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Bike transportation in the rain?

Old 03-14-20, 03:21 PM
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sultanofsuede
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Bike transportation in the rain?

i''m heading on a road trip and taking the bikes (just bought a new bike rack - so lets put this thing to use). i have never really cared before, but curious if there is a recommendation for covering the bikes through the weather. maybe they just get wet and lube up the chain when we get where we're going. but do any of you do anything special for transporting you bikes?

sorry - easily the most boring question of the day.
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Old 03-14-20, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by sultanofsuede View Post
i''m heading on a road trip and taking the bikes (just bought a new bike rack - so lets put this thing to use). i have never really cared before, but curious if there is a recommendation for covering the bikes through the weather. maybe they just get wet and lube up the chain when we get where we're going. but do any of you do anything special for transporting you bikes?

sorry - easily the most boring question of the day.
they make drive train covers I have two on my amazon wish list- they also make saddle covers if you have a leather saddle might put a plastic bag first then the cover - finally they make whole bike covers specifically for bike racks but they might add wind drag
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Old 03-14-20, 04:15 PM
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If it’s a trunk or hitch rack, then there’s not any good ‘whole bike’ solutions.
Wrapping the saddle in a plastic bag is a good idea, especially if it has a leather or fabric cover.
If you’re expecting rain, spraying the chain and derailleur down with WD-40. You’ll still need to apply your usual lube before riding, but it does a good job keeping water out.

They used to to make a ‘bikini’ cover for bikes on roof racks, but I haven’t seen them in a while. Another trick for roof racks is to spray some PAM no-stick on the fork blades, seatpost, and any forward facing painted surface to help make the bugs and stuff easier to clean off.
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Old 03-14-20, 05:16 PM
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I only cover my Brooks leather saddle. If I take one of my other bikes, the rain does not penetrate the saddle.

I am not concerned with the weather or doing anything special when I arrive since I also will ride in the rain. My bikes are on a hitch rack in back of the car. Perhaps if your rack is on top of the more stuff gets in the drivetrain. Mine only seems to get wet.
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Old 03-14-20, 06:12 PM
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I have used large zip lock bags to cover my Brooks saddle on my old road bikes. Other than that I just clean them thoroughly after a wet ride. The bag on the saddle doesn’t seem to bother me when riding.
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Old 03-14-20, 06:59 PM
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I've used roof racks and hitch racks. They both work well.

My wife and I drove approximately 5,000 miles on this trip using the hitch rack, but we kept the roof racks on the car "just in case". We drove to the start of a tour, left our car at by brothers place, and did a 1,200 mile bike tour in southern Ontario. We had a lot of rain both driving and riding. This was the maiden voyage of the hitch rack and I was happy with it. However, the bikes get dirtier on the hitch rack. We cover the saddles on any type of rack to protect from sun and rain. IMO the roof rack is harder on the bike while driving in the rain. Water is hitting your bike at 70 mph, which is more than bearing seals are designed for. Hitch racks instructions specifically say, "don't use a cover on your bike". I've used bike bras on the roof racks and the generate a lot of resitance, enough to move my rack.


Last edited by Doug64; 03-15-20 at 09:32 AM.
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Old 03-14-20, 10:51 PM
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Just cross your fingers & hope it doesn't rain. If it does rain don't worry. Bikes can get wet and survive.
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Old 03-14-20, 11:06 PM
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Wait ... he mentioned chain lube.

Is he using the best chain lube? Discuss.
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Old 03-15-20, 09:43 AM
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all good stuff. thanks guys. i knew that some covers were available - i was just more curious if anyone really needs them. i don't have a brooks saddle, some italian leatherish style. i ride in the rain too - so it sounds like i'd be OK to drive through any weather. good tips here though!
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Old 03-15-20, 12:27 PM
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Thinking of the backs of station wagons, SUVs, and vans I've seen with dirt of a measurable thickness on them makes me feel bad for the poor bikes
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Old 03-15-20, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by sultanofsuede View Post
all good stuff. thanks guys. i knew that some covers were available - i was just more curious if anyone really needs them. i don't have a brooks saddle, some italian leatherish style. i ride in the rain too - so it sounds like i'd be OK to drive through any weather. good tips here though!
A lot depends on the logistics of the trip and the vehicle you are using. I used to make an almost annual trek from Montreal to Pinehust NC, Great place to ride incidentally. Have done it with 2,3, and 4 people in vehicles ranging from a VW Passat sedan, a Toyota Tacoma pickup, to an Infinity FX35. The trips with either 2 or 3 people, we figured out how to get the bikes inside the car(or truck) and all was good, weather not a problem. When you hit rain at highway speeds, the water is hitting your bike as if it is in a pressure washer. Covers can only protect what they cover and a fully covered bike in a rear rack is basically a sail. Riding in the rain at cycling speeds does not throw water onto your bike the same way as it does at highway driving speeds
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Old 03-16-20, 12:14 PM
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If you're truly concerned about covering your bikes while on a bike rack, you may want to check with an RV dealer to see what they have. I see a lot of snowbirds in their RV's with full covers on their bikes on the backs of the RV or their car that's being towed. I'm assuming they got them from the RV dealers.
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Old 03-16-20, 01:17 PM
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Cheap plastic tarps with grommets and bungee cords from WallyWorld. And plastic bags over the saddles.
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Old 03-16-20, 04:28 PM
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One word.....Van
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Old 03-17-20, 07:29 PM
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I pull the seat post out and shove a cork in the hole. Leather saddle rides in the truck.
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Old 03-18-20, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
We had a lot of rain both driving and riding. However, the bikes get dirtier on the hitch rack
yup. love to ride a paved trail near me during blizzards, the drive home is always worse for the bike





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Old 03-18-20, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Kabuki12 View Post
I have used large zip lock bags to cover my Brooks saddle on my old road bikes. Other than that I just clean them thoroughly after a wet ride. The bag on the saddle doesn’t seem to bother me when riding.
Similar, but my wife and use plastic grocery bags, then knot them then put on rubber band to stop wind/flap/rip. Thought about trying two layers of Cling Wrap.

Last edited by bobwysiwyg; 03-18-20 at 07:11 PM.
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