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How To Fit A Bike Into (Almost) Any Car | Transport A Bike Without A Roof Rack

How To Fit A Bike Into (Almost) Any Car | Transport A Bike Without A Roof Rack


– You want to transport
your bike or bikes by car, but you don’t have a roof rack, or perhaps you don’t
want to use a roof rack. Well in this video, I’m going to show you how
you can fit a bike or bikes inside a car. I’m also going to give you a few tips in case you’ve got a
particularly small car to make it fit, and also some advice on how not to damage your bikes or car when you’re doing it. But before I do, if you want more cycling-related advice, then you can help support GCN by clicking Subscribe and also
the bell notification icon. (booming music) Now I’m sure many of you will already know how to do this. However, if you’ve not done it before, or are unsure about damaging your bike, then this video will help. Now first up, if you’ve got a big car, like an estate or station
wagon if you’re American, then you’ve got it easy. ‘Cause what you can generally do is slide the bike in whole if you just drop the rear seats down. So one thing to do is to make sure that you put the bike in drive side up, like I’m doing here. This means that the gears here, the weight of the bike
is not resting on them. Doing that can actually damage them. So just slide it in gently. And also, just be aware
that the chain rings and the chain don’t catch
on the side of the car. Also, it’s a good idea
to just have a sheet or an old rug that you can
then cover the bike with. It’s quite good for security, but also it just stops
dirt getting elsewhere. Sometimes you might
want to put a sheet down underneath the bike as well. I generally keep a few sheets in the back of my car all the time. (upbeat instrumental music) But what if you want to transport other items in your car, such as maybe kids, or you just want to use the back seats, or maybe your car is smaller than this. It’s got a smaller boot, or trunk if you’re from America. Well, I’ll show you how you can do it. We preferentially removed the front wheel over the rear because, well, it’s a little easier to take out. And by leaving the rear wheel in, if you’ve got space, it actually helps protect
the rear mech a little bit and also stops the chain falling off. Now, to remove the front wheel, if you’ve got a quick
release like on this bike, you can undo the quick release. And then also, you can undo the cam on the caliper brake here. It’s usually something like this. You just twist it ’round, and this opens the brake blocks slightly, which helps the wheel
come out more easily. Then what I suggest you do is just carefully put
the wheel to one side, and then put the bike
in as you would before. Twist the handle bars ’round like this, but take care that the handle bars don’t strike the top tube. So it’s good to hold onto the bars or the stem of the bike. And we place the bike in again. The best technique for this is to put the bike in first, drive side up as before, and then put the front
wheel in on top of the bike. But don’t just rest the
wheel on top of the bike, as this can scratch it, especially if it slides around slightly as you’re driving along. So again, put a sheet over the top and just rest the wheel on, and that should be fine to protect it. If you have a disc brake bike like this, then wheel removal is really easy. They usually have a thru-axle. Now sometimes, they have a lever on the thru-axle like this. To remove the wheel you
simply just turn it, undo it, and pull out the
thru-axle (axle zips) like that. And then you can lift out the wheel. Some thru-axles, though, don’t have a lever built onto them and instead they usually
require an Allen key, usually a five mil such as this. Sometimes it’s a six mil. Then you can use an
Allen key or hex wrench to remove the thru-axle that way. Once you’ve taken your
thru-axle and your wheel out, put your thru-axle back in the bike. The reason for this is, well, firstly it helps out a bit
of structural integrity. It helps make the bike
a little bit stronger. But also, it stops you losin’ it. These things are really easy to lose. Speaking from personal experience, I’ve driven off on holiday having taken them out and left
them on the roof of my car. They weren’t there when I got there. I know I’m not the only person to make similar mistakes like this. Don’t be like me. Put your thru-axles where
you’re not going to lose ’em. When you put a disc brake wheel inside the back of a car, you need to be a little bit more careful, and that’s because if you knock the disc or if you place a heavy
object on top of it, it can actually cause the
rotor to bend slightly. And this will mean that when you go to put it back in your bike, the rotor will rub with every revolution on the caliper, making a cuh cuh cuh sound. Ugh, it’s really awkward to fix, and sometimes it means
you need a new rotor. So to avoid that, always put it in rotor side up and avoid putting objects on top. Another tip if you’re using
hydraulic disc brakes, is that you should put
something inside the caliper when you take the wheel out. This is because when
you pull the brake lever and there’s no rotor inside the caliper, it can cause the pistons to push out and then close the pads
against each other. You can force them back open, but it’s a bit of a faff. So you can simply put in a
dedicated piece of plastic, those special plastic
stoppers you can buy. Or if you don’t have one of those, you can just use a
folded up business card. Some older bikes hold the
wheels in by way of bolts. Now, to remove these, you’ll need a couple of spanners, but thankfully they’re not
very common these days. It’s a bit of a faff, but it’s still perfectly fine to be able to remove the wheel. If you have a smaller space still then you may need to remove both wheels to make the bike fit. But fear not, this isn’t a problem. And you’ll be amazed
that with the seats down and both wheels removed from the bike, how many cars will fit a bike into. I mean, Renault Clios, Fiat 500s, Porsche Caymans, you name it. There’s very few cars
that won’t fit a bike in, if you really want to. If you’re going to take both wheels out the easiest way to do this is to turn the bike upside down. Now, many road cycling purists think this is sacrilege, and hate the idea of doing this, and will tell you not to do it. But, they’re wrong. And you can simply put a sheet down, so that it doesn’t damage your bike and keeps it nice and clean. (light instrumental music) To remove the rear wheel, it’s easiest if you put the rear gear into the smallest cog at the back. Undo your quick release
lever or thru-axle, pull the rear-derailleur back and up, and let the wheel drop out. Once you get to your destination as well, it’s much easier to put
two wheels back in a bike if it’s upside down like this too, so just do the same thing again, but in reverse. If you’re going on holiday or perhaps just loading all the luggage into the back of your vehicle, then I’d recommend putting that in first and then layering the bike on top, especially heavier items. Put those in first. The reason being that it’s
easy to crush your bike and as mentioned before you can damage those easy-to-bend areas such as disc brake rotors
and the rear mech hanger. As before use plenty of sheets, rugs, bubble wrap, whatever you want to cover and protect your bike. And also it’s a good
idea to try and cover up the drive train from the chain, as it stops getting oil and
dirt on your other items. If you’re wanting to
pack more than one bike into the back of a car, then it’s fine to stack frames on top of one another. Just use plenty of padding in between and they shouldn’t get damaged. And I’d recommend that you
put the frames in first and, again, the wheels in after on top, as they’re lighter. And if you’re lucky enough to have a really impractical car, well, then you can sometimes make it fit, but you might have to remove extra bits such as the seat post, the pedals and sometimes even twist the bars ’round. I hope you found this video useful. And if you have, then
please give it a thumbs up and share it with your friends. And to watch more cycling advice, you can click down here. And also, let us know
in the Comments section if you’ve got any tips or advice or hacks, for when you pack a bike
in the back of a car.

