Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Living Car Free
Reload this Page >

best small used car with racks for recumbents and bikes?

Notices
Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

best small used car with racks for recumbents and bikes?

Old 06-04-17, 02:27 PM
  #1  
legstrongv
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: poughkeepsie, NY
Posts: 11

Bikes: bacchetta Giro 20 recumbent ( 2004 )

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Question: best small used car with racks for recumbents and bikes?

Currently I don't have a car at all, but I got a Bacchetta Giro 20 recumbent and a few other upright diamond-frame bikes as well. Perhaps one day I might get a Schlitter Encore recumbent.
I'm currently single guy in early 40s with no children. Living in the mid-Hudson Valley area in New York state so it's a little hilly here.. Definitely would get a used car, not a new car. Which car style would be good? ( hatchback, station wagon, sedan, etc.. )

What kind of small used car(s) do you recommend? I prefer a small car since I'm rusty and want a good MPG. Also I want to spend as much money on the bikes instead of the car, of course. Basically I would be using the car as a personal SAG wagon that gets me to group rides and bicycle events rides, such as the Harlem Valley bike ride. I will be carrying one or two recumbent(s) plus a road bike and some spare parts and tools. Perhaps further down the road, carry some of my friends bikes as well for weekend outings.

Trying to be car-lite.. Trying to save money for sure.

Thanks,

Last edited by legstrongv; 06-04-17 at 02:28 PM. Reason: title change
legstrongv is offline  
Old 06-04-17, 04:50 PM
  #2  
I-Like-To-Bike
Been Around Awhile
 
I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Burlington Iowa
Posts: 28,441

Bikes: Vaterland and Ragazzi

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Liked 484 Times in 309 Posts
" two recumbent(s) plus a road bike"? Not much chance you can get transport such an outsize load on a small car. Better think small pickup or van.
Also think you are asking this question in the wrong forum for car recommendations based on YOUR needs.
BTW why transport so many bicycles to an event?
I-Like-To-Bike is offline  
Old 06-04-17, 05:04 PM
  #3  
legstrongv
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: poughkeepsie, NY
Posts: 11

Bikes: bacchetta Giro 20 recumbent ( 2004 )

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
For those weekend bike events and/or races, you're right. I would only need one bike.

But once a while, perhaps I can help my friends from the New York City who have bikes but don't have a car nor a bike rack and we can carpool to some of the events on the weekends.

This "sag" car would be used mostly on weekends.
legstrongv is offline  
Old 06-05-17, 04:11 AM
  #4  
oslomyths
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by legstrongv View Post
For those weekend bike events and/or races, you're right. I would only need one bike.

But once a while, perhaps I can help my friends from the New York City who have bikes but don't have a car nor a bike rack and we can carpool to some of the events on the weekends.

This "sag" car would be used mostly on weekends.
Choosing a car to cower other peopels needs can be a trap. Could a small car and a trailer (or rent a trailer when you need one) be a solution? I had a small Toyota some years ago and that car was great. Only needed oil and brake pads and I did the work myself. I borrowed a trailer from a friend who had a trailer but not the hitch on his new car. Pulled a lot of bikes tah way and still had a small car that was easy to park and cheap on fuel and insurance.
oslomyths is offline  
Old 06-05-17, 06:00 AM
  #5  
I-Like-To-Bike
Been Around Awhile
 
I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Burlington Iowa
Posts: 28,441

Bikes: Vaterland and Ragazzi

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Liked 484 Times in 309 Posts
Originally Posted by legstrongv View Post
But once a while, perhaps I can help my friends from the New York City who have bikes but don't have a car nor a bike rack and we can carpool to some of the events on the weekends.

