How to protect e-bikes from weather on Thule Easy-Fold XL rack on long drives

#1
Sorry for the long thread title. Didn't know how to express my question in fewer words. LOL. Anyway, after much intensive research, my husband and I JUST bought 2 BH Easy Motion e-bikes. Mine is a Evo Street Pro, his is an Evo City Wave. They're so much fun! Now I'm obsessing about how best to protect them on long cross-country drives on interstate highways, while carrying them on the Thule platform rack we'll use on the back of our SUV. I feel like they really shouldn't be exposed to much weather, especially if there's snow (between Ohio and Florida--a drive we do in late winter every year!) and road salt. I'm worried about the battery contacts (assume we should remove the batteries for travel), the disc brakes...and the displays too, which, I think, can be removed though. I've read and read about covers but there are many issues to consider there: cover style, material strength, how to see the taillights/brake lights with a cover on the bikes etc. You can spend $25 or $300. And then some people say, don't worry about covering them. Or just cover the handle bars and the seat. I'm just so confused and kind of overwhelmed by all the possibilities. Does anyone have some good advice for me?
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
#2
I use a Thule pickup truck bed rack, so I likely get less from the road than you will. The salt bit would concern me with spray coming off the car. I don't know if a cover will hold up long at highway speeds. Add to your list of concerns is wind hitting the covered bikes. Will that over stress the rack catching the wind? I don't know that it will, just thinking.

When I travel with my BH and other ebikes, I remove batteries, displays and saddles. Or cover saddles. I also wrap the handlebar's electronics with cling film. I keep a roll in the truck all the time. Not elegant I know, but it's worked for the last several years. I don't think there's anything to worry with the brakes. People ride bikes on the road in winter. I would wash the bikes on arrival though.
 
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Alaskan

Well-Known Member
#3
I did a trip down to San Diego California and back up to Bellingham, Washington with two ebikes on a Thule Easyfold XT2 back in January, covering 3100 miles.

I think covering the bikes would be ill-advised for several reasons.
  1. I lost 4 to 5 mpg with the uncovered bikes on the back of my car (Mercedes E-500 4-matic wagon). That number would be considerably higher with covers on the bikes.
  2. Pre-made bike covers are not designed to withstand 70 mph winds and would quickly rip apart
  3. The added stress from all that wind pressure on the fabric covered bikes would put unacceptable stress on the rack and hitch
  4. Center rear visibility would be nonexistent
  5. Brake lights, tail lights and license plate would be covered, thereby reducing your personal safety.
I removed batteries and put the rubber contact cover made by Bosch on the connection point. You could easily protect that with cling film. I removed everything off the bikes that came off easily in the interest of minimizing weight on the rack, wind resistance and loss of visibility. That included the display, seat with seat post, all bags, locks, water bottles, etc. If it can be taken off, do it and put it all in a designated box. Be sure to put some plastic and a rubber band over the open seat tube to prevent egress of water while open.

Prepare for the journey by applying a wax, silicon or other paint protective wax-on wax-off type surface protectant This makes things drip right off and also makes the bike easier to rinse down and clean between rides. Once that is done I would avoid covering anything unless it is electrical in nature. The rest of the blke will do better if it can easily dry off when it gets wet rather than covering it and retaining moisture beneath the cover for a much longer period.

Safe travels
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
#4
When transporting my bikes, I remove the battery and all loose accessories including the seat & post. In addition to weather protection, it also reduces weight and puts less strain on the rack. I put a plastic cap over the open seat tube to keep out the elements:

P1070173a.jpg

I also place canvas sleeves over the handlebar ends to protect the display and hand controls:

P1060731.JPG 61VOMOHKirL._SL1200_.jpg

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00Q2MGDHE/ref=oh_aui_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Most bikes are weatherproof to a certain extent and can be ridden in the rain. Aside from the above measures, I don't worry much about it. I've been carrying my bikes around for many years this way and never had a problem.
 
#5
I use a cover over two bikes. We have likely put 20,000km on the cover and bikes and it has not ripped or torn. I use a cargo net over the whole things so there is not a lot of flap. I have to pull the cover out of the way on one side to clear tail lights on my Ram pickup. The cover is in part a theft deterrent. It hides the bikes and would slow down the thieves. I have noticed no decline in mileage but would not be surprised if it does lower it a bit. No effect on the hitch either. As to batteries our Shimano did not come with contact covers so I wrap gaff tape around the contacts.
 
#7
Great job. My goal is to protect the bikes where I can but still not have them so wrapped up that we will be reluctant to use them. Been there done that. Considering that we ride through water and mud in the rain anyway I do not worry toooooo much. Shimano says we can ride through water so the motor should be sdafe. We do of course remove the batteries. I think now we will make some bags to go over certain parts, such as the handle bars and motor, as has been suggested, and then use our nylon cover that we found on the Overstock website. The seats could also be easily removed.
 
#8
I just got my New Bike cover Today in the mail, from coverstore.com They offer a 7 Year Warranty with their covers ! 😨 It has a Cinch cord with cord lock in a bottom hem And a Security strap with buckle too. 👍
 
#9
Velosock full bicycle cover (for hitch mount racks)... Not cheap (roughly ~$200) but they look sexy. You have to order it from overseas. I saw pictures from a gentleman who uses the Velosock MTB version for his Ariel Rider w-class. (Although I myself am not impressed with their customer service, I emailed them a question over a week ago and they still haven't replied)

 
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#10
I use a cover over two bikes. We have likely put 20,000km on the cover and bikes and it has not ripped or torn. I use a cargo net over the whole things so there is not a lot of flap. I have to pull the cover out of the way on one side to clear tail lights on my Ram pickup. The cover is in part a theft deterrent. It hides the bikes and would slow down the thieves. I have noticed no decline in mileage but would not be surprised if it does lower it a bit. No effect on the hitch either. As to batteries our Shimano did not come with contact covers so I wrap gaff tape around the contacts.
So I'm curious, what type or brand of cover do you own? Also, what type of material is it made out of? I am not having any luck finding a cover that reviews say doesn't rip apart on their first trip for our two e-bikes!?!

Thanks...
 
#11
I just got my New Bike cover Today in the mail, from coverstore.com They offer a 7 Year Warranty with their covers ! 😨 It has a Cinch cord with cord lock in a bottom hem And a Security strap with buckle too. 👍
I looked at the bicycle cover offered by the coverstore.com and at first it seemed promising, then I noticed the width is only 27". My wife's handle bars measure 30" and mine are at 32". I don't think that cover will work for our bikes. Are your handle bars at 27" or less in width? If not, does it fit your bike okay?
 
#12
Not sure what make but we got it at Overstock a few years back and still using it. Our bars are about 27, thogu we reverse one bike. I will see if I can find the maker but it has been great.
 
#13
I looked at the bicycle cover offered by the coverstore.com and at first it seemed promising, then I noticed the width is only 27". My wife's handle bars measure 30" and mine are at 32". I don't think that cover will work for our bikes. Are your handle bars at 27" or less in width? If not, does it fit your bike okay?
Without looking at the Website again, I'm not certain if different widths are an option , but yes mines are stock at 27". 👍
 
#14
Okay my partner just said it was a SWAGMAN bike cover. She just looked for it again and found it on Amazon for about $93 CA. It has worked well for us and we have 1000s of km on it.
 
#16
Okay my partner just said it was a SWAGMAN bike cover. She just looked for it again and found it on Amazon for about $93 CA. It has worked well for us and we have 1000s of km on it.
Glad to hear you've gotten so much use out of your cover! Thanks for your response and I will take a closer look at a Swagman as a possible option.