Forum home Mountain biking forum MTB beginners

Protecting your bike whilst on the roof rack

RLyonsRLyons Posts: 67
edited February 2011 in MTB beginners
Hi,

I've just bought a new bike and a new roof rack carrier (Thule 530). I was just wondering if there is any need to prepare your bike for long journeys or short-term storage on the roof rack?

I am planning to do quite a lot of trips 100miles + weekend trips and leave my bike locked to the carrier over night whilst away. If travelling at 70mph-ish :lol: is there any risk of causing damage to bearings etc if it is raining?


This may be a stupid question but I am just being cautious!

Cheers,

Posts

  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    when travelling there is no real need to do anything.

    but i would NEVER EVER leave my bike on the rack overnight.

    even if locked. unless i was asleep in the car and the bike was locked to me.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • FenredFenred Posts: 428
    nicklouse wrote:
    when travelling there is no real need to do anything.

    but i would NEVER EVER leave my bike on the rack overnight.

    even if locked. unless i was asleep in the car and the bike was locked to me.

    +1 Your bike takes more abuse out on the trail than sitting on your rood bars and as Nick says, NEVER, EVER leave your bike unattended, even locked it wont take long for a determined scumbag to rob your pride and joy...Unless you want rid for the insurance of course :?
  • and while you're at it, never forget it's on the roof of your car in the first place...especially if you're driving into a supermarket car park with a height restriction barrier!!
    ask me how I know....dohhh :(
  • RLyonsRLyons Posts: 67
    I would only leave it on the roof whilst at my place in the Lake district, its really secluded and highly unlikely anybody would be passing, let alone a thief!

    I was just thinking about 90mph driving rain hitting the bearings.....not a problem?
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,904
    RLyons wrote:
    I would only leave it on the roof whilst at my place in the Lake district, its really secluded and highly unlikely anybody would be passing, let alone a thief!

    I was just thinking about 90mph driving rain hitting the bearings.....not a problem?

    90mph in the driving rain - hopefully you'll get arrested before you damage your bearings.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • Neily03Neily03 Posts: 295
    Why you bothered about protecting it when it's going to get nicked anyway? :lol:
  • TuckerUKTuckerUK Posts: 398
    cooldad wrote:
    RLyons wrote:
    I would only leave it on the roof whilst at my place in the Lake district, its really secluded and highly unlikely anybody would be passing, let alone a thief!

    I was just thinking about 90mph driving rain hitting the bearings.....not a problem?

    90mph in the driving rain - hopefully you'll get arrested before you damage your bearings.

    Is it illegal do to 60mph with a 30mph headwind in the rain then?
    "Coming through..."
  • Have a look at the manuals that came with the rack and roof bars. IIRC Thule recommend a maximum speed of 100km/h (62 mph).

    I've driven through some heavy rain over the years with my bikes on the roof. It doesn't seem to cause any problems to the bikes. Murders the car's fuel consumption though.

    BTW, all the racks I've had which hold the bike by the down tube have left scratches. Currently have 530s like yours
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    100+ in Germany in the snow was no problem.

    maybe some pipe lagging over the fork inner legs.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • sniper68sniper68 Posts: 2,899
    worthydolt wrote:
    Have a look at the manuals that came with the rack and roof bars. IIRC Thule recommend a maximum speed of 100km/h (62 mph).
    Mont Blanc recommend 75mph for my bars,I tend to go no highr than 85mph as it eats fuel.Over the years I've done 1000's of miles with no problems.
  • leafliteleaflite Posts: 1,651
    I have the same roof rack as you. If you cut up an old inner tube and strech it over the down tube clamps and wheel straps it stops your frame and rims being scratched.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Anything but the thickest cover would get ripped to shreds over a reaonable journey at 70+mph anyway.

    If your worried about headset bearings, why not get a lizard skin headset bearing protector?

    Simon
  • RLyonsRLyons Posts: 67
    TuckerUK wrote:
    cooldad wrote:
    RLyons wrote:
    I would only leave it on the roof whilst at my place in the Lake district, its really secluded and highly unlikely anybody would be passing, let alone a thief!

