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Cars to Tote Bikes, in these modern times?

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Cars to Tote Bikes, in these modern times?

Old 04-24-21, 03:24 PM
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Cars to Tote Bikes, in these modern times?

I havent seen a "Cars for Carting Bikes" thread for a while, so since I'm about tto buy a little bigger car, lemme see what the old bike guys think.

I've been driving Prius' since about 2007. One Mrk 2 was totalled so we replaced it with a 2009, Wife needed her own so we got here a used 2007, retired from Toyota so we traded the '07 Prius for a Lexus SUV, then we hated the Lexus and for a 2018 Prius (new).

The '18 Prius is a Mk 4 and a little lower in every way than the Mk2: harder to get in and out, the cargo floor os not smooth, and it's harder to fit two bikes. The cargo height is lower in the rear, as well. So even with the better fuel economy (better hybrid system and the "Ukieh-O Samurai Warrior" body style are more energy efficient than the lozenge-shaped Mk2, we like to drive the Mk2 Prius (2009, recall) better, even though it is close to 180k miles.

We're thinking now of trading the Mk4 (2018, 17k miles) for a 2018 VW Golf Alltrak SEL wagon, with 3500 miles. It seems to be a little old lady house-locked by Covid situation, except for the 6-sp manual transmission!

The bed seems long enough for a long wheelbase (105 cm) 650b, even two of them, it has loads of toys and safety features, and an easy to understand dashboard. I don't mind pulling wheels of of bicycles, but on the 650bs we have SON dynos and it's a tricky job to disconnect and reconnect the wiring. So we like a cargo bed where we can just lay bikes down.

Next alternative for a station wagon is a Volvo V60 or an Audi All-road (based on the A4 sedan). Mercedes-Benz has this year an E-class wagon, but the "cheap one" is $67K. V60 is available as a hybrid but that costs as much as the E-class. The Subaru Outback is also still in the picture, so I have to take a better look at it.

What have you folks found as good choices in the current market?
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Old 04-24-21, 05:00 PM
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We have a Ford Transit Connect where I work and it drives as nice as a lot of cars with a ton of room in the back for carrying stuff.
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Old 04-24-21, 08:28 PM
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We looked at a lot of SUV’s and vans. We had a Dodge Durango that we were able to fit the bikes into. The problem we found was that most SUV’s didn’t have a high enough roof line. We were resigned to buy a mini van.

As things would turn out, our sister-in-law wanted to sell her low mileage Lia Sedona. It doesn’t get good gas mileage, but it works great for the bikes and surfboards. And we got a great deal.

For bikes, I don’t think I’d go back to an SUV.

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Old 04-25-21, 02:39 AM
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No chance you would simply use a hitch mounted bike rack?
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Old 04-25-21, 05:16 AM
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I’ve had Toyota vans for 25 years and they’re been perfect for me for hauling bikes. I can just roll the bikes into the back and bungee cord them to the hand holds on the roof line. I’ve had a ‘91 Previa which lasted for 550,000 miles. Replaced it with a used 2006 Sienna which we used on my cross country ride. Just got a used 2018 Sienna which gets close to 30 mpg on interstate travel. It has a timing chain instead of a belt so less worries and cost about replacing it every 100,000 miles. It’s the best riding and driving vehicle we’ve owned. Even better than a Mercedes. It also comes in handy getting the in-laws to appointments hauling their walkers, O2 tanks and gear. The middle seats are very easy to remove for a huge cargo area when needed. We also have a tandem and the vans make it easy to get those around, too.
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Old 04-25-21, 05:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Ogsarg View Post
We have a Ford Transit Connect where I work and it drives as nice as a lot of cars with a ton of room in the back for carrying stuff.
Always interesting but our garage doesn't have room for something tall, and it also has to double as a car. We also want the MPG of a car.
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Old 04-25-21, 05:57 AM
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Originally Posted by downhillmaster View Post
No chance you would simply use a hitch mounted bike rack?
In a long drive an external rack on one of the Prius' cut the MPG from 45 hwy to 33 hwy. Plus rain, snow, and other precip and external exposure. We do use an Allen rack for nearby pedaling trips.
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Old 04-25-21, 06:05 AM
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At the moment we're strongly preferring the 2019 Golf Alltrack.
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Old 04-25-21, 04:53 PM
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Forester or an Outback can hold a single bike with front wheel on, laid down in back with rear seats folded flat. 2 Bikes with no F wheels attached, sorta upright leaning on each other.
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Old 04-25-21, 05:20 PM
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RAV4 Hybrid 40MPG and the front wheel stays on
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Old 04-25-21, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Forester or an Outback can hold a single bike with front wheel on, laid down in back with rear seats folded flat. 2 Bikes with no F wheels attached, sorta upright leaning on each other.
Odd, I have usually put two bikes inside my Prius' with the wheels on. One was totally on its side with the front wheel forward, and the other usually was rear wheel forward.. We used a heavy blanket or cheap Walmart bed quilt as a cushion between the two bikes. I know the current Outback cargo bed is a good bit longer than that of a Prius, but it sounds like it is not as wide? I'm surprised, if so!

