I have finished my bike rack projects for my smart car. After my 1st prototype to design one rack to hold either a tandem or a triathlon bike. I decided to make 2 bikes racks, one for the triathlon bike and another for the tandem bike.
Now I am going one step further, I figured out a way to carry two bikes on the back by only adding a couple of pieces.
Over the next week I'll will be uploading video showing if there is any movement (flexing) of the bikes when driving. And I an trying to create a low cost force gauge so I can see if there are any stresses I have to be concerned about.
I have actually a couple of people ask about me selling these bike carriers. I believe I have developed the simplest design for each application. It only took me 3 prototypes to get here. The three applications are: Single Bike Carrier (mountain, road, racing styles); Two Bike Carrier (mountain, road, racing styles); Tandem Bike Carrier.
Next week I will be riding with my bike club (www.SlowSpokes.org) and trying out the various bikes on the back of my smart. I want to be able to accommodate as many bike styles as possible.
I have determined the best way to mount all bikes is using the fork mount system. It gives the bike 3 points of contact (2 at the front fork, 1 on the tangent of rear tire). This system has a few benefits:
- Less weight - no front tire.
- Shorten the bike approximately 10 inches.
- Reduces weight of using a full bike carrier with an arm to hold bike in place.
- This style of bike carrier is less expensive
Now before you mention anything about the "stick out" of the tandem. The tandem sticks out on the sides when it is on the back of my mini van too. It just looks larger because of the size of the rear of the smart car. The tandem is 86" long in this layout. According to the technical data from smart. The car is 61.38' wide and at the mirror it is 69" wide. So it sticks out 8.5" per side.
Here are the pictures: