Small hatchback I can get a mountain bike in with only the front wheel off- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Small hatchback I can get a mountain bike in with only the front wheel off

    Hey. I was just wondering what kind of small cars or hatchbacks that I can fit my bike on the inside with just the front wheel off. I had a 2000 Ford Focus ZX3 for five years, and it worked good in there. Right now, I have a Mazda RX-8 that I can either put it on the inside on top of a blanket (with the passenger seat laying flat) or on my trunk rack. I will be getting a new car around August of next year. I don't know what to get yet though.

    I'm looking for something under $20k if possible.. the cheaper the better because I will be moving. I was in a VW Rabbit the other day, but the hatch area looked too small for a bike. Correct me if I'm wrong though. I love the new Audi A1/S1, but it won't be out by next year (that might be too small too). On the other side of the spectrum, I was also considering an older Xterra, but I don't know how it would be as a city car (Chicago) during the week and a recreational vehicle on the weekend. I guess I would consider any smaller SUV if it's sporty.

    I would also consider a hitch rack on a small car as long as the hardware isn't clearly visible with no rack in it. Does this exist? I tend to mod my cars, so putting a hitch on isn't something I would consider that attractive. Thanks!
    [08 Ibis Mojo Carbon]

  2. #2
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    Suby.
    Slowly slipping to retrogrouchyness

  3. #3
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    Element, Mazda 3, Matrix.

  4. #4
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    Civic. Got my 1998 DX hatchback used about a year ago for $5.5k with extras and 76,000 miles on it. Bit over 40mpg highway unless you mod the engine. Bike fits fine with the front wheel off, though maybe not if you ride an XL.

  5. #5
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    I'd suggest a Matrix. They get great mileage, don't look to bad(IMO), and you can put the back seats down and put two bikes in there pretty easy. I have one and I drive it pretty aggressively with 4 guys in it(to work and back, 100 miles a day) and I get 35mpg like that. If it was just you and you drove it nice then you could easily get 40mpg for hwy.

  6. #6
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    - My friend has a Matrix and it works fine with two bikes standing upright, front wheel off and 3 adults in the car.

    - I used to own a Golf 2000, worked fine with two bikes just like the Matrix. The new Golf City would certainly work fine but the Rabbit's back seats don't fold flat so you wouldn't have the option of keeping the bike upright.

    - The Honda Fit works fine as well. There was a thread in here with pics of bikes loaded in a Fit.

    In fact, most small hatchbacks will work fine but the ones with flat folding back seats like the 3 above are the only ones where you'll be able to load the bikes standing upright.

  7. #7
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    I actually managed to get my cyclocross bike in my Yaris with just the front wheel off. I haven't tried my mountain bike yet, but I'm guessing I could get that in there too - maybe I'll try this afternoon. The only catch is that the front passenger seat has to be slid all the way forward and leaned all the way forward, so it's pressed right up against the dashboard. There's definitely only room for the driver and the bike.

  8. #8
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    i can get my medium rockhopper in the trunk of my 01 hyunda accent 3 door without any wheels off. i've gotten 3 bikes back there in a pinch before.
    that car cost me less than most of your bikes

  9. #9
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    2008 VW Rabbit 2-Door, my mountain bike fits just fine! 21" frame too, so it's about as big as your going to get. I'm going to take a picture when I load it up again, I promise! At any rate, the trick is you take off the front wheel, the fork goes in first, make sure the rear dérailleur is pointing up (so the chain doesn't rub on the floor), and you should be good to go. Front seats don't need to be moved at all, so your passenger will be very comfortable.

    Hatchback FTW!

  10. #10
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    I can easily get two bikes with just the front wheels removed (2 XL Giant Reigns) in the back of my Scion tC and have had three in the back section alone. Two bikes and two people and my vision through the back window is not impacted.

  11. #11
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    Chevy HHR can fit 1 inside with front wheel on, 2 or 3 with front wheels off.

