Travelling to ride new trails can be one of the best things about mountain biking. While the buzz of riding your local trails with speed and accuracy on dialled lines cannot be ignored - discovering new trails and meeting other riders is a huge part of mountain biking.

But getting our beloved bicycles to the trails safe and sound can sometimes be tricky - mostly if there's more than one or two of you in the car. Mountain biking is better with mates, right?

We've taken a look at bike bags you can use if you're travelling some really long distances - but what about for a trip up the coast or into the Australian Alps with your car? Should you put the bikes inside, on top, or on the back?

Here's a look at some options, and the pros and cons.

Don't forget to check that you're compliant with local road rules - here's a rundown for NSW, but do be sure to check rules for your own state.

In the back

Putting your bikes in the back of the car is the value choice. There is no added drag with the associated increased fuel consumption. Bikes stay safe when you stop for food. You don't have to pay for a rack or a roof setup. But you do need to have a van, wagon or hatchback to make it work. And if there are more than two of you it gets tricky.

Of course, if you have a people mover it can work out ok.

How to make it all work

You still need to be pretty good at Tetris to make it work, unless the car is massive. Use some padding like old towels or foam camping mats between the bikes. You might need to push dropper posts down and remove front, if not rear wheels too. Chock the brake calipers with the travel chocks, or a 20c piece or some cardboard works as well. Make sure you don't have pedals crushing downtubes, and rotors aren't being bent. Treat your rear derailleur very gently too!


- This is as cheap as it gets

- It's pretty quick, and secure

- highly cost effective for fuel consumption


- Mountain bikes get dirty and that comes into your car

- Very limited capacity for mates and their bikes

- Potential damage from one bike to the other: rotors, frames etc

- Did you put all the wheels in? And the through-axles?