reduce car mileage when bike is stored outside the car?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    reduce car mileage when bike is stored outside the car?

    do you guys notice reduce gas mileage when the bike is mounted outside the car?

    I noticed that my car mileage is reduced due to wind drag when the bike is mount outside instead of storing it in the trunk. I am considering buying Toyota RAV4 to store the bike inside the SUV to reduce air drag.

  2. #2
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    That would make sense. I get 10mpg so you can't really do anything to hurt that...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Picard
    I am considering buying Toyota RAV4 to store the bike inside the SUV to reduce air drag.
    You've got to be kidding. You do realize that SUVs are the aerodynamic equivalent of a brick when comparing to cars and the such? Sure, you might save a few MPG on the SUV by putting it inside, but more than likely your car with the bikes OUTSIDE will still be decent COMPARED to the SUV, and when you're not transporting bikes the car will do much better than the SUV.

    In other words, you're planning to buy a vehicle that will have poor aerodynamics because it can store a bike inside for those times that you're transporting your bike?
    "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

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    Audi RS4 Avant. Problem solved.

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    I have a CRV, about 90% of the time I load the two bikes inside. When camping with lots of gear or when we are 3 adults then I load the bikes on top with a Thule rack, it does affect my fuel consumption by about 2-3 m/g, not a whole lot but considering the environment situation I try not to do it too often. If your current car gets around the same fuel consumption as a RAV4 then I'd say go for it. The RAV4 (and CRV) with the 4cyl. engines are not at all gaz guzzlers, they have a similar fuel consumption to most mid sized cars and you can load lots of stuff inside, much more fun then having to load the bikes on top. However if your current car is a very small fuel efficient car then I'd say Jayem's argument is valid.

  6. #6
    thecentralscrutinizer
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    Roof racks are the worst since they putt he bike directly in the wind. A hitch rack allows the bikes to stay out of the wind and not produce nearly as much drag.
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    Stick with the roof rack. Everyone's buying SUVs nowadays because they supposedly need more space. Look at cars/trucks 10 years ago, they weren't nearly as big. A majority of people can get along just fine without a school bus of an SUV.

    Baffles me that everyone thinks they NEED an SUV nowadays when you can get by without one very easily. You can bet the larger size/weight of the SUV and the greatly reduced aerodynamics will probably give you worse MPG figures in comparison to the car with rack.

    Always seems like everyone's trying to justify the need for an SUV. Guess the countless soccer moms I see on the way into work with the giant SUVs and no one/nothing else in the car with them justified it too. Waste of gas and it drives all of our prices up too... BRILLIANT!

  8. #8
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    I wouldn't exactly call a rav4 a 'giant suv'. its really just a tall wagon. hell, my forester is classified as a 'small suv' but i think its really just a wagon.

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    Ya, funny how some people generalize the word SUV = gaz guzzler. Yes a Navigator or Suberban is a gaz guzzler but a RAV4, a CRV and a Forester, even though called SUV they are in reality a mid sized car with a 4 cylinder engine and a bit higher ground clearance! I mean, a CRV vs a Accord, a RAV4 vs a Camry, a Forester vs a Legacy, it's almost the same fuel consumption. I mean if someone is currently driving a car, Ford Taurus, and changes it to a SUV, Toyota RAV4, they will actually SAVE fuel, not spend more!

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    I agree 100%. The forester and rav4 aren't the real problem it's when people start buying full sized V8 SUVs and ride around all day in them with nothing else other than themself. Though if you look at the size/weight difference between the old RAV4 and new RAV4 I'm betting the new one is quite a bit heavier due to it's size. I also bet there's at least a slight drop in gas mileage when comparing the cars/suvs above (maybe the 2-3mpg). Generally the smaller SUVs still get slightly worse mileage than similar cars due to greater weight and decreased aerodynamics.

    In the last post I was trying to make the point that reduced gas mileage due to roof rack drag is not a good reason/excuse/justification to buy an SUV. Mainly due to the fact that you'll generally drop mileage when comparing an SUV with cars in back vs a car with bikes on top. Like someone else mentioned, they lost 2-3mpg with the bikes on top and after doing some research that seems about average. There are other benefits to having an SUV and being able to put the bikes inside but there are also disadvantages. Anyone like chain lube and muddy tires all over their brand spanking new interior? Personally I like to keep the mud, etc outside of the car... and as you can tell many SUV owners feel similarly since almost all you see carrying bikes still have a hitch or roof mount. You sure you won't just end up buying a rack a few months after you're sick of cramming the bikes in the back?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem

    In other words, you're planning to buy a vehicle that will have poor aerodynamics because it can store a bike inside for those times that you're transporting your bike?
    Not exactly.... If you have a roof Rack (I had a Yakima) you can figure on loosing 2-3 mpg on a 30 mpg car, just from the rack. Probably add another 1-2 if the bike is actually on there. So it does make a difference.

