Family cycle carrying vehicles - any ideas?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Tangled Metal
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Family cycle carrying vehicles - any ideas?

Postby Tangled Metal » 10 Feb 2018, 12:16am

So you're a cycling family; bikes of all kinds / sizes and you've very good reasons to drive to a cycling route / location (debate this elsewhere please, there's a thread about it already). What vehicle suits best?

Personally I'd limit the choices to a reasonable price, probably secondhand and say up to £10k.

Stock answer would be to get roof or towbar bike rack. Or a Skoda octavia estate. Is there anything else, perhaps more creative solution?

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gaz
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Re: Family cycle carrying vehicles - any ideas?

Postby gaz » 10 Feb 2018, 1:33am

Hand wash only. Do not iron.

thirdcrank
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Re: Family cycle carrying vehicles - any ideas?

Postby thirdcrank » 10 Feb 2018, 2:52am

Without knowing the size of the family, it's not easy to make a start, because number of seats is one of the starting points for model types. Then, it's still a matter of dividing the available space between passengers and luggage, with more passengers typically having less luggage space for a given car, with one bike per seat leaving little room to vary the allocation. That's so obvious that it hardly seems worth pointing out, but it is why people resort to solutions like roofracks.

To be able to carry four or five people with their bikes inside the vehicle, I suspect you are into some type of commercial vehicle with a second row of seats. I'm no motoring correspondent but the VW Caddy long wheelbase with rear side windows looks like the biggest car-size thing of this type I've seen. Beyond that it's something like a crew-cab tranny or similar.

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Cosmicbike
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Re: Family cycle carrying vehicles - any ideas?

Postby Cosmicbike » 10 Feb 2018, 7:15am

I use a VW T5 camper with the VW tailgate rack. Manages my lot with 4 bikes. A 29er mtb, 700C hybrid, 700C CX and 24" mtb. Bit of an art form getting all the pedals etc in the right places, and that's why I take a photo on my phone before we head off on holiday every year

Norman H
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Re: Family cycle carrying vehicles - any ideas?

Postby Norman H » 10 Feb 2018, 7:32am

TC makes a valid point about leaving space for people. I've got a Skoda Octavia Estate, my second Octavia. I have Thule sliding roof bars fitted and a variety of different bike racks. The sliding roof bars make loading and unloading a lot easier. The maximum number of bikes I've carried on the roof, with their riders, has been three but I'm sure it would be possible to carry four bikes and riders if needed. It's best to alternate the bikes nose to tail if carrying more than two.

I've also made a front fork mounting rack which fits in the back of the Octavia with the rear seats folded flat. This is designed for two bikes but I'm sure it could accommodate three by once again alternating the bikes nose to tail. I much prefer to carry the bikes inside the vehicle if I can.

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Re: Family cycle carrying vehicles - any ideas?

Postby Vorpal » 10 Feb 2018, 8:05am

Well, We've put everything in and on a Fiat Punto or VW Golf, so I would not worry too much about the size. I would just include something like towbar mounting in the selection criteria, so you know that you have at least two options (roof and tow bar) for bike mounting. You can get 4 or more full sized bikes on most cars that way.

We had a Fiat Stilo (small estate) that I liked quite alot. Our current car is a Skoda Fabia estate.

If were solely up to me, we wouldn't have a car. I think when the Skoda dies, I will see if I can talk Mr. V into a small electric car. The Skoda mostly gets used for Mr. V going out and socializing, days out with the family, and the occasional road trip. Mr. V sometimes uses it to do shopping.
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pete75
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Re: Family cycle carrying vehicles - any ideas?

Postby pete75 » 10 Feb 2018, 9:19am

A crew cab pick up would be ideal. As much seating as a saloon and room for a lot of bikes in the back without messing about with racks or carriers. You can get something pretty decent secondhand for 10,000 quid.

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TrevA
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Re: Family cycle carrying vehicles - any ideas?

Postby TrevA » 10 Feb 2018, 9:41am

Ive managed before with a Nissan Micra (the really old square shape), with 2 adults, 2 small kids, 3 bikes and a trailer bike. 3 bikes on the roof, trailer bike in between the 2 kids, wheel forwards. This was for a week's holiday in a cottage, not just a day out. It really depends on how much extra luggage you want to take. If the bikes are carried on the outside of the car, either roof rack or rear carrier, then most cars have plenty of room.

