Can a Mountain Bike Fit in a Honda Civic? Step-by-Step Guide

Can a Mountain Bike Fit in a Honda Civic Step by Step Guide Featued Image

When I bought my car, the Honda Civic Coupe, I didn’t have biking in mind, because it was hardly designed for the transport of bicycles.

But with enough planning, I managed to compact my bike to fit inside the car using this rear seating method.

Yes, a mountain bike can fit inside a Honda Civic, but it may require some disassembly and creative packing. The trunk is not large enough to fit a bike comfortably, and the seats are not designed to accommodate a bike. However, there are several ways to fit a bike inside a Honda Civic.

The maximum size of a mountain bike that can fit in a Honda Civic can vary depending on the specific model and year of the Civic, as well as the size of the bike.

It is possible to fit a full-size XL frame 29’er mountain bike in the back of a Honda Civic sedan.

How to Fit a Mountain Bike in Your Honda Civic

The trick is the same as fitting a bike to any small car like Toyota Prius, etc. First, you need some accessories.

What you need:

  • A rag and bag combo is perfect for wiping off dirt and excess grease from your bike, keeping your car clean and your upholstery stain-free.
  • Packing foam or a padded surface like a yoga mat to prevent any damage during transportation.
  • Travel blankets safeguard your car from scratches but also provide a secure spot for your bike’s wheels. 
How to Fit a Mountain Bike in Your Honda Civic
Now you got your tools ready, here are some general tips for fitting a mountain bike in a Honda Civic:
Prepare the space and fold down the rear seats

Before we start, let’s tidy up the back seat. If you have a small car like Honda Civic, you’ll need to fold down the rear seats.

Don’t worry if your trunk is spacious enough, you can skip this step. Clear off the seats and make sure they’re folded down.

Now, let’s move on to the trunk. Take out anything that was inside so you have enough room to work. Pay extra attention to heavy or hard objects that could shift and potentially cause damage.

Clean your bike

Before loading your bike into the car, grab one of those handy rags and give your chain, gears, and derailleurs a good wipe-down. This simple act will remove any excess grease and prevent any unwanted mess inside your car. Don’t forget to lay down a blanket or mat in your car for added protection.

Shift the gear

Before flipping the bike over, remember to shift the gears so that the rear wheel gear is set to the smallest cog. This little gear makes it super easy to remove the rear wheel because it gives the chain a lot of slack, only needing to wrap around the tiniest gear.

Remove the front wheel

Removing the front wheel of most cars is a necessary step when dealing with bikes.

You can easily do this by flipping the bike upside down. Nowadays, new bikes typically have quick-release hubs and axles, which use a threaded rod and nut for easy removal.

If you have an older bike with nut and threaded axle assembly, you might need a wrench to take off the wheels.

In this case, if your bike doesn’t have disc brakes, it likely has cantilever brakes. These brakes use a cable pull system with two brake arms that connect via a cable-routing elbow.

To disengage the cantilever brake and remove the wheel, simply squeeze the brake arms against the rim without pulling the brake lever.

This creates slack in the cable, allowing you to unhook the cable routing elbow from the brake arm assembly. For bikes with disc brakes, you can use folded business cards to keep the brake pads from compressing while removing the wheel.

When removing the rear wheel, ensure the chain is on the smallest gear, and lift the wheel out of the frame while pushing the rear derailleur back, freeing the chain from the wheel gear hub.

Remove pedals and handlebar

Removing the pedals and handlebar can help reduce the width of the bike, making it easier to fit through the trunk opening.

Position the bike

Now that you’ve prepared your bike and car, it’s time to pack it up. To ensure your car upholstery stays clean, grab a blanket or cover to protect against grease.

fitting a mountain bike inside a honda civic with blanket

Slide the bike frame into the car trunk sideways, with the chain facing up. Start with the rear of the frame entering the vehicle first. Hold the handlebars parallel to the ground and easily enter the vehicle.

This positioning allows you to use the handlebars and fork to maneuver the bike frame into place. Finally, wrap the blanket over the frame to protect it while you carefully place the wheels in the car. Avoid putting pressure on the spokes to prevent any warping. 

secure your mountain bike inside the car

Consider Using a Bike Rack

There are several types of bike racks that are suitable for a Honda Civic to transport a mountain bike.

