Family cycle carrying vehicles - any ideas?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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Cunobelin
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Re: Family cycle carrying vehicles - any ideas?

Postby Cunobelin » 10 Feb 2018, 11:36am

thirdcrank wrote:
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.


Slightly OT...

We hava a large wheelchair and hoist fitted to the car (Kia Sedona and now discontinued))

The fashion for the roof sloping down at the back, limiting the boot access is a real issue

pete75
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Re: Family cycle carrying vehicles - any ideas?

Postby pete75 » 10 Feb 2018, 11:41am

pwa wrote:
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.


A friend uses a Nissan Navara in the way I described. Four bikes easily go in the back and the interior is quite good - exactly the same as the Nissan Pathfinder SUV in fact so an excellent family car. The Navara isn't particularly thirsty and will do over 30 to the gallon.
BTW only just long enough is ideal - too long and things move about.

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

Postby PDQ Mobile » 10 Feb 2018, 12:05pm

pete75 wrote:A friend uses a Nissan Navara in the way I described. Four bikes easily go in the back and the interior is quite good - exactly the same as the Nissan Pathfinder SUV in fact so an excellent family car. The Navara isn't particularly thirsty and will do over 30 to the gallon.


30mpg.
IMHO it's pretty thirsty.
Too thirsty for me using it as day to day transport, the price of fuel being what it is.

I thought modern vehicles had improved efficiency?

A Morris Minor 1000 from the days of yore would easily achieve 40mpg driven steadily.
And my 20 year old Astra always achieves high 40s even driven very hard, and over 50 on a long motorway cruise. Pulling a small caravan with a couple of bikes "up top" it returns around 35mpg.

So regarding the OP's question.
Roof rack (or other bike carrier or trailer) on a vehicle just big enough internally for the number in the family is the way I would go.
Upthread someone used Nissan Micra- three bikes and all the family!! Now that's travelling in style.
Did the same with a Polo myself.
And a long ago a camping trip to Scotland with young twins in an old Fiat 500.
Such great fun.

BrianFox
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Re: Family cycle carrying vehicles - any ideas?

Postby BrianFox » 10 Feb 2018, 12:26pm

I've got a Galaxy and routinely put 4 bikes on top, one of which is a tandem, and have had five on using the tandem rack to lash two ordinary bikes to.

That leaves enough space for five people inside easily and luggage for a holiday. Sometimes put the fifth bike in the boot with wheels off as two on a tandem rack isn't ideal.

Main issues are the height- I'm 6'4" but I reckon loading those on the roof for someone below 6' would be a bit of a trial - and the fuel consumption which drops from c.45mpg to c.35mpg on motorway driving.

Thought about getting a tow bar rack - one trip abroad would probably pay for it in fuel - but never got round to it plus nowhere to store it.

pwa
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Re: Family cycle carrying vehicles - any ideas?

Postby pwa » 10 Feb 2018, 12:29pm

pete75 wrote:
pwa wrote:
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.


A friend uses a Nissan Navara in the way I described. Four bikes easily go in the back and the interior is quite good - exactly the same as the Nissan Pathfinder SUV in fact so an excellent family car. The Navara isn't particularly thirsty and will do over 30 to the gallon.
BTW only just long enough is ideal - too long and things move about.


I don't know the Nissan, so I'll take your word for that.

The Ranger only took my touring bike with the front wheel tilted up and leaning on the rear cabin window. getting a second bike in would have been a bit of a struggle. And the ride was best described as agricultural. Leaf springs at the back, designed to carry a heavy load so when lightly loaded (just passengers) you could feel every detail of the road surface. But it was a tool to do a job, getting people and stuff to remote locations to do jobs.

Given that most of the time you would be driving it without bikes in, wouldn't it make more sense to get a more normal car but add a trailer?

In the past I've had a Mk2 Octavia with two tandems on the roof, so with a bit of kit you can get a lot on an estate car. But it takes time to load and unload.

Best to check manufacturer's weight limits for what goes on the roof or boot.

pete75
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Re: Family cycle carrying vehicles - any ideas?

Postby pete75 » 10 Feb 2018, 1:20pm

pwa wrote:
pete75 wrote:
pwa wrote:
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.


A friend uses a Nissan Navara in the way I described. Four bikes easily go in the back and the interior is quite good - exactly the same as the Nissan Pathfinder SUV in fact so an excellent family car. The Navara isn't particularly thirsty and will do over 30 to the gallon.
BTW only just long enough is ideal - too long and things move about.


I don't know the Nissan, so I'll take your word for that.

The Ranger only took my touring bike with the front wheel tilted up and leaning on the rear cabin window. getting a second bike in would have been a bit of a struggle. And the ride was best described as agricultural. Leaf springs at the back, designed to carry a heavy load so when lightly loaded (just passengers) you could feel every detail of the road surface. But it was a tool to do a job, getting people and stuff to remote locations to do jobs.