This "sag" car would be used mostly on weekends.
It would probably be a whole lot easier and cheaper to rent a van/small truck for the once in a while occasions when you have a need for providing multiple bicycle transport. Presumably your NYC friends could/should help defray the relative minimal costs for a weekend rental.
I-Like-To-Bike is offline  
Old 06-05-17, 07:17 AM
  #6  
cooker
Prefers Cicero
 
cooker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Toronto
Posts: 12,844

Bikes: 1984 Trek 520; 2007 Bike Friday NWT; misc others

Mentioned: 86 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3910 Post(s)
Liked 79 Times in 67 Posts
Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
It would probably be a whole lot easier and cheaper to rent a van/small truck for the once in a while occasions when you have a need for providing multiple bicycle transport. Presumably your NYC friends could/should help defray the relative minimal costs for a weekend rental.
The other option would be a car trailer (oops, already covered). Perhaps you can even get one you could tow with a motorcyle (or a bicycle!) and avoid buying a car - however I have no expertise in that.

How will your friends from New York City get out of the city? Would you have to drive down to pick them up or can they take a train partway to the events?

Last edited by cooker; 06-05-17 at 07:30 AM.
cooker is offline  
Old 06-05-17, 07:58 AM
  #7  
I-Like-To-Bike
Been Around Awhile
 
I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Burlington Iowa
Posts: 28,441

Bikes: Vaterland and Ragazzi

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Liked 484 Times in 309 Posts
Originally Posted by cooker View Post
The other option would be a car trailer (oops, already covered). Perhaps you can even get one you could tow with a motorcyle (or a bicycle!) and avoid buying a car - however I have no expertise in that.
The trailer option is probably better met by renting it, rather than buying for such a limited use. Trailer use would also require modifying the car in order to attach a trailer with hitch and lighting (and possibly brake) connections. Note that some small cars may not be capable of safely pulling a trailer.

Seems like a lot of fuss for a problem with such an easy solution - rent a van or truck when you need to haul 2 recumbents and a road bike, or any other awkward loads every once in awhile. Or suggest the NYC friends share your expenses for providing them transportation services, or do it themselves.
I-Like-To-Bike is offline  
Old 06-05-17, 10:13 AM
  #8  
tandempower
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 4,355
Mentioned: 90 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8081 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
If you want to save money don't get a car. Cars are money pits. Just ride where you want to go and wait couple years for self driving cars to evolve.
tandempower is offline  
Old 06-05-17, 10:33 AM
  #9  
I-Like-To-Bike
Been Around Awhile
 
I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Burlington Iowa
Posts: 28,441

Bikes: Vaterland and Ragazzi

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Liked 484 Times in 309 Posts
To repeat, and as you should be able to figure out from some of the responses - you are asking this question in the wrong forum for car recommendations based on YOUR needs.

Might be the place though if you want to read about daydreams that are non-responsive to your question or needs. Wait long enough and you should be getting some P&R type responses about how you could/should drastically change your lifestyle rather than participate in rides that the ideologues would shun for not fitting into their own ascetic lifestyles.
I-Like-To-Bike is offline  
Old 06-05-17, 10:38 AM
  #10  
79pmooney
A Roadie Forever
 
79pmooney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 9,493

Bikes: (2) ti TiCycles, 2007 w/ triple and 2011 fixed, 1979 Peter Mooney, ~1983 Trek 420 now fixed and ~1973 Raleigh Carlton Competition gravel grinder

Mentioned: 102 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2862 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1,377 Times in 934 Posts
Originally Posted by legstrongv View Post
... one or two recumbent(s) plus a road bike and some spare parts and tools. ...
My old Tercel could have done that. A pair of tandem length bike racks with the fork QR mounts, bikes facing back, rear wheels extending forward of the windshield (so you can open the hatchback) and the single stashed in the back with the rear seat folded down. Parts and tools would fit. You get to take one passenger. Inside mirror visibility after tools, clothes, etc. for two will be limited.

I never did that. I did however take a 15' sailboat with all its gear, myself, my crew, a large tent and everything we needed to both camp and race the boat for weekends 5 hours of driving away many times.

