Very nearly 10/10
With one Fassa Defender you can effectively keep three bikes from harm, simply by fitting it to the middle one. It’s like their Separator but on steroids.
We were sent the original Fassa Separator last year and rated it really highly as one of the best ways to protect your beloved bike whilst transporting it in the car or van. The only real issue with it was it only protected one side of your bike, so you needed more than one if you were going to be transporting three or more bikes.
Well Fassa has shown that it is a company that listens and a few months ago brought out the new Defender and it’s like the Separator on steroids. Two large flaps wrap around a bike to protect it from all angles. Each side Velcros to the other to effectively create a near impenetrable barrier that not only prevents damage but also helps keep mud and detritus from spreading all over the car.
Due to its size and weight it can be a bit tricky to fit the first few times. As soon as you try moving one flap it tends to flop back and annoyingly grab the Velcro on the other side almost at lightening speed. A quick chat to Simon at Fassa and he explained a neat trick. By folding one side back onto itself it easily pops over the top tube and happily unfolds on the other side. Job done, five-second job! Two long Velcro straps can then be wrapped over to hold it in place.
Fassa make the Defender out of thick waterproof woven and UV coated 100% polyethylene, wrapped over a closed cell inner fabric. It easily wipes clean and also makes a handy, large changing mat for when you fancy stripping off in a random carpark.
This first edition isn’t perfect. Due to its size and lack of any handles it is quite tricky to lift your bike into the back of a car (no problems wheeling a bike into the back of a van). After feeding back to Fassa, they are fitting extra carrying handles along the lower edges to make lifting and shifting a much easier affair.
The ability to use one Defender to look after three bikes and it’s impeccable durability and performance means it’s easy to award it 9/10. With the additional carrying handle improvements to the second generation version it will easily be a 10/10 product.