Whether you ride a bike for fun, exercise, or transportation, there may come a time when you need to pack it up and put it inside your car. You may need to put your bicycle in the backseat of a car because a tire has gone flat, you are traveling on vacation, or for other reasons.
Many bicycle owners want to know if their bikes will fit in the backseat of a car. We will do our best to answer this question and give you the reasons why bicycles will or will not fit in the backseat of a car.
What Are the Dimensions of Bicycles?
Although bicycle dimensions vary according to the type and intended rider, there are some averages we can draw on to conclude whether a bike will fit in the backseat of a car.
The average handlebar width for a road bike is 15 to 18 inches. The average length of a road bike is 68 inches and the average height is 42 inches.
We will not attempt to give the average dimensions of the backseat of cars because there are so many makes and models, and it would be impossible to get an accurate number.
We will say most backseats are over 49 inches in length.
Can a Bike Fit in the Backseat of a Car?
Yes, most bikes will fit in the backseat of most cars provided you turn the handlebars sideways and remove the front tire. This is not necessary in all cases as the bike may fit in a car with a large backseat area without any modifications.
Today bicycles often have quick-release skewers that allow you to remove the front tire easily. You can maneuver the bike into your backseat and store the tires in the trunk. For some smaller vehicles, you will need to remove both tires.
Will a Bike Fit in the Back of a Hatchback?
If you own a hatchback or a vehicle with foldable seats, you may not need to remove the tires. Simply put the backseats down and slide the bicycle in on its side, making sure the handlebars are moved sideways.
How to Remove the Front Tire of a Bike
If your bike does not have quick-release skewers, do not fear. It is not overly difficult to remove a bike tire. You will need to have the right tools, which include a socket set and wrenches.
You will need to loosen the nuts and bolts holding the bike tire in place. This should not take long. If your bike is a modern one, make sure to look for the quick-release skewers before attempting to remove the tire.
Tips for Putting Your Bike in a Car
If you have no choice but to put your bike in the backseat or back of your car, there are a few tips you will need to follow. These tips will protect your bike and the interior of your vehicle.
- Cover the chain and cogs to prevent grease from staining the interior of your vehicle.
- Clean your bike before transport to avoid getting dirt on your backseat.
- If your bike is dirty, attempt to cover your backseat and carpeting with a blanket or tarp.
- Lay the bike down on its side, if possible, to prevent damage.
- Secure your bike with a bungee cord to prevent it from moving around in the backseat while you travel.
How to Transport a Bike on Top of a Car
If your bike will not fit inside the backseat or trunk of your car, you have another option. Although it is safer and easier to carry your bike on a rack, you can put your bike on top of your car without a rack if you take the correct steps.
- Remove the front wheel of the bike.
- Place a blanket over the top of your car where you will mount the bike, to prevent scratches.
- Use durable straps to mount your bike to the top of your car using the car’s rails.
- Make sure the bike is not blocking your rear windshield.
- Ensure the bike is secure before travel.
Disassemble a Bike
If you have the time and cannot get a bike to fit in the backseat or trunk of your car, there is the option of disassembly. You should consider putting the disassembled bike and its parts in a bike bag for easier transport.
Disassembling a bike takes time and attention to detail. You will need the right tools and should follow the manufacturer’s instructions explicitly so as not to damage your bike.
Yes, bikes can fit in the backseat of an average car, but you may need to remove the front tire and adjust the handlebars. Traveling with a bike is easier with disassembly, but it takes time and knowledge to take a bike apart. No matter how you travel with a bike, make sure to protect its components.