    I was just thinking about 90mph driving rain hitting the bearings.....not a problem?

    90mph in the driving rain - hopefully you'll get arrested before you damage your bearings.

    Is it illegal do to 60mph with a 30mph headwind in the rain then?

    You beat me to it! Was just looking at the weather forecast in my area - 33mph winds tomorrow!

    Thanks for the help anyway guys, I may look into the lizard headset protector but if nobody else has had any problems then I'm sure it will be fine!
  • CJC105CJC105 Posts: 26
    +1 for headset protector (though a supermarket carrier bag tied around the headset will also work fine if you dont have one and will work better at keeping the rain off)
    No baby elephant required
  • tenfoottenfoot Posts: 226
    My bike is currently sitting on my Mont Blanc car rack outside my office. I've been using it for almost a year, week in, week out, in all weathers with no adverse effect on the bike at all.
  • After years of struggling to place bikes on the roof I bought a towbar bike rack, never again on the roof, terrible.

    http://www.witter-towbars.co.uk/cycle_c ... arrier.php

    I have done thousands of miles and never covered my bikes, mtbs why bother :!:
    Peds with ipods, natures little speed humps

    Banish unwanted fur - immac a squirrel
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... heads.html
  • RLyonsRLyons Posts: 67
    I have managed to fit my new roof bars and the thule 530, but the T-bolts used to wrap around the roof bars are too short, the back wont clip down at all.....has anyone had this or know where to get longer bolts?
  • RLyons wrote:
    I have managed to fit my new roof bars and the thule 530, but the T-bolts used to wrap around the roof bars are too short, the back wont clip down at all.....has anyone had this or know where to get longer bolts?

    That was another reason for killing off roof bars, they are fussy about bike sizes and frames, rear towbar "hanging" carriers are better, cave you conta cted tule to ask, via website
    Peds with ipods, natures little speed humps

    Banish unwanted fur - immac a squirrel
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... heads.html
  • RLyons wrote:
    I have managed to fit my new roof bars and the thule 530, but the T-bolts used to wrap around the roof bars are too short, the back wont clip down at all.....has anyone had this or know where to get longer bolts?


    What bars are you fitting them to? They usually fit most, even the fat aero bars (but you can buy adaptors if need be)). Mine are standard Thule ones and there is plenty of spare thread on the t-bolt.


    Oh, and have never had any worries about bike/bearing damage or scratches to the frame (just make sure the clamp and where you're clamping it to is clean and the clamp is nice and tight)
  • RLyonsRLyons Posts: 67
    Cheers for that, I had to buy some t-bolts to go into the grooves on the bars. They are actually better anyway and mean you can put the rack right at the edge of the bars - I.e. Fit more racks on if need be!

    Went out for a ride yesterday and am pretty chuffed with the rack, I did 70 and it looked perfectly stable and once you've got the hang of loading/unloading the bike its pretty easy!
  • Bollards, are not the issue with a bike roof rack, but them carpark entrance barriers are, 2 carbon bikes n wheels don,t arf make a lot of mess on the ground..
  • I have the same roof rack and haven't noticed any problems. We've driven up to 140km/h with bikes on the roof and noticed no effects other than it eating up gas when driving into the wind and us worrying about it and peeking up to see if the bikes were still on the roof. As for worrying about scratching your bike, we use kitchen rags/towels to put inbetween the grip and the bike and make sure it's tight/gripping around the bike frame as do the people we bike with (they use the Thule trailer hitch bike carrier which is much nicer than the roof rack but only in terms of ease of use). This isn't based on any bad experience on my part, but I say why risk it? Also, one time I lost a chainstay protector driving fast into the wind, but I can't blame the roof rack for that.
    Canyon Nerve XC 5.0 2010
  • oodboooodboo Posts: 2,177
    I get a lot of dead flies stuck all over my handlebars and grips after a 200 mile motorway journey. Other than that, no problems.

    Just remember to fasten it on securely. Someone uploaded a pic to the Orange bikes photo collection on facebook recently showing the remains of an Orange 5 that had come off the roof rack. Not pretty.
    I love horses, best of all the animals. I love horses, they're my friends.

    Strava
Sign In or Register to comment.