Look at hatchbacks. They are extremely versatile. The Subarus have the length to make this easier. (So did my old Toyota Corolla All Trac.) If you want better city driving and parking, seek out cars with shorter wheelbases and shorter axles (ie narrower tire stances). Far easier to parallel park. (Think VW bus. Really easy to parallel park!) My All Trac had that and was barely harder to park than my much shorter Tercel. My Prius C, again short, has the wheel pushed out and corners radically better (the low batter under the passenger seat helps a lot!) but is not so easy to park despite having a tiny turning radius.

Edit: I just re-read your post. Carrying the three bikes and two friends. Probably have to incinerate one and just bring the urn. Or: maybe a trunk or trailer hitch rack that works with a hatchback door. Or some sort of custom, lightweight trailer. (On easy way to do that is to get a small boat trailer and modify it. Makes getting up to snuff registration-wise and car hook-up-wise easy. I built a box of 4X8 plywood with 24" high sides for a boat trailer decades ago to move across the country. The challenge (for you; for thousands of miles of highway driving a blessing for me) was the long distance ot the hitch. Made maneuvering tough. But you wold be looking at the smallest boat trailer made, so that might not be so big an issue.

Ben

Last edited by 79pmooney; 06-05-17 at 10:49 AM.
79pmooney is offline  
Old 06-05-17, 10:58 AM
  #11  
Jim from Boston
Senior Member
 
Jim from Boston's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 7,384
Mentioned: 48 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 800 Post(s)
Liked 210 Times in 165 Posts
Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
It would probably be a whole lot easier and cheaper to rent a van/small truck for the once in a while occasions when you have a need for providing multiple bicycle transport. Presumably your NYC friends could/should help defray the relative minimal costs for a weekend rental.
Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
To repeat, and as you should be able to figure out from some of the responses -you are asking this question in the wrong forum for car recommendations based on YOUR needs.

Might be the place though if you want to read about daydreams that are non-responsive to your question or needs. Wait long enough and you should be getting some P&R type responses about how you could/should drastically change your lifestyle rather than participate in rides that the ideologues would shun for not fitting into their own ascetic lifestyles.
I rent an SUV, and drive only myself when I carry (usually) two fully assembled bicycles; the family flies. (I also carry the family's luggage. Additionally, when we go to Michigan to visit family, I transport back to Boston cases of a special indigenous soda, Vernor's Ginger Ale, since I don't have other passengers. )

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 06-05-17 at 11:03 AM.
Jim from Boston is offline  
Old 06-05-17, 01:25 PM
  #12  
I-Like-To-Bike
Been Around Awhile
 
I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Burlington Iowa
Posts: 28,441

Bikes: Vaterland and Ragazzi

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Liked 484 Times in 309 Posts
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I rent an SUV, and drive only myself when I carry (usually) two fully assembled bicycles; the family flies. (I also carry the family's luggage. Additionally, when we go to Michigan to visit family, I transport back to Boston cases of a special indigenous soda, Vernor's Ginger Ale, since I don't have other passengers. )
A recumbent or two might be a tight or impossible fit inside an SUV, and installing racks capable of hauling them on a rental vehicle may also be iffy. I transported a spare bicycle to my sister's house in Philadelphia a decade ago, and use it whenever I visit.
As an aside, my 14 year old Sentra always has room, with or without bikes or passengers, for bringing back several cases of Yuengling Beer on the return trip.

Last edited by I-Like-To-Bike; 06-05-17 at 01:36 PM.
I-Like-To-Bike is offline  
Old 06-05-17, 01:35 PM
  #13  
I-Like-To-Bike
Been Around Awhile
 
I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Burlington Iowa
Posts: 28,441

Bikes: Vaterland and Ragazzi

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Liked 484 Times in 309 Posts
Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
My old Tercel could have done that. A pair of tandem length bike racks with the fork QR mounts, bikes facing back, rear wheels extending forward of the windshield (so you can open the hatchback) and the single stashed in the back with the rear seat folded down. Parts and tools would fit. You get to take one passenger. Inside mirror visibility after tools, clothes, etc. for two will be limited.

