How To Fit Two Bikes In A Car?

Cycling has always been much more to me than a sport or leisure activity. For me, it’s a path to adventure, a test of limits, and a welcome departure from the mundane.

Many of us face the logistical puzzle of getting our bicycles to those perfect yet remote spots, especially when the plan involves bringing along a friend or partner. At some point, I had to get into the problem of fitting two bikes into my car without compromising their safety or risking damage.

When it comes to transporting a single bike, the solution seems straightforward. But adding another bicycle into the mix significantly complicates matters. You should not only find space but also protect the bikes from damage, ensure they don’t jostle each other, and keep them secure on the road. It’s a challenge that I, along with many cyclists, have encountered and successfully solved.

Thus, I’ve prepared a detailed guide to tackle these issues head-on, providing a clear, step-by-step method to fit two bikes in your vehicle snugly. This article promises to arm you with the strategies and tips needed to transport your bicycles safely and without a hitch.

If you’re looking for a foolproof way to bring your cycling adventures to new locations, stay tuned. You’re about to learn that, with a bit of knowledge and preparation, taking your two-wheeled friends to your next outdoor escapade can be simpler than anticipated.

Key Takeaways

  • Preparation is Key: Ensure your bikes are clean before transport to protect both the bicycles and your vehicle’s interior.
  • Strategic Disassembly: Removing the front wheels and lowering seats can significantly reduce the space needed for each bike.
  • Protect and Secure: Use soft materials and secure the bicycles with seatbelts to prevent movement and damage during transit.
  • Optimal Placement: Position the first bike with the drive side up and stack the second vertically to maximize space and protect components.
  • Wheel Storage: Store wheels in bags or use them as cushions between bikes to save space and avoid damage.
  • Alternative Transportation Methods: Explore trunk, roof, or hitch racks as versatile options for transporting bikes based on vehicle compatibility.
  • Safety First: A secure load protects your bicycles, ensures safe driving, and minimizes the risk of accidents.
  • Post-Transport Care: Quick maintenance checks post-transport keep your bikes in top condition for your adventure.

How to Fit Two Bikes in a Car?

So, if you want to know how to keep two bikes in your car, here’s how to do it. Obviously, you need a vehicle with a relatively large interior space. Fold down the rear seats. Then, remove the wheels from the bike’s body while keeping the brakes in mind.

Then, put it gently on the car seats while keeping the bicycle part that carries chains and other bits upward. Put two bikes vertically to protect the important components. Don’t forget to put the wheels in the trunk of your car.

Related reading: How to Fit a Bike in a Car?

The Process

In this section, let’s talk about the overall process in detail.

Clean up your bikes first

The first step you have to make sure your bikes are clean and ready to transport. So fill up two buckets with water and put a good amount of soap in them. Don’t forget to keep brushes, sponges, and rags close to you.

Then what you need to do is put the bike on a work stand, if you have one. Don’t worry if you don’t; you can clean up your bike perfectly fine without one. Then use a degreaser to remove greases from the chain.

After that, pull out those brushes and sponge and start putting washing liquids onto the frame and scrubbing. Be extra mindful of the tough spots, as they can be hard to clean up.

Take care of the rear seats

For longer bikes, it might not fit inside the space for those long seat rods. Pull them down and back the seats. Turn the screws or nuts that are keeping the bike seat up, and then push them down. They’ll get lower in the body and might save you some valuable space.

Remove the front wheels for the body

This might be tricky for some of you if you haven’t done this before. If your bicycles have a rim or cantilever brakes, you need to release the cable tension first. There’s a lever present in the caliper for rim breaks that will release some cable tension so that the brake pads get far enough for the wheels to slide past them.

Then flip over the bike because allowing it to rest on the handlebar or the seat will make the process much easier. If there’s a quick-release function on your bike, now is the time to flip the lever to open.

Then gently lift the wheel from the fork, taking extra attention to the calipers. For disk brakes, be very careful with the rotors while you take them out.

Don’t forget about the brakes

After taking the wheels out from the bikes, put some brake plugs on. If somehow the levers get accidentally pushed, it won’t mess up the alignment of your brakes. Also, put the bicycles in such a way that the brakes don’t get squeezed during transportation.

Put chains on the small ring

It would be best if you put the chains of the bikes to a small ring for ensuring two things. The first one is that the chains don’t break down or get bumped during transportation. And the second one is keeping the amount of grease spreading to a minimum.

Place the first bike on the seat

After being done with the following stuff, time to put your bike to the seat. But first, put some papers or soft clothes on top of the seat to protect it from scratches and dirt. Then gently pick your bike up and gently place it on the seat. Keep the left pedal locked at 12’o clock for maximum stabilization.

There’s a term for keeping the bike in the seat known as the ‘dry side up.’ This means keeping the critical parts of the cycle on top. Because keeping the on the downside will create extra pressure that can damage your bike.

Time to align the second bike

After you’re done with one cycle, pick up the second one. In my experience, here is where the tricky part begins.

The instructions are almost the same as the first one, but this time, rotate the it vertically and put it on top. This will make sure that both of the bikes don’t clash with each other during transportation.

Wheel bags

After putting the bikes on your seat, time to put your wheels safely. If you have a wheel bag lying around, then great. Put the wheels on the bag. When putting them on the bag, the cog side should be down to avoid spokes getting struck to the gear. Store the wheel bag on your trunk.

Alternatively, you can use the wheels as a cushion

Using the wheels as a cushion for your bike might be a great idea if you want some extra protection. After you neatly pack the frames on top of the seat, place the wheels for cushioning portions of the bike that might rock.

The whole idea is put gently put everything together tightly for the least amount of rattling or swaying. You might want to use the wheels as padding between the two bikes for extra safety, but that is totally up to you.

