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  1. #1
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    How do you organize bike gear in your car?

    I keep my bike gear in my car all riding season. My shoes, Camelback, helmet, gloves, floor pump, etc. all live my car from April until November. Unfortunately this leads to dirty, stinky mess in my car too.

    I'm looking for some sort of storage method to keep my gear contained and organized. I was looking for suggestion of some ways to do this. I was thinking of large bin or a DIY method. Input is welcome.
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  2. #2
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    Sounds like what you need is to take them out of you car and wash them.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    Sounds like what you need is to take them out of you car and wash them.
    So this. Don't leave shoes or gloves in the car. the gloves should be washed occasionally, and the shoes need aired out. Airing them out in the car is not the best for your car or your car's passengers. They're your shoes, so you can live with the shoe stink. I also wouldn't leave my helmet in the car because the temp can degrade the helmet's styrofoam. They can also stink too if you never wash them. Everything else (tools/pump), I keep in my car. The tools are in a simple box (fishing box or small tool box) and the pump is just thrown in there.

    If this is truly a storage issue for home, that's a different problem where a simple coat rack can do wonders. If everything you need is on the coat rack, it's rather obvious if you forbot something, because it's still hanging on the coat rack.
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  4. #4
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    Every pair of gloves I own get a good soak in Woolite on a frequent basis. They feel better and smell better. Shoes generally get some sunlight after a ride to help keep the bacteria to a minimun. They can usually be hand washed in woolite too (with the foot bed removed. If you're worried about leather condition deteriorating (some shoes more than others) you can always wash the footbeds and just treat the leather with some waterproofing (nikwax) or Brooks Proofhide. Mink oil and other similar treatments can over soften the leather.
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    I was looking for a solution to smelly shoes in my local REI shoe department and a fellow customer heard me and gave me a hint. Dose them pretty good with baking soda, and stick them in the freezer for a few days. I live in the mountains,so I started parking all of my shoes on the deck where it never gets above about 20F. No more embarassing nose holding by my wife! Works like a charm.

  6. #6
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    Very simple solution: get a gear bag. It's a bigger deal than it sounds. I used to just throw all my stuff in the car but started using a gear bag and see it's full value.

    I use a medium sized duffel with end pockets. They make bike specific bags but they are usually over $100 and not any better than a basic one. In fact, I use one that was a work giveaway. The end pockets are good for keeping shoes away from your other gear.

    The main advantage is that with everything in one place, I never forget anything. I pull it out of the car, unzip all the pockets, and leave it on a shelf in my garage between rides. But a secondary advantage is that you'll carry more gear to and from the trails which can always come in handy in case you or a riding partner forgets something or something breaks. In my bag, I carry:

    Helmet
    Shoes
    2 pairs of summer gloves
    1 pair of winter gloves
    Rain shell
    Spare tubes (even though I run tubeless...you never know)
    Extra CO2's
    Bug bite junk
    Mini first aid kit
    Large multitool (I carry a minimalist one on rides)
    Maps of my favorite trails that I don't ride as often
    Swiss Army knife
    Extra pair of socks (I'm always forgetting socks in the summer when I leave the house in flip-flops)
    Zip ties
    Golf towel (ever finish a ride and when you stop the sweat just drains into yours eyes?)
    Mini bottle of chain lube (race giveaway)
    Empty water bottle

    That may seem like a lot but that's the beauty of a bike bag: it doesn't matter. The bag literally goes from my car to a shelf 10' away and back to my car. No harm in carrying more than you'll need.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinGT View Post
    Very simple solution: get a gear bag.
    Yep. This works for me too. A duffel is easy to pop out of the car when you aren't biking leaving space and preserving the nice fresh smell of your car. Then just as mentioned it's all still in one place when you are ready to ride again. I also have a toolbox that I carry with a more extensive set of tools if I'm leaving for a weekend trip or big race. It's about the size of the $300 park tool box but I got it at Home Depot for $35. Between those two it's like a traveling shop in the back of my car.

