Most economical vehicle easily fitting 2 full bikes inside

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Most economical vehicle easily fitting 2 full bikes inside

Postby Jerome Daoust » Sun Nov 08, 2009 11:33 pm

I saw someone at the beach today with a 2 regular bikes in their Chrysler Town and Country and they had room left for a bunch of beach stuff. So a different approach to carrying ebikes (than bike racks) would be to get a minivan: Comparison of 5 popular models on Edmunds.com. No practical limit on the bike weight then, and could even have a little ramp for loading them. For most, not good on fuel economy, but the Mazda5 is not bad with 21 mph city, 27 hwy.

Interesting related discussion on Bike Forums: Smallest, nicest, most fuel efficient auto that fits 2 bikes inside?
Message 24: Good pick with the Mazda5.
Message 65: I have a 2000 Toyota Rav4 and it holds two bikes inside with ease.
Message 106: Honda Element: The rear seats can fold up, out of the way, or be removed entirely and you can easily fit 4 bikes in there.
Message 117: I haven't tried 3 in the Fit, but I get 2 in easily, standing upright with the front wheels removed. Don't know why I'd want to try 3, since there's only room for 2 people when the back is folded flat.

What economical (price and fuel economy) vehicle do you know which can carry 2 full (with both wheels on) bicycles inside (not on the bed of a pickup truck)?

Work in progress: Car Suitability Table (Excel spreadsheet) .

Related topics:
Best compact SUV to carry 2 ebikes on a trailer hitch rack
Hitch-mounted bike carrier for 150 lb of ebikes
Last edited by Jerome Daoust on Tue Nov 10, 2009 4:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Honda Element

Postby Jerome Daoust » Sun Nov 08, 2009 11:45 pm

manufacturer website: Honda / Element.
Source wrote:You could just skip wheel removal entirely and get an Element

Source wrote:Yep, if you carry bikes very often it's nice to just toss them in with the wheels on. I can get two bikes in back and still have one seat down for a passenger. It's no speed demon, but doesn't handle too bad for it's height. And no carpeting, so no worries if the tires are muddy.

Video of shoving a bike inside an Element (25" into the video).

The brochure shows a stowable ramp and 2 full upright bikes with strap-down attachment points. This seems perfect for loading and securing heavy ebikes.

Dimensions (copied as attachements below): CarGoDogs: Honda Element 2008
Depth from back door to front seats (2nd/3rd row folded) = maximum depth range (D1): 55"-67"
Height from cargo floor to ceiling at entry of vehicle (H3): 40"
Height from cargo floor to ceiling behind 2nd row seats (H2): 44.5"
Attachments
Element_StowableRamp.jpg
From brochure
Element_StowableRamp.jpg (64.76 KiB) Viewed 2794 times
Element_TwoBikes.jpg
From brochure
Element_TwoBikes.jpg (115.35 KiB) Viewed 2794 times
Element_Dimensions.png
Element_Dimensions.png (130 KiB) Viewed 2628 times
Last edited by Jerome Daoust on Sat Nov 14, 2009 5:26 pm, edited 12 times in total.
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Honda Odyssey

Postby Jerome Daoust » Sun Nov 08, 2009 11:58 pm

Source wrote:One bike in the back of a Honda Odyssey.
Attachments
Odyssey.jpg
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Toyota Rav 4

Postby Jerome Daoust » Mon Nov 09, 2009 12:03 am

Source wrote:A pic. of my 2002 RAV-4 with two bikes and gear (had to take the front wheel off my friend's 29'er 'cause it was too tall--"normal," bikes fit fine with wheels on.)


Dimensions from CarGoDogs: Toyota Rav4 2007:
Depth from back door to front seats (2nd/3rd row folded) = maximum depth (D1): 67"/76"
Height from cargo floor to ceiling at entry of vehicle (H3): 36.5"
Height from cargo floor to ceiling behind 2nd row seats (H2): 38"
Attachments
Rav4.jpg
Rav4.jpg (124.23 KiB) Viewed 3193 times
Last edited by Jerome Daoust on Sat Nov 14, 2009 5:27 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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PT Cruiser

Postby Jerome Daoust » Mon Nov 09, 2009 12:16 am

Source wrote:PT Cruiser - don't even have to remove the front wheel. Just fold the rear seats down, turn the handlbars to about 90 degrees, close the rear hatch and off we go. Easy!
But how about 2 bikes?

