Bike Forums

Bike Forums (
-   General Cycling Discussion (
-   -   How to prep your bike for long distance car travel. (

cyclezealot 09-28-05 02:06 AM

How to prep your bike for long distance car travel.
I see some people wrap their bikes with some kind of vinyl covers..Guess, to keep bugs off of the paint job...You are going for days with the bike in tow..
I have a rear bike carrier and a rood top carrier. Guess, I will put them on the rear rack. Seems bugs would be less of a factor back there..On the roof. Wind friction a factor, so that not a wise place to stow the bikes...
Might even be driving through rain, even hail maybe. This time of year? Bike hubs/bottom brackets/headsets sealed..No special wrapping need cover the bike for that worry.?

duckliondog 09-28-05 02:27 AM

The rear carrier is a good idea. I took a trip from Portland, OR to Los Angeles with my bike on the roof. 1000 miles of bugs take a long time, a lot of solvent, and a good amount of scraping to get off. If you have leather saddles, you might want to cover or remove those. I've bungeed a tarp over some bikes when inclement weather threatened. If you really think it might rain, give the chains a heavy greasing to protect them from the water that your wheels will kick up on them. Rusted chains are a major pain, you can degrease and lube when you're done driving. Covering the bikes definitely won't hurt, so it's really just a matter of how much you want to deal with it.

DieselDan 09-28-05 05:36 AM

For long distance on a rear carrier, I would remove the seat bag, computer, pump, and any other accessory except the bottle cages.

taylor8 09-29-05 01:15 PM

I take everything off that can fall off before I transport my bike. I run a bunge through the wheels to keep them from spinning, it also will hold the wheel on the bike if the wheel works itself loose. I cable lock the bike to the car if you got to take a leak not having to worry about someone form taking your bike gives peace of mind. I stick an old sock on the peddle closest to the car to protect the car. I also do something to keep the bike from swinging into the car.

I drive several miles and stop and check to see if everything is tight. Then recheck at each gas stop.


jyossarian 09-29-05 02:23 PM

What's wrong w/ smashed bugs on the fork, head tube and handlebars? If someone asks, just say you were going really fast! I carried my bike around on a 1000 mile trip through driving storms, wind, etc. I had to clean and re-lube the chain and scrape some bugs off the grips, but that's about it. I also removed the fenders and mudguards since they can blow off or create lift.

Machka 09-29-05 05:42 PM

What preparation? Just toss the bicycle in the back seat and go!

Nachoman 09-29-05 09:49 PM

[QUOTE=taylor8]. I cable lock the bike to the car if you got to take a leak not having to worry about someone form taking your bike gives peace of mind.

Yeah I even throw on a few extra locks (frame, front and rear wheels and even a cable lock through the seat! That way whether I'm stopping to piss, or even for a long lunch, I don't have to worry.

DieselDan 09-30-05 07:23 AM

With a rear carrier, back you car into a parking space aganist a tree or building to make it difficult to see, let alone steal, your bike. Just be careful and don't hit the tree of building.

jdtschida 09-30-05 07:51 AM

I have a roof rack on my Subaru Outback. I only use it for sub 100 mile drives though. Any long distance stuff, I figure out how to fit it INSIDE the car with my other gear. I have a few reasons:
1. gas mileage and cost of gas.
2. the bugs and other road debris.
3. the weather

Az B 09-30-05 08:15 AM

Makes me glad I have a van. Toss the bike in and go.

I'm having more trouble dealing with the issues of driving to places to ride my bike. That seems kinda wrong to me on some level...


JKfromPBurgh 09-30-05 08:34 AM

Bike on a rear rack? Haven't you noticed how much dirtier your rear window is than any other window on your car. The "draft" area behind your car is a vacuum area collecting all the crud splashed up by you and the cars that pass you. The mechanicals get a lot dirtier with the bike on the back. I prefer bugs to grit!

For me, the bikes are on top or inside. If they are on top and it rains, I check the lube after the trip. Also, I take the seats off.

va_cyclist 09-30-05 08:57 AM

I've got one of those lycra "bike bras" that I'll use on longer drives with the bike on the roof. I have a long Yakima cable that's keyed the same as the rack towers and fork locks, so I can lock several bikes on the rack. I use this for overnight trips or if I have to leave the bike/car unattended.

For short trips I usually just fold down the rear seat and put the bike inside the car.

cyclezealot 09-30-05 09:20 AM

Reason I don't like the bike on the roof rack is how it effects the car's aerodynamics, and gas consumption. My roof racl is a Thule but it has more sway on the bikes than I would like..SOrt of bothered by how much grit is picked up in the back rack, but I have a Jetta and have no choice..Plus, I will be towing two bikes..Can't fit two bikes in the back seat..
Could find a way to put the luggage on the roof?

Savas 09-30-05 01:48 PM

In order to prevent bugs, hang some of those long yellow sticky tapes from the handlebars. Theyíll stick to that, leaving your bike pristine! <grin>

I bought a rear hitch mounted rack the other day. These things do need to come with some sort of padding to protect the finishes, which they donít, so improvisation comes with the territory. I got some pipe insulation to put onto key portions of the frames. Also, took an old yoga mat and butchered it for use in certain areas. This is good stuff, because itís padded, not too thick and can conform to different shapes. Last, I found some thick chunks of foam that come with computers and such, which is cut to fill large voids and prevent sway.

phantomcow2 09-30-05 08:48 PM

WEll i always remove my chain, if the car is ever caught in rain, i dont need a rusting chain.
Even then, if it looks like rain comes i put a cover over it.
I have been known to utilize the quick release and remove the wheels

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:38 PM.