The bike on vacation is a treat for the whole family, but often their transportation, especially on a car, can be tricky. Almost everything depends on the journey. If the distance to be covered is short enough, it can make sense to put the bike directly inside the passenger compartment, which, however, can have disadvantages in terms of cleaning the car. In addition, sometimes it may be necessary to disassemble the bike, to get it inside the vehicle. In this regard, let’s find out how to transport bikes by car in a simple way and tips for road safety, here are some tips.
Transportation inside the car
Carrying bicycles inside the car is certainly the most practical system. Any car (perhaps except Smart, Fiat 500, and some sports cars) can hold at least two people and two bikes. Often even 3, the trick is just trying to figure out how to best optimize the space.
- the bicycle is protected from bad weather, rain, salt, and gnats. In winter the salt will not encrust it, preventing the oxidation of the most delicate components (discs and transmission in the first place). While in the summer we will not find the frame full of midges.
- The bicycle is protected in the event of an accident, especially in the event of a rear-end collision, as insurance companies tend to compensate as little as possible when bicycles are damaged on the rear carrier.
- The bicycle is protected from theft, especially on shortstops (motorway restaurants, refueling).
- You can travel at high speed without taking any risks. The car’s aerodynamics are not compromised.
Disadvantages of transport bikes the interior of the car can get damaged and dirty. To prevent this problem, you can equip yourself with blankets or bike bags. It is almost always necessary to disassemble the bike or remove one or more wheels to get it into the car. Bikes can be damaged if not adequately protected by blankets.
Tips and tricks
- Protect the interior of the car: rubber protection or alternatively a nice sturdy nylon sheet to put on the bottom of the trunk are the best solution to prevent damage to the car interior.
- Use a wheel bag: the dirtiest part of our bike is the wheels. Putting the wheels in a bag is the best way to prevent them from getting dirty around and scratching the bikes during the trip.
- The brush: a practical brush in the trunk allows you to remove the bulk of the dirt from the bicycle frame.
The bike racks
The alternative to internal bicycle transport is the bicycle rack that allows you to take the bicycle out of your car. Among its advantages, we remember that, in this way, we will not take up space inside the car. Thus making it possible to travel in 3 or 4 in a single car. Even if it is small. The bicycle stands outside and therefore does not dirty the interior or damage it. Despite this, the bike, however, will be exposed to the elements, such as salt and insects. The risk of theft is also particularly high. In this case, it is advisable to tie the bike during short stops and avoid leaving them unattended for too long. In addition, the external bike carrier requires attention when driving, especially when cornering where kickbacks must be minimized.
Types of bike racks
- Roof-mounted bike carrier: it is the simplest and is compatible with all cars. Just buy roof bars compatible with your car model and the bike rack can be assembled in a few minutes. The advantage of the roof-mounted bike carrier is that the bike does not go out of shape. And is securely fixed without needing to be disassembled. On the other hand, the aerodynamic resistance increases and consequently the consumption. We must be careful of the lateral jolts in tight curves and above all in underground parking spaces.
- Tailgate Bike Carrier: The rear bike carrier attaches to the tailgate of your car (or the spare wheel on a 4 × 4). The main advantage is the ease of loading the bicycles. It is not necessary to lift the bicycles up to the roof of the car. Often it is enough to lift them a meter from the ground. The main problem with these bike racks is that they often cover the light and license plate, which must always be visible.
- Tow bar bike carrier: Mounted on the tow bar. These bike racks for transport bikes can be assembled and disassembled in a few seconds (just open a lever and attach the plug of the lights). They do not damage the car in any way and are fixed on an extremely sturdy component. The tow hook, integral with the car frame. The big advantage over the tailgate models is that they have a replica of lights and license plates. And therefore do not need the protruding load sign. The only problem is that they need the tow hook. Which in Italy must be approved with considerable costs if installed after the car is registered.
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