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Proper E-bike Covers for cars/caravans

We often get asked about bike covers. We stock a very simple, cheap and lightweight bike cover that is designed for when your bike is sitting on your deck of balcony. However, when used while driving around the country at 100kph for thousands of kilometres, reports are that it will come back home as rags! This leads to the obvious question – what is a fit-for-purpose solution for travelling around Aotearoa with an e-bike on the back of a car or caravan exposed to the elements?

Two of our customers have given very positive feedback about a product from OCD (Obsessive Cycling Disorder) in Matamata which is just that – a fit for purpose solution for covering bikes while travelling at speed in the elements. Expect to pay around $700ish for the setup. Please note that you should also satisfy yourself that your car’s towball connection can cope with the increased wind load (compared to travelling without a cover). We don’t have the answer to that, perhaps your vehicle supplier or OCD can assess that for you.

Roger’s review and photos follow.

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Hi Maurice,
Your EBT newsletter was great.

As promised here are comments on my bike rack and cover after doing 5,000 km Akl to Te Anau and back; last and this year; ferry’s, loose metal passes (Dansey Pass), forwarding streams (St James cycle trail, Google direction error):

  1.  Bike Cover – OCD Cycle covers and racks for motorhomes adn | OCD Bike Covers (ocdcovers.co.nz)
    I am very happy with, does not flap, a very close fit, ensue you give them your bike size, better still go down to Matamata, and let them measure up.  Fully zips around the bikes and is waterproof if not totally dust proof, as I found out while in the SI passing over Dansey Pass.  Have fitted it around 3 e-bikes. Only had cover this year after last year cheaper alternative failures.  The wind on the covers is unforgiving.
  2. Bike Cover car side.
    a. As shown on Photo 5 the bottom zips over hitch need to be held together or wind can open the cover.
  3. Bikes on rack.
    a. Recommend a two-bike rack for two bikes as they do not rub.  The 2-bike rack for 2 bikes; or 3 bikes on the 3-bike rack rub.  It does work but I recommend pipe insulation sleeves to be cut to fit to stop damage.
  4. Bikes connection to Rack.
    a. The clamp jaws on racks come undone and especially e-bikes as the frames are often not circular.  They must be lashed.
    b.  The clamps to post up right cannot be relied on strength and anti-theft.  Best bolted with chain.
    c. Always I remove all heavy or valuable attachments; battery, locks, controls … .  Same on all the shuttles, jet boats; often they do the battery’s but forget the other stuff.  The vibration or rubbing stuff falls off lost or get damaged.
  5. Rack on hitch.
    a. The 3-bike rack is very close to the road and cantilevers a long way out.  It will hit the road damaging the rack and lights.  From Repco or Cheap Auto get a hitch post raiser (2,5000kg cap) that lifts the height of the rack.  Your car must have a removable box hitch.
    b.  I have had 3 e-bikes on the rack, over racks rated capacity a little but worked, and the hitch extension bent slowly so I will be strengthening it.  Best to stick to 2 E bikes only.
    c. Note the lockable hitch pins both onto the car and on the adjustable hitch post raiser. Recently they have been stealing the combined bikes and rack.
    d. Not the lashing of the zips on the cover.
    e. Not shown but will in the future will lash, Bunnings’s rope with clip,  down rack to stop accidently rotating back on the car.  (As suggested by yourself).

Photo on Dansey pass shows care with a bike also on the roof, not an e-bike but still propped.  I have found the roof bike racks for e-bikes are not strong enough, particularly the wheel clamps.  Not shown in detail here but I removed the plastic clamps and replaced with aluminium, better lashings.  The bikes on roof now have solid bar propping a single bike or braces between two bikes.  Roof bike racks clamp does not have a wide enough grip e-bikes with a thick frame for a battery.  If you would like I could send details but it’s not an easy fix like the Tow Bar Hitch rack.
Roger Steele

Maurice Wells

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