I've also had Focus and Mondeo estates that were cavernous, especially with the seats down, but still don't have enough height to get bikes in without removing wheels. You really need something with a bit of height, either a van-based car or something like a Fiat Doblo. A large people carrier like a Zafira or Galaxy, or more modern equivalent (C-Max?), would probably be suitable.
Last edited by TrevA on 10 Feb 2018, 9:53am, edited 1 time in total.

pwa
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Re: Family cycle carrying vehicles - any ideas?

Postby pwa » 10 Feb 2018, 9:53am

Why not think about a trailer? Then the vehicle can be whatever is right for your other requirements, not some overly big thing selected just for the odd trip with bikes. Just a thought to add to the mix.

http://www.pendle-bike.co.uk/shopping/s ... railer.php
Last edited by pwa on 10 Feb 2018, 10:01am, edited 1 time in total.

pwa
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Re: Family cycle carrying vehicles - any ideas?

Postby pwa » 10 Feb 2018, 9:56am

pete75 wrote:A crew cab pick up would be ideal. As much seating as a saloon and room for a lot of bikes in the back without messing about with racks or carriers. You can get something pretty decent secondhand for 10,000 quid.


I used to drive a 4x4 Ford Ranger for work and sometimes I would put my bike in the back, laid flat. To be honest it wasn't a great fit. Only just long enough with the front wheel on. And very thirsty. Not a good family car either.

thirdcrank
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Re: Family cycle carrying vehicles - any ideas?

Postby thirdcrank » 10 Feb 2018, 10:27am

TrevA wrote:... A large people carrier like a Zafira or Galaxy, or more modern equivalent (C-Max?), would probably be suitable.


Strange how the real people carriers eg Renault Espace, seem to have been discontinued. One of my high-mileage neighbours - 30,000+ miles p.a. - had a series of Galaxies till they were discontinued ( 10 - 12 years ago?) The VW Sharan and SEAT Alhambra retained the same body shell for a while but they all seem to have been replaced with something less roomy. That's just my perception - not an accurate comparison of dimensions.

Anyway, the Galaxy had considerable flexibility over seating versus load capacity but the simple point remains that if everybody in the vehicle has a bike in there as well, the scope for juggling people room and luggage room is curtailed. This is inevitably more so if it's a holiday rather than a day trip so the people need extra luggage.

brynpoeth
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Re: Family cycle carrying vehicles - any ideas?

Postby brynpoeth » 10 Feb 2018, 10:33am

pwa wrote:Why not think about a trailer? Then the vehicle can be whatever is right for your other requirements, not some overly big thing selected just for the odd trip with bikes. Just a thought to add to the mix.

http://www.pendle-bike.co.uk/shopping/s ... railer.php

+1
Then you can get a small car :wink: but still be able to take more luggage occasionally
I think trailers used to be more popular before vehicles got bigger
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pwa
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Re: Family cycle carrying vehicles - any ideas?

Postby pwa » 10 Feb 2018, 10:40am

brynpoeth wrote:
pwa wrote:Why not think about a trailer? Then the vehicle can be whatever is right for your other requirements, not some overly big thing selected just for the odd trip with bikes. Just a thought to add to the mix.

http://www.pendle-bike.co.uk/shopping/s ... railer.php

+1
Then you can get a small car :wink: but still be able to take more luggage occasionally
I think trailers used to be more popular before vehicles got bigger

The car would still have to be able to carry the family and their baggage, and it would have to be rated for the trailer+cargo. So a truly small car would be no use. But the trailer would mean not having to drive around with cycle carrying capacity every time you drive, even when you are not taking bikes. Not a cheap option, of course. But neither is buying and driving a camper van.

PDQ Mobile
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Re: Family cycle carrying vehicles - any ideas?

Postby PDQ Mobile » 10 Feb 2018, 10:58am

Norman H wrote: I've got a Skoda Octavia Estate, my second Octavia. I have Thule sliding roof bars fitted and a variety of different bike racks. The sliding roof bars make loading and unloading a lot easier. The maximum number of bikes I've carried on the roof, with their riders, has been three but I'm sure it would be possible to carry four bikes and riders if needed.


Those Skodas sure have strong roofs these days! :wink:

Which reminds me of 2 old but mildly amusing jokes.
What do you call a convertible Skoda?
A skip.

How do you double the value of your Skoda?
Fill the tank with fuel.

brynpoeth
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Re: Family cycle carrying vehicles - any ideas?

Postby brynpoeth » 10 Feb 2018, 11:08am

Why do audi drivers go too fast?
To get to the fuel station before their tank is empty
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