You love riding your bike, and if you’re a bike commuter you probably try to avoid having to use a car.
But there are situations when you’ll need to pack your bicycle into a vehicle. Perhaps you’re traveling, going on vacation, or taking your mountain bike to the local dirt trails. I’ve had times where my bike got a flat and I needed a pick up. There’s a whole number of reasons why you need to fit your bicycle into the car.
Regardless of the why, you probably have wondered…
Can a bike fit in a car? Yes, most bikes can fit in even small sedans and cars. You’ll need to take the wheels off, but the average bike can be put inside a car if you take the time to position it correctly.
It’s not always easy to fit a bicycle into a car, but if you follow the tips and tricks in this article you’ll be able to make it happen. Even if you own a small sedan you can make it happen if you follow these tricks.
Tips to Fit Your Bike into Your Car
Take the Wheels Off
Some cars have enough space to fit a bicycle inside them without taking the wheels off. Some minivans and SUV type vehicles have plenty of space for you to put your bike inside without taking the wheels off. I own a Ford Explorer and can easily fit my bike inside without having to remove the wheels.
But for most cars, smaller sedans, etc., you will want to take the wheels off your bike. This will make your bike smaller and easier to place inside the car.
Put the Back Seats Down
If your car has back seats that have the ability to go down you’ll want to do so. This can make it so that you can fit your bike through the trunk and into the back seat. Longer bikes will be easier to get inside the car with this trick.
Turn the Handlebars
If you’re trying to fit your bike into the backseat without using the trunk than you’ll need to turn the handlebars. By turning the handlebars you can make your bike a little shorter which is sometimes all you need to get it to fit in the back seat.
Gears Should Be Faced Upward
Don’t put your bike into your car so that the gears are faced down. Gears and cogs are dirty and they can mark up your car. It’s an easy mistake that you’ll only need to make once. Just remember to keep your gears facing up.
Pro Tip to Keeping Your Car Clean & Safe
Lay a blanket or sheet down over the seats of your vehicle. If you’re putting a bike into your car than there’s a good chance that it is dirty. Bicycles are often not only dirty, but also have grease on the chain and gears. Bicycle grease, while not impossible to clean, isn’t the easiest thing to remove.
A blanket or sheet will not only prevent grease or dirt from getting on your car, but also protect the seats from getting scratched or punctured. The gear cogs on a bike are sharp enough to puncture seats, and you don’t want that! A blanket can keep your car clean and safe from marks.
The Bike Rack Method
While you can fit a bike inside of a car, there’s a number of reasons why it isn’t ideal. A bike can bring in dirt, mud, and grease into the car. While it may be quick and easy for you to throw your bike into the back of your car, you’ll have to clean up after.
Also as mentioned earlier, there’s the chance that the bike will scuff, mark, or scratch the seating inside your vehicle. It’d be a shame to have your bike puncture one of your seats. You can definitely take preventative measures to stop this, but it is a possibility.
Another method of traveling with a bike is to use a car bike rack. A well made car bike rack isn’t that difficult to setup, and can be used quickly. Instead of putting your bike inside the car, you can have it ride on the outside.
The other nice benefit of a bike rack is that you can bring more than one bike with you. A smaller car cannot fit two bikes into it, and if you’re able to make that happen than you’re likely going to break something on one of the bikes.
You can get a solid car bike rack for a good price, and made for your model of car. I’d recommend the Allen Sports car bicycle rack (see the current price on Amazon here). It’s well made, a fair price, and will work with most vehicles. You can attach it to the back of your vehicle, and have your bike on it within minutes. They also have different models that can carry up to 4 bikes. Make sure to read the instructions the first time you set it up as it will ensure that you install it properly.
I think many people try to force their bike inside the car when it would be easier to spend some money for a car rack that will make everything easier and free up space in the car. But that’s just my opinion.
Another question that often comes up is, do bike racks damage your car? The quick answer is that a bike rack shouldn’t damage your car. Bike racks that have damaged cars are usually the result of the person who installed it on the car. If you put a rack on the wrong way, than you’re going to increase the chances of your bike or the rack scratching your car.
By following the instructions you can mount the rack onto your car, and put a bike onto it without damaging the vehicle at all.
Can a bike fit into a Toyota Corolla?
My wife and I own a 1999 Toyota Corolla. Her family lives a few hours away in a destination that is perfect for road cycling. Every time we go I like to bring one of my bikes so that I can go for a few rides during our visit.
Can a bike fit into a Toyota Corolla? Yes, it can! You’ll need to take at least one of the tires off. You can take both off if you want to make it easier. Store the tires into the trunk of the corolla.
The trick is putting the bike into the back seat. The Corolla’s trunk is not large enough to fit most bicycles. Angle the bike into the backseat, and turn the handlebars to make it fit. It will definitely take some tweaking, but you’ll figure it out and it will fit.
A bike can also fit into a Toyota Camry using the same technique. You’ll be able to squeeze it into the back seat easier than a Corolla as the Camry is larger.
Can a bike fit into a Honda Civic?
Honda Civics range in compartment size depending on the year it was made. Regardless, even the larger compartment sized Honda Civics are on the smaller size for cars. With this said…
Can a bike fit into a Honda Civic? Yes you can fit an average adult sized bicycle inside a Honda Civic. The method to do so requires that you remove both wheels from the bicycle. Lower the rear seats in the Honda civic, and place the wheels into the trunk of the car.
Next you’ll want to put your bike in through the trunk, and keep it chain side up. You should be able to rest the bike on top of the wheels. The bike will be partly in the back seat, and half in the trunk of the Civic. Easy to do.
If you own a Honda Civic hybrid that doesn’t allow for the back seat to come down than you’ll need to follow the same procedure given for placing a bike inside a Toyota Corolla.
It should be noted that you can use this same technique to fit a single bike into a Honda Accord.
Can a bike fit into a Subaru Outback?
The Subaru Outback is large enough that you’re probably wondering if you can fit your bicycle into it without taking the wheels off. The answer is YES – you can fit a bike with wheels into it. Even a bicycle with 29 inch wheels can fit inside without having to take the wheels off. Just remember to put all the seats down. Pretty convenient for you Outback owners!
In conclusion, you can fit a bike into most sedans or cars. Utilize the tips above and you should have no problem getting your bicycle into the car. Happy pedaling!