Remove the skewers

If you feel like they can poke or scratch your frame or wheels, it might be best for you to put them in a bag and place them elsewhere. You might pack everything neatly while using the wheels as a cushion, so the skewers remain in one place. Whatever you feel okay with, it’s entirely up to you.

Related reading: Hitch Bike Rack Safety

Time to remove the bidons

These are actually your ‘water bottles that come with the bicycle. Make sure you remove them before proceeding. It might be a little thing, but an oversight like this could mean a problem during the transportation process.

Seatbelts for securing the frame

After doing all the hard chores, time to secure it all together by using the seatbelt. So you can be rest assured that even during a crash, your bikes will remain pretty safe inside the car.

Other Alternative Ways to Carry Two Bikes in Your Car

Instead of keeping them in the seat, there are some alternative ways you can carry your favorite bikes safely from one place to another.

In the Trunk

Actually, putting your bikes in the trunk might be a pretty compelling idea if you have a bigger-sized trunk. You can easily fit two inside with a minimal amount of disassembly needed.

I have discovered that you need to take out two front wheels of the bikes and then safely put them inside the trunk. You might be surprised as to how little space you can squeeze two units if you have a trunk handy.


  • Bikes are very safe
  • A convenient way to carry
  • The seats remain empty for the passengers


  • Applicable for bigger cars only

disasembled bike in rear of audi station wagon Audi A4 Avant

Roof Rack

This is the traditional bike rack that most people prefer. The space on top of your car mostly remains empty and unused; why not use them for something useful? Roof racks provide you with a good way of transporting your bike from one place to another without compromising seat or trunk space. Most roof racks may require you to take the front wheel off for installation. But some of the newer models come with an extra arm for taking a complete bike.


  • Efficient use of space
  • Carrying more than two bikes are even feasible
  • Racks can be used for carrying other things


  • Extra protection needed for theft

Hitch Rack

Hitch racks are some of the more popular methods of carrying your bikes with the car. The hitch rack holds onto straps with hooks that enter into the edge of the trunk. The included padding on the hitch will protect the car from accidental scratches. The two arms can carry up to four bikes varying on the model. In my opinion, this is the most stable way to carry the bike along with the car.


  • Bikes are easier to load and carry
  • Ensures less fuel consumption than roof racks
  • Quite inexpensive


  • The trunk may get harder to access

Bell Right Up 250 Hitch Rack with 2 bikes attached to white pickup truck

Some Important Things to Consider While Carrying Your Bike

Let’s go through some essential things that you have to consider while trying to fit two bikes in your vehicle.

Get a larger sized car for carrying

You may carry one or two cars inside your sedan, but they might be harder to pull off. If you have to take bikes regularly to different places, consider getting an SUV or station wagon. This decision alone will make your life a whole lot easier.

Try to transport the bike inside the vehicle

If you can do it properly, then all of the tips below are not worth reading about. But this process might be challenging for some to accomplish. If you’re constantly going back and forth carrying your bike, it might be a better choice to bring a rack. But for infrequent cases, it is cheaper, safer, and you can keep the cycle at your eyesight.

Try to get a quality bike rack

If you’re on the road often and thinking about carrying the bicycle frequently, invest in a good quality car rack instead. A tray-style rack on the back of your car will make the carrying process more manageable and safer.

Keep your bike away from the car

When you’re transporting the bike in your car, the best thing is not to touch the vehicle at all if possible. Reduce the contact with the vehicle by putting cushions and sheets beneath the frame. Which, in turn, will keep both your bike and car in pristine shape.

Cover the pedals with paper or sheets

Make sure your pedals don’t rotate during the transportation process. Lock them into place by covering them with sheets of paper or cloths.

Keep your bike and car safe

If you carry your bike with a rack, don’t forget to lock the bike. There are a lot of accessories available for the frames to keep them safe. Always double-check your car doors before leaving them for the night.

Lube your bike upon arrival

After assembling the car once more, don’t forget to put lubricants on parts like the wheel, brakes, and pedals. They’ll act like regular bikes yet again.

Check suspension and tire pressure after arriving

Carrying your bike for long periods on the road might change the tire and suspension pressure. Double-check them after arrival and make sure they’re in working condition.

Related reading: How To Lock Bike On Car Bike Rack?

Final Words

Wrapping up this guide, I’ve walked you through the nuanced steps and considerations for safely transporting two bikes in your car. This task, while initially seeming complex, unfolds into a manageable process with the right approach and preparation. From cleaning your bikes to securely placing them within the confined space of your vehicle, each step is designed to ensure that your bikes arrive at your destination in the same condition they left home.

I emphasized the importance of cleanliness to prevent dirt and grime from entering your car, detailed the removal of front wheels to make space, and discussed the strategic placement of bikes to avoid damage. Additionally, the utilization of seat belts to secure your bikes exemplifies how everyday items can be repurposed to safeguard our precious cargo.

The alternative methods of transportation – using a trunk, roof rack, or hitch rack – offer flexibility based on your vehicle’s size and your personal preferences. Each option comes with its own set of pros and cons, highlighting the importance of choosing the method that best aligns with your transportation needs and security concerns.

Transporting your bikes should not detract from the joy of cycling. With this guide, my goal was to present a solution that makes the journey to your cycling destination as smooth and stress-free as possible. Now that you know the steps to fit two bikes in your car, the paths and trails you explore can expand beyond your local area, bringing fresh adventures and challenges.

May your rides be long, your travels safe, and your experiences fulfilling. Here’s to many more cycling adventures, with the freedom to bring your bikes wherever your heart desires. Safe travels, and enjoy the ride!




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