PROBLEM: You carry your bike on your vehicle’s roof and it gets blasted with insects and other airborne stuff.
SOLUTION: Use a “bike bra” to keep the front of the bike covered and protected. There are multiple brands available like the SCICON Bike Defender, which has both road and mountain bike options.
Years ago, on a 1,100-mile high-speed run from North Carolina to Florida and back, former RBR publisher Ed Pavelka put his Co-Motion tandem on the roof. Even in November, there were enough bugs to require windshield washings during pit stops.
The Co-Mo remained pristine, however. That’s because he used one of those black spandex shields to protect the front of a bike. It blocked bugs during long summer drives and kept the bike clean in rain showers. It’ll probably fend off the fine gray spray from wet winter roads, too.
The cover takes just seconds to put on, take off, and brush clean. We think it looks sharp, too.
Will Haltiwanger says
Using this will greatly increase air drag, putting stress on the bike and hurting gas mileage.
Yes, 10-15% !
My friend used a bra on her bike. Driving 75 mph it pulled her “dealer installed” Yakima rack off the top of her car, Destroying her carbon bike, the rack and $575 damage to the cars roof rails. .Yakima refused to pay for anything. Their response was “you put a giant sail on top of your car. It’s your fault”.
Road Bike Rider says
Interesting feedback! Thank you for posting. I have not heard about this issue before.
Exactly the same thing happened to us about 15 years ago. Haven’t used a bike bra since.
To clarify my previous post. The bike and rack did not come completely off the roof. However, it shifted rearward far enough that the car roof was damaged and the back half of the rack was sitting on the rear window of the car.
When I used to travel long distances with bikes on the roof I’d mount them backwards. It cuts down on wind drag, noise and the bugs. Just be sure to mount your steed VERY tightly and use a strong rear wheel strap. I learned this the expensive way. It is very humiliating picking up whats left of your carbon bike strewn all over the highway.
David Frost says
I agree with the gas mileage comment above. I used similar bike bras on two bikes for a drive from Seattle to California Wine Country and back on my Audi A3 with accurate gas mileage sensing. The gas mileage hit from bikes+bra was substantially worse than bikes only, 2-4 mpg as I recall. But I will probably use the reversed bike direction suggestion above in the future when I can’t fit the bikes inside – my preferred approach.
A cheaper, just as effective and easy to replace version – pantyhose. Works like a charm and its amusing to watch peoples faces or listen to their comments if they don’t know you’re listening. And, if you get them used they are so cheap (free) you can recycle them instead of having to brush of the bugs before putting them in the washer.
Try “Bugslide” it’s designed mostly for motorcyclists to apply on face and wind shields to keep bugs from sticking. I use it on my bike and it helps keep bugs from sticking. I use extra on the fork legs and head tube, leaves a nice slick feel. Like the old trick of using non-sitck cooking spray before a muddy ride, helps keep gunk from building up on the frame.
Could the company logo be any LARGER ??
Jack Ducan says
You can conveniently bring your bicycle anywhere with the help of bike racks. First, you should put a bike on a bike rack. The first thing to do is to open the bike rack. The next step is to hook the areas where the bike trunk actually splits from your car, secure and tighten the straps to put the rack in place. Lash your bike to the rack using additional straps for optimum security. Then, anchor the lower parts of the bike into the rack, mount and lock your bike on the rack, tighten down the frame to secure it.
Jack Ducan says
Learning how to put a bike on a bike rack may be challenging, but all you have to do is follow the steps. You’ll never have to worry about loose attachment again.
Reviving an old thread. I keep track of my mileage and I can’t say I’ve noticed any significant decrease in fuel economy with a bike of top wearing a “bra” or without. Either will knock it down a few mpgs. I suspect that the bra allows some air through, as it is quite porous, and it may actually smooth the airflow. It is hard to imagine that flimsy material being able to act like a true “sail” as it is just not made to work like one. Put it on a mast on your canoe and it’s not going to catch enough wind to move you anywhere. If it did, it would likely rip.