  12. #12
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    volkswagen gti, its fun and quick, if u want something less sporty a rabbit or 4 door golf will work, if u get a vw u can pick up a roof rack too
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Servo888
    2008 VW Rabbit 2-Door, my mountain bike fits just fine! 21" frame too, so it's about as big as your going to get. I'm going to take a picture when I load it up again, I promise! At any rate, the trick is you take off the front wheel, the fork goes in first, make sure the rear dérailleur is pointing up (so the chain doesn't rub on the floor), and you should be good to go. Front seats don't need to be moved at all, so your passenger will be very comfortable.

    Hatchback FTW!
    I would definitely like to see a picture of that
    [08 Ibis Mojo Carbon]

  14. #14
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    You guys are fitting these bikes in some cars I wouldn't think possible. Thanks for the suggestions.
    [08 Ibis Mojo Carbon]

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by RotarySam
    I would definitely like to see a picture of that
    Yeah, I highly doubt some of the claims, or at least the ease at which any of them can be done. There was one person claiming that it was easy to stick 3 bikes or something in the back of a subie impreza, and while I could barely get my one bike to fit inside with the seat dropped and all, two could be layed on top of each other possibly, but there isn't much room for anything else and it WILL screw up the interior if you're cramming two bikes in there without taking the wheels off. I don't think it would fit any more bikes with the wheels off. It's a real tight fit and there just isn't much space. 2 bikes would be a major PITA. Even with the seats down, you really don't have that much space.

    What's your big problem with a hitch though? This is before I put an aftermarket exaust on, and it's not that obtrusive, if anything it stiffens the rear end, and I can put my rack on with tons of room inside for whatever I want.
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  16. #16
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    Hmmmm...

    I have a MK3 Golf GTI, and I can get my bike in there front off only. One bar sticks between the front seats a bit, but doesn't get in the way.

    The MK4 and MK5 Golfs (Rabbits) have gotten even bigger over the years. I would be surprised if it didn't just pop right in.

    I've had two bikes and two passengers (three including me) inside the car with all the wheels off, no racks. Nobody was very comfortable, but it worked.

    I might actually have a pic of it somewhere.

    If you do this, get a nice think wool blanket or rug in there. I messed up the top edge of my rear seat putting the bike in and taking it out a zillion times. I finally broke down and got a hitch rack.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by RotarySam
    I would definitely like to see a picture of that
    VW owners are notorious picture whores... I am no different !






    CAUTION: You will end up inserting your dirty bike back into your hatch, so you may want to carry a towel or something to wipe off any loose dirt.

  18. #18
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    Fox Mustang hatchback. I can toss my bike in WITHOUT pulling the front wheel off.
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  19. #19
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    i have an acura rsx that works fine. a few weeks ago, i fit 2 bikes, 2 duffles, sleeping bags, camp barbeque, tent, food for a weekend, 5 gallons of water, among other things in. it was a tight fit, but theres a lot of room.

  20. #20
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    Consider this...

    Consider this...

    227HP 236 lb-ft torque turbocharged inline 5 cylinder short-throw 6 speed manual. I'm loving this car (C30 T5). Not bad looking for a Volvo. Can fit a 57cm road bike in back. Or two bikes above wiuth the optional rack. (BTW, the volvo rack installation is super simple compared to the yakima systems i'm used to. haven't tried the bikes on the rack on the road yet.)

    I looked at the 2008 Subie WRX and the 2007/08 Volvo V50 wagon for my new bike hauler but drove this and liked it too much to pass up!
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  21. #21
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    for 20k you have tons of options. I paid 15k for my a6 with 50k miles. So I say audi or suby is my personal taste a1==lawl

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeebus
    Consider this...

    227HP 236 lb-ft torque turbocharged inline 5 cylinder short-throw 6 speed manual. I'm loving this car (C30 T5). Not bad looking for a Volvo. Can fit a 57cm road bike in back. Or two bikes above wiuth the optional rack. (BTW, the volvo rack installation is super simple compared to the yakima systems i'm used to. haven't tried the bikes on the rack on the road yet.)

