Protecting bycycles from dust damage on the Big Trip

Submitted: Saturday, May 28, 2011 at 05:42
ThreadID: 86593 Views:1987 Replies:5 FollowUps:3
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Hi all, at last after months of preparation we are about to embark on the Big Trip, starting from Melbourne, up the centre to Darwin then over to the east coast and back. We have up to eight months, even more if we feel like it..yeah, I know we are lucky. We will be mainly on the major roads, not got a 4wd for off road. Hear that most roads we will be on are now tarmac..
Anyhow just wanting to know if anyone has taken bicycles on bike rack behind their camper on this sort of route as we are and found the dust damaged the gears/brakes/chain etc? We are considering getting custom made covers for the bikes but have been quoted $150-200 each, so wondering if this is really necessary, granted the roads we will be travelling.
Thanks in advance.
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Reply By: Ozhumvee - Saturday, May 28, 2011 at 08:20

Saturday, May 28, 2011 at 08:20
If they are very good quality, expensive (several $k worth) carry them inside as being outside shaking around exposed to dust, water etc does them no favours.
If they are cheap ones from Kmart etc then just put a plastic bag over the seat and go for it, when they are buggered buy new ones.
We took four bikes on racks fitted to the roofrack on our Cub Supamatic on a couple of long trips. The fixing brackets were of the remove the front wheel and the axle clamped to a bar using the wheel mounts, back wheel sat in a U section, all tied down with straps so they couldn't move. They travelled really well unlike the usual bracket on the towbar where they all rub and sway around. But the dirt and water damage led to them being trashed eventually. we did travel on a few dirt roads like the Oodnadatta track etc but even roadwork sections on main highways left them covered in dust/mud if it was wet.
They were up high, cranks at about head height. Down lower on the back of a camper the ride would be atrocious plus they would be right in the dust.
Get your partner to drive slowly around the block in a quiet area at the weekend with you perched on top of the camper, you will be horrified at how much they move around at the rear. ;-))
AnswerID: 455682

Follow Up By: Member - nicki- Saturday, May 28, 2011 at 10:13

Saturday, May 28, 2011 at 10:13
Thanks, our bikes are sturdy rather than expensive. On a bike rack rather than on top of the camper-won't experiment as suggested in case I'm photographed as planking!! Did you actually find you used them a lot? Ours will be really high mantainence as they need to be removed to set up the camper.
FollowupID: 728600

Follow Up By: Ozhumvee - Saturday, May 28, 2011 at 13:44

Saturday, May 28, 2011 at 13:44
Ours had to be removed to set the camper up too, right PITA especially when it was wet, I ended up as muddy as everything else.
The kids used them a bit as we were travelling for a week and then staying in one spot for a fortnight and then another week home. Punctures nearly drove me mad, tyres and tubes for suburban use just don't cut it in the country.
I hardly used mine as found it hard going in the stony/sandy country we were staying at, was easier to walk around as the property/outbuildings were spread out over about a k.
Personally I wouldn't bother taking a bike again unless always staying in towns etc where there were paved roads and footpaths to ride on to the shops etc.
I would however take the good cross country bike away to use on a specific track somewhere but it always lives inside.
FollowupID: 728612

Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Saturday, May 28, 2011 at 08:27

Saturday, May 28, 2011 at 08:27
Have 2 lots of friends who carried bikes on/in their MHs.
One lot had a blacktop only MH and the bikes were covered and carried on a rack on the back. They were wrecked within 2 years and then they fell off and they claimed them on insurance.
The others had folding bikes inside. They had previously been regular riders. They used them twice in 2 years and now leave them home.

OKA196 Motorhome.
AnswerID: 455684

Follow Up By: Member - nicki- Saturday, May 28, 2011 at 10:07

Saturday, May 28, 2011 at 10:07
Thanks-your response raised the concern I have that we'll carry the damn things and not get to use them!! Our camper can't be put up without taking them off-and then putting them on again, so quite a drag-if we don't use them...
FollowupID: 728597

Reply By: Member - Joe n Mel n kids (FNQ - Saturday, May 28, 2011 at 10:56

Saturday, May 28, 2011 at 10:56
the cover is a good idea for looks but it will only keep out the rain, you will find that no matter how well you try to seal it up dust will still get in and it will just be a waste of money.............
AnswerID: 455697

Reply By: Mr Pointyhead - Saturday, May 28, 2011 at 14:17

Saturday, May 28, 2011 at 14:17
There is another option that could be worth consideration. Belt drive. Have a look here:

Gates Belt Drive

AnswerID: 455705

Reply By: Member - Royce- Saturday, May 28, 2011 at 23:28

Saturday, May 28, 2011 at 23:28
If you are likely to jump on them and ride most days, they will get dusty and worn as you do that. Just make sure you give them a wash and lubricate every so often.
Hopefully the bikes aren't expensive ones...not really sensible to bounce them around the outback if they are.
If you don't ride much now.... then you will probably not use them on your trip. Have fun.
AnswerID: 455740

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