Bike travel - once you get there

Hi all, this is my first post, so I apologize if this has been a topic in the past. This June I will be flying with my bike for the first time. I kind of have the flying part worked out, but how do you manage when you get to the other side? I’ll have to rent a vehicle so I’m pondering various options. Buy a sea sucker rack to take with me (expensive!), rent a truck and take some towels to throw across the tailgate, or rent a minivan and put the backseats down and stow the bike in the back… There seem to be pros and cons of each. The other option I can check into is whether one can actually rent a vehicle with a bike rack on it. Thanks for any input!

I’ve never had trouble fitting a bike into the back of a rental car. Fold the back seat down and take the front wheel off. That’s doable with a small economy car.

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+1 for just putting the bike in a regular car. That’s my usual — with front wheel off, my bike fits easily in my Honda Accord (backseats down). I’ve also squeezed a bike sideways right behind the front seats (both wheels off). A towel can be handy to keep the chain from spreading grease around.

But are you not packing your bike in a bag or box? Won’t you just handle it like any other luggage?

Yes, like any other luggage for getting from airport to room. So that will not be an issue. However, I’ll assemble the bike to get it to race start the next morning. I’m not staying close enough to be able to ride to race start, so will have to be able to haul the bike. I don’t think I would want to take it to race start in flight case and assemble there.

Thanks for the info…hadn’t considered that it might fit in the back of a rental.

Seems a little tight racing the day after arrival. Have you considered shipping with bike flights and sending earlier and to a shop and have them assemble? May cost more but might avoid some issues. I did on a recent trip and made flying much easier. I took on the plane on way home as not as concerned with assembly and baggage issues.

I’ve rented a minivan in the (far distant) past. I think there were two bike bags/boxes involved. But when we called ahead to the rental company, they agreed to remove the rear seat ahead of time. Made it much easier. May be an option

What are you using for a bike bag or box? I’ve been able to fit my bag in the backseat of 99% of cabs and rentals I’ve used. Fits into lots of trunks as is.

A bike without the wheels on should fit into even the smallest economy rental no problem. You don’t need a truck or van if it’s just one.

I also use my Seasucker from time to time. Buy one and you won’t regret it. It’s the most versatile rack out there.

I usually rent a small SUV. It’s usually my wife and I and typically small SUV’s are not that much more than a standard car. I fold the rear seats down and there is always lots of room for bike and luggage.

The size of your bike bag may make a difference though. I used a Thule hardcase once and it won’t fit in some vehicles. However my Evoc and Scicon bags are not an issue.

I used to carry a road bike around in the backseat of a Mustang coupe with the wheels off. It can definitely be done in any car with enough width.