I have a mountain bike. When I first started mountain biking, one of my first worries was whether or not this bike would fit in my car. Since I ride a 29er, I was very interested to see how those big wheels would fit in my car. So, will your mountain bike fit in your vehicle? Let’s find out!
There’s always a way to make your mountain bike fit in your car, truck, van, or SUV, no matter what you drive. If it doesn’t fit in the trunk, try taking off the front wheel, lowering the bike saddle, laying down the back row seats, or taking off the pedals until it does.
Putting your mountain bike in your car is convenient because you don’t have to buy any extra gear, but it’s not always the best choice. Some of the bad things about it are that it could make a mess and that you can’t fit as many people or things inside.
Vehicle-Specific Tips For Interior Mountain Bike Transportation
Even though cars are the most common type of vehicle, they are also the hardest to fit a mountain bike inside of. Before putting it in the trunk, first check to see if it will fit in the back seat.
For most bikes, this means taking off the front wheel and turning the handlebars sideways. After a few quick tests, it will be clear if you also need to lower the saddle or take the pedals off the bike to make it fit. Depending on how tall and wide your backseat is, this last step may or may not be needed.
If you can fit the mountain bike in the back seat, make sure to do a few things to keep it from making a mess and ruining the inside of your car. The chain and gears on a bike are notoriously greasy, so you’ll want to make sure they’re covered so they don’t get on the seats.
Unless you’re just moving the bike once for a friend, I’m guessing you’ll spend a lot of time on trails getting it dirty. Bringing extra towels, tarps, or seat covers is a great way to keep the dirt, mud, and other debris that gets on your mountain bike from getting all over the inside of your car.
To be honest, mountain bikes won’t fit in every car. If you have a small vehicle like Miata, you might not be able to fit a mountain bike in your car. That doesn’t mean you can’t transport them at all; it just means that they won’t fit in your car.
For these kinds of cars, the best way to bring a mountain bike with you is to put it on the outside of the car with a roof rack, trunk rack, or vacuum mount.
Vans And SUVs
Because vans and SUVs are bigger, it is much easier to fit a mountain bike inside of them. Depending on what kind of car you have, you might be able to put the bike right in the trunk.
Most minivans have big trunks that can hold a mountain bike just as it is. There are a few things you can do if you do need a little more space.
- Option 1: Take off your front wheel and turn your handlebars sideways. With just this step, the bike will fit in the trunk of most vans and SUVs. But you might want to use a bungee cord or strap to hold it in place so it doesn’t move around or fall out when you open the back door.
- Option 2: Lay down the back seat if removing the front wheel is too much trouble and you don’t need all of the space inside. Back rows can also be split in many vans and SUVs. Just lay down a piece of the seat to make the space you need.
If you choose the split-row option, you might want to protect the inside with blankets. Make sure the shifter is facing up if you lay the bike on its side. This keeps it from getting knocked out of place and causing shifting problems.
If we’re talking about putting the bike inside the car, trucks can be tricky. When you have a truck with an extended cab, you can put the bike in through the back door, which makes the process a little bit easier.
Again, you will probably need to take off the front tire and turn the handlebars sideways. Some truck back rows are very small, and the pedals may also need to be taken off.
The great thing about trucks is that they are a great way to store extra things. What’s up, truck bed? You could just throw your mountain bike in the back, but that’s not the best way to do it. If a bike is loose in the truck bed, it will slide and bang around, which will cause damage.
Bungee cords or straps can be used as a quick fix to keep it in place. But a bike rack is also a great choice for all that space. Whether you buy one or make one yourself, these bike racks are small and do a great job of keeping your mountain bike safe.
A bike pad is less expensive but less safe. This is put over the tailgate to keep it from getting scratched. The front wheel of the bike is then put over the tailgate. This way, the wheel is held in place by the frame.
The biggest risk of putting your bike in the back of your truck is that it won’t be safe. If you have to leave the bike alone, make sure to find a good way to lock it up.
