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

  1. 😂 I left my through axle on the wall of the bike shop after a service and had to drive back the following day before an organised ride. Fortunately it was still there!!!

  2. If you have a small car put still want to put the bike in whole. Put it in front end first and turn the bars so the front wheel is tucked down into the rear passenger foot well. This reduced the bike length a lot.

  3. IMO – front wheel off, blankets underneath to relieve weight from resting levered sideways on crank arm/bottom bracket, ass and in first, more blankies on the fork, front wheel on top.

  4. This was super useful, I have a small car and I had no idea how to get my bike to the repair shop, therefore I don't use my bike. This is the push I needed to get it fixed and start riding, thanks!

  5. A chain keeper (I think that's what it's called) that holds the chain in place when the rear wheel is removed is an inexpensive way to avoid the chain getting too much slack and dirtying, scratching the frame.

  6. Don't even think that "estates" / station waaagons are even that popular in North America anymore, anyways…here it's CUVs or SUVs

  7. Good video. Buuuuuut. It is so much easier when taking both wheel off to loosen front so it will slide off but don’t take it off yet. Then remove rear wheel. Like for fixing a flat. I use a chain support like Park sells to also stiffen frame. Hold top tube and remove front wheel. That way I don’t soil my 101 Dalmatians blanket uses to protect the frame. Also use a small bath mat between the wheels. Mat is good to stand on changing shoes.

  8. Informative video as always!
    As an owner of a small car, putting a bike inside the car can be a pain in the neck. Your video made me more about how to put a bike inside a car.

  9. This is great for this type of bike, with or without disc breaks but i noticed that you didn't try this with mountain bikes that don't have a curved bar.

  10. few things to add1) anything not tied down will become a flying projectile if you happen to brake suddenly or crash.2) In some estate cars you can transport bikes upright, just make a diy mount for the front axle and remove front wheel.

  11. any tips for those of us that own tadpole trikes? they are a son of a gun to take anywhere….either $1000 racks on trailer hitches, or buying a huge SUV or spending another $4 k for one of the new folding models!!!! teach me something new!

  12. I learned this stuff the hard way i wish i could have learned it the gcn way as for tips i use to use pool noodles to protect my bike but i have a rack now

  13. I have a Ford Fusion, the back seats fold totally flat and I have a large cardboard covering that area, take off the front wheel, place the bike on the cardboard and slide it in and slide it out when I want it, easy. I like the bike in the car, if I need to stop anywhere its nice and secure, particularly since I have a Trek Madone.

  14. I wonder if this “bars first” approach is better than “bars last”. I have a hatchback just for my bike. It fits front wheel off. But I always go bars last and the front wheel fits under the bike. When I use my larger SUV I can easily put two bikes in ( if it’s raining) and also go bars last. Just seems easier for me to load and unload.

  15. Hardest part of the process for me is getting the car's rear seat folded down. Putting the bike in and out is a doddle in comparison.

  16. Do not try this at home, but once I traveled in an opel astra F with 7 other people and with 7 bikes, 3 on the roof, but 4 in the car with that 8 people. But this was placed in Bosnia 15 years ago.

  17. Much easier to have a truck with Ineos written down the side of it. They come complete with loads of bicycles and a mechanic to do everything for you!!

  18. Here in Colorado, I own 3 SUVs and a full size pickup truck. We tend to have bigger cars here in the West. And, I just put a hitch on the SUV I drive most often for a bike rack. Ski racks stay on top year round.

  19. My best way of loading two bikes is to take off the front wheel, take off the saddle with seat post and load the bike in vertically on the side. I have done this in a Skoda Fabia station wagon – 2x L sized bikes, two PCs and monitors, quite a lot of luggage AND a unicycle. If it were just the two bikes and luggage,I could have easily been able to travel with someone in the back seat as well. Just make sure you harness the bike to the handle on the ceiling so the bike doesn't move around during driving

  20. Why? If you're smart you get a mobile bike service that comes to you, to service your bike – you get to see/meet the guy servicing your bike (LBS's hide this out the back – why?) or ride, your ride, to the ride – get fit/have fun/kill the competition 🙂

  21. My bike is, right now, in my car. Which is a station wagon. It really is as easy to put in the car as the video shows.

    Even two bikes is possible with a wheel off of each AND I could have one seat still down.

    I can't stress how important it is to protect the brakes and use padding.