100 thoughts on “How To Fit A Bike Into (Almost) Any Car | Transport A Bike Without A Roof Rack

  1. When I bought my FIAT 500, I had to fit my bike (58cm) inside until I could get the reciever hitch put on. My wife said there was no way it would fit. She took pictures of me attempting it. I got it to fit by removing both wheels, shoving the front passenger seat all the way forward and putting the forks on the front of the passenger seat. I did have the handlebars poking me as I drove, but I got to my team ride!

  2. This car <3 Love it! Most important criterion for a car: Leave the rear seats up, so people can sit there. Remove both wheels on your road bike, slide it into the boot. If that doesn't fit, the car has failed my requirements 😀 But you can of course also get 2 road bikes plus spare wheels and luggage into a VW Up!

  3. I can fit my road bike in a Toyota Aygo and only have to remove the front wheel, didn’t think it was an issue with any other car!

  4. DO: Ensure the chain is on the biggest chainring to avoid damage on the interior.
    DON'T: Touch the brake rotor with bare fingers. Greasing the rotor is not a good idea.

  5. I can just about get my bike in my fiesta 2003 hatchback. My bike is worth significantly more than my car, so never too bothered about marking the car, as long as my bike is OK.

  6. Yup I lost my threw axle same as you. Went to the beach with my family and going to ride with my father in law. Luckily the bike shop down the street had a threw axle. Not fun!! Take his tips!!!

  7. My Mercedes C200 coupe can hardly fit a bike in, as my rear seat don't lie down. I need to put my bike on the rear seat with both wheels off

  8. I used to put it upside down on the backseat of my '76 Opel Kadett, both wheels out obviously. Enough room for two bikes/four wheels and 100% of your boot space for other luggage. Mind your rear mech and the car's headliner though.

  9. My solution: two folding bikes (Trek F600 and F400) in the roof box of my car:
    https://servimg.com/view/12361977/1121
    In a 470-liters box, there is even enough space for a basket with locks and so forth.
    I find it cool. 🙂

  10. One tip don’t forget to put the front wheel in the car. I’ve seen wheels left behind in the car park at the trail centre.

  11. For your own safety, please strap down the bike inside the car properly when having the rear seats folded. If you hit something head on, any loose items in the car will hit you in the back with tremendous force.

