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  1. #1
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    Next commuter car and rack set up for family of 5 with FS bike?

    Hi…

    I just sold my M5 so to get everyone upgraded bikes to make family time in the summers special. I'm looking for help in defining how I'm going to get my family's five bikes and weekend clothes to Mammoth or Moab! while giving the Expedition EL a break (just put 20K miles on it's first year).

    My oldest just got a FS bike, the wife will get one shortly enough and I'm looking at 5 Spot or a Burner. I have one just starting to ride a 20" and a 2.5 year old learning too. I'm looking to buy a newer car as it will be my commuter car also.

    I want to buy American and with a 110 mile commute gas is always important so I was thinking about something like: CTS Wagon (concerned about blind spots), Ford Edge (ugly interior) or Ford Flex (woody).

    I've been using a Thule class 4 hitch rack for years but just figure the bikes I'm talking about just aren't going to fit plus I need to handle five sometime within the next three years. I'm a little nervous about handling five bikes on the roof of a car, R U?

    I'm thinking it might be nice to take my Turner with me to work (own the biz) for a ride on the way to or from as my commute will be along the 210 but am concerned employees might get the wrong idea if I show up with a nice bike to take to my office. Maybe keep it locked in the car? So maybe I should just get something that fits five that we can use regularly that I can fold the seats and take the bike to work with me? Just use the Expedition for trips and fit a new bike rack to it? Am I in danger of doing something to the breaks if I take the front wheel off? These new hydraulic disks have me nervous.

    Thoughts appreciated and thank you for reading! Smkntrls

  2. #2
    skobiken
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    Since there aren't any on your list I assume you're opposed to a minivan? If you're wanting something that'll haul the whole family the flex is the only thing on your list that'll do it comfortably.

    Re five bikes on the roof, it depends on the rack. With the yakima tracks on top of my truck I wouldn't think twice about it. No problem at all. With the rack on my civic (that attaches to the door frames) I wouldn't do it.

    A better option would probably be a combo of hitch and roof racks. Maybe get a two bike platform rack for the hitch and throw three on a roof rack when you need to. Three on top won't be a problem at all.

    Pulling the front wheel with hydros is not a problem either. Try not to squeeze the lever, but it has to be squeezed pretty far before you run into any problems. I've had mine bumped by other people several times and have never had an issue. Seriously overblown concern...

    As far as locking the bike inside, just about anything will fit a bike inside if you're willing to fold down the seats and pull the front wheel. I can fit a bike in the back of my civic like that... any suv or wagon will be cake.

  3. #3
    skobiken
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    Btw, why would your employees be concerned about the owner of the company having a nice bike?
    Those who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither. - Ben Franklin

  4. #4
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    [QUOTE=SMKNTRLS;10252818 Am I in danger of doing something to the breaks if I take the front wheel off? These new hydraulic disks have me nervous.
    [/QUOTE]
    Nope, it's been done millions of times before. Sometimes they'll drag just a bit when you put the wheel back on before you've done some braking, but after using the brakes a few times it's a non-issue.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  5. #5
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    If I was a good boss, I will provide a Ferrari bike for my employees.

  6. #6
    mtbr member extraordinair
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    grand caravan FTW
    Grit, spit, and a whole lot of duct tape!

  7. #7
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    NSR-6 rack to carry that many bikes. That's the best option for more than 4 bikes IMO.

  8. #8
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    SInce you seem to have a good income, why not something like the Sportsmobile:
    Sportsmobile Custom Camper Vans - Bikes/Toy Haulers - Brian Lopes 55
    fit all the bikes and people inside.

    As for your commute, maybe a Ford transit connect wagon or a C-max hybrid. Good fuel economy lots of room.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMKNTRLS View Post
    ...
    I want to buy American... Ford Flex (woody).
    ...
    Thoughts appreciated and thank you for reading! Smkntrls
    The Flex is a pretty nice ride - especially when loaded up with options.

    I'd go dual rack as others have suggested. 1upusa off the back and something on the roof for a 5th bike and maybe a cargo box.

    Have fun shopping!
    --------------

    [WTB} 1987 Cannondale SM800, 20", Pink with airbrushed graphics.

  10. #10
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    Thanks BadIdea, Jayem, ZHANG FELIX, Stupendous Man, _Alberto_, dompedro3, J_Westy for the feedback Just got back from a convention in Vegas and very pleased with all your support

    I'm not good at quoting things so I'll just throw some things out here.

    Brakes good More worried about daugthers failing because I screwed something up loading/unloading.

    Minivan. Not opposed at all except I just don't like the Caravan's/TC's looks. I hate boxy but Ford does a good job with the Flex's boxy looks.

    My neighbor owns 4 or more sprinters for his biz. I've sent him the link. He loves em. Cool story thanks.

    Ferrari's for everyone! Be careful for what you ask for though as the boss is going to want some significant return on that investment Also don't want to give the wrong impression about toys being more expensive then some employee's car. But yes my risk is much greater than any employee and I certainly don't want to start a debate of course.

    Definately take a look at these racks tomorrow thanks. Daughter's getting her new bike Monday. I'm not sure whose more excited

    Leaning towards a Tesla sedan with 130 mile range. $7,500 Fed tax credit, $2k in gas savings per year, CA built and again F OPEC! Maybe a Fusion Electric. I've got a little time still so time to start test driving.

    New rack or racks that can be swapped between both cars hopefully is new goal. Thanks everyone again SMKNTRLS

  11. #11
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    Any experience with the Upright Totem Pole. That and Alberto's suggestion look pretty clean. Not sure if they would work on a sedan though.

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