It’s surprising how many questions I get asked about car rack compatability with a Bike Friday. I mean, they are folding bikes, right? 🙂 All seriousness aside, just about any standard roof-mounted car rack will work, though I’m not sure about those ones that clamp on to the down tube. I feel that upright bike racks are a little less secure anyways, preferring to take the front wheel off instead. Not to mention the fact that they don’t play well with many non-traditional bike designs.
For this type of rack, I’m a big fan of ATOC‘s racks. Their Bike Topper rack has an option to have an extra tall fork mount so that fenders and front racks will clear with no problem. Their Topper Lok locking quick release is a work of genius and is recommended for most competitor’s racks. Most importantly, they make a rack compatible with long wheelbase recumbents tandems, the Tandem Topper. What’s incredibly cool about it is that it has a pivoting fork mount so that you don’t have to kill your back trying to lift your whole tandem up on the car while trying to balance. Additionally, they make the only racks to fit triples, quads, and quints. These can have their additional sections removed so you can use the rack just as a tandem rack. They also supply a quick-release stabilizing bar to make sure that the long bike doesn’t shuffle around too much.
These guys also make a vertical rear-mount rack, the DraftMaster that even has a long wheelbase option for a tandem or long wheelbase recumbent. If you like this kind of mounting but happen to be cursed with the traditional horizontal set up, you might be wondering (like Jackie did) how to carry a bike without a traditional top tube. Luckily there is a solution from Yakima that basically gives you an effective top tube. I’ve seen people carry tandems on these things, though they do stick out the sides a bit. There are creative ways to put one of our triples on these things, too. Recumbents are difficult with these things, but possible if you’re creative.
My good friends the Kendalls in Washington that own one of the few Volkswagen Rialtas in the world (which have got to be one of the coolest RVs I’ve ever seen– and I don’t even like RVs!) have a custom built 1up USA Ultra Rack that mounts in their trailer hitch. This cool folding rack can be designed for different wheelbases and you can add additional trays on to it, as Dick just did when he bought his new Pocket Gnu.
A more extreme approach was taken by the Stewarts who had a welder custom-design a rack (pics coming, check back) for the back of their RV that would actually carry the folded bike. If you have a good machine shop nearby and don’t mind the expense, you could do something like this or just about anything else you could imagine.
Or, you could just fold the thing up and stick it in the trunk. After all, if it can fit in a Miata, it can fit in YOUR car!