    I'm not a fan of SUV's, but if that is the style of vehicle you like, it's hard to go wrong with a Toyota or Honda, and I'd imagine that the Rav or the CR5 gets decent mileage.

    I just purchased an OLD acura integra for exactly this reason. I can fit my bike on the inside, which is great for riding after work, or whatever. I also have a pick-up truck if I need to haul more stuff, but prefer to put the miles on the beater-car which gets 50% better mpg.

    In other words, get whatever vehicle suits YOU, but be sure to look at all your options. If your primarily hauling just your bike, you might do OK with a station wagon, hatch-back or something else. Or maybe the Rav is the best option?
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  12. #12
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    My mileage went up when i went from a car to a small SUV...

    but it was a v-8 mustang.

    Point being, the OP didn't post what he's currently driving, so he just might be better off.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    You've got to be kidding. You do realize that SUVs are the aerodynamic equivalent of a brick when comparing to cars and the such? Sure, you might save a few MPG on the SUV by putting it inside, but more than likely your car with the bikes OUTSIDE will still be decent COMPARED to the SUV, and when you're not transporting bikes the car will do much better than the SUV.

    In other words, you're planning to buy a vehicle that will have poor aerodynamics because it can store a bike inside for those times that you're transporting your bike?

    Yeah!! you wouldn't want to buy a vehicle solely based on the few occasions you might want to carry your bike on the inside. Thats kind of like driving an AWD vehicle in Arizona because it snows 3 X a year

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCC
    Yeah!! you wouldn't want to buy a vehicle solely based on the few occasions you might want to carry your bike on the inside. Thats kind of like driving an AWD vehicle in Arizona because it snows 3 X a year
    It snows a lot more than 3x a year.
    "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

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by BanzaiRider
    Ya, funny how some people generalize the word SUV = gaz guzzler. Yes a Navigator or Suberban is a gaz guzzler but a RAV4, a CRV and a Forester, even though called SUV they are in reality a mid sized car with a 4 cylinder engine and a bit higher ground clearance! I mean, a CRV vs a Accord, a RAV4 vs a Camry, a Forester vs a Legacy, it's almost the same fuel consumption. I mean if someone is currently driving a car, Ford Taurus, and changes it to a SUV, Toyota RAV4, they will actually SAVE fuel, not spend more!
    Well, then why does the CRV have milege of 23-30 (2wd model) and the Civic has milege of 30-38?

    What could possibly explain this?

    It may be true that a CRV gets better milege than a suburban, but compared to a comperable car, the car still schools it. Why? Weight and aerodynamics.
    "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

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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    Well, then why does the CRV have milege of 23-30 (2wd model) and the Civic has milege of 30-38?

    What could possibly explain this?

    It may be true that a CRV gets better milege than a suburban, but compared to a comperable car, the car still schools it. Why? Weight and aerodynamics.
    My 03 4x4 CR-V gets 28 mpg on the highway and I am quite happy with that. It also has far much room than an Accord. It has no power going up hills but I could care less about that. I don't need a V6 and certainly not a V8. If a future model was available with a BlueTech diesel, I would not hesitate getting one.
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    I am currently driving accord 4 cyl 1993. the car is small to hold my outdoor gears and bike. I like the RAV4 V6 which has good mileage and plenty of space for my needs. I dislike large SUV. RAV4 strikes a good balanced between fuel economy, interior space and performance.

  18. #18
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    Eh, you can do better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Picard
    do you guys notice reduce gas mileage when the bike is mounted outside the car?

    I noticed that my car mileage is reduced due to wind drag when the bike is mount outside instead of storing it in the trunk. I am considering buying Toyota RAV4 to store the bike inside the SUV to reduce air drag.
    If you have a sedan with a decent trunk, you can fit the bike inside the trunk with wheels off.

    I've had two Jettas (a MK2 and a MK3) and it was no problem to get the bike in the car. I currently drive a MK3 VW GTi with a hitch rack, and still gets 31 MPG with bikes loaded on the back, maybe slightly better unloaded.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    Well, then why does the CRV have milege of 23-30 (2wd model) and the Civic has milege of 30-38?

    What could possibly explain this?

    It may be true that a CRV gets better milege than a suburban, but compared to a comperable car, the car still schools it. Why? Weight and aerodynamics.
    Well one of the primary reason Mr. Jayem is because you selected a car (Civic) with a 1.8L engine and compared it with a CRV that has a 2.4L engine! If you had stayed with in the same category of cars, using the Accord that has the exact same engine as the CRV you would have realized that the difference is only a couple of miles per gallon. Yes weight and aerodynamics do not help but they do not make such a uge difference unless you just think about making it look like that!

  20. #20
    ballbuster
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    Aerodynamic make a huge difference...

