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Were you planning a long trip to the mountains? Did you wait too long to pedal your way along the road and now its starting to get dark and you need to take your bike back? Whatever your reason its important to know which vehicles will fit a bike (bicycle) inside. If you have a minivan but you are unsure if a bike will fit inside of it then this article is for you!
Before I give you the answer it’s important to note that bikes vary in size.. a lot! Even bikes that are all made for adults can still have a lot of size differences so I will give some general sizes and what you can expect for each type of bike but ultimately if the style of your bike is different it might fit differently or not at all.
A 24” (or smaller) bike will fit in the back of a minivan standing upright as they are 43” tall and most minivans have interior clearance of around 44”. You will have to turn the bike slightly to the side to get it through the back door however since the rear door is only 40” tall.
Once you get any bicycle that is larger than a 24” frame it will be too tall to stand straight up inside a minivan. However, you can have it at a slight angle to allow a 26” bike to fit in the back of a minivan as well.
From a 24” bike and above the frame size dictates the height relatively evenly. So for example, a 24” frame bike is 43” tall while a 26” frame bike will be 45” (or so) tall and a 29” frame bike will be 48-49” tall.
All of the above numbers were measured from the bottom of the tire to the top of the curve on the handlebars so if you remove the handlebars or have completely flat handlebars then it will be slightly shorter than the above numbers.
One thing to note is that a 24” bike will be approximately 64” long (can vary by style) so you will need to lay down or remove the second row of seats unless you are just hauling a single bike (which in that case, it can slide between the two second row seats. If you have a 26” frame bike or larger you will want to remove (or lay down) all of the seats since the bike will have to be at an angle to fit inside the minivan.
How tall is a 24”, 26”, 27.5”, and 29” bike (actual dimensions)?
Now that I’ve covered what bikes will fit inside the back of a minivan let’s look at some specific dimensions for these different sized bikes. As with fitting them in a minivan there will be some exceptions as different style bikes might be designed to have higher handles, bigger tires, etc. that can affect the height.
In general however, whether you have a beach cruiser, a mountain bike, or really any style of bike, these dimensions will be extremely close across all brands and styles.
In general a 24” frame bicycle will be 43” tall from the bottom of the front tire to the top of the handlebars. A 26” frame bike will be 45” tall, a 27.5” frame bike will be 46-47” tall, and a 29” frame bike will be 48-49” tall.
All of these numbers are from actual mountain bikes but from brand to brand it can vary slightly so if you need an exact number for a specific bike model then you will want to find a website or local store that sells that model and measure it yourself (or ask for exact dimensions for it).
How to fit the most bikes in a minivan
A minivan is structurally made to accommodate a lot of people or things. Be it people, cargo, or in our case, bikes, minivans have foldable/removable seats and tons of room to put tall things (like bikes) as well.
If you are looking to haul around more than just a single bike then you will definitely want to know how to fit the most bikes inside.
The way to get the most bikes in the back of a minivan is to first fold down or remove the second and third row of seats. Once that is done you will want to take all of the bicycles that are 24” frames or smaller and stand them up running horizontally between the two sliding doors. There is just enough room to fit 24” bikes or smaller there lengthwise.
Once you have put all the 24” or smaller bikes in then you will want to put any larger frame bikes in through the rear door. These larger frame bikes will need to be put in and kept at a slight angle (depending on their size but won’t have to be laid all the way down (unless you choose to do so).
This method will allow you to keep the bikes from scratching and damaging each other while also allowing you to fit as many bikes in the back of your minivan as possible.
Why are bike racks better than roof rails to transport bikes?
Undoubtedly, the minivans could easily accommodate most bikes on the roof, but that invites a few unwanted problems. Still, if your route allows your car to have that extra height on top, you could choose vacuum mounts or racks to carry your bikes.
In the case of vacuum mounts, you might have to remove the tires, but you keep your trunk space free to load other stuff that you might want to. The roof racks are very reliable, and you wouldn’t even have to disassemble the wheels. Carrying a bike on top of a minivan will increase the height, and on some roads, it won’t be easy to maneuver.
Hence using a bike rack will make things simpler and also more comfortable for most drivers. Bike racks can now be attached to the rear of any car and can easily carry the bikes. They lift the bikes well above the ground giving enough ground clearance and keeping the bikes safe while you go down the road.
The rails are solid alloys and also provide water and rust resistance to some extent. They are made up of an alloy of carbon steel and ionized aluminum, which gives them high strength in lower temperatures to don’t crack and break.
You could also opt for multiple holders, which allows you to carry various bikes too.
I hope that this article has been helpful in answering your questions about bicycle sizes and specifically whether they will fit in a minivan or not. If your bike is older and you don’t mind a few scratches then you can lay it at an angle and fit virtually any size bike in a minivan. If however you want it to stand straight up (or almost) in the back then you will easily be able to do that with 24” & 26” bikes (or smaller) while bikes that are larger than that will have to be at a steep angle or laid down in a minivan.