4 adults plus MTB's car rental options in the US

Hi all

A group of four of us (adults, no kids) will be travelling from Australia to the US in Autumn to MTB in Colorado. We will be bringing our bikes and looking to rent a vehicle for 3-4 weeks from Denver international. Wondering if a full size pick up like a Chevy Silverado or F150 Crew would be a good options, with the intent to have the assembled bikes in the bed, front wheels over the tailgate?

FYI the rough plan would be to stay/ride at Breckenridge, Crested Butte, Salida, Durango.

Any other ideas regarding transport, where to ride would be most appreciated.

I’ll let someone else comment on the suitability of a full size pickup, as I don’t own one so don’t have direct experience - although seems like it should work as long as you don’t have too many other bags to also carry in the bed of the truck (E.g. 4 bike bags might be a problem)

If you are going to travel all the way from Australia to Colorado, you have to also go to Moab in Utah. On the way there, you can also ride in Grand Junction and Fruita.

Moab needs no introduction. Two must-do rides are the Whole Enchilada and Mag 7. Fruita is like a mini Moab (the Kokopelli trails) - Horsethief Bench is the signature ride there. Grand Junction has a great trail network just outside town (and also has the Ribbon Trail which maybe is the most YouTubed trail in Grand Junction). If you want to rent a road bike for a day, it’s worth a ride over and back on the Colorado National Monument (between Grand Junction and Fruita).

If you want to see what all the hype is about you could stop at Leadville on the way from Breck to Salida. And take a ride up and down Powerline just to check it out.

There’s so much good mountain biking in Colorado it’s hard to choose. The locations you mention are all great. It’ll be a great trip.

One additional suggestion: Breck and Crested Butte are both at pretty high elevations (9000 feet) and some of the trails can get snow in the fall. Call a local bike shop and ask them when the trails usually start getting snowed out.

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I would say a full size pickup is the way to go. I’ve done something similar with a minivan and it was tight but doable thanks to stow and go seats (we rented a Dodge caravan). A full size should have plenty of room to pack gear and be a lot easier. I now own a midsize and have no doubt I could make it work.

Should be fine.

I drive a full size (standard 1/2 ton) pickup with a 6.5 foot bed. A lot of pickups trend toward a shorter bed for more passenger legroom. Bikes can still hang over the tailgate, but you’ll lose about 2 feet of luggage space.

I might recommend swinging by a Home Depot to grab a few things at the start of the trip:

  • Some painter’s plastic and duct tape in case it rains to keep your luggage dry
  • A rubber mat to throw over the tailgate
  • Bungee cords and/or cheapo bike locks just to prevent someone from easily grabbing a bike and running off at a stoplight
  • A plastic bin/tub or two to hold shoes, helmets, etc.
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Some rental companies offer bike racks, so that might be an option.

Have you thought about going to Moab, Utah?

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The problem I see with a pickup truck is security. You won’t even be able to stop and go into a restaurant without worrying whether bikes/gear get stolen. I’d look into renting a big van if possible.

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You could rent a cargo type van or truck from a moving truck company such as Penske, U-Haul or Budget. Then you could have all your bikes and bags secured and protected from the elements. If you are going to fly with your bikes as luggage keep in mind the storage space you need for the bags/cases. It might be a lot less hassle to box them up at a bike shop and ship them by post

Done this but only form Canada and did rent a F-150 pick-up for 4 guys to Bike Utah, Sedona, Fruita, Etc. The trip was a BLAST!!!
Okay, now to the pick-up question, it was just fine, however, we did rent a small storage space next to the airport to store the bike boxes because 4 assembled bikes and 4 boxes and luggages won’t fit in the back of the truck. safety is also an issue so you will want to have those bikes in your room during the nights.

So the quick plan is to get the truck from the airport, assemble the bikes at the storaget and drop the boxes. Also plan for a full 4 hours again to put back your bikes in the boxes before catching your plane.

Lastly, fingers crossed that your bikes make it all the way to your final airport

Must Rides: Moab, Grand Junction, Black Canyon, etc!!!

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Great tips. Thanks heaps​:+1::+1::+1:

Several have suggested doing that as well, and it’s definitely on the bucket list

Thanks, that’s definitely a big consideration for us.

Thanks for the response. Definitely also considering a van or truck for that reason.

Awesome tips. Thanks for that

Gallery:
https://adobe.ly/2Vkg5D8

We hit Utah every year via Denver, Crestted Butte, Gunison, Futia, then Moab. Southern Moab, St.George and Hurricane is our March destination via Las Vegas.

You need a full size pickup truck for maximum flexibility.
I usually rent from Enterprise or Hertz. Roughly $800.00 for 10 days.

I suggest you buy a tailgate pad and bring 2x bed straps so you can secure the bikes for rough roads. I have a Dakine tailgate pad that goes in my Thule bike box (round trip pro XT). This is the best way to,protect bikes and the truck.

4 bike boxes with 4 pieces of luggage max per pickup. If you have soft sided bike boxes (like EVOC) then you can pack them inside each other to make space and drive between locations with 4 bikes on the tailgate, luggage in the bed and some inside. Once you are at the rental you stash your bike boxes and luggage. Never leave bikes on the truck at night. Someone stays with the bikes for grocery stops. For restaurant stops, park where you can see the bikes at all times.

I also suggest that when you reach your first destination, you hit a WalMart and buy telescoping camp chairs, a bike washing bucket, rags, soap and brushes, coffee travel mugs and food and beverages. Walmart are often open 24hrs.

Make sure you have a travel SIM card for your phone. You can get a big data plan online for about $60.00. You want data for gps maps, and emergency calls.

I can suggest lots of trails, but you’ll find them online too.

My hit list:
Created Butte - Gunnison - Fruita - Moab - Hurricane - St.George

Doctors Park
403 + 401
Monarch Crest
The Wire
Lunch Loops
Zippity Doo Da
Porcupine Rim (all of it)
Mag 7 (Goldbar Rim and Portal even if you have to walk down)
Captain Ahab (full loop once, second loop on hallway access)
Klondike Bluffs
Gooseberry Mesa
Hurricane Rim loop
Guacamole
Thunder Mountain
Zen plus Barrel Roll to Bearclaw Poppy
Suicidal Tendencies + Barrel Trail
Church Rocks

Reach out if you need more info for anything.

Mike

Can you find the riders in the pics below?

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Thanks So much Mike. Some really good tips there and heaps of trail suggestions. My partner and I did CB, Breck, and Tetons in late June 2017, but the higher CB trails were still snow covered then. We thinking maybe an autumn trip this time. How would that work for Moab?

R,
We are heading to Denver, CB, Moab, September 23 through October 3rd. That is my favorite week to go.

There CAN be snow in the upper La Salles (Porcupine Rim, Burro Pass) but I don’t think that has happened in a few years.

An easy way to check last years conditions is to look up a trail of ppm Trailforks and check the reports and pictures. Strava too.

M

I’ve Ridden in Moab the past two mid-Octobers. 2019 was able to ride all of the Whole Enchilada. 2018 could only start at jimmy keen due to snow higher up.

The rest of Moab (other than high up on WE) is usually fine in October.

We generally don’t get any significant snow until Late November. There are certainly exceptions, but the weather turns cold long before the snow flies. If you make it out this direction, make sure to check out Canyonlands (the southern portion of the park) and then up into the Blues. Moab area can get pretty crowded with side by sides and MTBers, where just outside of Monticello you will find a lot more tranquility - and a much different style of trail and riding.

Thanks for the tip Jerrodg. I’ll check out that area and trails