Carrying a bike

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Carrying a bike

cogtooth
I'm a potential Fiat owner who puts almost as many miles on a car as a bike.  My cars have always been able to carry a bike inside (we've had minivans which are just tandem accessories) but I'm positive no bike will fit inside a Fiat. The Fiat build site shows a receiver hitch rack option, but has anyone seen a Fiat with just a receiver hitch?  There are receiver hitch mount carriers better than the Thule option.  I wonder if you can take the European snowboard hatch mount rack and add a fork mount carrier for a bike (but then no Sport model?).  That might allow a bike to be low enough to go in a garage, as opposed to a roof rack, which is asking for trouble if used on a daily basis.  
Bianco Perla Sport
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Re: Carrying a bike

Small Car Lover
Cogtooth, I ride quite a bit as well and also wonder if a bike will fit inside.  I used to have 1990 Ford Festiva which was slightly smaller than the 500.  The 500 is about a inch shorter than the Festiva but almost 5 inches taller and almost 2 inches wider.  I would fold the rear seats down, remove the front wheel and I was able to angle any of my 54cm road bikes into the back.  I have a glimmer of hope this will be possible in the 500 as well, since it's actually bigger than the Festiva.
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Re: Carrying a bike

Mike S
Perhaps the rear seat assembly can be removed easily, or just the seat back(s).
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Re: Carrying a bike

CaliberSRT4
The length would seem to be the main issue. I doubt the rear seats (folded down) would pose any restriction versus being completely removed. I'd have to think that a bike would fit for sure with the front wheel removed and the passenger seat folded down as well.
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Re: Carrying a bike

cogtooth
In reply to this post by Small Car Lover
I once tried to get a 54cm road bike into a regular mini, and I had to fold down the back seats and the front passenger seat which is a not a very elegant solution.  The best depth dimension I've seen gives the trunk space as 48 inches which is slightly too short.  Criswell Fiat is 20 miles away, so maybe I'll take a bike and try it out with a test drive someday soon.
Bianco Perla Sport
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Re: Carrying a bike

sjmst
In reply to this post by cogtooth
I'd be surprised if you couldn't get a bike rack in the USA.
They seem to be available in the UK

http://www.car-roofracks.co.uk/cgi-bin/select-bike-rack-cycle-carrier.cgi
Sam

Prima #499... Rossa.
Original Owner, 81 Fiat Spider.

Past Italians:

1991 Alfa 164b
1991 Alfa 164L
1994 Alfa 164LS
1995 Alfa 164LS
1991 Alfa Spider
1982 Ferrari Mondial
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Re: Carrying a bike

MrJones
In reply to this post by CaliberSRT4
I really doubt it will fit. My crude illustration uses the 500C as an example (same inside dimensions, I think). A standard road bike is min. 53" from fork to back tire (front tire removed). With drop-down handlebars add a few inches to the length. At best you can hope to push the front seat up all the way or drop the front seatback backward as to create a more-or-less continuous space from back to front of the car, and then angle it, as shown in the diagonal yellow line.
You need about 40" in height too. This can sometimes be complicated because the hatch opening restricts how much manueverability you have.
You can forget about getting the white interior now!
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Re: Carrying a bike

Small Car Lover
MrJones, Thanks for that illustration!  That is very helpful.  Makes me think it will fit no problem.  Much easier to get a bike inside than say a 40"x53" piece of plywood.   Back tire against the left rear corner, fork tips on the folded right seatback, tuck the front wheel alongside the frame.  Just at a little steeper angle than shown in your illustration.  Looks like a bit more room than the Festiva.  Cool!

Just need to be a little creative, like solving a puzzle.  Heck, I have no problem getting my road bike into the back of my Acura Integra with the front wheel attached!  It is nice at the end of a group ride to just be able to pick the bike up, stick it in the back of the Integra and close the hatchback.  I'll miss that.

I much prefer to carry the bike in the car rather than on a rack.  Good road bikes are WAY too much money to have outside the car.  The darn road bike is 2/3 the cost of the car!
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Re: Carrying a bike

MrJones
Don't forget that there is not a lot of headroom in this car (specs=35.6" in rear). A standard tire is ~27" alone. If your seat sits up high, that is somewhere between 38-41" You may consider removing the seat too, if it's not too much of a hassle.
Best bet might be to put it in rear tire first.
Tight fit!

I hear you about those bike prices. I started tri training two years ago and was shocked by the price, but worth every dollar--way better than my old beater I use to ride to the grocery store!
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Re: Carrying a bike

CaliberSRT4
In reply to this post by MrJones
I still think with the front tire removed the bike would fit in the Fiat 500. I can fit a bike with front wheel still attached into a Saturn Aura.
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Re: Carrying a bike

Fiat500USA
Administrator
 Take a look at this video, there are some dimensions given.  Maybe it will fit?  I somehow get my sons and wifes bike into the trunk of our Audi A4 sedan.