  12. This is mostly common sense.The only tip i have is: Get an estate and make sure it is fitted with a removable net next to the trunk cover. Usually this net can be used both behind the rear bench but also right behind the front row at the backside of the folded-down rear bench. This really helps preventing things to fly to the front in case you need to brake hard or in case of an accident. Other than that: Always put your suitcases to the bottom and front of the boot, cover it with a blanket, and then put the bike with the back wheel on top of this. I am always loading bikes with the handlebar facing the rear end of the car. In a Skoda Superb or a VW Passat estate you can easily fit 2 suitcases and 2 bikes above each other. Of course, put another blanket in between.

  13. Buy 2018 Opel Insignia Country Tourer with tail hook and Thule tail hook bicyckle rack. Normal 58 cm road cyckle goes inside without movin wheels. Also to tail hook you can put three cyckles. I did this.

  14. Used to drive a BMW 325 coupe, and always transported 2 road bikes inside the car to go to group rides. Some people were astounded I was transporting 2 people and 2 bikes, as they were using big SUVs to carry their one bike…
    Put a sheet down on the ground, put the bike upside down, take both wheels off, insert a chain hanger to keep things tidy, then put one bike in the trunk, and the other on the back seat, upside down, drivetrain facing forward so as not to stain seats. Put the wheels in wheel bags, 2 in the trunk and 2 in the back seat, and off we went. Yeah it took a couple of minutes, but the bikes were never exposed to the elements 👍

  15. In a hatchback car, you can often just take out the rear shelf and place the bike without wheels standing on the chainwheel behind the rear seats. Put the chain on the large chainwheel to protect the teeth. Then put the wheels in and lean them on the bike. You will still have use of all the seats in the car, which is sometimes practical.
    I am one of those purists, who would never ever put a bike upside down. It makes them feel uneasy. But perhaps it doesn't matter so much these days. Bikes no longer have the brake cables going in an arch over the handlebars. Putting such a bike upside down could easily break the brake cables. My new bike has thru-axles, and I find it very difficult to put the wheels on after taking the bike with no wheels out of the car. You know, holding the bike with one hand, the wheel with the other and needing a third hand to put in the thru-axle. I think I'll put it upside down next time.

  16. In a VW Polo mk6 (2017 onwards): put the floor in the high position and store the privacy cover underneath. Then you can easily stack up 2 bikes with the wheels off. Personally putting the back end in first, as it maneuvers easier with the handle bars.

  17. …so in the bigest estate car on sale….well there is no tip. You just open the back and hop it in. Now I can show you how to get it in a Volvo V40 or Vauxhall Astra. That is a tip.

  18. Recent trip to the Alps and didn’t want to use roof bars to help with MPG . I took seat and post out , then removed front wheel – folded down rear passenger side back seat then placed bike upright into car ( 530d tourer) with front forks dropping into back passenger side footwell. Front wheel just sloted in next to back wheel on non drive side . This took up minimal space and allowed for 90 % of boot space for luggage .

    I imagine you could get another next to it easily by taking handlebars off and still have room for 2 passengers in the back too! This allowed me to drive at ‘ motorway speeds’ in France and still hit about 45 mpg –

  19. I have a RAV4 with a rear mounted spare tire. The proper place to mount a spare tire. And it's going out of fashion so quickly, quality spare tire racks are super cheap used x)

  20. Ah, Ollie, Ollie. Missed opportunity. You had that absolutely excellent background with the grape (presumably) leaves turning their autumnal colors against the stone wall. You could have set your bike against that backdrop, taken a pic and sent in to "Nice/Supernice" under the name Brig Wood Oliver. Since you make the rules, you know the rules. You could have scored one of those water bottles, or whatever swag of the week. Not a bad haul for 10 minutes work.

  21. Hi can you please show us how to fit a bike into a small car or saloon? This video headline says any car but you are using a large estate!

  22. Newer GCN member makes fun of American accents multiple times in the first episode I’ve watched in a while= unsubscribe

  23. I also have a Skoda (Octavia) hatchback / sedan (not the estate), which is amazingly roomy considering it's a mid-sized car. I can easily fit a road or mountain bike without removing the wheels, and two bikes if I remove the front wheels. Considering it's basically a cheaper version of a VM Golf, I think this is a great feature for such a cheap car. (Also fits a huge 10" aperture Dobsonian telescope, golf clubs or rifles – sideways – without putting the rear seats down)

  24. you foget to put in the back seats upside down removing before the front wheel;If you also put down the back seats a bike could fit in every car with a size of +3'75m. It's true

  25. When my son was three and learning to ride with training wheels we went on a touring holiday, packing his bike into the boot with the handlebars turned sideways and the training wheels taken off. I'd put them on when we got to where we were staying each few days. That was until I got tired of doing that, and that was the day he/we found he could ride without them. 🙂

  26. I have a Sedan. Toyota Corolla. I place my bicycle in the backseat without removing the wheels. Front wheel is on floor and the back wheel is on the rear seat. Getting a diagonal angle.