Given that most of the time you would be driving it without bikes in, wouldn't it make more sense to get a more normal car but add a trailer?

In the past I've had a Mk2 Octavia with two tandems on the roof, so with a bit of kit you can get a lot on an estate car. But it takes time to load and unload.

Best to check manufacturer's weight limits for what goes on the roof or boot.


Agricultural ride? Have you ever sat in or driven a modern tractor - most have very sophisticated air suspension seats. These days agricultural engineering is advanced and it's about time townies stopped using agricultural as a term of abuse.

pwa
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Re: Family cycle carrying vehicles - any ideas?

Postby pwa » 10 Feb 2018, 1:53pm

pete75 wrote:
pwa wrote:
pete75 wrote:
A friend uses a Nissan Navara in the way I described. Four bikes easily go in the back and the interior is quite good - exactly the same as the Nissan Pathfinder SUV in fact so an excellent family car. The Navara isn't particularly thirsty and will do over 30 to the gallon.
BTW only just long enough is ideal - too long and things move about.


I don't know the Nissan, so I'll take your word for that.

The Ranger only took my touring bike with the front wheel tilted up and leaning on the rear cabin window. getting a second bike in would have been a bit of a struggle. And the ride was best described as agricultural. Leaf springs at the back, designed to carry a heavy load so when lightly loaded (just passengers) you could feel every detail of the road surface. But it was a tool to do a job, getting people and stuff to remote locations to do jobs.

Given that most of the time you would be driving it without bikes in, wouldn't it make more sense to get a more normal car but add a trailer?

In the past I've had a Mk2 Octavia with two tandems on the roof, so with a bit of kit you can get a lot on an estate car. But it takes time to load and unload.

Best to check manufacturer's weight limits for what goes on the roof or boot.


Agricultural ride? Have you ever sat in or driven a modern tractor - most have very sophisticated air suspension seats. These days agricultural engineering is advanced and it's about time townies stopped using agricultural as a term of abuse.


You're right, and yes I have driven a modern tractor with tiptronic gears, sprung seat and soundproofed cab. Very cushy. No, the Ranger was a rough ride, and I had to remember that it had no grip on the rear wheels going round a roundabout if not loaded at the back. But it came into its own doing what it was designed for, using 4x4 drive to carry loads across moorland and farm tracks without cutting the ground up with wheel spin.

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cycleruk
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Re: Family cycle carrying vehicles - any ideas?

Postby cycleruk » 10 Feb 2018, 2:34pm

Another vote for a trailer. 5 adults and mountain bikes with space in the boot for stuff.
Ours was home made and consisted of a "U" channel for each bike with a vertical post to tie too.
Bikes fitted alternately saddle to bars and wheels strapped to channels.
Similar to the Pendle posted above. Quite light and could be stored vertically against a wall.
Drawback being parking at the destination but we always found somewhere.
Leave getting old to others.

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The utility cyclist
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Re: Family cycle carrying vehicles - any ideas?

Postby The utility cyclist » 10 Feb 2018, 5:35pm

Cosmicbike wrote: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

The VW transporter/camper/caravelle are excellent
I considered a Transit custom (6 seats) and a Ford Tourneo custom for the Raid Alpine I was the driver for last year, plumbed for a T6 Transporter (which was cheaper to hire) which took 6 adults 5 bikes and luggage for a 9 day trip. Advantage over the Ford's is that it was under 2metres in height so cheaper on the toll and you could use the quick lanes with the transponder. Dunno how the Ford's handle but the VW was epic, was able to chuck it down the other side of the passes with gusto :D

Depends if one wants to use the vehicle for every day use or just as a bike/holiday vehicle, I managed to get 37mpg out of the T6 including 60,000ft altitude gain mostly through twisty alpine roads and also not hanging around on the auto route to/from blighty.
Oh considered a VW Caddy Maxi Life too which I reckon you could just about get a family of 4/5 plus bikes inside, they are quite frugal in the 1.6 variant.

£10k gets you a 2014 double cab Ford Transit custom (6 seats) with enough space for 5 bikes, it'll also get you a similar aged Ford tourneo Custom (nicer seats.more car like). Similar money gets a 2011 VW Caddy Maxi Life 50-60k on the clock, you can take the third row of seats out completely though there are 5 seat versions.

Trailers, meh, bit like marmite, you either love or hate them, certainly not for everyone and they are a bind for certain terrains and people won't always like the towing aspect even if it isn't heavy/caravan like. I've always been a bikes inside the car type, MKII Astra hatch, Astra estates and lastly Passat estate but you'd need at least 2 adult bikes on a rack/roof if you were loaded to the gunnels for a holiday with a family of 4/5.