Prima Edizione  29
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Re: Carrying a bike

CaliberSRT4
Excellent video, thanks.
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Re: Carrying a bike

MrJones
In reply to this post by Fiat500USA
Thanks for the video. I took screenshots from the video and fashioned another (very) crude mock-up. One thing to notice is the angle of the back hatch. I took the dimensions from the video and scaled a bike to the same size.
There are two possible situations where the bike may fit, but a lot depends on how far forward you can move the passenger seat, or how flat you can make it by putting the seat forward and the seatback all the way back. Either way, looks like the bike seat may have to get removed, or at least lowered all the way. For some, these bike seat settings are calibrated to the rider and are very important--you don't want to mess with them too much.
Your average bike with straight handlebars may be a little easier.





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Re: Carrying a bike

sjmst
Perhaps strap the car on the back of the bike?





Sam

Prima #499... Rossa.
Original Owner, 81 Fiat Spider.

Past Italians:

1991 Alfa 164b
1991 Alfa 164L
1994 Alfa 164LS
1995 Alfa 164LS
1991 Alfa Spider
1982 Ferrari Mondial
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Re: Carrying a bike

Small Car Lover
In reply to this post by MrJones
Nice work.  Won't go straight in, standing straight up.  That's for sure.  Wouldn't go in that way in my Festiva either.  I found tipping the frame out of vertical reduces the height needed.  It helped to turn the handlebars a little as well.  I'm hopeful with the being 500 quite a bit taller and a little wider the bike will go in very similar.  As I think about this, the 500 is so similar to the Festiva (the 500 wheelbase is only a half inch longer) I can see any reason it won't go in just the same.  The bike was not that tight of a fit in the Festiva anyway.  When my Abarth is in the driveway I'll try it out and see

As I was looking at the old info from the festiva I noticed that car had a curb weight of 1750lbs!  That was a fun car in spite of only having about 60 HP.  Not having power steering was a blessing for good steering feedback.  Sadly, the days of a 1700 lb car are behind us...
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Re: Carrying a bike

Terry
 When taking the seat off or lowering it on the post, it may be a good idea to mark the post with a dry marker before removal. Makes it a cinch to get it the right height when your trip is over. (My Bianchi fits in my Protege 5 with the wheel on, but think with the front wheel off, it should fit in OK (With a sheet to protect that cinquecento interior!)
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Re: Carrying a bike

cogtooth
In reply to this post by Small Car Lover
After a recent night ride, I watched a Yaris hatchback owner put a 56 cm bike into it without folding the passenger seat, and only taking off the front wheel.  The way he angled the bike seemed to be tighter in a left to right direction than a front to back.  His rear wheel was positioned touching the right rear back window, and his fork was at the lower left area of the trunk.  A Yaris is close in width, but about 10 inches longer.
Bianco Perla Sport
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Re: Carrying a bike

Small Car Lover
Ok.  Good info.  You mentioned a little more room front to back.  As you say, with the 500 being shorter, it will be interesting.  We might be able to get away with sliding the passenger seat forward on its tracks a bit if we need a tad more room, and not have to fully fold it.  In the festiva I could not have the passenger seat slid all the way back on the tracks either.  It was about mid position or even a bit forward of mid.  I'm guessing there was no problem with height?  The fellow kept his seatpost in place?

Hopefully you have some hope now that you might not need a rack.  
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Re: Carrying a bike

cogtooth
There was no problem with the height or the seat.  The bike was diagonally across  with the rear wheel on the window behind the passenger seat, the bike seat near window height at the back right, the fork on the folded seat behind the driver, and the handlebars at the base of the trunk at the back left.  Now we need someone to check it out in a Fiat.
Bianco Perla Sport
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Re: Carrying a bike

cogtooth
Ok, I have the answer to the bike question now.  I took my 55cm custom titanium road bike to Criswell Fiat and they were very nice in allowing me to try fitting the bike into the Fiat.  It fits with the rear seat folded of course, and the front passenger seat in a fairly upright position.  No position change was necessary for the driver's seat.  One has to put the fork in first with the fork ends next to the indentation created by the right rear speaker, the bike seat is behind the driver seat, and the rear wheel is at the back left of the trunk.  Putting the rear wheel in first did not work.  It's definitely tight, but it fits with these dimensions given for those with cycling knowledge:  top tube 54.9cm, seat tube 54.5cm, head tube 14.1cm, 11cm stem, and seat and head angles of 73.5 degrees.  Criswell took a picture, and I will post it if they send it to me.
Bianco Perla Sport
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