Transporting a bike by car or van - pro kit you can use
Transporting your bike safely and conveniently can sometimes seem like more of a challenge than the actual ride you are setting out to do (Disclaimer: this is probably not true if you’re heading to Paris-Brest-Paris or something similarly epic). Seriously though, at its best moving your bike around by car or van still tends to be a bit of a ballache, and at worst it can be a source of heartbreak. Damaging your bike whilst transporting it is something which no rider wants to do but which 8/10 riders have apparently done at some point or another according to market research.
Until now the two main options for transporting a bike by car or van have been a) to put the bike onto a carry rack fitted to the towbar, boot or roof of the car or van; or b) to put the bike inside the car, with either a proper bike case or bag (where space allows) or a blanket for protection. Some rogues even stick their bike in the back of the car with no protection at all! Madness! None of these options provides the ideal combination of convenience and effectiveness, but luckily there is now an additional option.
Dedicated bike protection products enable you to put your bike in the back of the car or van with the minimum of fuss - and without having to spend much time doing it either. Made by British start-up Fassa, the protectors provide a different approach to transporting your bike in the back of a car or van. As soon as we came across the brand and kit we were hooked. The protectors range from a full bike protector which covers the whole bike (available single or double sided) down to smaller protectors for fork, bars, drivetrain and so on.
So how do the protectors work? All are made from durable outer fabrics and have a high quality closed cell foam padding inner layer to effectively pad the bike and protect from dints or scratches. They typically attach to the bike in a matter of seconds using adjustable Velcro straps. The protectors are either made as a universal size (as in the case of the full bike protectors the single-sided Separator and double-sided Defender) or are more tailored to particular types or styles of components (as in the case of the road bike hood covers and the MTB bar covers). Depending on how you plan to fit your bike in the car (front wheel in or out, bars turned or not etc.), you may decide that you need just a full bike protector, or you may wish to add extra protection in certain areas.
The protectors can also help you store your bike more safely and neatly at home. As well as protecting your bike from scratches and knocks, they will also help keep your bike free from dust and dirt. They also protect clothing and paintwork from oil and other damage from the bike too - we could see the drivetrain shield and the pedal covers (available in three sizes depending on your style of pedals) being particularly useful for this. One of the smaller frame protectors would be ideal for buffering the frame from lock damage when locking up, or using in the clamp of a workstand to prevent seatpost damage. The protectors could also be used inside a bike bag or case to provide an additional level of protection when packing a bike for air travel.
So what are the reviewers saying so far? Fassa is still a really young company and so reviews of the products are only just starting to come through. The padded separator (their flagship product) has been reviewed by both MBR and Cycling Weekly, both of whom praised it highly, giving it 10/10 and 8/10 respectively.
It doesn’t look like much but I’ve used the Separator constantly over the last few months, transporting bikes in the MBR Vito, covering a bike in my own car, even as a changing mat after a big ride. In fact I’m sure there are other uses that I’ve not even thought of yet...I’ve found it invaluable. Yes it’s expensive but it has so many uses that I actually think it is money well spent.
Paul Burwell, MBR
The Fassa Separator is expensive for what is effectively a padded blanket, but it's exceptionally well made and it's simple design and ease of use is really appealing. Once you start using it, it's incredibly handy and makes it hard to go back to the old oily blanket solution.
Hannah Bussey, Cycling Weekly
We use Fassa Separators to protect our bicycles in transit. They are fantastic to use - quick to fit and remove which reduces packing time and more importantly our bikes arrive in pristine condition, ready for our customers to enjoy. Highly recommended.
Canyon Bikes (UK)
We’re really stoked to be adding the protectors to our range and hope that you like them as much as we do. As usual if you have any questions please do get in touch and we will do our utmost to help you out!
As a little postscript, Fassa don’t just make frame protection products - we have also added their Race Day Bag to our range – it’s possibly the best designed one we have come across. All very exciting stuff!