Best Cars for Cyclists
At Vote on Cars, we’re not out to find the definite, singular vehicle that is best for everyone. For example, if you’re looking for a commuter car, there are plenty that will get the job done. If you want a vehicle that’s good for road trips, there are many that will suffice. That said, there are certain features that are best for a certain types of activities. If you’re looking for the best next car for your hobbies, take a look at the features that make the car what it is. That’s why we’re posting today: to give you the features that make a vehicle rank on the “best cars for cyclists” list.
If you’re a cyclists looking for the perfect vehicle, consider the following features before you buy:
- Roof Rack — If you’re a cyclist looking for the perfect bike-friendly vehicle, a roof rack is a must. Transporting the bikes on the outside of the vehicle opens up a lot of interior space. This is more important for small cars than larger SUVs, for obvious reasons, but keeping the interior bike-free can be a plus even with larger vehicles. Furthermore, aftermarket roof racks can be expensive. If you find a vehicle with a standard roof rack (or at least roof rack side rails), that will reduce your out-of-pocket costs for bike-related items — which is especially nice if you’ve already dropped $20k on a new car.
- Tow Hitch — Another convenient way to transport a bike on the outside of your vehicle is a hitch-mounted bike rack. They’re arguably better than trunk-mounted racks since they don’t strap to the vehicle with metal lashes and foam pads that can scratch paint which expose the vehicle to the elements and increase the chance of rusting. Trunk-mounted bike racks can be less expensive than their roof-stored counterparts. Plus, you can more easily remove a hitch-mounted rack than a roof-mounted rack. (HR-V, Renegade)
- Rubber floor mats — If you enjoy riding in foul weather, participate in cyclocross races that leave you caked in mud, or just like to keep the interior of your vehicle as pristine as it was the day you drove it off the lot, rubber floor mats are a must. You can get good rubber floot mats aftermarket, but get mats that fit properly. Proper-fitting mats will reduce the chance of mud getting caked on the carpeting underneath an ill-fitted mat.
- Folding seats — If you plan on transporting your two-wheeled ride inside of your four-wheeled ride, folding seats are a must. And, in today’s market, it’s hard to find a vehicle without folding seats. However, not all folding seats are created equal. For example, the seats in a Ford Focus don’t fold quite as flat (or as easily) as the seats in a Honda HR-V. The flatter the seats fold, the easier it is to fit a bike in rear cargo area.
- Leather seats — Yeah, it sounds more like a luxury feature. But, wiping mud, dirt and whatever else you track into the vehicle after a long ride, is must easier to wipe down leather seats than cloth seats. Not that you want any debris on either cloth or leather, but it’s easier to clean the later.
The Ultimate Solution.
So, what’s the ultimate, best car for a cyclist? Answer: the minivan. The minivan offers (or can be equipped with) nearly every feature mentioned above. As a bonus, you can store your bike(s) inside the vehicle without compromising interior space. Just remove the seats (or fold and tumble, or stow and go, or etc.), load your bike—without removing the front wheel, which is another bonus—and you’re good to go. Need to hang out after a race? Open the sliding doors and you’ve turned your child transport vehicle into an after-race tailgater. Of course, this means you’ll have to overcome the stigma that comes with driving a minivan.
Relevant VOC Reviews
Click below to watch our reviews on vehicles that could be considered “best cars for cyclists.”
So, What Else You Got?
For all the cyclists out there: What are some of the must-have features that make your vehicle equipped for a bicycle? Let us know in the comment section.