    I looked at the 2008 Subie WRX and the 2007/08 Volvo V50 wagon for my new bike hauler but drove this and liked it too much to pass up!
    Awesome car. I was looking at that, but it's a little more than I wanted to spend. Maybe I can get a used one in a year.
    [08 Ibis Mojo Carbon]

  23. #23
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    element...i had a customer test drive one to our store and put two bikes in the back to be sure they'd fit. the car is made to do it...awesome. I've also got a 2003 focus (zx5), and I'd say a civic would be really close, even the sweet new si models have a sticker of 20k.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asha'man
    Fox Mustang hatchback. I can toss my bike in WITHOUT pulling the front wheel off.
    hahahaah i recognize this name!
    i've put an entire bedroom dresser in my fox body before.

  25. #25
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    that volvo c30 is sweet. thats the euro ford focus everyone has been crying for ford to bring to the US. its got a different hatch and rear windows and other appearance items but its the same chassis/drivetrain.

  26. #26
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    Xterras are great vehicles but be prepared to budget for gas, they aren't terribly efficient. I have an Element now and you can cram a fleet of bikes in the back if you wanted to. You can even fit a Vespa scooter or two in if you want.

    https://vespa.chuntao.net/images/scoot_04.jpg

    My other choice and the vehicle I'd pick if I didn't use the Element so much would be a Honda Fit; most people can't say enough good things about it.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeebus
    Consider this...

    227HP 236 lb-ft torque turbocharged inline 5 cylinder short-throw 6 speed manual. I'm loving this car (C30 T5). Not bad looking for a Volvo. Can fit a 57cm road bike in back. Or two bikes above wiuth the optional rack. (BTW, the volvo rack installation is super simple compared to the yakima systems i'm used to. haven't tried the bikes on the rack on the road yet.)

    I looked at the 2008 Subie WRX and the 2007/08 Volvo V50 wagon for my new bike hauler but drove this and liked it too much to pass up!
    Read a review on it, they said the suspension was ultra soft (even a good deal softer than the 2008 wrx), it doesn't do a good job of putting it's power down. Get the mazda speed 3 if you want a hatch that is a good deal and goes fast. It simply kills the volvo AND the wrx.
    "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.

  28. #28
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    thats funny, the mazda 3 and volvo c30 are almost the same car.
    they are both built using the same euro ford focus platform, just the mazda is built in a Japanese plant.

  29. #29
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    Actually, the euro ford focus ST has a Volvo inline 5 cylinder. So, it is actually the euro ford that's borrowing the turbo-charged engine from volvo's line of cars... s40, etc. They do share the same chassis.

  30. #30
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    The suspension depends on which US version you buy. The version 1.0 is softer. The version 2.0 stiffens things up with a different chassis and also supplies 18" wheels with Pirelli P-zeros to make you feel the road.

    Stiffer ride in the ver 2.0, but I agree... the WRX i rode in was an animal on the road. It had excellent road-feel via the steering wheel and suspension. The WRX's engine/exhaust also had enough nasty growl/howl to let you know what was going on under the hood. The Volvo does have responsive but less-connected steering, softer suspension (though still stiff in ver. 2), and a very quiet exhaust.

    The torque curve in the volvo is much more linear and very smooth compared to the WRX. HP and TQ are similar but the volvo felt smoother and less hellishly fast like the WRX. (A lot may have to do with the suspension and quieter exhaust.) The volvo turbo boost kicks in early and gives you power in your normal driving range. Only problem is the turbo cuts down in psi at about 5000 rpm rather than continuing to push more air.

    It's less boy-racer and a bit more luxury-feel in the ride. I'm fine with the steering and suspension. I'm not racing autocross anytime soon. But I'd like to get rid of the resonator and hear the engine growl a bit more. Maybe then get the ecu tuned and get a turbo to boost up to redline.

