How To Keep Bikes From Hitting Each Other On The Bike Rack


Some of you out there may have just bought new bikes for the whole family and a really nice bike rack to transport them from point A to point B. But just after a few hauling, you begin to notice the bikes look as if it had been flogged with a chain. 

You know you didn’t scratch it since you didn’t crash it. Then, you begin to realize that it was rubbing against the other bikes on the rack during the drive.

This is a really big problem for those of us who wants to keep the bikes looking shiny and new. Maybe it’s a vanity thing, but some of us are paying thousands and thousands of dollars for the bikes and would prefer to keep them in great shape.

So how do we keep our bikes from hitting and scratching each other while transporting on bike rack? A way to keep your bikes from bumping into each other on the bike rack is to put a barrier between the bikes. One easy but pricey solution is to buy detachable bike bumpers and attach them to where contact is made. If you are on a budget or loves to DIY, then there are two budget-friendly alternatives – You can wrap the bike frame with foam pool noodle or strap them between the bikes.

Our Favorite Detachable Bike Bumper

One way to protect your bike frame is to purchase some bike bumpers.

Saris Protect-O-Pads

Saris Protect O Pads Outside Pioneers

Sturdy foam pads create a soft, protective barrier between your bikes and bike rack to prevent damage during transport. Pads can also be placed in between your bike and vehicle to help avoid damage to your vehicle’s finish.

  • 4 Soft blocks provide padding between your bikes to prevent damage during transport
  • Easy, slip-on installation
  • Sturdy foam construction
  • Made in the USA
  • Lifetime warranty
Saris Protect O Pads 1
Saris Protect-O-Pads protecting the bike frame from rubbing against trunk rack.
Saris Protect O Pads 2
Saris Protect-O-Pads protecting bike chainstay rubbing against another bike’s front fork.
Saris Protect O Pads 3
Saris Protect-O-Pads protecting the bike’s top tube from rubbing against the trunk rack.

Bopworx Detachable Bike Bumper

Bopworx Detachable Bike Bumpers

The Bopworx Detachable Bike Bumpers are very easy to use and are designed to work with all types of bikes.

They are the ideal solution for protecting the bike frame and your bicycle wheels during travel and storage without the bulky setup.

You do not need tools or other equipment to install them – simply add the bumper to where you want to attach it and then use the latch hook and strap included to secure them in place. However, the downside is they are pretty pricey and can really add up.

Two Budget-Friendly Alternatives To Protect Your Bike Frame During Transport

For those who are budget conscious, luckily there are two inexpensive alternatives I have used – One way is to clamp foam pipe insulation tubes to the front fork, down tube, seat tube, and seat stay. The other way is to strap foam pool noodle in between the bikes.

Alternative #1 – Clamp Foam Pool Tubes to the Frame

This method is basically wrapping parts of the frame with padding to prevent scratches, dings and nicks.

Here’s what you need:

  1. Foam Pool Noodles – the quantity and size depends on the length, diameter and which part of the frame you want padding: fork, down tube, seat tube, and seat stay
  2. Velcro or adjustable straps (also depends on the diameter and the number of parts you want padding)

Oodles of Noodles Foam Pool Noodles

Oodles of Noodles Foam Pool Tubes

Oodles of Noodles are made from a proprietary foam compound that’s more dense than others for improved buoyancy and stiffnessDesigned for the beach, swimming pool, light sabers, toys. Dozens of other uses for craft projects – even insulation. 

Ubenic Bike Wheel Stabilizer Straps

UBENIC Bike Wheel Stabilizer Straps
  • SECURELY STABILIZER BIKE WHEEL – the ideal tool for holding bike wheel from swiveling while transporting or storing
  • PREMIUM QUALITY MATERIAL – made from premium quality nylon material
  • EASY TO USE AND ADJUST – the loop design makes it easy to adjust the length and tightness to give it a secure hold

Here’s how to install the padding:

  1. Measure the length and diameter of the parts you want padding
  2. Purchase the foam pipe tubes and adjustable straps
  3. Measure and cut the foam pipe tubes to the desired length
  4. Clamp the foam pipe tubes onto the part that needs protection
  5. To ensure it stays on during transit, you may want to secure it with Velcro and adjustable straps.

Alternative #2 – Strap Foam Pool Noodle in Between Bikes

DIY Barrier Between Bikes

Although the foam pipe insulation tube method provides the best protection as it wraps the frame with foam, it might not be suitable for every bike setup and occasion. Luckily, we have another easier way: Strap Pool Noodle in Between Bikes.

DIY Barrier Between Bikes Pool Noodle 300x260 1

Here’s what you need:

Here’s how to attach it:

Using the straps, simply secure the foam noodle to the front fork and seat stay. For added security, you can secure the foam noodle to the down tube as well.

Additional Tips to Prevent Bikes from Scratches, Scuffs, Dings, and Nicks

For added frame protection during transit and even bike rides, you may want to consider applying 3M Helicopter Tape or opt for a bike frame protection kit. These tapes simply work by covering the areas of the frame where you want it to be protected most. Or, if you want, you can cover the whole frame. Whatever you choose to use or do, you can give your bike the ultimate protection it deserves while in transit and during the ride.

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