  22. Hi GCN, how about showing us if it is possible to fit a road bike into a sedan with 60/40 folding rear seats? Cheers

  23. you right a bike will fit in a small car …yes …a buy put his bike in a Smart Car by removing both wheels.. that wheelie something

  24. It's not that easy if you have XL frame size 🙂
    My car is simillar to that one in size (Toyota Avensis estate) and it's quite hard to fit my road bike in there with rear seats up.
    If I need to have luggage, frame goes in there first and that bags get placed beneath the frame in a way to support it and keep it leveled.
    And then wheels on the top.

    In situations when I need to do that I wrap chain in paper towels on some foil…

  25. My best performance was to get my MTB (Jenny) with a 18inch frame and 27.5 wheels and all of my camping supplies for a weekend of mountain biking in 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 wales, into a 1997 1 liter Suzuki Swift (Suki). Just had to drop the back seats down and remove the wheels from my MTB, and keep my luggage in the foot well of passenger side, I also managed to fit a cooler box on the passenger seat for my food.

  26. there was the time after a cross country ride my wife rocked up with the car after cleaning off the bike we managed to get it on to the back seat wheels on the front, she made me travel in the boot on the dogs bed as I was covered in mud and rain etc !

  27. Yup… I left my thru axle on my tailgate once. Luckily I was outside a bike store when I did this dumb thing and someone found it on the road and handed it in to the store <3 I was very lucky…

  28. How to fit a bike in a car….Buy a Skoda superb estate and take your entire house with you!

    At least do a video with a normal size car (focus hatch etc)

  29. I think you missed a trick there Ollie…If you don't have a rear mounted bike rack. Or you do but you don't want your road bike to get dirty before you get to your ride. Also, if you have no reason to have anyone in the back seats – here is a QUICK way to load a road bike (29ers are too big for this). No sheets, no fuss. Step1: Move passenger front seat forward a little on the rails to expose a decent amount of foot well in rear. Step 2: open rear right door (behind drivers door), opp I guess for countries who drive on the wrong side of the road. step 3: Remove front wheel (No need to flip bike upside down and place on floor, who does this??). step 4: Now turn bike upside down (without touching floor) and place rear wheel in the far side rear seat foot-well (drive side of bike towards front of car not to mess seat upholstery). Step 5: Place top of stem (handlebars) on the seat behind the drivers seat or position it further up towards ceiling of car depending on how wide your car is. This may mean your saddle wedges on rear seat, or rear center console. Place front wheel on far side seat or rested neatly behind drivers seat laid on bicycle frame (alright then, you can use your sheet here). DISCLAIMER: remove water bottles first otherwise chances are you're gonna get wet rear upholstery. Lets see a video on that Ollie!!

  30. OK Ollie, can you help me with getting my bike in either or my cars?
    Car 1: Citroen Grand Picasso. Yes, I know it is huge, but it will inevitably contains; 3 child seats, a buggy, portable child's potty and accessories, various other child related crap, and, if I'm really unlucky, 3 children!
    Car 2: Mazda MX5 Mk4. 'nuff said.

    This is why I've completely given up on riding my MTB, and only ever ride my road bike with every single route starting at my front door.

  31. Used to put my rode bike in my RX-7 by removing both wheels, rolling down the passenger window, and having the seat hanging out the window. Wheels fix nicely on top of the frame triangle. Blanket for protection of course. My mountain bike fit with the window closed since the seat post had quick release.

  32. Loosen front wheel skewer, but don't remove front wheel (yet). Loosen rear wheel skewer and lift the bike of the rear wheel by grabbing the saddle. Now lift the bike off the front wheel. No need to turn it upside down.

  33. The second demo starts with the seats up but they magically fold down during the cut when the bike makes it into the car. Also love the slightly confused look just before this trying to work out which way to fold the handlebars

  34. I was so tired and annoyed with fitting the bike into car or on its roof, so I bought a van… haven't been happier with a vehicle ever before!

  35. I have an Audi A3 sportback, and I usually remove front-wheel and then put the bike with wheel facing the front and handlebar near the back of the car (so, other way around).

  36. Oh my giddy aunt! Probably the most boring video ever (sorry Ollie). Have GCN run out of things to make videos on? Maybe time for some presenter challenges?

  37. Why would you assume people would use a roof rack. There are a number very good rear mounted and tow bar mounted bike racks.

  38. 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!

  39. 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!

  40. 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!

  41. 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.

  42. 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.

  43. 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!!!

  44. 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

  45. 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.

  46. 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. 🙂

  47. 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.

  48. 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.

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