I never did that. I did however take a 15' sailboat with all its gear, myself, my crew, a large tent and everything we needed to both camp and race the boat for weekends 5 hours of driving away many times.

Look at hatchbacks. They are extremely versatile. The Subarus have the length to make this easier. (So did my old Toyota Corolla All Trac.) If you want better city driving and parking, seek out cars with shorter wheelbases and shorter axles (ie narrower tire stances). Far easier to parallel park. (Think VW bus. Really easy to parallel park!) My All Trac had that and was barely harder to park than my much shorter Tercel. My Prius C, again short, has the wheel pushed out and corners radically better (the low batter under the passenger seat helps a lot!) but is not so easy to park despite having a tiny turning radius.

Edit: I just re-read your post. Carrying the three bikes and two friends. Probably have to incinerate one and just bring the urn. Or: maybe a trunk or trailer hitch rack that works with a hatchback door. Or some sort of custom, lightweight trailer. (On easy way to do that is to get a small boat trailer and modify it. Makes getting up to snuff registration-wise and car hook-up-wise easy. I built a box of 4X8 plywood with 24" high sides for a boat trailer decades ago to move across the country. The challenge (for you; for thousands of miles of highway driving a blessing for me) was the long distance ot the hitch. Made maneuvering tough. But you wold be looking at the smallest boat trailer made, so that might not be so big an issue.

Ben
I transported 5 bikes (3 adult bikes w/ 26" wheels on an inexpensive roof rack, 2 children's bikes w/20" Wheels on a trunk mount rear rack), plus my wife and three children and our luggage in our 1986 Corolla to/from SW Germany, where we resided to Leiden, NL for a week's stay that including riding on the bike paths through the tulip fields.

I doubt though that the Corolla could transport anything as long as a recumbent or a tandem around the block without major or specialized (expensive) modifications to the bikes and/or roof rack.
I-Like-To-Bike is offline  
Old 06-06-17, 12:23 AM
  #14  
Roody
Sophomoric Member
 
Roody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dancing in Lansing
Posts: 24,221
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 711 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
IMO, coming to a carfree forum for advice on what car to buy is a lot like going to the mountain bike forum to find out what kind of road bike to buy. Either way, you're unlikely to get information that fits your needs. Remember, it isn't only what you ask but who you ask.
__________________

"Think Outside the Cage"
Roody is offline  
Old 06-06-17, 06:51 AM
  #15  
tandempower
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 4,355
Mentioned: 90 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8081 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by Roody View Post
IMO, coming to a carfree forum for advice on what car to buy is a lot like going to the mountain bike forum to find out what kind of road bike to buy. Either way, you're unlikely to get information that fits your needs. Remember, it isn't only what you ask but who you ask.
Or like going to an AA forum asking what to drink to calm your nerves before attending your AA meeting.

Then when you get encouragement not to fall off the wagon, other posters chastize your supporters for being teatotaling ideologues.

Last edited by tandempower; 06-06-17 at 06:56 AM.
tandempower is offline  
Old 06-06-17, 08:58 PM
  #16  
loky1179 
Senior Member
 
loky1179's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 970

Bikes: 2x Bianchi, 2x Specialized, 3x Schwinns

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 93 Post(s)
Liked 6 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by legstrongv View Post
Currently I don't have a car at all, but I got a Bacchetta Giro 20 recumbent and a few other upright diamond-frame bikes as well. Perhaps one day I might get a Schlitter Encore recumbent.
I'm currently single guy in early 40s with no children. Living in the mid-Hudson Valley area in New York state so it's a little hilly here.. Definitely would get a used car, not a new car. Which car style would be good? ( hatchback, station wagon, sedan, etc.. )

What kind of small used car(s) do you recommend? I prefer a small car since I'm rusty and want a good MPG. Also I want to spend as much money on the bikes instead of the car, of course. Basically I would be using the car as a personal SAG wagon that gets me to group rides and bicycle events rides, such as the Harlem Valley bike ride. I will be carrying one or two recumbent(s) plus a road bike and some spare parts and tools. Perhaps further down the road, carry some of my friends bikes as well for weekend outings.

