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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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  • 3
    See if the bike rental place also rents bike racks.
    – freiheit
    Feb 25, 2013 at 21:23
  • 1
    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. Feb 26, 2013 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, 2013 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. Mar 3, 2013 at 6:26
  • 1
    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, 2013 at 3:53

7 Answers 7

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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.
    – paparazzo
    Jul 14, 2014 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, 2014 at 14:07
  • @ChrisH Always? Down the road you are going to let a cable/ulock rub/bang on your bikes.
    – paparazzo
    Jul 17, 2014 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, 2014 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/…
    – paparazzo
    Jul 17, 2014 at 14:51
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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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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, 2014 at 2:20
  • I have contacted support team and received an email saying that Sixt do not offer any cars with bicycle carrier
    – Azat
    May 5, 2015 at 20:27
  • "With any rental car agency, you should call and verify that they have the equipment" Also true of the actual car you were going to rent. I have a <30% success rate getting the car I booked. Nov 1, 2023 at 15:33
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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, 2014 at 19:36
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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, 2013 at 15:23
  • @Batman: lol I've scratched several rental cars over the years and never been charged for it. Nov 27, 2013 at 4:58
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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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