- Would this cause any problems?
Hello,Posted 4 months ago
Trying to sort out the layout in my van. I want to put the bikes under the bed, front wheel off, bikes go in, forks clamp to the floor, all nice and simple
I have a medium-roof van rather than a more suitable hi-top as I bought what was in the best condition within budget rather than the most practical, therefore headspace in the bed is a little limited with bikes under.
I quite fancy something like this
I was measuring the bikes yesterday to get the height for the bed and the problem is going to be my big bike, an old Kona Stinky with huge Mazzocchi 66 single-crown forks on, 6″ of travel (well, they are huge to me) With the front wheel out the bars on this bike are by far the highest point, I could get another 6″ of headroom if it wasn’t for this (35 1/2″ to the high point of the bars, compared to the next highest, 29 1/2″ on the Solaris, even though that has 5″ forks. Seat out in both cases)
So, could I run a ratchet strap over the Kona’s bars, under the fork crown and then pull it tight to compress the forks for traveling? This would give me a lot more bed space, an extra 4″ or so in bed would make a noticable difference. Assuming suitable padded and no rubbing/chaffing from the strap is having the forks compressed like this, possibly for a week at a time, going to cause problems for them?
If it will has anyone got a better plan? Have thought about tilting the bikes over but that’s robbing space from the toolbox/jetwash place. Could just take the forks out, but that’s extra faff. The slider thingys take up about 2″ with the base and runners.
It’s not long enough to have the bars higher than the bed behind the bed.
Scaredy’s idea would rob a bit less bed space than having the bars behind the bed, but I’ve not got enough bed length to play with really, if I move it further forward it starts to get in the way of the sliding door on the side and taking up table space.Posted 4 months ago
I quite like Greybeard’s idea though, but could improve it slightly. Howsabout an arm that comes up from the tray to support the downtube, like you get on roof mounted bike carriers, easily height adjustable for different bikes. Then make a shorter slide and hang the forks off the back of it, loses the height of the clamp and the height of the tray. Thinking out loud, how adjustable are those arm thingys, presumably they would need to be locked in place, or could I make a lever of some sort and use the weight of the bike to keep it in place, some sort of peg and hole thing wouldn’t work, maybe for specific bikes but I might change or take someone else’s bike or something
Having said that if the00 is right then that does seem the easiest answer., anyone else any thoughts on it?
Also, with the Kona as it is at present with a clamp and slider I’m looking at about 20″ from bed to ceiling, and a thin foam mattress has to fit in there too, so less than that. Hoping to get passed 24″ with whatever idea we decide on. Does 24″ sound like enough vertical space for a bed? It’s enough room to roll over but not really sit up. Anyone else got a bed close to the ceiling, how much space have you got and is it enough?welshfarmerSubscriber
You see, for me a bed in a (small) van is a place to sleep, nothing more. I have maximised the storage under mine by only leaving a couple of feet above it. Certainly not enough to sit up comfortably, but more than enough to sleep on. Plus side is I have loads of storage underneath rather than loads of empty space above it like most vans seem to have, meaning stuff can stay packed away all the time, and not need to be moved in order to use the bed.
Edit. I should add that the front 1/2 of my bed actually folds down and is a large single seat in normal travel position.Posted 4 months ago
It is a double, have to sleep lengthways as I’m 5’11”.Posted 4 months ago
However, there will be another bed in front of it widthways, a single which could pull out to a double for the wee one, this will only be the height of the fridge above floor level, will seat three as a sofa and the double front seat will swivel, table in between. So any sitting which needs doing can be done elsewhere where there is plenty of height, the really low bit would just be for sleeping. Might feel claustrophic, but there is a roof window above the bed (as recomended by several people on a previous thread) so might still feel light and spacious. Might. Like Welshfarmer says, it’s just for sleeping, looking to maximise storage space underneath for the bikes.
In that case then I think your only option is to compress the fork. You either need to make more room, or make the bike smaller. There’s not really another way of storing the bikes effeciently.
If you compress it, I’d use a couple of stramps on the bars or around the frame, 1/2 ratchet straps would do the job.
The other alternative is the put the bike on the outside, on a towbar rackPosted 4 months ago
Back to Plan A then. TBH as long as it won’t cause any problems with the forks then it is by far the easiest.Posted 4 months ago
Leftfield one I’ve been playing with in my head is a height-adjustable bed platform. Loads of room when the XC or road bikes are in (frequently), raise it up for big bikes (much less often) Not yet thought of a way of doing it without badly compromising something else though.
There is a towbar but I really don’t fancy the idea of bikes on the outside.mudfishSubscriber
HiPosted 4 months ago
How hard is it to take the cap off the fork and let the spring pop out the top?
Nice dilemma to have, it’d be great to have a van like that.
Also removing rear wheel will let the bike sit lower as the forks are quite vertical with just one wheel out.
That’s an old bike. Will it die?
Leave room for the fork / bar of the 29” front ended mullet bike that replaces it.russianbobMember
How many bikes will you have in there at any one time?
Would laying them on their sides in indivdual drawers (possibly pedals off) allow for enough space to get the same amount in and still have space to the right for other storage?
With fewer bikes the released space would become far more useful too.Posted 4 months agomatt_outandaboutSubscriber
N+1 is the answer you are looking for…
I would look to see if the big bike would mount across the way – perhaps a flap that lifts up at back of bed to allow bars or forks to protrude up.
