Here is an easy to build solution to the dodgy issue of transporting bikes by car. I have a roof mounted set of racks but after driving into a height restriction bar in a local car park I am nervous of using them, along with the complex yoga positions required to get a bike on the top of a SUV as you Americans like to call them without causing damage to the car, bikes or bodies. The second option is to mount them on a boot rack but having scratched the hatch of my previous car and have a strap come off AND a bike become unhooked, they too make me nervous. The option of a tow bar mounting is out for me as I often carry the bikes and tow a caravan. Yes I am a biking caravanist, sorry to all you poor drivers going about your lawful business.
After pouring over the internet, the obvious solution was to take the bikes inside the car. This can be done very simply but I liked the look of a couple of designs that were basically loading trays to place the bikes inside the car in a fuss free way.
This design is built from Solvent weld pipe and is a fairly cheap solution to the problem I found myself in. I hope it helps others, so enjoy my Instructable
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Step 1: What You Will Need (or What I Needed)
2 3m lengths of 1 1 1/4" solvent weld pipe
4 60 degree fittings
4 90 degree fittings
7 t pieces
2 Saris Traps (mountings for front forks)
A load of serious cable ties
500mm x 300mm 12mm plywood
solvent weld adhesive
4 40mm M6 nuts bolts &washers
2 castors (wheels) and self tappers to secure
Safety gear, ear defenders, eye protection, NBC suit, (Those chop saws are animals)
Step 2: Building the Frame
I'm not intending to make this a definitive plan, as your requirements in space and size of bikes may differ from mine but I needed an overall length of 1500mm and a 500mm width for the head of the frame. I thought it was best not to make the frame square in case it caused too much flex in what is an already flexible material hence the "waisted" shape. Similarly I didn't want too many long lengths so I built in cross members at regular intervals, as can be seen in the third picture.
The handle end has a rotating prop stand to give support to the back end when being loaded into the car. This was achieved by using a t piece in the centre of the handle but without it being welded. The other cross members keep this in place but allow it to rotate.
The solvent adhesive take only a few seconds to flash off so make you have done a dry run before gluing together.
Step 3: Attaching the Mounting Plate
As this is a trial I used some offcut faced chipboard which was the right size for the job. My intention is to replace this with a piece of aluminium chequer plate once I am happy everything works. As it is temporary the easiest option was to cable tie it in place rather than damage the integrity of the frame by drilling and screwing the plate in place. It doesn't look pretty but it has dreams.
The castors were screwed in place on the bottom to make it easier to slide into the car boot whilst the Saris Traps were bolted through the top with M6 x 40mm bolts. The were done at a slight angle to aid the clearance of the handlebars. ( In the end and because my car seats don't fold completely flat this didn't actually make any difference for me and could have been left square)
Step 4: How It Works
Remove the front wheel from the bike.
Mount the carrier with the front wheels inside the car and with the propstand down so that the frame is roughly level.
Attach the forks to the Saris traps and lock in place.
Lift up the frame and push into the car (You may need to accentuate the lift to get the handle bars through the hatch and you may need to remove the seat post (I marked mine with a cable tie for quick reference refitting))
Strap the bike down with a ratchet strap or similar through the luggage rings in the car
Flip the propstand out the way
Close the boot and head off into those hills
(I just realised I didn't take a picture of the propstand so I will do that when I get back from my ride tomorrow)
Step 5: A Little Explanation
I appear to have caused some confusion by not explaning that the In Car Cycle rack is designed to store the bikes inside the car.
Here are some pictures to remedy this and thank you for the concern shown