Just seen a Nissan NV200 which is just about doable to get 4-5 bikes in the back.

brynpoeth
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Re: Family cycle carrying vehicles - any ideas?

Postby brynpoeth » 10 Feb 2018, 6:26pm

Check the payload and towing load in the vehicle docs
I had a 1984 jetta, 5 seats, payload 300 kg
I alone weigh 80 kg :(

Maybe people were lighter back then?
Cycling? Of course, but it is far better on a Gillott.. Alternative facts welcome

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craigbroadbent
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Re: Family cycle carrying vehicles - any ideas?

Postby craigbroadbent » 12 Feb 2018, 8:46am

If the budget is the same.

- Inside the vehicle. Then you require a bigger vehicle, which probably is more agricultural (sorry commercial).

- On a towbar. Still quite expensive but nicer ride.

- On the roof. Nicer car affordable, but you pay in fuel (+10%) and more difficult to load.

So it depends on how often and how many bikes you take which is the most efficient option for you. I suspect for most families the second option works best, but you need to be careful on selecting towbar and carrier as prices vary.
If you want some advice on towbars, please see page.
https://auxtail.com/towbars/

eileithyia
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Re: Family cycle carrying vehicles - any ideas?

Postby eileithyia » 12 Feb 2018, 9:01am

Well I used to have Mondeo estate with elastic sides but it only really took 2 or 3 of us and some bikes, other bikes went on the rear carrier.

Progressed to a vivaro van but it isn't crew style, so can only sit 3 in the front, a bigger family would need a crew van... biggest aggravation is the wasted space..... once we have 4-5 bikes inside bags are piled up around the sides while there is a lot of wasted space above the bikes.... could do with a shelf that slides out over the top of the bikes once they are in...
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hamster
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Re: Family cycle carrying vehicles - any ideas?

Postby hamster » 12 Feb 2018, 2:02pm

Mercedes C-class estate. The roof is low, so getting stuff on the top is easy. Two bikes on a towbar rack (I have a boat so the bar is already there), plus two more on the roof (or one tandem flat on the roof bars, I never bothered with a tandem rack).
Slightly more expensive to buy at 4-5 years old, very safe and built like a brick outhouse, 50+mpg. Service it through a specialist (not main dealer) and you get it back at resale.
My last one didn't miss a beat at 13 years and 130,000 miles until some young berk pulled across me.

Tangled Metal
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Re: Family cycle carrying vehicles - any ideas?

Postby Tangled Metal » 12 Feb 2018, 4:07pm

I our case two adults and a young child. One kids bike, one 26" mtb and one recumbent. Plus camping kit and touring kit (doing a bit of base camping and touring).

Nissan micra would never, ever, ever work for us. I can fit in and drive an old mini but I don't fit a micra at all. Might be something to do with my height (196cm or 6'5").

Got a lift home in a Ford ranger after a strange accident just outside workplace. Rear wheel and front wheel off and my bike just fitted diagonally. My recumbent is bigger by about 10cm. I did like the intimidation effect over just about every other car though. And the light bar could burn the sun 's retinas it's that bright! Still without a hundredweight in the back most pickups are pants for driving and handling. Plus mpg would rule out out.

We've got roof racks for our bikes but my recumbent toy won't fit them. I can't find any suitable rack. All retailers of racks don't want to suggest anything. Thule ruled out all their products. Plus all roof mounted racks mean my partner can't help out. All rear mounted will have my recumbent sticking out too far beyond the car. No towbar and tbh it annoys the hell out of me how much they charge for towbar fitting so trailers aren't are thing.

I think transporters are the best option except I really object to extortionate prices.

So far my only choices are a van or find a recumbent suitable rack for the car top and live with the awkwardness of fitting bikes to the roof.

For the first option I prefer crew cab option but it will be the only vehicle so needs to be practical (under 2m high etc.).

Second option the car would still need plenty of internal boot space. Why aren't there many decent estates these days? I actually hate the sub types of cars. Too high for roof mounting bikes IMHO. No good reason for them but estates are no longer found secondhand for a lot of brands. Plus due to changes in NCAP most suv cars got downgraded. Buy a Ford focus you get NCAP a star higher than the equivalent suv based on it I believe (as informed by the Ford dealer sales rep).

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horizon
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Re: Family cycle carrying vehicles - any ideas?

Postby horizon » 12 Feb 2018, 5:58pm

(I don't think it's been mentioned).

+1 to pwa's suggestion for a trailer. I narrowly missed buying one of these for a knock down price and then the children grew up and left home but I would definitely consider one again:

https://www.bicyclerack-mottez.com/arti ... d=0&rid=13
Bikes belong on trains: two spaces per carriage would meet most needs.