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Discussion Starter #1
I currently have a Ford Ranger and transport my bikes in the bed of the truck. I have been looking into getting a Vibe, Matrix or similar compact wagon and putting the bikes inside (security, no bugs instead of a roof rack, better MPG). I have read of people putting up to 3 bikes inside a Vibe and I don't see how that is possible. I had a hard time getting one bike in a Vibe at the dealership today. Do you have to take off the seat post, front tire or what for this to work? I have 19" frames so I might be a little bit bigger than the average male at 5'11". A picture would be nice if you have one. And I am not looking for an Element, SUV, or a minivan... Thanks for your help.
 

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I get 2 in my Matrix

I have two quick release brackets attached to the very end of the tie down tracks, at the top and back of the rear seats. When the rear seats are folded flat, I can mount two bikes standing in the quick release blocks, with the forks oriented towards the front of the car.

I have to remove the bike seat posts. The front tires store between the rear wheel wells and the bikes on either side. The seats go under the bottom brackets, and there is plenty of room for baggage between the bikes.

In order for this to work, I have to use the ETA on the 120mm forks, and I have the quick release blocks mounted on a 45 degree angle, so that the handlebars are turned when the bikes are mounted. Otherwise, the handlebars are too wide to fit in.

The largest frame I can fit this way is a 19 inch frame. Without ETA or some other travel adjustment I would have a hard time getting two bikes with long travel forks in like that.

old_dude
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanks for your reply, I pretty much figured the seat would have to come off along with the front tire as well. Sounds like you have a good idea with the quick releases...
 

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You are right. It's not possible to get three bikes in a Matrix or Vibe without taking off both wheels and laying the frames on top of each other. That's the reason I got an Element. You can't do it in a Subaru Forester, either. Not sure about a Ford Escape or new Toyota Rav4. You can get three bikes in an Element, all upright with seatposts and saddles in their normal position. Front wheels have to be removed and one of the rear seats has to come out. You can also get a tandem in with both wheels removed. All these configurations will still handle three people and gear, all inside and protected. Just did a weekend road trip with my wife and I and the tandem, all our baggage and biking gear with tons of room to spare and got 25mpg. It rained cats and dogs on the way home but everything was nice and dry.
 

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Rollin' a fatty
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I did the same but had the anchors bolted to a piece of 2x4, could fit up to 3 bikes inside but with the travel reduced, no seatpost and one bike facing rearward.

Eventually got tired of that and installed a roof rack.
 

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I have put 3 bikes, 3 riders, and all their kit in my Matrix a few times. Both Wheels off, seatposts dropped all the way down, 60 of 60/40 folded flat, 3 frames upright in the 60 portion, wheels behind the 40 seat, and bags, shoes, and helmets tucked in here and there. Not good for a long trip but 3-4 hours is no problem and cheap on gas, especially 3 ways.:thumbsup:
 

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I don't own either but I do own a Toyota celica GTS which has the same engine as the Matrix. I have over 100,000 miles on it with no problems at all. I have never even had the brakes done yet. It has been nothing short of excellent. it has been a very tough dependable car.
 

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SOme good reasons to have the bikes inside.

DiRt DeViL said:
I did the same but had the anchors bolted to a piece of 2x4, could fit up to 3 bikes inside but with the travel reduced, no seatpost and one bike facing rearward.

Eventually got tired of that and installed a roof rack.
I hear you, and that may suit your needs, but there are some very good reasons to transport your bikes inside the car.

I am content carrying 2 bikes, and they are not much more trouble to mount on the quick releases inside the car, than on a roof rack quick release. I feel the bikes are more protected inside the car. They do not face the driving wind, dust clouds on dirt roads, bad weather, theft, or the risk of trying to drive into a garage with bikes on the roof.

I really like being able to stop at a restaurant while leaving the bikes locked in the car. Gas consumption is less with the bikes inside the car. I can also take bikes to work and leave them locked in my car in the parking garage. That allows me to transport them to the LBS and also allows me to go biking after work, at non-local trails. I can also do road trips to biking destinations, stay at a hotel, and leave the bikes locked in the car overnight.

I also like being able to load the bikes in the car the evening before, rather than doing it in the morning after I back out of the garage.

old_dude
 

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I hate it when my bike gets covered with bugs from being on a rack. I can't think of one good reason to have a rack as opposed to having the bike inside.
 
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