If I buy the VW Alltrack I'm looking at, I would want to do the same thing. But I better take a bike down to the dealer and make sure there are no surprises!
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Old 04-26-21, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
Odd, I have usually put two bikes inside my Prius' with the wheels on. One was totally on its side with the front wheel forward, and the other usually was rear wheel forward.. We used a heavy blanket or cheap Walmart bed quilt as a cushion between the two bikes. I know the current Outback cargo bed is a good bit longer than that of a Prius, but it sounds like it is not as wide? I'm surprised, if so!

If I buy the VW Alltrack I'm looking at, I would want to do the same thing. But I better take a bike down to the dealer and make sure there are no surprises!
It's entirely possible to fit 2 bikes in an OB on their sides, F wheels on, one stacked on top of the other with a blanket separating. I did this once I think. As I had a roof rack, if I needed to transport 2 bikes I would use the rack.
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Old 04-26-21, 01:54 PM
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I can fit one bike with the front wheel on or two with the front wheels removed in my Honda Fit. It is deceptively spacious inside.
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Old 04-28-21, 11:00 PM
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2012 Honda Accord Coupe, told down rear seat and fits either my road bike or hybrid inside.
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Old 04-29-21, 08:23 AM
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We own a Saris Bones rear rack which fits on nearly any vehicle, but as others have noted, that's a crappy solution when the weather sucks and/or if you're travelling very long distances. So when we rent vehicles nowadays the ability to get (at least) two bikes inside is a primary concern.

I've been pleasantly surprised at the amount of room in lots of 4-door sedans and SUVs we've rented -- and occasionally unpleasantly surprised at how some seemingly enormous vehicles have very little usable cargo space -- but my favorite for hauling bikes is still a mini-van, like a Dodge Grand Caravan. All the seats disappear completely (fold down under the floor) and then you can just wheel your bikes straight in without removing any wheels or seatposts. Bonus is that you can easily transport a half dozen bikes this way.
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Old 04-30-21, 11:36 AM
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Well we are not buying the Alltrak, So the search starts again.

Anyone put bikes in a BMW X3?
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Old 05-01-21, 04:56 PM
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We can easily fit TWO bikes in our HONDA FIT configured as a two seater WITHOUT removing wheels.

Here is how:
Place the first bicycle in the FIT normally ( roll it in front wheel first, sideways obviously and drive side up-obviously...then turn handlebars sideways so that the front wheel points straight up so that the front wheel is approx parallel to the PASSENGER SEATBACK).

Place the second bicycle in side the FIT, REARWHEEL FIRST, then it will be super-easy to turn the handlebars so that the Front Wheel clears the curve-ature of the hatchgate and rear window glass.

This process takes us maybe 25 seconds. I can do it solo in less than a minute, about 45 seconds.... We have been doing this with our FIT for more than 13 years. It is a 2008 base model 5 speed. Great car for it's size and space utilization.

We use the flat side of a corrugated cardboard Television box to line the cargo area floor. (an ex-TV box, or an ex-Refridgerator box, or an ex-Bicycle box should do fine if cut to fit)
We use the dense sturdy approx 3/4" styrofoam like packing that came as protective packing materials in the last large screen Television that we bought to protect the SEAT BACKS OF THE HONDA FIT from the wheels/tires/handlebars-brake lever OF the bicycles.
We use an old sleeping bag that I drape over the rear bumper and hatch opening as I am Loading In the bikes --OR--- when I am Unloading the bikes.
You won't scratch or nick the bumper paint. You likely won't be lifting 41 pound, large twenty-four inch frames, ancient SCHWINN SUBURBANS with full fenders, etc and 27 inch(32-630mm) tires.
The Old Sleeping bag serves as additional padding to protect the bikes and other items that you might be transporting in the rear hatch of the FIT. Earlier before deciding the old sleeping bag provided the best all-around utility for this purpose, we did use rug-remnants, our back porch doormat, the dog's blanket, the dog's towel, and whatever...
I've loaded all sorts of bicycles in the FIT, so it isn't only heavy large wheelbase electroforged "lightweight" ancient Schwinns. My 2008 FIT has transported two tri competition bikes to more than fifteen triathlon events from Florida to Virginia and from South Carolina to Texas since I bought it new from Stokes-Honda North Charleston.
I'm just saying if the 24 inch frame SUBURBANS fit easily with fenders, etc, than you shouldn't have any problems with any road bike unless you're the size and height of an NBA forward or center with a really large bicycle. You also likely will have great difficulty fitting a tri race bike fitted with extended tri bars in the rear of a HONDA FIT due to the extreme length of some said "center rest" tri bars. With any normal road bikes, or hybrid bikes, or ancient 3 speed lightweight tourist style bikes, then the HONDA FIT will easily accomodate two bikes in the rear hatch with the magic seats folded flat, and just two seater configuration. HONDA FITS are dirt cheap inexpensive but rugged and bullet-proof with timing chain ~ life of the car (250k-270k miles) , so no timing belt that needs replacement and no need to worry whether engine is interference or not (Timing Belt breaks before replacing it, well interference means internal components collide effectively destroying engine and not means not a catastrophic event to repair..), Although Honda has discontinued them from the North American market, there are a great many FITS from 2007 to about 2019 in the US today. They were 100% Japanese and date back to original introduction in Japan as 2002 model which essentially was the same as the first generation North American 2007 and 2008 model. Honda engineers essentially took the original '74 GOLF/1975 Rabbit size specs and made maximum ultilty and durabilty the goal, just as Toyota once did a decade after the Rabbit with the '84 & '85 Tercel hatchback. The JAZZ - FIT took it beyond even what the mid eighties Tercel provided with space utilization and durability. JAZZ is what the Honda FIT has been known in other world markets since the beginning introduction of the 1st generation as 2002 model. The USA did not see the introduction of the 1st generation FIT until the 2007 model year. .....Probably the best inexpensive small hatchback that has ever been made to date,... certainly in my opinion............yeah, it is fairly spartan compared to some others that offer leather seating and sunroofs but it does carry the goods unlike anything else in its size class or price range.
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Old 05-03-21, 06:39 AM
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I wouldn't call any of the current crop of "baby" crossover/SUVs a good choice for transporting bicycles inside the vehicle, but it works. Have a Mazda CX-5 and, after removal of the front wheel and once the rear seats have been put down, a smaller Trek 970 doesn't have much trouble fitting in the back.