    So, yeah, if fast and readily tuneable is what you want, get the mazda or wrx. the volvo is a different car. It's smooth with a sweet punch.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by G-reg
    Suby.
    With my Outback's rear seats folded down, I stow my large Turner with both wheels on.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by geardoc
    With my Outback's rear seats folded down, I stow my large Turner with both wheels on.
    I see your Outback and raise you an Impreza:
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    Slowly slipping to retrogrouchyness

  33. #33
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    That is the most bizarre wheel lacing!!

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by gtluke
    thats funny, the mazda 3 and volvo c30 are almost the same car.
    they are both built using the same euro ford focus platform, just the mazda is built in a Japanese plant.
    It's not almost the same car, different engine, different springs, way different amount of power, and so forth. Sure the chassi may be similer, but it's like saying a WRX STi is the same as WRX. It's far different even though the chassi is similer. The MS3 spanks the volvo, and many other cars.
    "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.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by gtluke
    hahahaah i recognize this name!
    i've put an entire bedroom dresser in my fox body before.
    Haha what's up, man?
    - Brian
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  36. #36
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    I'll up your bike in a Rabbit!

    I've fit two bikes in my '08 Rabbit's hatch! both front wheels off of course. its a bit of a pain in the but w/ all the pedals and tubes and spokes getting tangled together, but they'll fit.

    I've since gotten the thule OE roof bars w/ thule fork mount rack. Works great.

    The Rabbit is a great value. Definately test drive one. the '08s are bumped to 170hp and 177ftl of torque, theyre roomy, the interior fit and finish is very nice, roomy interiors, great standard features (8 airbags, MP3 changer, aux input, ABS, A/C,cruise,power,keyless). I got mine for $15,8 out the door.

    I've owned an R32, M3, 540i/6, and have a SpecE30 race car. the Rabbit still puts a smile on my face.

  37. #37
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    why did you get rid of your R? is the rabbit a replacement?

    just curious -haven't found something I want to replace mine w/yet though an RS/3 would work if they ever bring it
    Thanks

  38. #38
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    vw TDI.. ~50mpg and its not hideously slow.

  39. #39
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    I'd snatch up a TDI golf/rabbit in a second. Unfortunately only TDI Jettas are coming :/

    The R32 was a great car, but as i got more into track stuff it became too expensive to risk balling up and it doesnt have a lot of real performance tech out there. So i went to an E36 M3 which was excellent. But at the time i was trying to make one car do it all and that didnt work so i sold that and got an E30 track rat which is now my race car and i got a BMW 540i Sport 6speed for a daily driver. That was nice, bu was getting old and falling off its value pretty fast so i sold it and just got a nice new Rabbit w/ a warranty. One project car to constantly screw with is enough so a new car w/ warranty will be nice. And hey, the new Rabbits actually got an above average Consumer Reports reliability rating!

    Of all the cars, i liked the E36 M3 the best. I miss it

  40. #40
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    I doubt u want a new VW beatle but they can fit a bike in the back somehow. Coworker of mine did it all the time.

  41. #41
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    I just picked up a Honda element. I know it isn't a hatchback but its a pimp vehicle. Could fit one bike in there, two if you got creative. But I'm surprised at how nice of a ride it is.

  42. #42
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    Subaru.
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  43. #43
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    I can easily fit 1 bike with the wheel off in my Matrix. I could probably get it in with both tires on if I just folded the passenger side front seat forward as well.

  44. #44
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    2003 Maxda Protege 5

    Quote Originally Posted by RotarySam
    Hey. I was just wondering what kind of small cars or hatchbacks that I can fit my bike on the inside with just the front wheel off. I had a 2000 Ford Focus ZX3 for five years, and it worked good in there. Right now, I have a Mazda RX-8 that I can either put it on the inside on top of a blanket (with the passenger seat laying flat) or on my trunk rack. I will be getting a new car around August of next year. I don't know what to get yet though.

