A couple of weeks ago, I started to wonder about putting CHANGE bikes in small car trunks. A CHANGE bike folds down to 30 inches x 35 inches x 13 inches. But that’s just a bunch of numbers; what does that really mean about usability? How small a car can you use with a CHANGE bike?
First, a SmartCar is a really tiny car.
We’ve all seen these little nuggets on the road, but have you ever seen one up close? I visited a dealership to do exactly that.
And yet, a CHANGE bike fits with no problem.
It’s even driveable, because I never had to move either seat forward.
SmartCars are getting smaller?
Then I learned that the 2016 model actually has LESS trunk room (and more legroom) than the earlier models. If a squished trunk can hold a folded CHANGE commuter bike, I started to wonder what an older model could hold.
Ever try to rent a specific model of car? Most places don’t offer that level of precision. But thanks to an amazing rental service service called Turo, I was able to rent a specific car–Lynn’s Smart ForTwo in Seattle.
First, I had to put a CHANGE commuter bike in it–and not a black bike in a black trunk. It already knew it would fit, and sure enough, no problem.
This is where it really gets weird…
The logical next step, with all this extra trunk room in an older SmartCar, would be to put a CHANGE mountain bike in one, right? After all, the mountain bike handlebar is about two inches longer on each side, and the difference between 35 inches and 37 inches can make a big difference, right?
I even had a mountain bike conveniently as one of several CHANGE bikes in my truck.
But no, I didn’t do that. I was pushing limits already, and felt compelled instead to do this…
Honestly, this isn’t practical. It took me about 10 minutes just to place the 4th wheel, and I needed to move the driver’s seat up too far for my 6’4″ body. So even when I was done, I couldn’t drive the car safely. I just looked at it admiringly, said “Wow”, and returned to the super-easy single bike configuration.
Bottom line? If you’ve ever looked at those Car2Go rentals and admired how you just have to find half a parking spot in the city, things just got a bit cooler…
Bob Forgrave is president of Flatbike, an
ecommerce company offering full-size folding bikes
and kits to make any bike take up half the space.