Inside car Bicycle mounts

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Blog entry by stefang posted 07-11-2016 11:12 AM 2679 reads 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My Son and DIL are having a cycling holiday in France. The are taking a car ferry to Denmark and then driving through Germany to France the rest of the way. Their bikes are very expensive and so they weren’t too keen on having them mounted on the outside of the car on the roof or on the back as they are worried about theft and also stability since they have carbon fiber frames which are easily damaged if they get bumped into.

The solution
My son found that there is room for both bikes in the back of their station wagon with the front wheels demounted and still enough space left over for their luggage. The bike mount requires having strong and stabile mounts for the bike forks to rest on and which can be locked in place to keep it from moving around. He came up with a design and then asked me if I could help him make them. We had to do it pretty quickly since he was leaving the next day. Here is what he came up with:

As you can see in the photo below, the wheel camlock goes right through metal tube to lock the forks securely onto the mount.

Materials for one mount

-1pc – 1/4” thick Baltic birch plywood 6”W X 18”L
-1pc – Fir 2X4 6” long
-1pc – 1” diam. Hardwood dowel
-1pc – Steel tubing 9mm (.36”) outside diam. and 6mm(1/4”) inside diam.
-Wood glue
-Epoxy glue

Work steps
  1. Drill a hole 22mm (0.87”) dia. hole all the way through the side of the 2X4 with the center point in the middle of the 2X4 and 20mm (0.79”) above the bottom edge.
  2. Drill a centered hole thru the dowel 10mm (0.38”) from end to end. For vertical drilingl support, insert the dowel in the hole in the 2X4.
  3. Drill 2 screw holes in the plywood across the center point of the plywood about 25mm (1”) in from each edge and countersink on the bottom.
  4. Drill matching holes in the 2×4. Note: You can also carpet tape the two pieces together and drill the holes thru the ply and into the 2×4 in one go.
  5. Attach the the 2×4 with the 2 screws.
  6. Glue the dowel in the hole through the 2×4 using wood glue. The ends should protrude 20mm (0.79”) on each side of the 2×4.
  7. Glue in the steel tubes into each end of the hole in the hardwood dowel with epoxy glue. The ends should protrude 3mm (1/8”). Avoid getting glue into the inside of the tube or the thru hole in the dowel, Note You can use 2 pieces of tubiing about 1-1/2” long if you don’t have enough tubing to go all the way through. That’s what we did using a wiring tube from an old table lamp.
  8. Clean up any glue on the outside of the protruding steel tube and the ends of the dowel.

The protrusion measurements of the dowel and the related metal tube are critical. They must match your particular bike, so you might have to make some changes to the measurements given above. The same applies to the diameters of the dowel and the the steel tube.

  • The steel tubing we found was 1mm too large in diameter so we mounted the tube in the lathe and filed it down to the final dimension with the lathe running. If you have the same problem and don’t have a lathe you can do the same thing using a drill press. You only have to file the tip of the tube where it protrudes.*

The photos below show my DIL’s bike mounted in the car. There will be two bikes clamped in there for the trip.

Not a great woodworking project, but I thought it might be a good idea for the cyclists out there. Glad to answer any questions you might have. Thanks for reading.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

16 comments so far

View sharad's profile


1119 posts in 4409 days

#1 posted 07-11-2016 12:56 PM

Mike, may not be a great woodworking project but it is great the way it has solved the problem of carrying the bikes safely. As usual your writing is so perfect that no body can have an iota of doubt about how to do it. Wish your son a very enjoyable cycling holiday with no stress about the safety of the bikes.


-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View patron's profile


13694 posts in 3945 days

#2 posted 07-11-2016 01:23 PM

View Dutchy's profile


3508 posts in 2773 days

#3 posted 07-11-2016 01:56 PM

Clever Mike.


View Jeff_in_LSMO's profile


353 posts in 2944 days

#4 posted 07-11-2016 02:23 PM

maybe i missed it, but how does the rack fix to the car?

one suggestion is 3m industrial velcro. that stuff is awesome.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23740 posts in 3710 days

#5 posted 07-11-2016 02:25 PM

Great solution, Mike!!

Necessity is the mother of invention!!


-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 3938 days

#6 posted 07-11-2016 02:52 PM

Sharad Nice to hear from you old friend!

David Thanks for the tip on the tracking device. The iphone has a tracking app, but it would be useful for other valuables. Bit of a stiff price though at $25 each.

Jeff The platters should provide enough surface area friction to hold them in place, but I suggested to my son it might be good to use some elastic straps with hooks on the ends towards the middle or back of the bikes and connected to the cargo tie-down eyes on either side of the floor.

Jan and Jim The credit for the design goes to my son. There is an accessory for this that you can buy, but it is expensive. I just helped with the cutting, drilling and gluing. That’s why they are a little ugly!

The reason my son is so paranoid about thievery is that gangs from eastern Europe have been steeling a lot of expensive bikes here in recent times. They spot someone riding one and then follow them home and come back later to steal the bike. The put them into a van and drive them over the border to sell them on the continent. This is big business. Many of these bikes cost over $10,000. My kids keep theirs locked up in the house. Personally I would rather use the money on tools.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4272 posts in 3769 days

#7 posted 07-11-2016 03:12 PM

Second the vote for tools. Utilitarian things are the major reason my shops exist, and they justify buying the tools…...or at least help. Never got into long distance cycling….......don’t think I will start now…......(-:

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View doubleDD's profile


8962 posts in 2647 days

#8 posted 07-11-2016 03:25 PM

Not every project has to be the taj mahal. Functional things like this is what make us so handy. Good joint effort Mike.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View shipwright's profile


8452 posts in 3402 days

#9 posted 07-12-2016 01:08 AM

I just have one word of praise for this one Mike, but it’s a good one …... Efficient!
Well done.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View robscastle's profile


6675 posts in 2808 days

#10 posted 07-12-2016 05:25 AM

Ah yes yet another great piece of craftsmanship there Mike.
Thats exactly what FIL and fathers are around for!
I think there may be enough room for a third bike Too! hint hint.

Car ferry to Denmark and then driving through Germany to France the rest of the way, oh my if only my knees would stand it. I have difficulty climbing up and down my fromt stairs these days.
When I was younger and roller blades were all the craze I went rollerblading, I started in thailand then the UK, Scotland and Ireland and back again. My son rang me while I was away and asked where I was I said Cardiff,... not letting on it was Cardif UK not Cardiff near Newcastle about 2 hrs drive away!
Boy was I in for it upon return!

-- Regards Rob

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 3938 days

#11 posted 07-12-2016 09:17 AM

Robert They are driving the car to France and then cycling there. It sounds like you had quite an adventure on your rollerblades.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View kiefer's profile


5713 posts in 3271 days

#12 posted 07-13-2016 06:45 PM

Mike nice and simple solution but are they somehow fastened to the vehicle ?


-- Kiefer

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 3938 days

#13 posted 07-14-2016 09:18 AM

Klaus I think the platters will stay fairly steady, but I did advise him to use some stretch straps tied to the floor holdfasts to keep the bikes from moving around, but I don’t know if he did. We have gotten a couple messages from them since they left and no problems were reported, so I think it’s all working out ok.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3408 days

#14 posted 07-14-2016 01:18 PM

Well thought out Mike. Being inside the vehicle will help keep the thieves away and protect those fine bicycles.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 3938 days

#15 posted 07-16-2016 10:48 AM

Thanks Roger.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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