Can Car Bike Racks Get Wet?

Have you ever found yourself worrying if your car bike rack can handle the rain? You’re not alone! It’s a common concern for us bike enthusiasts, especially when we’ve invested in a decent rack. It’s unsettling to think of our shiny racks getting tarnished by a sudden downpour. In this article, we’re diving into this very issue, shedding light on how water affects bike racks.

We’ll uncover the nitty-gritty about waterproofing, the role of materials in durability, and what happens with constant water exposure. Plus, we’ll share some handy tips and tricks on protecting and maintaining your rack.

If you’re looking to ease your mind and learn a thing or two about keeping your bike rack in tip-top shape, you’re in the right spot!

Can Car Bike Racks Get Wet?

Indeed, car bike racks can get wet, and they are typically designed to withstand such exposure, being constructed from durable and water-resistant materials like Hardened Steel and Titanium. However, the key is managing the extent and frequency of this exposure to prevent long-term damage such as rusting and corrosion.

While occasional exposure to rain is not detrimental, consistent wet conditions necessitate protective measures like using covers and opting for roof bike racks, which are less susceptible to rain impact during drives. Regular maintenance and cleaning are also crucial in maintaining the rack’s condition and ensuring its longevity, even when exposed to the elements.

Are Bike Racks Waterproof?

Yes, bike racks are waterproof. Let us understand the term to make more sense of it. The term waterproof refers to the property of being completely sealed and not allowing water to seep through. In most cases, bike racks tend to be made of a metal or a mixture of metals.

Metals are composed of tightly packed molecules. This property prevents water from entering inside, thus making bike racks waterproof.

Are Bike Racks Water-Resistant?

Yes, bike racks are water-resistant, but to a certain extent. Let me explain. Waterproof and water-resistant may sound similar, but they have distinct meanings. An object is referred to as water-resistant when it repulses the effects of water for a period.

The water eventually will stick to or seep through the object. As for bike racks, the water will stick to the surface with continuous rain exposure.

Related reading: Can You Put A Carbon Bike On A Bike Rack?

Is It OK for A Bike Rack To Get Rained On?

Yes, it’s ok for a bike rack to get rained on. It is okay if your bike gets splashed with water or is drenched once or twice in the rain (let it take a shower at times).

It becomes a problem when you constantly take your car out in the rain with the bike attached to the car bike rack or purposely leave your vehicle, with the bike attached to the bike rack, outside to drench.

Have you ever noticed your bike rack’s ever-so-shine faded to a dull and sad color? That is one of the first signs of rusting.

As an informed individual, you may be tempted to pull over your car under a shelter whenever it is raining. Instead, the better thing to do could be to be cautious of keeping your car bike rack away from rain or excess dirt as much as possible.

Will A Bike Rack Rust If It Gets Wet Often?

Yes, a bike rack will rust if it gets wet often. If a bike is constantly wet, it will eventually rust and corrode. Let us understand the science behind why this may be the case.

The best approach may be getting a bike rack made of a material that tends to get wet less often. Materials like Mild Steel get rusty relatively quickly.

On the contrary, the durability of Hardened Steel, Titanium, and Stainless Steel makes them a good fit for the racks. Choosing the suitable material is one of the most critical factors in determining the fate of your car bike rack.

Related reading: How Fast Can You Go With A Bike Rack?

Will Driving Through Heavy Rain With A Bike Rack On My Car Damage The Rack?

Yes, driving through heavy rain with a bike rack on your car will cause a lot of damage to the rack. When driving on a freeway, you usually go at breakneck speeds, which, paired with the speed of the headwind and downpour, is a recipe for disaster. The bike rack will be hit with water with immense force, causing it to rust quickly, sometimes as soon as within hours.

As removing the frame is not a feasible option, if you want to carry your bike conveniently, you may look into buying a roof bike rack instead. This option might turn out to be better, as roof bike racks can withstand more rain force than rear bike racks.

During the monsoon, it may be best to remove the bike rack, but if you must keep it attached, using a roof rack might as well be your best bet. But, it would be best if you also kept in mind that while carrying a roof rack, the bike is more prone to get wet or even damaged by heavy rain.

Can I Go Through A Carwash With A Bike Rack?

Yes, you can go through a carwash with a bike rack. But only if it is a touchless car wash. There are mainly two car washes to look for; automatic and touchless. Automatic car washes are most detrimental to your bike rack as it uses spinning brushes. Touchless car washes could be a superior approach, as they use high-powered water jets instead of spinning brushes.

Read more: Car Wash with A Bike Rack – Is It Safe?

Should You Cover Your Bike Rack To Protect It From Elements?

It would help if you covered your bike rack to protect it from the elements.

Covering your bike rack helps keep it from contact with dust, debris, and water, three causal factors of rust. There are covers out there that also have openings for the tail light. Bike rack covers are usually easy to install and save a lot of time rather than installing and removing the bike rack during heavy rainfall.

How Do You Protect A Bike Rack In The Rain?

There are a few ways you could go about shielding your bike rack from rain. The most intuitive answer would be to remove the frame and place it inside the car or bring it indoors. This is by far the safest way to protect your bike rack. You may also choose to place a car bike rack cover over it.

Stay tuned, as we have a whole new article coming up where we discuss many more ways to protect your bike rack.


It’s crucial to reiterate that, yes, bike racks can indeed get wet, but it’s the frequency and the extent of exposure to water that can potentially lead to damage.

I’ve delved deep into the nuances of bike racks, exploring their waterproof and water-resistant properties, and it’s clear that while they are designed to withstand the elements to a degree, prolonged exposure can lead to rust and corrosion. It’s been enlightening to discover the different materials used in bike racks, with some, like Hardened Steel, Titanium, and Stainless Steel, offering more durability and resistance to water compared to others like Mild Steel.

From my personal experiences and extensive journeys, I’ve learned that being proactive in protecting your bike rack from the elements is paramount. Whether it’s opting for a roof bike rack, using a cover, or choosing a touchless car wash, these measures can significantly prolong the life of your bike rack. It’s been my mission to ensure every cycling enthusiast can continue their exploration and love for cycling without the worry of their equipment being tarnished by the elements.

It’s not about completely shielding your bike rack from water but about managing and mitigating the exposure effectively. I’ve seen my fair share of faded and rusted bike racks, and trust me, a little precaution goes a long way.

Next time the clouds rumble and the rain starts to pour, you’ll know that your bike rack is secure, and you can continue your journey with peace of mind.

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