Here are some of the options:

Trunk-mounted Rack

trunk mounted rack for honda civic

The trunk-mounted bike rack is the most affordable type of bike carrier that can be attached to your vehicle. It is compatible with sedans, hatchbacks, SUVs, and vans.

This bike carrier is secured using straps and hooks, resting on your truck or sometimes on the window for hatchbacks and SUV-style carriers.

They are lightweight and easy to install. These racks are designed to hold two to three bicycles.

While they vary in price from $40 to $400, remember the saying “You get what you pay for.” This is especially true for trunk-mounted bike carriers.

Some popular options for Honda Civic include the Allen Sports Deluxe Rack, Thule Passage, and the Saris Bones 3-Bike Trunk Rack.

Hitch-mounted Rack

hitch mounted rack for honda civic

Hitch-mounted racks are more secure than trunk-mounted racks and can hold more bikes. They attach to the hitch receiver on the back of the car and can be easily removed when not in use.

They can hold up to two bicycles, weighing around 40-50 pounds, and have a load capacity of 40 to 100 pounds.

Prices for hitch-mounted bike racks range from $350 to $900, depending on the brand and model. Don’t worry, even the popular name-brand racks are easy to assemble, just like the cheaper ones.

Some popular options for Honda Civic include the Swagman XTC2 Bike Rack and the Kuat Sherpa 2.0 Hitch Rack.

Roof-mounted Rack

Bicycle Roof mounted rack for honda civic

Roof-mounted racks are a good option if you want to keep the trunk of the car free for other items but they can be a bit annoying because you have to lift the bike onto the roof and remove the front wheel.

These racks require a vehicle with existing roof rack rails, which can be purchased from the same manufacturer.

However, they can be quite pricey. Most roof racks hold between 2 and 4 bikes, with the 4-bike racks being more expensive.

If you already have a roof rack, you can expect to pay between $150 and $400 per bike holder. Just make sure the brand you choose is compatible with your roof rails.

Some popular options for Honda Civic include the Thule ProRide XT Roof Bike Rack and the Yakima HighRoad Upright Bike Mount.

Things to Consider Before Transporting a Mountain Bike in Your Honda Civic

Before you load up your bike, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind.

First, you’ll need to ensure that your bike fits properly inside your Honda Civic.

Measure the dimensions of your trunk space and compare it to the size of your bike to ensure a proper fit. Additionally, consider the weight of your bike, as some Honda Civics have weight restrictions for their trunks.

If your bike is too heavy, you may need to explore alternative options, such as using a bike rack or a roof rack.

It’s also crucial to secure your bike properly to prevent any damage or accidents while on the road. Invest in a high-quality rack system or roof rack, and always double-check that it is secure before driving.

Lastly, consider the effect on your car’s fuel economy when carrying a bike.

The added weight and wind resistance can impact the mileage, so be mindful of your gas usage.

Is It Safe to Transport a Mountain Bike Inside My Car?

fitting a mountain bike inside a honda civic

Yes, it is generally safe to transport a mountain bike inside your car. However, it is important to secure the bike properly to prevent any damage to your car or the bike during transportation.

Use bungee cords or straps to fasten the bike to the back seats and keep it from moving during the journey. To protect your car’s interior, cover the bike with blankets or towels to prevent scratches.

I highly recommend removing the front wheel and securing it separately for more space and to avoid damage.

Remember to disassemble the bike as much as possible by lowering the seat post, removing the pedals, and turning the handlebars. Drive carefully, avoiding sudden stops or sharp turns, to prevent any jostling that could harm the bike or passengers.

Final Thoughts

It is possible for a mountain bike to fit in a Honda Civic, but it may require some adjustments and careful positioning.

Folding down the back seats and removing the front wheel of the bike can create enough space to fit it in the trunk or backseat of the car.

However, it is important to measure the dimensions of both the car and the bike to ensure a proper fit and to avoid any damage to the car or the bike during transportation.

Using a bike rack or a roof rack can provide a safer and more secure option for transporting a mountain bike with a Honda Civic.

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