How To Take The Front Wheel Off A Mountain Bike
Since I have used this trick lots of times, I thought it would be helpful to share it with you.
Most bikes today have quick releases, which make it easy to put and take off the wheel without tools.
- If you don’t have disk brakes, the first thing you’ll need to do is disconnect the brake line above the wheel to open the brakes. With disk brakes, there is no way to open them.
- Then, open the quick release lever and unscrew the nut until the wheel can be taken off the fork.
- To completely separate the bike and the wheel, lift one away from the other.
- When it’s time to put the wheel back on, put it back into the dropouts and make sure it’s sitting straight. If you have disk brakes, line up the rotor so that it fits in the space between the brake pads.
- Tighten the nut until the lever is half open and you feel resistance.
- Use your hand to pull the lever all the way down. It should be hard enough to close so that it leaves a mark on your hand for a short time.
- If you took your brake line off in step 1, put it back on now.
- Give your wheel a spin to make sure it’s on straight and spinning smoothly.
Cons Of Transporting A Mountain Bike Inside Your Car
I’ve already hinted at this a few times, but one of the worst things about transporting a mountain bike in your car is that it could get dirty. Even the most careful mountain biker will get their car dirty at some point, even though there are ways to avoid making messes.
It’s probably too late to make this choice now, but if you have the chance in the future, it’s always better to choose a leather interior over a cloth one if you want to bring your mountain bike inside the car. If your car does get dirty, try to clean it as soon as possible to prevent stains or other damage that will last.
Aside from making a mess, putting your bike in the car takes up a lot of space. If you were planning to bring some friends or extra gear, you may need to rethink where they will fit now. There are a lot of great rooftop carriers out there, even if you just want to store gear.
If these things don’t bother you, being able to store your mountain bike safely in the car is a huge win.
Can You Put A Bike Rack On Any Car?
A roof rack can be added to almost all SUVs and most full-sized cars. Most people choose this option because it’s the easiest to use when you’re not cycling, which is most of the time. The reason is simple: a roof rack goes on the top of your car, which is a space that doesn’t get used much. With this kind of rack, you won’t have to put it up and take it down just to load your groceries for the week.
One more benefit of roof racks is how much they can hold. Most roof racks can hold up to four bikes because they can be as wide as your car. This is enough for the whole family.
So what’s wrong with it? On trucks and SUVs, the roof can be pretty high off the ground, which makes it hard to load and unload your bikes. On the other hand, most compact cars don’t have enough room for a roof rack, so this option is out.
Still, a roof rack is the way to go for full-sized cars. It’s by far the easiest to use, and it won’t get in the way when you’re going about your normal business.
Does A Bike Rack Damage Your Vehicle?
Back racks in Calgary are usually a safe way to move bikes, but there are a few important things you need to know before you put one on your car. This article talks about the different kinds of bike racks, how they might hurt your car, and how to avoid those problems.
A hitch-mounted bike rack is one of the safer options for keeping your car from getting damaged, since the rack doesn’t touch the car directly. But if the bike isn’t properly tied down, the wheels can turn or the bike can sway, which could cause it to hit the car.
With hitch-mounted bike racks, you should also always be careful when reversing. The force of the impact can break your hitch and push the rack into the back of your car.
Most of the time, putting a bike rack on the roof of your car won’t hurt it. Obviously, if you have roof racks, you’ll need to pay close attention to how high your car can go with bikes on it. If you don’t make it over a low bridge, garage, or other overhead object, the bikes could hit the top of your car and damage it.
This type of bike rack is strapped to the edges of the trunk and is always connected to your car. If the bike rack is not fastened properly, it can rub against the car and damage the paint. Make sure to double-check that your bike racks are secure and that they can hold your bikes.
To conclude, whatever vehicle you have, there is always a way to make your mountain bike fit in your vehicle. However, if your mountain bike does not fit on your vehicle, you can remove the front wheel of your mountain bike.