    As far as the dirty car goes, at some point if you keep gear in your car you will get stuff in it. My car came with some thick easy to clean mats that come out every once in a while, get shaken out, and go right back in. Easy.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7daysaweek View Post
    As far as the dirty car goes, at some point if you keep gear in your car you will get stuff in it. My car came with some thick easy to clean mats that come out every once in a while, get shaken out, and go right back in. Easy.
    That's one reason I got rid of my BMW 335i and got a Subaru Outback. While the BMW was fast and fun to drive, it was a horrible car for mountain biking...even just local mountain biking. I didn't want a roof rack because my commute is 70 miles each way. So I used a trunk rack which, while functionally fantastic, marred my trunk.

    And the BMW had no place to sit and even put shoes on or take them off. Invariably, I'd end up half sitting on the passenger seat, trying to keep dirt, mud, and sweat out of the car. I kept my gear bag on the front seat, which added to the dirt and grime in the car...because my trunk was occupied by the trunk rack. Great car M-F but a pain for the 2-4 days per week I ride.

    The Subaru is much better. I keep the bike inside the car and the rubber, full coverage mats protect the carpeting. They are easy to remove and simply hose off. For longer trips or trips with others in the car, the integrated roof rack deploys and I bolt on a Yakima Forklift.

    Changing or even just resting after a ride is easy and comfortable on the lined, back deck with the hatch up.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinGT View Post
    That's one reason I got rid of my BMW 335i and got a Subaru Outback. While the BMW was fast and fun to drive, it was a horrible car for mountain biking...even just local mountain biking. I didn't want a roof rack because my commute is 70 miles each way. So I used a trunk rack which, while functionally fantastic, marred my trunk.

    And the BMW had no place to sit and even put shoes on or take them off. Invariably, I'd end up half sitting on the passenger seat, trying to keep dirt, mud, and sweat out of the car. I kept my gear bag on the front seat, which added to the dirt and grime in the car...because my trunk was occupied by the trunk rack. Great car M-F but a pain for the 2-4 days per week I ride.

    The Subaru is much better. I keep the bike inside the car and the rubber, full coverage mats protect the carpeting. They are easy to remove and simply hose off. For longer trips or trips with others in the car, the integrated roof rack deploys and I bolt on a Yakima Forklift.

    Changing or even just resting after a ride is easy and comfortable on the lined, back deck with the hatch up.
    That's exactly why I went with the Gran Coupe. The rear hatch opens up for gobs of space. Not that I intend to sit on it much, but more than enough space to stash the winter bike in the winter (nice to have a warm bike) and lots of space for a gear bag and whatever else. You can get a nice rubber mat for it too. Having had a hatch before, it was a no-brainer for me.
    Great suggestions in this thread. Yes, use a gear bag. Yes, wash your gloves.

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  10. #10
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    Why not put foot powder in them like most people and skip the freezing part? Seems like an unecessary step that ties up he shoes for a few days.

    My work boots are about a decade old and don't stink up my locker. Neither do my cycling shoes. Or my hikng boots or snow boots. In fact, none of my footwear smells. I use Gold Bond Medicated. I wish my kids would.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigflamingtaco View Post
    Why not put foot powder in them like most people and skip the freezing part? Seems like an unecessary step that ties up he shoes for a few days.

    My work boots are about a decade old and don't stink up my locker. Neither do my cycling shoes. Or my hikng boots or snow boots. In fact, none of my footwear smells. I use Gold Bond Medicated. I wish my kids would.
    Works like magic for my rock climbing shoes.
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  12. #12
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    doesn't get more simple/easy than one of these - I have this one - wife was using it when in home health as OT. She was done with it - and the lightbulb went off. I carry my helmet, gloves, nutrition and any other clothing items in 1 side, shoes and anything like microfiber cleaning rags and some oversized stuff like small pumps, tools etc in other side. Front mesh pocket hold a variety of little items, lubes, tools, etc... puts everything in 1 simple organized portable solution. Unlike a duffle you don't potentially zip closed w stinky wet stuff... for $12 hard to go wrong

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    Quote Originally Posted by VTSession View Post
    I keep my bike gear in my car all riding season. My shoes, Camelback, helmet, gloves, floor pump, etc. all live my car from April until November. Unfortunately this leads to dirty, stinky mess in my car too.

    I'm looking for some sort of storage method to keep my gear contained and organized. I was looking for suggestion of some ways to do this. I was thinking of large bin or a DIY method. Input is welcome.
    You need to clean your stuff.