    Quote Originally Posted by BanzaiRider
    Well one of the primary reason Mr. Jayem is because you selected a car (Civic) with a 1.8L engine and compared it with a CRV that has a 2.4L engine! If you had stayed with in the same category of cars, using the Accord that has the exact same engine as the CRV you would have realized that the difference is only a couple of miles per gallon. Yes weight and aerodynamics do not help but they do not make such a uge difference unless you just think about making it look like that!
    My old 2.6l VR6 Jetta (sold a year ago... I miss that car!) got 31 MPG on long freeway road trips, only slightly worse than my 2.0l GTi that got 33 MPG on the freeway. Roughly the same aerodynamics, and only 250 lbs difference in weight.

    In town it was a totally different story. The Jetta got like 24 MPG with mixed lcoal driving, and the GTi got 29-30 in town.

    I suppose that if you never got the car over 30 MPH, aerodynamics won't make much difference. It gets worse with speed exponentially. Double the speed, 4 times the drag.

    The Element and Accord both have 2.4l i4 engines in them, but the refrigerator box on wheels Element gets like 24 MPG where the Accord is rated at 34 on the freeway.
    Last edited by pimpbot; 08-24-2007 at 09:20 PM.

  21. #21
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    I had a SUV, a Xterra. Total waste of $$. Bought a Hond Accord and luv it!!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot
    If you have a sedan with a decent trunk, you can fit the bike inside the trunk with wheels off.

    I've had two Jettas (a MK2 and a MK3) and it was no problem to get the bike in the car. I currently drive a MK3 VW GTi with a hitch rack, and still gets 31 MPG with bikes loaded on the back, maybe slightly better unloaded.
    that's a cool hitch rack. I only have trunk mount rack which seems to impede air flow a great deal. I got to get your hitch rack. it seems easier to load.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiflow_21
    Stick with the roof rack. Everyone's buying SUVs nowadays because they supposedly need more space. Look at cars/trucks 10 years ago, they weren't nearly as big. A majority of people can get along just fine without a school bus of an SUV.

    Baffles me that everyone thinks they NEED an SUV nowadays when you can get by without one very easily.
    same sh!t with cellphones eh? I'm not a fan of SUV's either. Nobody uses their land rovers, hummers, etc. Its a social class thing.. or making up for something else, retarded.
    get to the choppa!!!

  24. #24
    ballbuster
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    I had a hatchback rack...

    Quote Originally Posted by Picard
    that's a cool hitch rack. I only have trunk mount rack which seems to impede air flow a great deal. I got to get your hitch rack. it seems easier to load.
    Totally messed up my paint. There is even a slightly deformed part on my hatchback where the hook pulled too hard. On long road trips, the straps would often come loose, sometimes end up unhooked and flapping in the wind.

    I even have a roof rack I don't use anymore because it left 4 permenant footprints in my paint, sucked a lot of gas and made a lot of noise in the wind. I couldn't open my sunroof on the freeway without going deaf.

    Best thing I ever did for my car was to install a trailer hitch and buy a hitch rack. That, and now I can pull the occasional small trailer for dirt or rocks for the wife's garden.... as long as I keep it under 1500 pounds. Oh, I suppose I oughta hook up the trailer light harness. Good thing the trailer thing hasn't really come up yet.

    It's a total piece of cake to load. You just drop your bike on, drop the hook down and snug up the locking knob. I ran a security cable around the hitch under the car, run it through the frame and wheels, and attach it to a U-lock around the frame. The rack offers no security of its own, but I did look into locking Yakima knobs at one point for it. IIRC, they were about $30 for a set of 4 with keys. I never really trusted the security of those things. Seems like it wouldn't take much to defeat. It would take a theif much more time to defeat a good quality U-lock (not the bic pen ones).
    Last edited by pimpbot; 08-24-2007 at 09:18 PM.

  25. #25
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    it also depends on the car with roof racks. on my wrx wagon, no racks i would get around 29mpg avg. with two DH bikes on top i dropped to 18mpg. so 11mpg difference. when i was getting 18mpg i realized that i could be driving a damn dodge 3500 diesel truck and get better millage my buddy gets around 23mpg in his huge diesel truck. I am waiting for my hitch rack to show up so i can test the millage on that.

    Shane

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by paranoid56
    it also depends on the car with roof racks. on my wrx wagon, no racks i would get around 29mpg avg. with two DH bikes on top i dropped to 18mpg. so 11mpg difference. when i was getting 18mpg i realized that i could be driving a damn dodge 3500 diesel truck and get better millage my buddy gets around 23mpg in his huge diesel truck. I am waiting for my hitch rack to show up so i can test the millage on that.

    Shane
    Yep, our WRXs have more ability to offset the increased drag with more power, and that obviously means you're going to suck gas like crazy, especially with the cruise control on when we're going fast up hills with the bikes on.
    "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.

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