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Travel cover

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Old 02-11-19, 06:54 PM
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letlmt
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Travel cover

I bought a hitch mounted platform rack for my SUV and I plan on bringing my new bicycle to various places to ride. I would like to get a cover for the bicycle so that it does get dirty and damaged while mounted to the back of my SUV.

What is the best cover to get?

Is there anything that I should be careful to avoid?
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Old 02-11-19, 07:01 PM
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2manybikes
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A bike cover might cover the license plate and the tail lights.
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Old 02-11-19, 07:04 PM
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letlmt
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So what do people do to keep the road dirt from damaging their bikes?
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Old 02-11-19, 07:36 PM
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There are elastic type covers that can protect the bike but I am not sure how much coverage they would provide
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Old 02-11-19, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by letlmt View Post
So what do people do to keep the road dirt from damaging their bikes?
If you mean dirt on the bike from having it on the car, there is almost none. The car blocks the wind and dirt mostly. If you're afraid of scratching your bike with another bike on the rack with it, get some foam pipe insulation to put on the frame or any contact points. I use Velcro to keep the foam in place sometimes. On the car trips to another place to ride I also have a couple of beater (old, cheap) bikes use and to keep the expensive bikes home.
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Old 02-11-19, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by letlmt View Post
I bought a hitch mounted platform rack for my SUV and I plan on bringing my new bicycle to various places to ride. I would like to get a cover for the bicycle so that it does get dirty and damaged while mounted to the back of my SUV.

What is the best cover to get?

Is there anything that I should be careful to avoid?
I would think that for bikes mounted on a tray rack, covers could potentially cause more problems than they solve. Instead if the wind passing throught the bike it will catch the whole thing like a sail and torque it harder in the rack. Also, I wonder if the cover being blown that hard might cause it to rub against the bike a lot.

I have never used a cover. Sometimes the bikes get a little dirty. No big deal. It happens when you ride them, too.
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Old 02-11-19, 08:31 PM
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letlmt
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Do people cover the gears, chain, and pedals?
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Old 02-11-19, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by letlmt View Post
Do people cover the gears, chain, and pedals?
No.

Last edited by 2manybikes; 02-12-19 at 10:46 AM.
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Old 02-11-19, 09:20 PM
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Sounds like you need to partially disassemble the bike and put it in the trunk.
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Old 02-11-19, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by ramzilla View Post
Sounds like you need to partially disassemble the bike and put it in the trunk.
Good point. With quick release wheels in a few seconds you can take off both wheels. Put the frame in the vehicle use a blanket for padding and put the wheels next to or on top of the frame.
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Old 02-12-19, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by letlmt View Post
I bought a hitch mounted platform rack for my SUV and I plan on bringing my new bicycle to various places to ride. I would like to get a cover for the bicycle so that it does get dirty and damaged while mounted to the back of my SUV.

What is the best cover to get?

Is there anything that I should be careful to avoid?
I don't think they make a good cover for your bike while on the rack. I would just bring lube in case the road is dusty and your chain picks up the dirt. I have used Walmart plastic bags on the derailleurs when I knew it was supposed to rain. they keep a lot of rain/ wind/ dirt off of them. But it is kind of an occupational hazard the bike might get dirty on the back outside the car. I have only really had my mountain bike get dusty after driving down a dirt road. Driving on pavement not really an issue.
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Old 02-12-19, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by RidingMatthew View Post
I have used Walmart plastic bags on the derailleurs when I knew it was supposed to rain. they keep a lot of rain/ wind/ dirt off of them.
Target plastic bags work better.
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Old 02-12-19, 10:02 AM
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Blue tarp add more grommets




(to actually stay clean , tow a cargo trailer with your stuff locked inside it , It will have its own lights , and licence plate)
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Old 02-12-19, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by letlmt View Post
Do people cover the gears, chain, and pedals?
A very small number of unusually neurotic people do.

Just keep your chain lubed and it will be fine. I have driven tens of thousands of miles with uncovered bikes on the back of my car and the only time I had issues with anything being adversely affected by dirt, water, or even salt was when I did not have my chain lubed.

I do thoroughly wash off the bike as soon as possible if I drive through salt... but that is very rare.
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Old 02-12-19, 10:47 AM
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Put your bike on the rack and walk away from the car, crouch down to where your eyes would be abut the same height as a driver, and look to see if a cover would block the taillights or the license plate. If it would, there's no reason to think about a cover.
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Old 02-12-19, 11:26 AM
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A cover/tarp will tend to flap & rip in the wind-

why you don't see them in use on the road.
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Old 02-12-19, 11:37 AM
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A loose fitting cover will do more damage than no cover at all as the wind whips it against the paint finish continuously for however long your driving. There is a company called Geza Gear that makes stretch covers for motorcycles being hauled and those work great. If you're really hot on a cover, you may be able to get them to make something for a bike but you'd need to make sure the cover didn't block your taillights as mentioned earlier.

Personally don't think there is much risk having it uncovered. Maybe it gets a little dirty but so does riding it.
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Old 02-12-19, 11:47 AM
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trash bag with bungee cords
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Old 02-12-19, 11:53 AM
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Cool stuff!
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Old 02-12-19, 02:21 PM
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The instructions for my hitch rack says not to use covers on the bikes. I suspect it is because of the winds back there.
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Old 02-13-19, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Target plastic bags work better.
good to know i went to target last night I have a couple now


i drove back from the Great Allegheny passage ride in the rain PA > NC
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Old 02-13-19, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
The instructions for my hitch rack says not to use covers on the bikes. I suspect it is because of the winds back there.
Yeah. The risk management side of me can envision a lawsuit stemming from a crash caused when an improperly secured cover blows off and blinds a trailing motorist. "You should have warned people not to use covers."
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Old 02-13-19, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by RidingMatthew View Post
good to know i went to target last night I have a couple now


i drove back from the Great Allegheny passage ride in the rain PA > NC
Maybe the bike covers don't block the lights or the plate If you use a coupe of bags and cover maybe just the drive train and the seat?

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Old 02-13-19, 10:07 AM
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If you are worried about dirt or damage then don't keep the bike outside.

Return the rack. Put the bike inside the SUV. That's all.


-Tim-
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Old 02-13-19, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by 2manybikes View Post
Maybe the bike covers don't block the lights or the plate If you use a coupe of bags and cover maybe just the drive train and the seat?
sorry i did not finish my thought. It rained the whole way back. I did not cover it at all. It rained so hard that the tires had water in them! I dryed the bike when i got home and lubed the chain all is good.
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