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Road Trip: Stowing bike inside / both wheels off?

Chase9974

Member
Apr 18, 2021
20
21
Virginia
New owner (well... soon!), have MY LR, with induction wheels and tow hitch, ordered and now waiting. Question.... going on family road trip for July 4th week and see some posts and videos on Range impact with a bike rack. I have a Kuat hitch rack and will be bring a single triathlon (road) bike. Not sure how much room we will have in the cargo area with a family of 4 luggage and beach stuff. But wondering if worth taking off both bike wheels and putting the bike inside with a cargo blanket on top of anything back there (I have a wheel carry case too). Or just go with the hitch rack and take the range drag hit? Newbie owner range anxiety, I know. Plenty of superchargers along the I95 route (DC to Emerald Isle, NC trip), but wondering. Thx.
 

Rcmpnc

Member
Jul 3, 2020
78
36
Durham NC
My .02:

Use the hitch, save yourself the headache of stowing 4 peoples stuff and a bike. The normal speeds people drive on I-95 will have a bigger impact on range than a bike. Kick on AP and enjoy the ride.
 

garrett5688

Member
Oct 7, 2017
573
992
DFW
The Y has a hatch with a decent amount of storage space, but even a bike without wheels will eat up that space. Heck our Uppababy stroller takes up a majority of the trunk.

Use the hitch rack and drive slightly slower if needed.
 

Chase9974

Member
Apr 18, 2021
20
21
Virginia
Thanks all. Yeah, will plan to just use the hitch rack. Range Anxiety. LOL. Already playing around with A Better Route Planner just to see what the trip would be like. ABRP and Tesla route planner need to add in a “bike rack” option to see general impact (And the back up sensors Bike Rack Hitch option! LOL.)
 

garrett5688

Member
Oct 7, 2017
573
992
DFW
Thanks all. Yeah, will plan to just use the hitch rack. Range Anxiety. LOL. Already playing around with A Better Route Planner just to see what the trip would be like. ABRP and Tesla route planner need to add in a “bike rack” option to see general impact (And the back up sensors Bike Rack Hitch option! LOL.)
With ABRP you can simulate reduced range by raising the avg wh/mi parameter, but obviously you’ll need some experience before knowing what value to put in.

May still be worth inputting some hypotheticals like 5,10,20% higher than default to see what wh/mi you want to maintain, based on average speed or trip times.
 

colea

Member
Nov 18, 2020
48
34
Clinton, NY
Thanks all. Yeah, will plan to just use the hitch rack. Range Anxiety. LOL. Already playing around with A Better Route Planner just to see what the trip would be like. ABRP and Tesla route planner need to add in a “bike rack” option to see general impact (And the back up sensors Bike Rack Hitch option! LOL.)
Actually, ABRP already has an option for "bikes on back."
 

Chase9974

Member
Apr 18, 2021
20
21
Virginia
With ABRP you can simulate reduced range by raising the avg wh/mi parameter, but obviously you’ll need some experience before knowing what value to put in.

May still be worth inputting some hypotheticals like 5,10,20% higher than default to see what wh/mi you want to maintain, based on average speed or trip times.
Thanks! I’ll do that. I‘m a “planner” so actually dig messing around with maps and tools like ABRP. And it helps ease my total newbie range anxiety jitters. LOL.
 

Rshephorse

Member
Aug 2, 2020
167
118
Plattsburg
With two people - we put the bikes in the care if we're driving over 100 miles- it saves us from the 8% loss on range when on the interstate. With four people.... I'd use the rack!
I haven't done it, but I wonder, depending on your rack, if you could put bikes on the rack but with wheels off so that the sit lower, down out of the airstream and then you have the best of both worlds- more space inside, but less drag on the outside.
 

Cathcam

New Member
Apr 18, 2021
1
0
Denver, CO
A few extra thoughts. If you have a good triathlon bike, mine's a custom titanium, with highend Zipp aero wheels, you need to be very sure it can't be stolen off the rack.

Personally I'm not. Over 20 years of racing I've heard too many tales of stolen bikes, and bikes that have been on roof racks getting ripped off when on roof racks.

I have a Mercedes CLS550, I'm 6ft tall. I always travel with the wheels off, I need to use the travel guard on the derailleur to make sure it doesn't flip back a couple of extra inches.

Once I've got the frame in the trunk, I can put the wheels in on top. There is still room from pretty much all my race gear, loose, not in a bag. Once the trunk is closed it can't be seen from outside.

The cls550 is pretty much the same as a model S, I tried my bike in both before buying the Mercedes.

If you decide to do this, you probably want to get some wheel bags, they are relatively cheap on ebay.

If you have tri bars you may need to loosen them to fit inside, if you do, don't forget to take the tool with you.
 

Chase9974

Member
Apr 18, 2021
20
21
Virginia
With two people - we put the bikes in the care if we're driving over 100 miles- it saves us from the 8% loss on range when on the interstate. With four people.... I'd use the rack!
I haven't done it, but I wonder, depending on your rack, if you could put bikes on the rack but with wheels off so that the sit lower, down out of the airstream and then you have the best of both worlds- more space inside, but less drag on the outside.
I have Kuat, so it’s one that is a tray and just set in with lever over the tire. So you don’t take wheels off. Good thought tho! I did look at a roof rack, but I have the Kuat and this long family trip is once a year, so not worth trying or buying a roof rack. LOL. I think with the Superchargers along the route, I’ll be ok. Just new guy worried. LOL.
 

Chase9974

Member
Apr 18, 2021
20
21
Virginia
A few extra thoughts. If you have a good triathlon bike, mine's a custom titanium, with highend Zipp aero wheels, you need to be very sure it can't be stolen off the rack.

Personally I'm not. Over 20 years of racing I've heard too many tales of stolen bikes, and bikes that have been on roof racks getting ripped off when on roof racks.

I have a Mercedes CLS550, I'm 6ft tall. I always travel with the wheels off, I need to use the travel guard on the derailleur to make sure it doesn't flip back a couple of extra inches.

Once I've got the frame in the trunk, I can put the wheels in on top. There is still room from pretty much all my race gear, loose, not in a bag. Once the trunk is closed it can't be seen from outside.

The cls550 is pretty much the same as a model S, I tried my bike in both before buying the Mercedes.

If you decide to do this, you probably want to get some wheel bags, they are relatively cheap on ebay.

If you have tri bars you may need to loosen them to fit inside, if you do, don't forget to take the tool with you.
You know it! The Kuat has integrated security lockable cables to thread thru frame and wheels, and usually never leave the bike-car for longer than a pit stop or keep in view from lunch stop. Yeah, my bike and wheelset is not budget entry level. LOL. I do have wheel bag, so I might take off my HED deep aero wheels and carry inside car, and put on the stock wheels to decrease the drag sail effect.
 

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