Can you carry a bicycle in a Porsche Boxster?
Time for some sensible consumer advice ;-)
I love going on vacation in my Porsche Boxster. I also love cycling. At some point in time the thought of combining both things entered my head. So, after a while, when it still refused to leave, I started checking whether this could actually be done.
"I want it all and I want it now"
Yes, you can buy a bike rack or even a roof rack for a Boxster and somehow strap you normal bicycle to it but I didn't want to do that. It looks ugly, it messes up the aerodynamics and it can even be downright dangerous in case it falls off. No, I wanted to go on vacation as I always do, relaxed, roof down, but also with occasional fast driving on the Autobahn if I feel like it.
Now the Boxster is actually quite practical. Sure, it's no hatchback but it has two boots, front and rear. Both are surprisingly spacious. And while the rear one is rather flat, the front one is nice and deep. So now the question was, is there a bicycle that would fit inside?
Top Gear to the rescue
Obviously, it had to be a folding bike. Since I watched the Top Gear episode with James May riding a Brompton, my first thought was, ok, let's check out Brompton. Sure enough, I found a Brompton dealer close to where I live and went there. As it turned out, the Brompton fits perfectly, it's really like: open the boot, put the Brompton in, close the boot. Job done?
Not quite. First of all, Bromptons are seriously expensive. Back then, a nice one with 6 speeds would have cost around 1600 Euros. And secondly, even that kind of money wouldn't buy you any comfort. It didn't have a suspension. It had 16 inch wheels and that makes you feel like riding a bicycle that you have stolen from a child.
Of course there's a lot of folding bikes with 20 inch wheels, suspension front and rear, and significantly less expensive than the Brompton but none of them would fit inside the Boxster. Trust me, I tried.
Having said that, maybe things have improved since then, so if you can get a folding bike with 20 inch wheels that fits inside your car, by all means, go for it! When it comes to rim size, bigger is indeed better.
Meet the Birdy...
I didn't expect much when, as a last try, I went to a bicycle dealer in my hometown. And there it was. The Birdy. 18 inch wheels, 8 speeds, suspension front and rear. Would it fit?
At first, it didn't. However, the guy from the bicycle shop was quite ambitious and, after some fiddling around, we managed to close the front boot with the bike inside. Success!
Needless to say, I bought it. They even discounted it as it was a demonstrator, so I ended up paying 1200 Euros. This was still a lot of money but hey, I now had a decent, comfortable bicycle that would fit inside my Boxster!
So, how is it?
Just as good as I thought it would be. I can now go on vacation in my Boxster with a bicycle inside. The rear boot has enough space for my gear while the bicycle rides in the front one. And when I get somewhere where I'd like to stay, I take it out, unfold it and I'm ready to explore the place on a bicycle. And every now and then you have people watching in disbelief while I extract a bicycle from the boot of a Porsche. Priceless!
I have to admit that folding it is a bit tricky. The chain must be on the smallest cog, otherwise it will come off. The pedals must be in a specific position before you start folding. If I haven't done it for a while, I need to look up the procedure on YouTube. But then it folds into a very compact package. It's also very light.
How about other Porsche models?
It will definitely fit in a Cayman because it's the same car, only with a roof. It should also work with a 911 but I didn't have the opportunity to try.
My Boxster is a 987 from 2007, I don't know whether the dimensions of front boot have changed since then. It's certainly worth trying though.
Is the Birdy still available?
Yes, it is. However, they changed a lot of details and doubled the price, so now it's even more expensive than a Brompton! That's bad news but you might be able to find a used one. Alternatively, if you don't want to spend Brompton/Birdy money, you can check out Dahon. Dahons are very good. The bike in question only has 16 inch wheels, but it will fit easily and it's significantly less expensive.