The Tour de France is here in England, so if there was ever a time to get excited about cycling, now would be it! Here at SGS Engineering, we might sometimes appear very motor vehicle-centric, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get excited about bikes too; after all, you’ll need a car to transport your bike to your starting point. With that in mind, we’ve been thinking about how to get your car to a state that’s able to transport your bike to the starting point of your route. Here’s our very own how-to guide.
Preparing for all Shapes and Sizes
First off, you need to really take into consideration the shape and size of your bike and also its weight. This will be important later when you’re figuring out which gas struts for your car boot you’ll need if you’re transporting your bike on a car boot rack.
To Rack or not to Rack?
Once you’ve got a strong characterisation of your bike, you can ask yourself the all-important question: to rack or not to rack? If your bike is small enough and your vehicle is large enough, you might be able to slip your bike into your car without any extra effort, but in most circumstances, you’re going to be forced to make some bigger decisions. If your car has a relatively flat back you might consider rack mounting it there. Alternatively, you might have to create a roof rack and either lay the bike flat, or – if you have more than one – create a standing rack.
Pre-made or DIY
If you’re going down the bike rack option, you’re going to need to think about whether you want to invest in a pre-made bike rack, or create your own custom designed one. There are pros and cos to each option, for example, pre-made ones will be relatively expensive, but they’ll work straight away. For the DIY approach, the opposite is true.
The DIY Approach
If you do decide to create your own rack, you’ll need the following materials:
- Two 24x2x2inch pieces of hardwood (stained and varnished) for the frame’s sides
- Three 18x2x2inch pieces of hardwood (stained and varnished) for the frame’s top, bottom and arm support
- Two 24x2x2inch pieces of hardwood (stained and varnished), bicycle support pieces
- Two 12x2x2inch long (stained and varnished), brace pieces
There are really three main steps to creating a bike rack for the back of your car. The first is to create the frame, the second is to make and screw-in the straps that will hold you bike in place, and the final one is to purchase a bike carrier and then attach it to the frame. For a more detailed guide, there are various sources across the web to help you. There aren’t many comprehensive guides that really break down how to create a rack from scratch, but this one is a worthy one to check out. alternatively, you could simply go down the pre-made route, as this will be a lot less stressful.
New Gas Struts at the Ready
If you’re mounting your bike on your car boot, you’ll need to replace your existing gas struts with new ones that will stand the extra weight. For these, browse the SGS uprated tailgate struts collection. If you need help, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team.
As the nation goes cycling crazy, now is the perfect time to get your bike in your car (by whatever means possible) and get out on the road. Whether you’re just mounting a pre-made bike rack, or creating your own, we hope we’ve helped you.