    I have a bike bag, Capo Real Cyclist LTD Travel Bag | Competitive Cyclist
    shoes in top. Tools, helmet, spare tubes, shockpump, nuun tablets, snackies, gloves, garmin etc etc in bottom. It and floor pump almost never leaves car.

    I get home from ride:
    1. The sweaty clothes goes into the sports bin.
    2. Camelbak is emptied and put in frig to prevent nasty growth and funk. Bottom shelf is for his and her camelbaks It gets a full wash every 2-3 weeks. Only goes to car on day im gonna ride.

    Only thing that stays in rear of the subaru is helmet (I use a skullcap which is most of the sweat), and shoes. Shoes don't really seem to get all that nasty in my experience. They get an occasional scrub when I do a full/deep bike cleaning. and that seems to keep them in check.

  14. #14
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    I find the different ways everyone organizes their gear interesting. I have always kept helmet, gloves (taken out from time to time to wash), pumps, tools and other gear in the car. The hydration pack always comes in to get emptied, rinsed out and hung to dry. It has always really been a product of "I can't forget something if it is already in the car". I really, really like the idea of a gear bag for this purpose. Thanks for all the ideas

  15. #15
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    One easy and self-venting system I have used is a fairly sturdy laundry basket. The holes let air flow through and throwing it on the deck to air out is simple. I usually keep go to tools on the bottom (pedal wrench, hex set, etc) under the gear with an extra set of pedals. They are cheap and come in a variety of sizes, some with lids even. I think I got the last one at a discount store (Ocean State Job Lot) for 2 or 3 bucks.
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  16. #16
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    I usually just keep everything I need in my dakine nomad pack, or strap it to the outside (helmet). When I go riding I put my bike and pack in, and am ready to go. Always have an old towel or two in my truck to sit on or whatever. I wear riding clothes to/from most of the time, well actually I ride from home half of the time too.

  17. #17
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    Always bring a towel.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinGT View Post
    That's one reason I got rid of my BMW 335i and got a Subaru Outback. While the BMW was fast and fun to drive, it was a horrible car for mountain biking...even just local mountain biking. I didn't want a roof rack because my commute is 70 miles each way. So I used a trunk rack which, while functionally fantastic, marred my trunk.

    And the BMW had no place to sit and even put shoes on or take them off. Invariably, I'd end up half sitting on the passenger seat, trying to keep dirt, mud, and sweat out of the car. I kept my gear bag on the front seat, which added to the dirt and grime in the car...because my trunk was occupied by the trunk rack. Great car M-F but a pain for the 2-4 days per week I ride.

    The Subaru is much better. I keep the bike inside the car and the rubber, full coverage mats protect the carpeting. They are easy to remove and simply hose off. For longer trips or trips with others in the car, the integrated roof rack deploys and I bolt on a Yakima Forklift.

    Changing or even just resting after a ride is easy and comfortable on the lined, back deck with the hatch up.
    Ah, what you need is the BMW 3 series wagon. I have a 5 series wagon and it's a perfect car to bike out of. Either get the hitch rack or the roof rack (rails make for an ideal mount for bike racks). The tailgate height is the perfect height to sit on while getting ready.

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinGT View Post
    Very simple solution: get a gear bag. It's a bigger deal than it sounds. I used to just throw all my stuff in the car but started using a gear bag and see it's full value.
    ^this. Even if you leave your stuff in the car.

    J.

  19. #19
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    Interesting thread we all end up "living" out of our car as mountain bikers on occasion and forget items in there. I always leave an old helmet, shoes, and old kit in car in case I forget something because too many times I have gotten to the trail head without something critical (mainly shoes or helmet). One trick I use is to keep a box in the car with my clean items and store a box of dryer sheets in that box. Dirty items just get thrown in the trunk and removed for wash as soon as able, if it ends up being awhile throw a dryer sheet in the items or stuff one in your shoes for instance, helps with the stink!
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  20. #20
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    Thanks for all the suggestions. I went with the XL Patagonia duffel bag. It fills all necessary tools and zips up tight to keep stinky clothes for the ride home. Trying to get better about taking all my gear out after every ride to clean/air it out.
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