Can I Fit A Mountain Bike In My Car? 4 TOP Options

People traveling from one place to the other need to take their bikes. No denying that your car won’t be a great partner everywhere. So, having your mountain bike in your car will make it possible for you to keep exploring. However, one of the biggest questions that users generally have is how to transport mountain bikes in a car. It is definitely a thing to worry about as you don’t want your bike to get damaged or scratched. 

Can I fit a mountain bike in my car? The answer is most cars can fit bikes inside. However, you might require doing some disassembling work. You might have to remove one or two wheels from your bike. Make sure your car has enough room on the back seat by pulling it forward to the extreme extent. Always use a blanket before putting on your bike to avoid any kind of damage to your bike and car. 

However, if your car is small and does not have much room to put the bike inside, don’t keep trying. There is a multitude of ways that you can still avail to transport your mountain bike if it does not get inside your car. Furthermore, riding is a hobby, and if you wish to explore every corner of the location, your bike can be a great companion. So, in this article, we will find out some more essential details about how to transport a mountain bike in your car. 

Can I Fit A Mountain Bike In My Car

How to transport a mountain bike without using a rack?

If this is the first time you are about to attempt this, you can stay assured that you will be able to do it. Assembling things will make things a lot easier. Instead of slashing the interiors and jamming its interior, removing its wheels and fitting your bike easily is always advisable. Here are some options that you can follow to ensure seamless transportation. 

Clean your bike thoroughly: Use a damp rag to get rid of grime from the bike wheels and its frame. You surely don’t want your car’s upholstery to get damaged by the dirt. These are collected in the wheels and tend to become difficult to clean. So, always keep the wet wipes to eliminate excess dirt and dust from the wheels. 

Disassemble the wheels: Once you have cleaned the wheels and their frame, you must plan to take off the wheels. It is very easy and does not require you to be a professional technician. First, you have to shift down your bike to its lowest gear to ensure the chain remains loose. You can find a quick-release lever on most bikes to remove the frame’s wheels. It will pop off the wheels immediately. 

Create enough room in your back: If you have the freedom to adjust the rear seats of your car, you must take utmost advantage of it. First, make enough room for your bike by pulling the seat. You can do it if you have a car where you can fold the back seats. This can be beneficial for longer bikes. Once you have created enough space, use sheets or mats on your bike. Trust me; whether you have just done a muddy ride or not, there will be dirt all around. Using a sheet or mat can make it easy to clean up. 

Ensure the frame is appropriately seated: This is important for you to ensure that your bike does not fall off everywhere. It is excellent if you can ensure that the frame is seated correctly. However, you can place the bike’s frame upside down if it becomes impossible. All you have to be sure about is the derailleur. Ensure that it is not touching anything. Use the seat belts to hold your bike in its place. You just have to store the bike wheels in your trunk when you can do this. 

Use brake plugs: If your bike has disk brakes, it is better to keep brake plugs handy. It is advisable as it prevents you from compressing levers while you drive to the destination. In case you don’t take adequate precautions, there are always some chances of misaligning the brake calipers. 

It would be disheartening to find that you ultimately are not able to use the bike where you intended to use it due to a brake jam. So, ensure that you take proper precautions by opening calipers to re-bleeding the disk brakes by moving some brake plugs. 

Pack the gears: To make sure that you take utmost care of your bike while riding in your car, you must store it in a way that its brakes, derailleurs, and chain face outwards. Doing such will ensure keeping off the pressure from its fragile parts. 

Put the unpacked wheels under its frame: It is always better to keep the wheels under your bike where you need more stability. Since you would want to minimize vibrations and rock while packing, keeping wheels underneath can be valuable. 

However, if you have a smooth highway to cross, you can avoid doing it. Putting the wheels underneath the frame is a good choice as it creates a cushion. You will prevent not only damaging the fragile parts of your bike but also your car. 

Use Straps or Bungee Cords: You will find ample space if you have a truck. Trucks are designed to transport huge vehicles. However, you must not just throw the bike. So, it is always better to take the right action. Use soft straps or cords to ensure that your bike doesn’t vibrate or wobble. It also makes sure to keep all the fragile parts safe and secure in place. 

Wrap the pedals: Most times, pedals are designed with rough surfaces. This is because it offers improved traction. So, if you leave them unwrapped while driving, it might have improved the chances of leaving scratches on the seats or car interiors. So it is better that you utilize your old scrapped cloth and wrap the bike pedals properly to ensure seamless usage. 

Buy a bike bag: If you are planning to fold a bike, urban commuters must be the first name to drop in your mind. However, what you might not have thought of is that many foldable mountain bikes can easily help you to enjoy off-roading. 

You might get a transport bag with your bike if you are lucky enough. In case you don’t get it from the manufacturer, you can simply buy it online after making a thorough check. Make sure that the bag is designed to store your mountain bike easily. Since different bikes have different lengths and heights, it is better to check in advance.