    I'm looking for something under $20k if possible.. the cheaper the better because I will be moving. I was in a VW Rabbit the other day, but the hatch area looked too small for a bike. Correct me if I'm wrong though. I love the new Audi A1/S1, but it won't be out by next year (that might be too small too). On the other side of the spectrum, I was also considering an older Xterra, but I don't know how it would be as a city car (Chicago) during the week and a recreational vehicle on the weekend. I guess I would consider any smaller SUV if it's sporty.

    I would also consider a hitch rack on a small car as long as the hardware isn't clearly visible with no rack in it. Does this exist? I tend to mod my cars, so putting a hitch on isn't something I would consider that attractive. Thanks!
    If you can find one, you should be able to get it for sub-$10K. Not going to excel and anything particular, but is is solid, roomy, reasonably comfy, fuel-thrifty, and Japanese-Reliable. I can fit a large-size 5" travel bike in there with only the front wheel off. I am 6'1" and run the driver's seat pretty well at max, so unless you're taller, it'll work.

    After 2004, Mazda switch body styles to the current Mazda3, which is my opinion a bit of a better car. I almost bought one in 2005, but couldn't justify the extra $5-6K over my ever-so-slightly used 2003. I don't know fo rsure if the new Mazda3 is as roomy, but it should be danm close. Better engine too. ~$20K new (?).

  45. #45
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    Honda Fit
    Zero charisma

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Servo888
    VW owners are notorious picture whores... I am no different !






    CAUTION: You will end up inserting your dirty bike back into your hatch, so you may want to carry a towel or something to wipe off any loose dirt.
    Cool car. I used to have a '96 GTI, and i could fit a 21" dually with only the front wheel off.

  47. #47
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    I will second the Honda Fit. I have no problem fitting my xc bikes in the back with the wheel off. I can even squeeze my Transition Blindside in the back!!!

  48. #48
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    fit




  49. #49
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    I concur with the Fit. I have fork blocks in the back and can fit my bike (size M Spec Stumpy FSR) and my wife's bike (size S Spec RH W's) in the back with seating for three. I also have a Thule rack on the roof and can fit a pair of just about anything up there with the wheels on.

    I don't have any super recent pics of my setup, but this is what I did before I got the fork blocks. Now I don't need the straps.

    35mpg @ 65mph with two bikes OR a 16' canoe on the roof crossing the appalachians. Even better without all that stuff. It'll go faster if you want, but I'd rather take it easy and save a few bucks on gas.
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  50. #50
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    Subaru

    I agree with G-reg, subaru's (especially Impreza's, and even more so, WRX's) are the way to go. also Subaru sponsors the IMBA, so it's kind of like white on rice. It fits the lifestyle, they are fast, fun to rally, and are some of the fastest stock hatchbacks on the road. wouldn't it be nice to school a kid in their civic or neon in a wagon with a bike on the roof? get a subaru.
    FOR SALE: 2007 Epic Marathon, 2008 Reba SL 29 new

  51. #51
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    I have a 1997 SAAB 900s 2 door and I can fit a Giant Yukon in the trunk with the back seat down with out taking off any wheels on the bike. THe only thing I have to do is drop the seat on the bike.

  52. #52
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    Matrix

    I've got a Matrix here and can fit 3 bikes and 3 riders in it. Actually this is possible sicne I built my own "inside the car" rack that uses the rails that lie on the ground. The 3 bikes are upright and fit perfectly one next to the other. I've also adapted my rack so it can accept 20mm front axles. To fit 20mm axles is a bit annoying as I have to turn the fork 180 degrees so that the brake caliper isn't in the way. So basically I simply fold the right back seat down, remove the 3 front wheels and get the 3 bikes in. This is a not-so-easy operation with 3 bikes and it does compromise the view a little bit. Having used this system all summer on a 1 month road trip (with only 2 bikes but all the camping gear as well) I can say it works really good but I also got tired of removing the front wheel so I will most probably buy a roof rack next summer for 1 day trips and keep the inside rack for long-term trips where I don't trust the roof rack's security!

    I'd like to post some pictures of my home-made rack but I ain't got any digital camera. I'll try to get a hand on one and post some pics!

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