Rear Door Bike Rack for Vans | Make & Install

Rear Door Bike Rack for Vans | Make & Install

Rear Door Bike Rack for Vans (Ford Transit, Sprinter, ProMaster)-4
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Updated:

Here is our semi-DIY effort on making a rear door bike rack for our Ford Transit van (it can be done for Sprinter and ProMaster vans as well!). The bikes will be stored inside most of the time, but having a rack outside is useful for short distances, shuttles, or when the bikes are dirty. We wanted a bike rack with a small footprint, light weight, modular (easy to remove/install) and that swings away when opening the back doors. We utilized a couple of Lolo Racks DIY Bike Rack Carrier, but we had to do some customization in order to mount them on a flat surface. We documented the making and installation below, hopefully it gives you some ideas for your own project!

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Portrait-FarOutRide-Van

Time


< 1 Hour

Cost


$319

Weight


?

Material


ItemDescriptionBuy
Lolo Racks Cargo CarrierIncludes all the parts to mount 2 bike racks to a Cargo Platform (such as the Flatline Van Co.)
Use coupon “FarOutRide” for $40 discount at checkout!
LoloRacks.com

Tools


  • 1/8″ Hex Key (Allen Key)
  • Rachet with 9/16″ Socket

Pre-Requisite



1. Good To Know


1.1. About Lolo Racks


Lolo Racks is based in Portland (Oregon) where all the bike racks are designed, steel is procured, and the product welded, powder coated and painted locally. They are a proud American manufacturer and their “Made in America” sticker ain’t lying! At the time of writing these lines they offer a range of accessories like tilting or swingout bike rack systems (4 or 6 bikes), as well as single parts for the DIYers:

Boss Swingout 6-Bike System
Rear Ladder Kit
Lolo Racks Single DIY Bike Rack Carrier Hook
Single DIY Hook

1.2. Rear Door Platform


We previously installed Flatline’s Rear Door Platform on our Ford Transit van. It offers additional cargo-carrying capacity for bikes, Rotopax Gas Can, skis/snowboards, etc. It is versatile, can be customized to our needs and it’s easy to swap or reconfigure accessories with season’s change. We documented the entire installation process here:


2. Making


Heads Up!

Lolo Racks recently released a Bike Rack Kit for Cargo Carrier Platform: it includes all the parts and hardware required to mount the 2-bike rack on the platform. No need to make custom parts like we did below, it should make YOUR job much easier!

The initial plan was to simply bolt a Lolo’s Single DIY Hook to the rear door platform of our van, and voilà! But as we quickly found out that they are not intended to be mounted on a flat surface (unless, of course, if you get the Cargo Carrier Kit). Indeed:

  • There’s no room for the bungee cord knots (and the bungee cord itself).
  • The ball of the bungee cord (to prevent the bike from jumping out of the hook) wouldn’t engage in the slot.
  • The lower grip of the bike’s handlebar would rub against the platform.
Lolo Racks Flat Mount Rear Door Platform Issues-2
No room for the bungee cord knots (and the cord itself).
Lolo Racks Flat Mount Rear Door Platform Issues
No room for the bungee cord balls (can’t engage in slot).
Lolo Racks Flat Mount Rear Door Platform Issues-3
Lower grip is rubbing against the rear door platform.

At this point we considered installing the Lolo rack onto a 80/20 aluminum extrusion (to act as a spacer) to mitigate the issue. But we kind-of wanted to retain the clean and minimalist look… and on top of that, we noticed that even with a space of 1.5″-2″, my grip would still rub on the platform because of the rise/shape of my handlebar.

So I fired up the CAD software and came up with a few parts to enable mounting the Lolo rack to a flat surface:

Handlebar Mount:
  • 5° Tapered Spacer: Adds space between the rack and the platform. The 5° taper leverages space where it’s most needed (between the lower grip and the platform).
  • Bungee Ball Hook: A convenient and easier way of securing the bungee cord balls.
  • Hook Clamp: To clamp the bungee ball hook to the Lolo rack.
  • 3/8″ screw, nut and washer: To secure the Lolo rack to the rear door platform.
rear wheel Mount:
  • Rear Wheel Spacer: Holds the rear wheel in place and adds 5″ clearance to prevent the saddle from rubbing against the platform.
  • Rubber Strap: Secure the rear wheel to the Rear Wheel Spacer.
  • 3/8″ bolt, nut and washer: To secure to the rear door platform.

The parts are 3D printed out of polycarbonate which is a very strong and UV resistant engineering material, and the rubber strap was 3D printed out of flexible TPU:

Lolo Racks Flat Mount Rear Door3D Printed Parts

3. Installation


Heads Up!

Lolo Racks recently released a Bike Rack Kit for Cargo Carrier Platform: it includes all the parts and hardware required to mount the 2-bike rack on the platform. No need to make custom parts like we did below, it should make YOUR job much easier!

3.1. Install the ball hook to the Lolo Rack


The ball hook is secured to the Lolo Rack with a back-side plate and two M6 screws. It’s not going anywhere!

Lolo Racks Flat Mount Bungee Cord Ball Hook
Bottom
Lolo Racks Flat Mount Bungee Cord Ball Hook (Top)
Top

3.2. Install the Lolo Rack to the Platform


The Lolo Rack is installed over the Tapered Spacer and to the van’s rear door platform. We’re using two 3/8″ screws (front) with washers and nylon lock nuts (back of platform). All the hardware is stainless steel to prevent corrosion:

With the screws located as shown in the photo above (1st and 3rd hole from the right), the handlebar mount will fit either in the 3/8″ x 1.5″ slotted holes or in the 3/8″ round holes of the Flatline Van Co platform:

3.3. Install the Rear Wheel Spacer to the Platform


The Rear Wheel Spacer is installed with two stainless steel 3/8″ hex bolts, washers and nylon lock nuts to the platform. The hexagonal holes prevent the bolt from turning, which make the installation a bit easier. Small details :). Then, we load the rubber strap into the rear wheel spacer:


4. Load/Unload The Bikes


4.1. Lower the seatpost all the way down


Lolo Racks How To Load Bike

4.2. Grab your bike by the fork/seatpost and load


Lolo Racks How To Load Bike-2
Lolo Racks How To Load Bike-3

4.3. Secure the handlebar and Rear Wheel


Lolo Racks How To Load Bike-4
Lolo Racks How To Load Bike-5

That’s it!



On Second Thought…


Lesson Learned

Lolo Racks can’t be mounted on a flat surface, but we mitigated this! Since writing this article Lolo Racks released a Cargo Carrier Bike Rack that includes everything, sweet!

First Impressions

We’re used to the North Shore Bike Racks, so it takes a few attempts to get comfortable at loading/unloading the bikes. But after a few tries it’s natural, fast and easy; more than with the North Shore Bike Racks we think. The bikes don’t rub against each others, they are super stable, and there is no puzzling with the pedal’s position. Love it!

Long Term Review

Wait for it!


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Hello! We’re Isabelle and Antoine 🙂 In 2017, we sold our house (and everything in it), quit our engineering careers, and moved into our self-built campervan. Every day is an opportunity for a new adventure... We’re chasing our dreams, and hopefully it inspires others to do the same!

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