With these few steps, you will find it easy to take your bike everywhere. However, if you have a smaller car, there might be some ways. In the next section, we will find the best ways to take your mountain bike using your small car. 

Can you fit a mountain bike in a small car?

Small cars are mostly in use these days. Most owners are looking forward to buying small cars as these are reasonable and provide improved mileage. However, if you want to know if can you fit a mountain bike in a car smaller than the standard size, then let’s check these steps. 

  • Take off bike wheels: It is better to start by taking off the front wheels. As mentioned previously, if the mountain bike has a quick-release lever, it is very easy. However, if there is no lever, you might need to use the toolbox. Keeping the tires open is a great choice as it cuts a lot of space. 
  • Keep the frame in the car’s backseat: After you have successfully taken off the wheels, you must try to slide the frame inside your car’s backseat. This is especially for hatchbacks. Since there is limited space in the trunk, it is better to use the back seat and the wheels in the truck. Make minor adjustments to the handlebars, and it will become easy. 
  • Protect your backseat: The next most important thing you must do before putting the bike brake inside is protect the seat. You can use a towel on your backseat or choose to wrap the bike frame. Either way, it will be easier for you to protect the car’s backseat. 

What are The Many Rack Options for Bikes? 

If you are unable to fit the bike inside, you don’t have to worry as there are several rack options. Not necessarily because your car is small, but if you are traveling with your family, utilizing the backset is impossible. So, several other options are available for you to choose to carry your bike. In addition, using racks ensures maintaining the quality of your car interiors and upholstery. 

1. Roof rack: 

The roof rack is very common, and you probably have seen it along the highway. A roof rack is the best way to ensure that your bike remains in the best condition, and so does your car. This way, you can stay assured that your bike travels easily and does not scratch off the paint. 

YAKIMA, FrontLoader Wheel-On Upright Bike Mount for Rooftop Racks for Cars


  • Roof racks do not eat up interior car space and help you to travel with your family. 
  • It is a stable choice that ensures less damage to the paint. 
  • You will have better access to the trunk. 
  • You can mount other things as well due to space availability. 


  • Getting the bike on the rack can be big trouble. 
  • You will not be able to use the overhead space. 
  • Increase fuel needs due to wind resistance. 
  • Bad weather can be a problem. 

2. Tow Ball Rack: 

A hitch back or tow rack is generally attached to the back of your car. There are many configurations where these racks are installed so that it can easily adjust one bike and more. The bikes generally hang on rubber or plastic cradles from racks. You will not require any assembling with these racks. 

Thule Apex XT 5 Bike Hitch Rack , Black
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  • Attaching is simple, and you can switch it from one car to another. 
  • It can be folded easily for storage. 
  • Simple to load bikes on the rack. 
  • Ensure stable transport by solid connection with the car. 
  • Best choice for regular transportation. 


  • These are pricier compared to the previous one. 
  • You have to make sure not to carry above the bearing weight capability of the rack. 
  • It might become an obstacle in the license plate viewing. 
  • Improper installation can damage the paint. 

3. Trunk Rack: 

It is a common bike rack type that is also the cheapest of others. The rack is generally designed to mount on the trunk using hooks and straps easily. You will find padding where there is contact with your cars. 


  • It is affordable and a great choice for recreational riders. 
  • You can easily adjust the fit. 
  • It can add multiple vehicles. 
  • Installation is super easy. 
  • Storing is seamless. 
  • Loading a bike is very simple. 


  • You might have to lock it separately. 
  • It can become an obstacle in license plate viewing. 
  • Accessing the trunk might become a problem. 
  • It can damage the car’s paint job. 

4. Vacuum Mount: 

Using the vacuum mount, you will find it easy to mount your bike anywhere. It comes with a suction cup that holds the rack. However, you have to ensure a clean suction to ensure that it fits easily and can take the road impacts. 

Vacuum Mount for bike on the car


  • It provides stability as the suction is rubber made. 
  • Attaching it to your car is simple. 
  • You don’t need a roof rack. 
  • You don’t require additional tools for installation. 


  • It is not an affordable choice. 
  • No locking options increase the potential of theft. 
  • If you are going for a longer rider, it is better to keep checking to ensure the suction. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you install a bike rack irrespective of the car model? 

Yes! There is a range of types and designs of bike racks that you can install. So, before you choose the rack type and style, you have to make sure that it fits and then buy. 

Do bike racks damage cars? 

You have to make sure that you take proper care of your bike rack. Since it is in direct contact with your car, there are some chances of damaging the car paint. 

Do I need to install a bike rack on my SUV?

You will seamlessly be able to put the bike in the trunk. However, if you travel with your family, you can definitely install a bike rack. 

Can I Fit A Mountain Bike In My Car Summary

So now that you have acquired enough knowledge about how to transport a mountain bike in a car, it will become easy. Make sure you decide based on your travel requirements for optimum results.

About Martin

I am Martin, I am the author of this blog. My main interests include cycling. That's why this blog was created. I have always been interested in technology and how bicycles are made, so I built one myself.

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