Rental Cars - Fitting/carrying two bike bags with bags-
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Rental Cars - Fitting/carrying two bike bags with bags


    Off to Tahoe in Sept/Oct, flying from UK (mainly to avoid rioting scum). Have posted on the Norcal thread asking about where to ride.

    My wife and I are renting a car (not decided who with as yet). We are wanting to bring our hardtails, in bike bags. The only issue is getting them from San Francisco to Tahoe and around once we are there.

    Obviously the bigger SUVs etc are a lot more expensive and we are trying to save money on at least one aspect of the holiday (beer and food will not be sacrificed).

    I was wondering if anyone had any bright ideas about how best to sort it out? Some people have suggested simply buying a bike rack, and then attaching that to the back of the car at the airport. The only issue is we have to transport the rack to the USA, and bike bags are limited to 23kg (roughly 46lbs). I was thinking something like a Saris Bones might be light and easy to fit to most cars and could slip in a bike bag. Does anyone know how much they weigh?

    Another option is to try and rent an SUV or pick up, but both seem a lot more expensive and options seem to be limited with the rental agencies at the airport. I would love to have an excuse to rent a Jeep Wrangler, but I am not sure that helps me get the bikes to where we are staying!

    Any ideas/experiences much appreciated?


  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    I would say that when you get to the airport, if your car can't fit the bicycles inside intially, then send someone to a local Walmart or something and get a cheap rack, come back and pick up the other person and bikes at the airport. Then toss the rack when you're done in the states.

    2-Bike Carrier Allen Deluxe, Model 102DB -

    Granted, it's not something I would want to buy if I were to use it nonstop year round, but for your vacation it should do just fine.

    I also say that because there is probably a 99.9% chance of a Walmart or Target being within 5 minutes of the airport

  3. #3
    Rides like a kid
    Reputation: SilkMoneyLove's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010

    Most cars have folding rear seats

    Most cars have folding rear seats. I would get the car, fold the rear seats down and load the bikes in through the trunk. Congrats on the trip. It sounds fun and I am glad you have your priorities straight about the beer and food.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: SteveF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Get a compact hatchback/wagon like a Dodge Caliber and the bikes will lie in back fine. We rented one in Tucson AZ and it made a decent little bike hauler while still driving pretty car like. Or rent a minivan which will fit the bikes and get better mileage (and probably be a little cheaper) than an SUV or truck. My buddy and I rented a Chrysler minivan a few years back that had seats that folded right into the floor. we fit our bikes and gear in back easily, drover 500 miles from home and turned in the van then rode our bikes back home in six days. (scenic route of course) That worked out really well.

    Alternatively, buy a Saris Bones trunk rack--they often pop up used on craigslist and such, use it while you're here, then sell or give it away when you leave...

    Gratuitous pic of my bike and the Caliber in AZ--you can see how roomy it is with the seat down:

    Last edited by SteveF; 08-16-2011 at 06:19 AM.

  5. #5
    Reputation: bsdc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Consider renting. You can road bike around the lake one day, cross country on a rental at the trailhead of the Flume Trail, and get a downhill bike for Northstar.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    +1 on the minivan idea. Not sure how popular they are in the UK, but they're everywhere in the states.

    I've had pretty good luck getting minivans for good rates through the online rental deals places.

    A riding buddy of mine regularly fits 4+ bikes in the back of their Dodge Caravan with the back seats folded down.

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