14-15, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by madurotiger
I have an XL frame and 4 door sedan type car and the only way I can fit it in my car is to take the front wheel off every time. I'm trying to figure out if a lot of ppl do that or if it'll become a pain in the ass.
If you have quick release hubs on a road bike, it only takes seconds to remove and install the front wheel.

A MTB can with fat tires, narrow rims, and no brake quick release can be a hassle

And the "lawyer tabs" are also a pain.

Anyway, I wouldn't stress about it. Just pop the tire off and throw everything in the back.

(scratch proofing it????)
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Old 05-14-15, 08:06 PM
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Oldnslow I'm not sure I follow about what you said about if taking the front wheel off us a problem I'll be getting it maintained often
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Old 05-14-15, 08:14 PM
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Used a trunk mount rack the first year. It was a pain because I started on a heavy Walmart bike. A pain because the bike didn't fit well (full suspension.) A pain because it marks up your car. A pain because I ride every day after work so the bike sat there rain or shine.

Now with my much lighter Giant Escape I put the seats down in my Jetta and take the front wheel off. My bike was locked in the car out of the elements every day from May through November sheltered from the rain.
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Old 05-14-15, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by madurotiger
Oldnslow I'm not sure I follow about what you said about if taking the front wheel off us a problem I'll be getting it maintained often
I implied that if taking the wheel off is a problem then how are you going to maintain the bike yourself?

I've seen people, with expensive bikes, bring them in to have basic things done like change tubes, adjusting brakes and cleanings.

I once saw a car that was rear ended with a bike on the back. The bike was bent like a pretzel, if it was carbon it would be splinters.

Roof racks...


Safest place is inside the car.
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Old 05-14-15, 08:23 PM
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Lol wow that pic is nuts. I'll pass on the rack. Thanks sir.
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Old 05-14-15, 08:23 PM
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I used the back seat of my LaSabre, and criteria for replacement car is ability to carry the bike inside, hence a LaCrosse with fold down rear seats. Never have to worry about theft, unless they break into my car. (Not likely in the areas I frequent). I use heavy plastic under cardboard to protect the interior from dirty mountain bikes and grease, and it is hidden when I have the seats up. If rim brakes interfere with wide tires, a second in-line brake quick release might be warranted to let them open wider. Removing the front wheel should never be a problem, but extra care needed not to bend rear disc brake rotors. (My mtb has disc brakes, so no tire/brake interference removing the wheel)

Fatbikes would probably need a hitch rack supporting the bike by it's wheels because of the bulk and weight.
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Old 05-14-15, 08:49 PM
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Mine has Hydraulic disc brakes. Should to be more careful with those kinds of brakes? Do I need to lay it down a certain way?
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Old 05-14-15, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by madurotiger
Mine has Hydraulic disc brakes. Should to be more careful with those kinds of brakes? Do I need to lay it down a certain way?
No... just don't squeeze the brake with the wheel off.
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Old 05-15-15, 05:28 AM
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I use a car bike rack that attaches to my hatchback Toyota Matrix. I can get one bike inside if I needed to; but it's just a lot easier to put it on the rack, and if I need to carry more than one bike, then the rack is a necessity. The worst thing about the rack is that the bike gets dirty riding on it. I lock my bike to the rack to ensure that it could never fall off and to prevent any easy opportunity theft while I'm not in the car.
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Old 05-15-15, 06:41 AM
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So if there's room in your car it's clear you don't HAVE to have a rack. Though with a muddy MTB or dualsport it'd be nice to not muck up the interior of your car. It comes in handy is if you're travelling somewhere with your bike, or if you and a couple buddies are going somewhere to ride an event or something. I went with a hitch rack as I already had a hitch and there will be times I need the interior cargo space.

Roof racks scare me though, reminded of the insurance commercial at 0:50 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfyWct2FJBU

Guess there's a reason to get a hangtag like this though:

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Old 05-15-15, 06:45 AM
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I always a rear trunk car rack. no fusing with wheels no grease worries. keep my tan interior clean.
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Old 05-15-15, 06:53 AM
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Rear trunk rack for me. I used to have a hatchback, where it was possible to fold the seats down and transport my bike with the front wheel off. My current car is a sedan, which is a lot less convenient. That said, if you are headed to the start of a ride, it is typically much easier to use a rack, and a lot easier if you are transporting two bikes.

I know people with pickup trucks and minivans. Different story for them.
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Old 05-15-15, 10:58 AM
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I have a hitch rack with an integrated lock. I always carry 1 bike, often 2, and occasionally put on my extension to carry 3 or 4. Couldn't do that with just my back seat.

If I always only carried 1, it would probably be in the back seat.
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Old 05-15-15, 11:20 AM
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Yes, when there's no room in the car, you have to carry the bike outside.

My son and 2 friends driving from Long Island to Buffalo to participate in the Empire State Games.

3 road bike
3 tri bikes
3 trainers
spare wheels, tires, tools, shoes and more.



Not optimal but renting a truck was not in their budget.
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Old 05-15-15, 02:16 PM
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Hitch rack for me as well, even though I have an mid-size SUV that can easily hold a bike without front wheel (or with front wheel with rear seat down).

- Can't pile more than one bike in the trunk without mangling them all up (3 bikes for the family).
- No scuffing trunk, or worst yet scuffing white rear bumper if you slide em in carelessly.
- No grimy hands handling manoeuvring bike in.
- No fighting with disc brake rub if you even look at the QR funny!

If I get rear-ended, add some new bikes to the insurance claim!

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Old 05-15-15, 04:05 PM
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Getting rear ended is actually my main concern. Do insurance companies cover bikes if someone hits you from behind and smashes your bike all to hell? I doubt it but who knows.

I'll probably always transport 1 bike so I'm not sure I need a rack.
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Old 05-15-15, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by madurotiger
Getting rear ended is actually my main concern. Do insurance companies cover bikes if someone hits you from behind and smashes your bike all to hell? I doubt it but who knows.

I'll probably always transport 1 bike so I'm not sure I need a rack.
If you're transporting just one bike, then the only reason I could see for using an exterior rack would be if your bike is going to be muddy and you want to keep the car interior clean. Other than that, there are several good reasons for keeping the bike inside the vehicle.
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Old 05-15-15, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by madurotiger
Getting rear ended is actually my main concern. Do insurance companies cover bikes if someone hits you from behind and smashes your bike all to hell? I doubt it but who knows.

I'll probably always transport 1 bike so I'm not sure I need a rack.
Good question, I checked my policy, it covers any damage to personal property inside the vehicle in the case of an "accident". It does not however cover "theft" of property within the vehicle, which would be covered by my "property insurance". I guess you could argue if bikes are technically "inside" the car, when mounted to the trunk! Probably best to check with your own insurance company.

A quick google reveals that people were usually able to claim it either under the auto or property insurance (including when they backed up their car and accidentally smashed their own bikes against a wall or pole).

In any case, I would be more worried about my car in an accident than some easily replaceable bikes!
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Old 05-15-15, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by madurotiger
Getting rear ended is actually my main concern. Do insurance companies cover bikes if someone hits you from behind and smashes your bike all to hell? I doubt it but who knows.

I'll probably always transport 1 bike so I'm not sure I need a rack.
I can just imagine telling my insurance company that my 2001 Civic with 244,000 miles was rear ended with a $12,000 bike on the back.
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