This would disqualify this vehicle...
Source wrote:I have a 16" frame Mountain Bike with 26" wheels. You will not be able to put your road bike in the PT without removing both wheels from the frame and fork assuming you are anal about your road bike as I am about my mountain bike and my vehicle. If it is a small frame road bike and the seat is low, you "might" be able to position it semi-vertically without the front wheel but I doubt it. Put a 1 1/4" hitch on the back and buy a insert style bike rack and you are good to go.
Last edited by Jerome Daoust on Mon Nov 09, 2009 2:42 am, edited 2 times in total.
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subaru outback 2.5xt

Postby Jerome Daoust » Mon Nov 09, 2009 12:19 am

Source wrote:Subaru outback 2.5xt
I can fit 2 bikes inside without taking anything off. I could probably fit 3 if need be.
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Re: Most economical vehicle easily fitting 2 full bikes inside

Postby dogman dan » Mon Nov 09, 2009 6:36 am

Forester has a taller roof line than an outback, but a bike has to lay down to fit inside my forester. Honda vans are nice though. I had a couple of the dodge, or plymoth voyager ones, and liked em a lot, but they broke down a lot. They were old ones with 100000 miles though.
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Frankenbike longtail
http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... cing+betty.

bolt on longtail viewtopic.php?f=6&t=74584

The mixte long tail. viewtopic.php?f=6&t=74384

Beach cruiser converted to long tail. viewtopic.php?f=6&t=67049&p=1045572&hilit=Longtail+beach+cruiser#p1045572
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Re: Most economical vehicle easily fitting 2 full bikes inside

Postby vanilla ice » Mon Nov 09, 2009 12:17 pm

Used minivan is IMO the only way to go when "economical" enters the question. I'd probably go for a clapped out Mpv or Sienna.. not too huge but good space and good price. But over on the new front, those new ford transit mini-cargo vans are interesting. Anybody know anything about them?

Edit- Check this out.. pretty neato van. Can seat five, 20k base, tall roof, not sure about NVH or about how stowable the rear seats are tho.. http://www.fordvehicles.com/transitconnect/
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Ford Transit Connect

Postby Jerome Daoust » Mon Nov 09, 2009 1:54 pm

Thanks for contributing guys, good info.

Yes the Ford Transit Connect seems like a practical vehicle for carrying bikes inside. May be a hard sell to the spouse who wants some style, but low purchase price does make sense.
This guy just got one, and says "5ft tall on the inside. The perfect cyclist's buggy".
Apparently not good for towing: "From the owners manual: WARNING: Never tow a trailer with this vehicle. Your vehicle is not equipped to tow. No towing packages are available through an authorized dealer". So one should not expect to have a good hitch receiver for a bike rack behind the vehicle (if for some reason he does not want to put them inside).

This summer I drove a Renault Kangoo for a month in France, which is probably similar as utilitary vehicles go. It was practical. Don't think it is available in the USA (where I live).

Dimensions from CarGoDogs: Ford Transit Connect 2009:
Depth from back door to front seats (2nd/3rd row folded) = maximum depth range (D1): 64.5 - 72"
Height from cargo floor to ceiling at entry of vehicle (H3): 50.5"
Height from cargo floor to ceiling behind 2nd row seats (H2): 52"
Last edited by Jerome Daoust on Sat Nov 14, 2009 5:28 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Most economical vehicle easily fitting 2 full bikes inside

Postby vanilla ice » Mon Nov 09, 2009 2:28 pm

If you have the budget for it, maybe a used sprinter short or mid length would work. I've driven one before. That would cover mileage, towing, and space without being difficult to drive. Its actually a lot easier to maneuver and park than a full size pickup. You still have the transit's style issue, except that issue is now supersized. NVH is horrible btw but they handle well. Fuel is different, but if I had to bet on which would do best per gallon I'd bet on the sprinter rather than the transit. Pretty amazing given teh size difference.
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Mazda5

Postby Jerome Daoust » Mon Nov 09, 2009 5:16 pm

The Mazda5 was the 2009 counsumer's top rated minivan/van.

Not bad with 21 mph city, 27 hwy.

Related discussion on Bike Forums: Smallest, nicest, most fuel efficient auto that fits 2 bikes inside?
Message 24: Good pick with the Mazda5.

Best to keep the bikes inside, because the tow hitch receiver is not strong (eTrailer: Mazda5): Class 1, 1-1/4" receiver, 200 lb max tongue weight (so good for a max of about 100 lb of bikes on a receiver rack).

Dimensions from CarGoDogs: Mazda5 2009:
Depth from back door to front seats (2nd/3rd row folded) = maximum depth range (D1): 64.5-74"
Height from cargo floor to ceiling at entry of vehicle (H3): 33.75"
Height from cargo floor to ceiling behind 2nd row seats (H2) 36"
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