Trying to be car-lite.. Trying to save money for sure.

Thanks,
Originally Posted by Roody View Post
IMO, coming to a carfree forum for advice on what car to buy is a lot like going to the mountain bike forum to find out what kind of road bike to buy. Either way, you're unlikely to get information that fits your needs. Remember, it isn't only what you ask but who you ask.
I don't know - if you really don't WANT to buy a car, but you have to anyway, I think this forum might be just the place.

So I'll give my two cents. I'd get a car, and have a class 1 trailer hitch installed, then buy a cheap little trailer. A trailer can haul any assortment of bikes, tandems, whatever. You only need it occasionally, so why buy a vehicle that can haul this stuff ALL the time?

It is what I plan on doing, but have been to cheap to actually implement. Getting a trailer hitch installed on my car would be somewhere around $400. And a cheap trailer would be a similar price. One I've looked at at Northern Tool folds up and has wheels so you can store it in a smaller space.

OK, maybe $600 for the trailer. But it looks pretty cool:

FREE SHIPPING Ultra-Tow 4ft. x 8ft. Folding Aluminum Utility Trailer Kit 1170-Lb. Load Capacity | Trailers| Northern Tool + Equipment
loky1179 is offline  
Old 06-07-17, 08:36 AM
  #17  
I-Like-To-Bike
Been Around Awhile
 
I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Burlington Iowa
Posts: 28,441

Bikes: Vaterland and Ragazzi

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Liked 484 Times in 309 Posts
Originally Posted by loky1179 View Post
Might look even more cooler with decking, sides and hardware suitable for carrying the intended load; oops there goes the $600 price as well as the fold-up storage capability.
I-Like-To-Bike is offline  
Old 06-08-17, 11:06 AM
  #18  
fietsbob
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,599

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 197 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7607 Post(s)
Liked 1,315 Times in 826 Posts
4x8 ..., put the sides in the slots, removable, drop in a sheet of plywood, to fold, take it back apart.



2" hitch set-up on the car , though small, can tow a box trailer, to put the stuff in.
stand it on end alongside the garage when you dont need it..

Europe I saw people got trailers rather than drive a big pickup truck, there.






.....

Last edited by fietsbob; 06-08-17 at 11:13 AM.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 06-09-17, 08:04 AM
  #19  
badmother
Senior Member
 
badmother's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 3,720
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 317 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
Just want to say one thing about trailers.
I ditched mine after a short time and replaced it with a minivan...because
  • it was HORRIBLE to find a place to park your car because the car-trailer combo is so long!
  • very difficult to backup a car with a small trailer!
  • trailer took up alot of valuable space inside my garage!
On backup with a trailer: It is like everything else in life, do it a lot and it becomes esy. I was lucky to start early in life driving a lot with tractor and trailer. Made sure my son started as soon as he started learning to drive and he is doing fine. You need to train your brain to think in the right way and tell yourself it is not difficult.
badmother is offline  
Old 06-09-17, 08:35 AM
  #20  
cooker
Prefers Cicero
 
cooker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Toronto
Posts: 12,844

Bikes: 1984 Trek 520; 2007 Bike Friday NWT; misc others

Mentioned: 86 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3910 Post(s)
Liked 79 Times in 67 Posts
Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
4x8 ..., put the sides in the slots, removable, drop in a sheet of plywood,
A few strategically placed hoops and holes for tie-downs should be all you need after that - plus maybe a coat of marine varnish for the weather.
cooker is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
bragi
Living Car Free
63
01-08-16 07:45 PM
dvald001
Commuting
50
10-23-12 03:54 PM
gerv
Living Car Free
7
07-19-11 04:16 PM
RadioFlyer
Living Car Free
9
06-29-11 02:22 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.