How To Fit A Bike Into (Almost) Any Car | Transport A Bike Without A Roof Rack

– You want to transport
your bike or bikes by car, but you don’t have a roof rack, or perhaps you don’t
want to use a roof rack. Well in this video, I’m going to show you how
you can fit a bike or bikes inside a car. I’m also going to give you a few tips in case you’ve got a
particularly small car to make it fit, and also some advice on how not to damage your bikes or car when you’re doing it. But before I do, if you want more cycling-related advice, then you can help support GCN by clicking Subscribe and also
the bell notification icon. (booming music) Now I’m sure many of you will already know how to do this. However, if you’ve not done it before, or are unsure about damaging your bike, then this video will help. Now first up, if you’ve got a big car, like an estate or station
wagon if you’re American, then you’ve got it easy. ‘Cause what you can generally do is slide the bike in whole if you just drop the rear seats down. So one thing to do is to make sure that you put the bike in drive side up, like I’m doing here. This means that the gears here, the weight of the bike
is not resting on them. Doing that can actually damage them. So just slide it in gently. And also, just be aware
that the chain rings and the chain don’t catch
on the side of the car. Also, it’s a good idea
to just have a sheet or an old rug that you can
then cover the bike with. It’s quite good for security, but also it just stops
dirt getting elsewhere. Sometimes you might
want to put a sheet down underneath the bike as well. I generally keep a few sheets in the back of my car all the time. (upbeat instrumental music) But what if you want to transport other items in your car, such as maybe kids, or you just want to use the back seats, or maybe your car is smaller than this. It’s got a smaller boot, or trunk if you’re from America. Well, I’ll show you how you can do it. We preferentially removed the front wheel over the rear because, well, it’s a little easier to take out. And by leaving the rear wheel in, if you’ve got space, it actually helps protect
the rear mech a little bit and also stops the chain falling off. Now, to remove the front wheel, if you’ve got a quick
release like on this bike, you can undo the quick release. And then also, you can undo the cam on the caliper brake here. It’s usually something like this. You just twist it ’round, and this opens the brake blocks slightly, which helps the wheel
come out more easily. Then what I suggest you do is just carefully put
the wheel to one side, and then put the bike
in as you would before. Twist the handle bars ’round like this, but take care that the handle bars don’t strike the top tube. So it’s good to hold onto the bars or the stem of the bike. And we place the bike in again. The best technique for this is to put the bike in first, drive side up as before, and then put the front
wheel in on top of the bike. But don’t just rest the
wheel on top of the bike, as this can scratch it, especially if it slides around slightly as you’re driving along. So again, put a sheet over the top and just rest the wheel on, and that should be fine to protect it. If you have a disc brake bike like this, then wheel removal is really easy. They usually have a thru-axle. Now sometimes, they have a lever on the thru-axle like this. To remove the wheel you
simply just turn it, undo it, and pull out the
thru-axle (axle zips) like that. And then you can lift out the wheel. Some thru-axles, though, don’t have a lever built onto them and instead they usually
require an Allen key, usually a five mil such as this. Sometimes it’s a six mil. Then you can use an
Allen key or hex wrench to remove the thru-axle that way. Once you’ve taken your
thru-axle and your wheel out, put your thru-axle back in the bike. The reason for this is, well, firstly it helps out a bit
of structural integrity. It helps make the bike
a little bit stronger. But also, it stops you losin’ it. These things are really easy to lose. Speaking from personal experience, I’ve driven off on holiday having taken them out and left
them on the roof of my car. They weren’t there when I got there. I know I’m not the only person to make similar mistakes like this. Don’t be like me. Put your thru-axles where
you’re not going to lose ’em. When you put a disc brake wheel inside the back of a car, you need to be a little bit more careful, and that’s because if you knock the disc or if you place a heavy
object on top of it, it can actually cause the
rotor to bend slightly. And this will mean that when you go to put it back in your bike, the rotor will rub with every revolution on the caliper, making a cuh cuh cuh sound. Ugh, it’s really awkward to fix, and sometimes it means
you need a new rotor. So to avoid that, always put it in rotor side up and avoid putting objects on top. Another tip if you’re using
hydraulic disc brakes, is that you should put
something inside the caliper when you take the wheel out. This is because when
you pull the brake lever and there’s no rotor inside the caliper, it can cause the pistons to push out and then close the pads
against each other. You can force them back open, but it’s a bit of a faff. So you can simply put in a
dedicated piece of plastic, those special plastic
stoppers you can buy. Or if you don’t have one of those, you can just use a
folded up business card. Some older bikes hold the
wheels in by way of bolts. Now, to remove these, you’ll need a couple of spanners, but thankfully they’re not
very common these days. It’s a bit of a faff, but it’s still perfectly fine to be able to remove the wheel. If you have a smaller space still then you may need to remove both wheels to make the bike fit. But fear not, this isn’t a problem. And you’ll be amazed
that with the seats down and both wheels removed from the bike, how many cars will fit a bike into. I mean, Renault Clios, Fiat 500s, Porsche Caymans, you name it. There’s very few cars
that won’t fit a bike in, if you really want to. If you’re going to take both wheels out the easiest way to do this is to turn the bike upside down. Now, many road cycling purists think this is sacrilege, and hate the idea of doing this, and will tell you not to do it. But, they’re wrong. And you can simply put a sheet down, so that it doesn’t damage your bike and keeps it nice and clean. (light instrumental music) To remove the rear wheel, it’s easiest if you put the rear gear into the smallest cog at the back. Undo your quick release
lever or thru-axle, pull the rear-derailleur back and up, and let the wheel drop out. Once you get to your destination as well, it’s much easier to put
two wheels back in a bike if it’s upside down like this too, so just do the same thing again, but in reverse. If you’re going on holiday or perhaps just loading all the luggage into the back of your vehicle, then I’d recommend putting that in first and then layering the bike on top, especially heavier items. Put those in first. The reason being that it’s
easy to crush your bike and as mentioned before you can damage those easy-to-bend areas such as disc brake rotors
and the rear mech hanger. As before use plenty of sheets, rugs, bubble wrap, whatever you want to cover and protect your bike. And also it’s a good
idea to try and cover up the drive train from the chain, as it stops getting oil and
dirt on your other items. If you’re wanting to
pack more than one bike into the back of a car, then it’s fine to stack frames on top of one another. Just use plenty of padding in between and they shouldn’t get damaged. And I’d recommend that you
put the frames in first and, again, the wheels in after on top, as they’re lighter. And if you’re lucky enough to have a really impractical car, well, then you can sometimes make it fit, but you might have to remove extra bits such as the seat post, the pedals and sometimes even twist the bars ’round. I hope you found this video useful. And if you have, then
please give it a thumbs up and share it with your friends. And to watch more cycling advice, you can click down here. And also, let us know
in the Comments section if you’ve got any tips or advice or hacks, for when you pack a bike
in the back of a car.

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