Bikes are great means of transportation. If they have to be used in remote locations, they have to be taken there somehow. This might normally imply the use of cars to transport them. Since these gadgets are generally clumsy, transporting them might never be a walk in the park.
You have to find and make use of the best practices to achieve this noble end. We are here to help with that. Our team of experienced researchers has done a great job of identifying the best way to transport bikes on a car. It has also gone ahead to answer some frequently asked questions.
How To Fit A Bike In A Car In 9 Step
1: Understand your Car’s Storage Configurations
Even before you attempt to fit your bike in your car, you should first and foremost understand the configuration of the storage compartments of your car. As you do so, ascertain the dimensions, shape, and configurations of your own bike as well. These two will help to determine how to go about the issue.
As a general rule, the storage compartment of the coupe is located at the back seat. The one for the salon and the SUVs are located at the rear end of the cars in questions. It is necessary to fold your bike also in order that it may take the least available storage spaces.
2: Prepare the storage compartment
After having folded the bike, you now have to move on and prepare the storage compartment appropriately. This you do, depending on how the storage chamber of your car is positioned and configured. For the coupe, you might have to fold down the rear seats to create more space.
The SUVs and the salon cars have larger storage spaces though. All you have to do is to clear out any load or items which might compete for space with your bike. It is always necessary to line the storage chambers with some rugs, mats, or old newspapers.
3: Remove the wheels of the bike
The wheels are the single largest components of a typical bike. As such, they take up more storage spaces than the other parts of the bike altogether. It is definitely in your best interest to remove them for the sake of reducing the space requirements. You may not have to do this though in case yours is an SUV.
To remove the wheels, you should use some quick-release levers for the job. Use it to hold the wheels firmly in place after which you are to employ the screwdrivers to unscrew the bolts and nuts. Follow the manufacturer’s manual to the latter as the requirements vary slightly from make to make.
4: Take care of the brakes as well
You should also take care of the brakes, more so if they are the disc brakes. They have a tendency to sustain damages in the course of transportation. In case yours are the disc brakes, remember to attach some disc plugs. These fix the levers firmly in place to prevent the misalignments of the brake calipers.
This is definitely crucial to prevent any damages in the course of transit. It also reduces the hassles which arise later in the attempt to restore the bike to proper working conditions. The plugs you choose have to be compatible with the disc brakes you have in mind.
5: Place the ‘dry’ side upwards
While packing your bike, it is always necessary that you place the ‘dry’ side upwards. The ‘dry’ side is the portion of the bike which comprises chain, derailleur, and the brakes. You do not want to squeeze these crucial parts at all. Doing so might pose some permanent damages and impair the bike’s mobility.
Placing the ‘dry’ side facing upwards in and of itself is not enough. It is also a good thing to leave the side empty and completely devoid of any extra luggage. The same case applies when you have to position the bike in a vertical position.
6: Cushion the Bike with Wheels
Having stacked the frame neatly in place, you now have to cushion the bike using the wheels. To do this, place the wheel as a buffer between the bike and the other parts of the car if in the upright position. The opposite case applies if the bike is placed lying down.
Place the wheels atop the bike if in the horizontal position. Pay special attention to those portions of the bike which are likely to rock while in transit. You may have to reinforce the bike using some other materials like the old newspapers. This reduces any chances of damages.
7: Clean the Bike
It is always a good thing to clean the bike before storage. The wet wipes are by far the best friends for this job. Use it to get rid of any dirt on the frames and the tires to eliminate any mud, dust, or debris. Follow this with some clean piece of cloth.
Needless to say, you have to leave the bike out in the open to dry out completely. If you make the mistake of placing a damp bike in your car, you might stain and discolor the seats and interior components.
8: Place the bike in the car
You are now ready to place the bike in the car. You must, first of all, determine the orientation of choice. For salons and SUVs, you have the pleasure to choose whether to fit the bike in the horizontal or vertical stature. The coupe and small cars, however, limit you to the vertical positions only.