Slightly smaller bed seems an ok compromise, unless you are really tall.Posted 4 months ago
I would strap the forks down. Done it loads of times on our air forks when we used a bike rack to get the bar heights at different levels so they don’t catch.
The first bike that goes in the back of our van always has the forks strapped down so that the bars rest on the panel rather than the rear window.
In our camper the front double is height adjustable so that you can sit under it if you want, on the side nearest to the front its on sliding pulleys and the other is on motorised straps that look the same as seat belt webbing. Works well but there is a limit when it feels a bit claustrophobic and too uncomfortable for a good nights sleep.
Posted 4 months ago
Hmm. Not tried taking the top cap off, so no idea. If the spring poked out of the top would the other leg just sink down through the oil and they would settle at the bottom? Could always lift the spring out and put the top cap back to prevent dirt ingress. If it’s easy to do it’s a nice simple solution, one better than compressing them.Posted 4 months ago
It’s an 11 year old bike but still seems to be working fine, will be kept until it does die, I don’t ride big bikes often enough to justify anything fancier. But it is 26″ and quite a small frame by modern standards, so would be nice to have extra space if I do replace it, or even just give a mate a lift somewhere, especially if they have triple-clamps.
Hoping to get four bikes in there, it’s a three seater so four bikes sounds right.
Looks like more room than Tracey’s, and the person in the bed seems quite content with it.
However, Russianbob’s idea quite appeals to me. Pedals off, bars turned parallel to the bike, pop it in a draw, maybe four or five draws high, how wide is a bit with bars turned and pedals off, 8″? Wheels vertically next to the draws. More effort to build but might work. Sounds better than just lying them down on top of each other and having them bounce around. Hmm.
Edit: Road bike more of a problem, bars stickk up loads, TT bike worse. Unless they could go vertically next to the draws, is it wide enough… More thinking and measuring to do
The beds not fully down in the picture, that’s it set at the claustrophobic and too uncomfortable for a good nights sleep position, as some one is sat under it. The cabinets on both sides go up and down with the bed. When it comes down fully you can drop the table and arrange the cushions to make another bed.Posted 4 months ago
The bed over the bikes in the back can be wound up and down to clear the bikes, at that height you can still sit up in bed and clear the roof. Van is 2.9m high if that helps.
Another thing to consider is a roof vent with a built in fan over the bed as they are a god send on a night in hot climates.
Is that 2.9m internal? That seems huge! I’ve only got 5′ from the floor to ceiling (this is with insulation, floor and ceiling in, it’s not van floor to roof) If your 2.9m is external you’ve got another foot over me.Posted 4 months ago
There’s a twirly wind-powered vent at the other end of the van and a skylight above the bed which can be used as a vent if required.
Fair point on the disassembly when cold, wet and muddy, the less faffing in the rain the better really, throw bike in back, then go inside get out of the wind and get changed and warm up. (diesel night heater in but yet yet connected. Probably a ‘how do I connect this thing up’ thread to follow when I get around to it)
Kayak, why would you would rather not compress the fork, what problems could this lead to? (Back to the original question) Tracey and the00 think it’s OK, but three folks isn’t a massive sample. Or is it just the faff element of doing it with freezing cold hands in the pissing rain which puts you off?peekaySubscriber
If you only very rarely use the problem big bike, then why not keep the garage/bed height at whatever it needs to be for your other bikes and ignore the specific needs of the big bike?
On the odd occasion that you take the big bike, just travel with it in the main part of the van. you could even lay it on the bed (which will now have plenty of headroom due to the lower garage) whilst driving.
When you get to your destination:
-if you are riding your bike, you don’t need to store it.
-if you only have your big bike, it should fit on its side in the garage
-when you are sleeping, either put it in the front cab footwells/on the seats with the wheels off, or use a massive chain to secure it to the outside of the van.
It seems odd to restrict the bed headroom (which you will use quite often) due to an old, occasional bike that you won’t always travel with and might replace at some point.Posted 4 months ago
What is your van Tracey? I assume a proper high-top something rather than a medium roof like I’ve got? How many bikes fit in yours?Posted 4 months ago
That’s a fair point peekay. Also applicable to the TT bike, which although it has very low bars also has an integrated seat mast so is by far the tallest. I don’t do many away trips with it though so that would just go in the main bit for going to and from races, no sleeping required.
Although your suggestions make perfect sense I guess the answer is that I’m trying to do a ‘proper job’ rather than have it as a bit of an afterthought. Also keeps the mud out of the bed.
I like Joe’s idea very much, something like a Cotic Flare would suit 90% of the kind of riding that gets used for better, but budget constraints don’t permit this. I bought it for the Megavalanche and kept it because it was a hoot to ride but I suspect that since the Mega I’ve not really got near it’s potential.fettlinSubscriber
As above, why limit your bed space to the restrictions of a bike you don’t use very often?
If it was me I’d set the height to allow the most used bikes to fit easily then just remove the stem/bars off the big bike. Still keep the fork clamp for stability and strap the bars to the bike to stop them rattling.
Far less faff than strapping the forks down, shirly? How strong would the strap need to be to overcome the spring rate in the fork?!Posted 4 months ago
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