Would much prefer a trailer mount for a couple of bikes. Easy on/off, less risk of scratching up things, no need to removal the front wheel, no need to keep the rear area clean of supplies.
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Old 05-03-21, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
In a long drive an external rack on one of the Prius' cut the MPG from 45 hwy to 33 hwy. Plus rain, snow, and other precip and external exposure. We do use an Allen rack for nearby pedaling trips.
I have a roof mounted rack that holds two bikes on my Honda Fit. With two bikes on top, and a recent 4 hour highway drive, my MPG dropped from 41 to 38. Consider that a roof mounted rack holds the bikes in the same direction as you normally ride, so there is a lot less aero drag than having them mounted sideways.
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Old 05-04-21, 05:27 PM
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This is why we are clinging to our beloved 2001 VW Passat wagon as long as we reasonably can. Hanging from the garage rafters I have a preassembled pair of VW crossbars and Yakima bike racks I can literally lower onto the car's roof rack if I need to carry 3 or 4 people, but normally I just fold the rear seat cushions forward against the backs of the front seats, then drop the rear seatbacks for an almost-6-foot-long, nearly flat load floor. Best-sized, best-configured car ever offered on the American market. We also have a 2016 VW Golf Sportwagen, but the cargo space is noticeably smaller.
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Old 05-05-21, 06:40 AM
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For long distances I was using a Yakima rear hitch rack. It can be configured for either 2 or 4 bikes. The "car" is a 2000 Grand Cherokee. I have also hauled my tandem on the same with care to watch out for the extensions of the bike!

The GC is about to go and what I have left is a 90 Cherokee which always worked well for short trips by removing the front wheel and placing the rest behind the front seats. If I needed to haul more, then I would use the hitch rack.

The vehicle of choice now is a Range Rover Evoque. I found used Yakima racks on CL for decent prices and haul two bikes on top. No hitch on the Evoque and will not add one.
Where are the Pics?
IMG_20200705_115643 on Flickr
WP_20140308_007 on Flickr
Looks like the bike is way outward of the Jeep but that is just the camera location.
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Old 05-05-21, 07:47 AM
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We had a 2018 VW Beetle that I could fit a Cannondale Quick or Topstone into but not together safely, RD. We have since bought a cute little puppy that was supposed to be around 35 lbs but has since topped out at 70 with long legs and body. We traded the VW for a 2020 Mazda CX-5 and all is well with the world. Both dog and bike are happy.
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Old 05-08-21, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Forester or an Outback can hold a single bike with front wheel on, laid down in back with rear seats folded flat. 2 Bikes with no F wheels attached, sorta upright leaning on each other.
One of the reasons I got my 2013 Outback was this. I have a hitch rack, but it's nice to know that in a pinch, I can put bikes inside the car. Tinted windows and they're very well-concealed (especially with throwing something dark over them - clothing, a tarp, whatever).
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Old 05-08-21, 12:07 PM
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Minivan here. Chevrolet Venture extended. Even the tandem fits in there with both wheels on.
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Old 05-09-21, 07:57 AM
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Audi Avant (wagon)

Our Audi A4 wagon fits two vintage longer wheelbase bikes easily without removing the front wheels. They lay flat with drive sides up and a couple of dog blankets between them, as the second bike in will overlap and lay somewhat over the first.

I recently hauled one bike and a 50 lb Springer Spaniel from VA to Cape Cod comfortably, with plenty of space for both dog and bike. We averaged 28MPG driving lead-foot on the I95 racetrack as well.
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