Start with the frame. Place it slowly and steadily to prevent any damages from arising in the process of doing so. After fixing it firmly in place, create the buffer we had talked of in the case above. Finish off by cushioning the points of contacts to reduce any likely frictions and other agents of damages.
9: Tuck some old newspapers
As a bonus, you have to reduce the levels of friction considerably. You will have to tuck some newspapers or old rags around the pedal area to achieve this end. Finish off by placing the tools and items needed for the job besides the bike in the storage chamber. You are now good to go!
Bike fitting on Car – Frequently Asked Question(FAQS)
Q1. Can you fit a bike in a Honda Fit?
WHY NOT? Like any other car, the Honda Fit also allows you to fit in the bike in its storage clamber. In this car, the storage chamber for the bike exists in the area that is underneath the front seats. As such, you may only stack the bike in a vertical position.
Being smaller in size, this storage compartment is only suitable for those bikes that are smaller. It is also necessary to read through the manufacturer’s manual to find out how to utilize this space for the purpose of fitting your bike. This also avoids many other issues.
Q2. How do you put a bike rack on a car?
You have to dismantle it before proceeding to do so. That is because most racks are clumsy and unable to fit the storage spaces appropriately. Use some screwdrivers to unscrew the rack from the bike. Then, find the portion of the car which may bear the rack.
Like the case with the frame above, you have to place it vertically in a smaller car or horizontally in a larger car. Then create a buffer between the metallic structures of the bike and the rest of the components of the car. Store the screws and other accessories properly.
Q3. Do bike racks damage your car?
It all depends on how you store and handle them. If you place them neatly in place and cushion them accordingly, they are unlikely to pose any damages to your car. In case you handle them recklessly, they will definitely fidget as you move along and pose some damages to your car altogether.
To ward off this likelihood, you should be sure to keep the frames and skeletons tightly tucked and properly cushioned. Before you go, you should be sure that the structure does not in any way fidget as this will definitely do some harm to your car’s interior.
Q4. How do you put a bike rack on an SUV?
Follow these steps on how to secure a bike to a car rack:
Step I: Insert the bike shank in the receiver tube
Start off by inserting the bike shank into the receiver tube of the vehicle. Secure this installation using an appropriate fastener. See to it that it does not fidget afterward.
Step II: Install the safety mechanisms
Follow the above procedures by installing the necessary safety mechanisms. Place the safety support strap in place and then loop it into the center segment of the rack. Seal the buckle to the back of the tow vehicle in such a way as to prevent any bounce backs.
Step III: Place the bike on the rack
Finish off by placing the bike on the rack and secure with the bike arm straps provided. Secure the cross and the seat posts to the rack too!
Q5. Can you open the trunk with a bike rack?
Yes, you can! But you are highly advised against this. The hinges of the door of the rack are not designed to accommodate the excess weight. If you do this quite often, you might pose some damages to the rack thereof. Instead, you are advised to refrain from doing this.
If you have to access your trunk every now and then, we recommend that you either change the hinges or do so if and only if the circumstances so dictate. Do not forget to repair the hinges with every opening and use. This will go a long way in prolonging the life of the door.
Q6. How much is a bike rack?
Bike racks come in many shapes, sizes, configurations, and makes. These differences impact their own prices. Further to this, the various dealers and outlets also charge varying amounts of money. As such, it is not really possible to accurately say how much your rack might cost.
On the whole, though, expect to part with no less than $50 for a good one. Some racks may cost in excess of $700 though. It is hence incumbent upon you to ascertain your budget before setting out to find the one of your own choice and liking.
Fixing your bike in your car is not really a life and death affair. This is a feat which is very achievable on condition that you pay keen attention to the processes and steps discussed above. You also have to see to it that you do not in any way rush as you might misplace some crucial parts.
For the best outcomes, we recommend that you carry out mock installations every now and then. This way, you will have to deepen your experience and expertise. Never hesitate to seek help if you get stuck along the way. There you go now.