  27. How about if you have a disc bike? My bike the discs are on the opposite side of the chain rings. Putting bike in with the chainrings on top, means I can damage the dics on the opposite side.

  28. GCN: How To Fit A Bike Into (Almost) Any Car
    Also GCN: Shows it using a car with a huge trunk.

    Yeah, well, thanks guys.

    How about trying to fit a bike into Toyota Yaris or something similar in dimensions?

  29. I get people making sarcastic comments at the car park when I turn my bike upside down. It's just a whole lot easier and potentially less damaging to the rotor.

  30. I have a BMW Z4 roadster (2003-2008 model) I can my fit my bike into it, wheels in the trunk, and frame (saddle removed and cleats removed, and with a plastic bag around it) on the passenger seat
    There is enough room left in the trunk for travelbags and bikegear
    Great for a trip to the Dolomites or French Alps, leave in the morning from the hotel with the bike, and cruising with the roadster in the afternoon

  31. 1. Remove both wheels
    2. Fit a dummy hub to keep the chain and brake pad plastic thingies
    3. Wrap an old t-shirt around the drivetrain
    4. Put sheets or old towels on the floor between front seats and back seats
    5. Fit bike into the space between the front and back seats

    (And if you put sheets or towels in the back seats, you can easily fit two bikes without wheels it the back seats as well, secured with the seat belt, leaving space for the wheels in the back)

  32. Seriously, you couldn't have done this video with a smaller car? If you have an estate you obviously don't have a problem fitting your bike in it.

  33. If you don't have access to a GCN business card, what is an acceptable substitute business card?
    BTW, my Synapse fits into the trunk of my Mustang just fine, but I prefer my trailer hitch mount.

  34. Ollie: place bike tire side down on the road. Carefully get on the bike from the side you're most comfortable doing so. Lock the car and go for a ride.

  35. The comments under this video are some of the funniest I’ve ever read on GCN!

    Next GCN Presenter challenge: load inside and transport a bike with a Peel P50, then (likely reassemble and) ride the bike 5 miles around a track. Fastest time wins!

  36. Pieces of pipe lagging/insulation cut to fit forks, frame tubes can also help prevent damage, especially if you need to place one bike on top of another.

  37. You call that blanket in this video a sheet or rug? I'm just giving you crap since you like to poke fun of how we Americans say things! I'm sorry, we invented the English language!

  38. The only time it's acceptable for you bike to be upside down is A) if you are still on it B) you are draining water out of the frame because your went on a ride when no one else would.

  39. You can also use your sheet to prevent damage to the paintwork of your car when putting the bike in by draping it over the back learned that one the hard way

  40. Been doing this for years found the best car to do it with us insigna, focus bmw 5gt or 6 gt don’t forget to put the grease

  41. Hey guys. Tip here. Remove front wheel only and lower (or remove) seatpost. You can fit a bike in even to a smaller car like a hatchback with sacrificing only one seat, usually. Just put the bike in with front fork first, standing position. The fork should rest on the back of the seat you have just lowered for the mission.

    I have put even a long travel & XL size enduro bike into a wagon, using this method.

  42. Over the past few years got loads of practice when going to France. We once got 3 people, 3 bikes and loads of luggage into an estate (slightly cramped for the person in the back). On the way back had a load of cycling Belgians with a minibus look at us with a "you'll never get that lot in there". We did. For ultimate packing; both wheels off, chain keeper, something to cover the oily bits and both pedals off (don't forget to take pedals!). Stack bikes top to tail with drive side up and loads of padding etc to stop rubbing. Bike blankets and wheelbags can also be useful to protect bike and car.

  43. Handy tips – electric cars often have total bans on anything added to them (no roofbars, towbars or even rear window mounted racks) so you have to go in. My adventure bike fitted fine in my Renault Zoe with front wheel and front mudguard removed. Quick remove mud guard would make it really easy. I have fitted two but it it was very high as the back seat doesn't go flush – just found out though that the back seat upright bit can be fully removed – not tried but would make two bikes (separated by the old rug) even in a Renault Zoe…. In the boot also feels much safer and less worrying on winding country roads with overhanging trees and will have no air resistance impact on the car.

  44. it's a shame you havent't showed the internal bike rack that for example Skoda offers, by removing the front wheel it allows to put two bicycles in the boot 🙂

  45. In Texas we drive Full Size Pickup Trucks. Mine is a Toyota TUNDRA Crewmax 4×4! I can haul more bikes than people!

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