I need to transport a bicycle down a highway. It'll be a ten-minute drive. The bike won't fit inside the car, though. Is there any way to mount/tie the bike to it?

Context: I'm going to be taking a public bikeshare bicycle to a car rental place, and then I need to transport the bicycle to the nearest bike share station. So I can't modify either the bike or the car.

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    1) Put the bike in the trunk, leaving one end hanging out. Pad it to prevent damage to the bike or car, and tie down the trunk lid. 2) Spread several blankets on top of the car, place the bike up there, and tie well, through the rear windows and however you can manage on the front. (In both of these scenarios it may be helpful to remove the front wheel and stow it separately.) Commented Nov 22, 2020 at 21:56
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    I'm sorry if this comment is unhelpful/undesirable but I'm very pessimistic about these sort of makeshift solutions. Maybe I've just seen too many of those "funny/scary" videos of people attempting dangerous methods of carrying stuff. I guess all I can suggest is that whatever you do, test drive at least twice on a quiet road, with speed humps, at a low speed on the first attempt. Do a brake test too to check it doesn't displace under strong braking. It may be worth getting someone else to have a look at your solution to see if they can see any issues with it. Or post a photo/description here.
    – pateksan
    Commented Nov 22, 2020 at 23:15
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    Suggest taking the $0 excess option on the rental car.
    – mattnz
    Commented Nov 22, 2020 at 23:37
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    Engage the assistance of a friend? Commented Nov 23, 2020 at 16:24
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    If your car has four seats (and you're not carrying passengers) and you can take the front wheel off the bike (and it's not a tandem or a pennyfarthing) you should be able to get the bike in. I used to have a Ford Ka and I could get my bike in there. Put the rear seats flat then put the bike in rear wheel first (putting it in forks first risks serious injury in the event of even a minor crash) so that it goes against the back of the front passenger seat (it might help to slide the seat forwards).
    – Mr_Thyroid
    Commented Nov 23, 2020 at 17:49

1 Answer 1


It sounds like one of these situations where walking, at the sustained pace of 3 mi/h - 4.8 km/h will do the job.

Think about the time you will need to set-up the bike to fit in the car. Probably you cannot remove the front wheel from the bicycle, because they use special lock to avoid theft. However, you face two solutions:

  • If you are fit to cycle, you are fit to walk or even run to the rental car agency. It seems weird, but hey, bike rental were a weird things until 5/10 years ago!
  • the bike will fit inside the car, at least partially. keep it in place with bungee cords, and use bungee cords to keep the bicycle in place, as well as those "flat section ropes with metal hook used to move furnitures" to keep the lid partially closed and the bike inside.

Take into account that the car will possibly prevent your gearbox to shift on a gear >2 with the trunk open.

Every car has at least a couple of hooks inside the trunks.

What car are you renting? a Smart or a SUV? what bicycle is the bicycle? 20 inches wheels or 28 inches wheels?

  • 1
    Rental bikes are generally heavy, cumbersome and build in a way, on purpose, that you won't be able to put them in a standard car.
    – Carel
    Commented Nov 24, 2020 at 14:37
  • @Carel not an absolute true anymore. See the rental bikes deployed in Switzerland: livinginnyon.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/… (they are even electric!)
    – EarlGrey
    Commented Nov 24, 2020 at 14:47
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    @ earlgrey: you can't compare CH to the rest of the world as no-one over there would probably even think of unlawful use of a rental bike. ;-)
    – Carel
    Commented Nov 24, 2020 at 15:50
  • @Carel even americans in Switzerland don't go in jail as often as back home ! lenews.ch/2018/11/28/… (Americans in jail per 100'000 inhabitants: 22 per 100,000 in Switzerland, ~600 per 100'000 back home)
    – EarlGrey
    Commented Nov 24, 2020 at 15:58
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    27 Swiss citizens per 100,000 are in prison in Switzerland, compared to 22 US citizens per 100,000 in Switzerland, so Americans must be more law-abiding than Swiss people. It therefore stands to reason that if 656 Americans per 100,000 are in prison in the US, then 805 Swiss citizens per 100,000 in the US must be in prison.
    – rclocher3
    Commented Nov 24, 2020 at 23:19

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