Just because our mountain bikes can handle the rough and tumble life of barreling down the trail, doesn’t mean they need to suffer the same torture every time on the way to the trail head. Almost every mountain biker throws their bike on a roof or hitch rack on a regular basis, while for many gravity riders the bikes get tossed in the back of trucks and vans after almost every run. The folks at Dirtlej, a young company from the southwest of Germany near the Swiss and French borders, are making a series of fairly simple easy on and off nylon pads that aim to offer optimal protection to the key parts of your bike that see the most impact and abrasion abuse in transit. So covering dropouts, frame, and pedal contact points, they’ll make sure that the only damage to your bike is rider-inflicted. Have a closer look after the break…
Dirtlej’s Fork Protector covers the fork lower and dropout where bikes usually end up against each other on tightly spaced racks or leaned together in a pick-up bed. The padded 900D nylon outer and 600D polyester internal, protector attaches with two large velcro strap and keeps an eye on your fork for 16€.
Their Frame Protector uses the same construction for 12€ in a simple loop pad that velcros around the main frame tube where a rack will clamp onto the bike. It claims to reduce the likelihood of scratching or denting the frame, but also should provide a little more clamping security with its grippy interior surface.
Like your fork, the rear end of a bike frame at its dropouts is the other part that gets the most abuse in transit. The 16€ Rear Protector wraps around the dropout, chain and seatstays, and velcros in place like the other pads to keep from being scraped by other bikes leaning against it.
The Pedals themselves probably need the least protection, but they are the most likely to thrash your buddies frame. For 16€ a pair, just strap these Pedal Protectors on your riding buddy’s beartraps, instead of having to steal his traction pins, and voila your bike doesn’t get scratched up in the back of the van on the way to go ride. While scrapes are probably not so big of a concern here (except maybe with carbon wheels), the 12€ pair of Rim Protectors gives a bit more grip around ratcheting wheel straps. And more security on holding your bike’s wheels is always good for some peace of mind.
Besides being sold one piece at a time, Dirtlej has a Single Package for 28€ that includes each of these protectors to pack a single bike, and a 54€ Extended Package that doubles it up to totally protect a pair of bikes on one bike rack.
To add to their frame protection, Dirtlej is also expanding out a bit into transport bags for gear as well. Now their offerings are limited to an 80l ballistic nylon and TPE waterproof fabric Travelbag duffel in either navy or pink for 84€ and a 26l mesh Dirtbag to stuff with dirty riding gear for 10€.