Transform Your Adventure Van into a Cycling Haven with a Flexible Bike Storage Solution
Fellow adventure seekers, let me tell you about one of the best modifications I’ve made to our van. As specialists in adventure van conversion parts, we've learned a thing or two about optimizing space for our favorite pastime: cycling. So, buckle up, because we're about to take a ride through the wonderful world of flexible van bike storage.
Creating Space for Your Trusty Steeds while Ditching the Bike Rack
We all know that bikes are essential for a proper van adventure. They can turn a good trip into a great one. But how to transport them? One of the best modifications that I’ve made to our van was the addition of flexible bike storage under the bed. There’s room for four bikes, two road/gravel with drop handlebars, and two full size MTBs. Handlebar interference isn't a problem because of how you can offset or tilt the bike forks to virtually any position.
The Bike Storage Magic ft. Rockymounts
Rockymounts is the secret ingredient that makes this whole system work like a charm. Their fork mounts are incredibly versatile, with different plastic inserts to accommodate popular through-axle diameters.
The tracks, are essential for lateral movement, allowing you to snug everything together just right. It's like Tetris, but with bikes. I mounted the tracks to a slider to make access easy when it is fully extended, but you could also mount them directly to your vans floor.
After playing with the layout, the ideal setup was to cut the track in half and install them in a staggered offset to accommodate the mix of drop and flat bar bikes.
All in all, both products that I've had my hands on are well designed. When I emailed Rocky mounts with a few questions, their support was responsive and clear.
- 2x Rockymounts 60” Bolt-On Tracks (available here). Each track includes hardware kits for mounting two fork mounts.
Should You Store Your Bikes In Your Van?
If your van adventures are all about two-wheeled exploration, then storing your bikes inside is a no-brainer. External racks may expose your beloved bikes to road grit, grime, and weather, wearing down those precision components. Not to mention the ever-looming risk of theft that exterior bike racks pose. Bikes stored safely inside your van? A whole lotta peace of mind.
Alternative Bike Storage Options
Flatline Van Co has a prefabricated slide bike trays for sale. Check them out here.
Radio Vans has prefabricated bike trays as well. Check them out here.
Update: The New and Improved VanTrack (5/2023)
Since I first wrote this article, Rockymounts has released their “VanTrack” track system. With 24” and 60” length options, this beauty allows you to angle the fork mounts within one track to reduce handlebar interference. I made the single channel track work by installing two of them and only bolting in one eyelet whenever angling the bars was needed. However, the new VanTrack is the way to go if you're looking for a proper solution. If you need to offset handlebars for closer side-to-side storage, the Bolt-On Tracks might still be your best bet.
From the RockyMounts website:
The VanTrack is a simple but highly effective tool for any van or truck build. It is a single extrusion with parallel tracks that allow for fork mounts to be used in both an angled or staggered orientation; This solves the problem of handlebar interference when storing or transporting bikes in small spaces. The rubber feet add grip for when hard mounting the track is not possible, which allows the VanTrack to be a drop in solution for cargo areas. It is compatible with all RockyMounts fork mounts and can handle bikes up to 35 lbs.
60” two-slotted track for vans, SUVs, and customer applications
Carries up to 6 bikes, 35 lbs (16 kg) each
Allows mounts to be angled or staggered to avoid handlebar interference
Compatible with HotRod, DropTop, and LoBall series fork mounts - sold separately
Includes two track hardware kits, end caps, and floor fasteners
Non-slip rubber feet provide grip when hard mounting is not an option
Perfect for Sprinters, Transits, Promasters, and other custom van builds