Loaded Bikes: Take your 2 wheeled toys on the road
Vans and bikes can be the best of friends. Whether you are into road racing, mountain biking or prefer your bike to have an engine doing the hard work, taking your two wheeled pride and joy in the back of your van is a great way of finding new locations to ride. But transporting your bike or motorcycle in a way that feels safe and secure for both you and the bike can sometimes be a bit of a head scratcher! That’s where our friends at Loaded Bikes have come to the rescue.
Loaded Bikes create Innovative Transport Solutions that make transporting your bike in a van an easy, convenient and safe process, removing the worry involved in taking your cycling or motorcycling adventures to new locations. Loaded Bikes offer 3 core product ranges, depending on your use case:
- Cargo Rails: Loaded Bikes offer a number of fixed L-Track rail solutions in both flush and surface mounted options. The rails are available in a variety of lengths and can be fitted to the side panels of your van, the, floor and even some van bulkheads. The rails allows for the easy introduction of tie down points by adding clip in studs which can be used as anchors for bungee cords or straps. The rails connect directly with the substructure of the van so that straps can be secured without fear that the rails will pull away from the ply lining or floor. Rails can also be attached to the side of the van to provide a low cost option for transporting one or two bikes (one strapped on each side).
- Internal Bike Racks: Internal bike racks like the Loaded Bikes Fixed Bike Rack have fixed wheel chocks to hold the front or rear wheel of each bike with tie down anchor points to strap the bikes to. The benefit of this rack is that it can support two or three bikes spaced well apart from one another to avoid any chance of the bikes colliding. The bike rack attaches with the existing tie down points at the front of the load bay, so there is no need to drill into the van or make any customisations in order to install it. As a result it can be removed from the van when you don;t need it. Particularly useful if you are using a work van that has a day job!
- Thru-Axle Fork Mounts: Loaded Bikes Thru Axle Fork Mounts may seem a bit daunting and obviously aren’t as straightforward as wheeling your whole bike into the back of the van, but they are a great way of securing multiple mountain bikes securely in place. They are also a great option for smaller vans or Kombi/Crew Cab vans where the load bay isn’t deep enough to transport a fully assembled bike. Fork mounts are most commonly used at the threshold of a van, with the bikes all lined up and are designed to be used with any of the Loaded Bikes rail systems, so you can fit a fork mount and bike anywhere along the rails and in any orientation, so the loading possibilities are pretty flexible. The fork mounts also have a built in off-set and rotation which makes it easy to position bikes close together whilst still not touching. These make a great solution if you regularly ride with friends or a race team.
Whether you're heading to a race, embarking on a road trip, or simply need to transport your bike for repairs or maintenance, it's important to ensure that your bike is safely secured during transit to avoid any damage. No matter what Loaded Bikes solution you use, here are some general tips on the best way to safely transport a bike in a van.
- Choose the Right Van: The first step in safely transporting your bike is selecting an appropriate van. Ideally you need a van with ample space to accommodate your bike without having to force it into a cramped space. Make sure the van has proper tie-down points or anchor points that can be used to secure your bike during transit. The above mentioned cargo rails and fixed bike racks are a great solution for this.
- Protect Your Bike: Although the above solutions are designed to prevent collision, it is till important to use protective measures, especially if your bikes are being transported along with other cargo. Wrap your bike in foam padding or blankets to create a buffer between the bike and the van walls or other objects. Also consider using additional padding to protect delicate parts such as the frame, handlebars, and pedals.
- Secure Your Bike Properly: Properly securing your bike is crucial to ensure it stays in place during transit. Using high-quality straps, bungee cords, or ratchet straps to secure your bike to the rack or mounts will help achieve this. Make sure the straps are tightened securely, but not overly tight to avoid damaging the bike. Double-check the straps periodically during transit to ensure they remain tight.
- Avoid Overloading: It's important to avoid overloading the van with too many bikes or other heavy items, as this can affect the stability and safety of the van during transit. Follow the manufacturer's guidelines for the maximum weight capacity of your van and bike rack, and do not exceed it. Distribute the weight of the bikes evenly to avoid any imbalance that can affect the van's handling.
- Drive with Caution: When driving with a bike in a van, be mindful of your driving style. Avoid sudden accelerations, sharp turns, or abrupt stops, as these can cause the bike to shift or collide with other objects. Drive cautiously and keep a safe distance from other vehicles to minimise the risk of accidents or damage to the bike.
- Check Regularly: Periodically check the bike during transit to ensure it remains securely fastened and undamaged. If you notice any loose straps or movement, pull over and adjust the bike and straps as needed to keep it secure.
Safely transporting a bike in a van requires a little bit of planning and attention to detail. But by choosing the right van, using a proper bike rack or mounts (such as the great products from Loaded Bikes) and following a few common sense rules, you can ensure your bike arrives at its destination unharmed and ready for your next two wheeled adventure.