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We are hoping to take a self guided trip in Wisconsin. We would like to rent bikes there, but can't find a rental car with a bike rack available. Any ideas?

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See if the bike rental place also rents bike racks. –  freiheit Feb 25 '13 at 21:23
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Freiheit probably has the right idea but if the bike rental place doesn't have racks there are decent, cheap trunk mounted 2 and 3 bike racks available for < $100 dollars. You could always just buy one at a LBS in Wisconsin and discard it at the end of the trip. –  Glenn Stevens Feb 26 '13 at 5:43
    
Economy hatchback vehicles work well to transport bikes. You may need to remove the front and/or rear wheels. –  Benzo Feb 26 '13 at 12:33
    
I rolled back an edit by another user because the edit changed the meaning of the question. While looking for other ways to transport bikes is a good idea, it's not what the OP asked. –  Neil Fein Mar 3 '13 at 6:26
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Down voted because a probably empty list of rental companies is not going to be useful for other readers in the future. –  amcnabb Mar 4 '13 at 3:53

7 Answers 7

If you could rent a van or SUV you may be able to load the bikes inside the vehicle.

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This also handles security. People will steal bikes off racks in a minute. Go into pay for gas and come back to no bikes. –  Blam Jul 14 at 16:44
    
@Blam you should always lock the bikes up. A cable lock to the towing eye (if fitted) on the car is a good idea, and even if not there's often a suitable hole under the car. D-locking the 2-3 bikes together can make removal a time-consuming task (hard to get a straps to undo/cut). Not suitable for overnight use outside a motel perhaps, but fuel/food stops should be no problem. –  Chris H Jul 17 at 14:07
    
@ChrisH Always? Down the road you are going to let a cable/ulock rub/bang on your bikes. –  Blam Jul 17 at 14:37
    
@Blam yes always. Then you don't forget when you stop. If you're worried put a sleeve round the lock/frame or strap the lock to the bikes so it doesn't move. I have a msaterlock cable lock that cinches tight so acts as an extra strap, and is plastic covered so it doesn't mark the bikes (it really doesn't). Using this is a habit from carrying kayaks where an extra fixing can be of benefit if a strap loosens between stops. My d-lock is also plastic covered and in practice doesn't damage painted alloy when the lock body points down. The bikes in the Q were rentals and may be scuffed anyway. –  Chris H Jul 17 at 14:43
    
@ChrisH You can let your bikes get rubbed and banged but I an not doing that to mine. Check this link pages 100 and 101. media.cannondale.com/media/Manuals/… –  Blam Jul 17 at 14:51

Information on this forum is old, but one guy says that Enterprise has bike racks. I recommend giving them a call. From their website it says they have ski racks, but doesn't mention bike racks. Might be worth giving them a try.

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Some places rent folding bikes, which would remove the need for an external rack.

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meh, who wants to ride a folding bike on vacation? What if they were going to mountain bike? –  Jeff Wurz Jul 14 at 19:36

I would have thought with a few rachet packing straps you could place the bikes upside down on the roof, secure the handle bars to the frame (so they won't turn) then secure the bikes through the rear door or window (front window as a last resort).

As a disclaimer I have never seen this done but secured right it should work just like a roof rack and not damage the paint (but hey I reckon the rental company wouldn't check the roof). If the car has basic roof racks you could rig something pretty good up.

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Where are you renting that they aren't super anal about a scratch anywhere? I can't believe this would possibly work other than due to dumb luck once in a blue moon. –  Batman Nov 26 '13 at 15:23
    
@Batman: lol I've scratched several rental cars over the years and never been charged for it. –  whatsisname Nov 27 '13 at 4:58

Most newer rentals have rear seat passthru. Take the front wheel off and you should still have one rear seat available for a passenger.

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Sixt rental cars USA customer service says:

We do have bike racks available but it is based on the location as well as availability.

With any rental car agency, you should call and verify that they have the equipment you would like before you depart on your trip.

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To support your answer you should provide some form of confirmation such as a link to the policy. Also identify which country you are referring to as both Sixt Rentals and Bicycles.StackExchange are international. –  DWGKNZ Jul 15 at 2:20

From personal experience with Enterprise, I brought a rack with me when I went to Colorado to ride. I just made sure to cover the contact points so it didn't leave and scratches or marks and put it on after getting to my hotel and before leaving. I think it's kind of a don't-ask-don't-tell policy.

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protected by Gary.Ray Jul 14 at 17:03

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