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  1. #1
    Reputation: stremf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012

    Hitch rack--ideas to prevent road grime?

    My state literally cakes salt on the roads during winter. Any ideas on how to keep salt and grime off of bike/rack? As much as I hate those gigantic "rally" mud flaps, I was thinking of getting those. If that doesn't work well, maybe some sort of fairing bolted to the rack to keep the grime off. Any thoughts?

    If I can't keep it under control, I may switch to a roof rack for the winter.

  2. #2
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    I carry bikes inside my car as much as possible in winter because of the salt and grime.

    I've used the hitch rack in winter in the past, and it's not so much the grime my own car is kicking up, but rather the general spray from all of the traffic. Any part of the bike that extends past my own vehicle's profile gets coated in nasty. So from that perspective, a roof rack will be worse in some respects. It may get less overall spray from being higher up, but the bikes will also get spray coating over more of the surface of the bikes, which is worse in some ways.

    My Honda Fit carries bikes inside better than my wife's Subie, so even though the Subie handles winter conditions better, the Honda tends to get winter bike hauling duties more frequently. But the interior of my Honda gets absolutely thrashed due to the dirty bikes. I think my next vehicle will likely be a small diesel pickup with a camper shell like the new Chevy Colorado. Fuel economy very near that of my Honda, but a better place to put dirty bikes and gear, especially in wintertime.

  3. #3
    Reputation: stremf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Good point about road spray from other cars. Carrying inside the car would be best, but don't want to trash the interior.

    I have a truck, too, but I like driving the Outback much more. And it's much more fuel efficient. I wish Subaru would bring back the Baja with a slightly longer bed. That would be ideal for me.

  4. #4
    MTB Addict
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    In the winter, I just drop the back seats in the Jeep, lay out a tarp and put the bike inside. Once the salt is off the roads in the spring, it's back to putting the bike on the hitch rack.

    Having to pull the front wheel to get the bike inside is a minor pain, but not a big deal, considering I ride a lot less when it's cold and salty out anyway.

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