You probably have a lot of bikes if you’re like me, which means you’ll have to deal with storage concerns. The garage or outside has arisen from time to time over recent years.
If they don’t have enough means to secure the bike cover, they always tear, go brittle, or fly away in the wind due to a bad (insufficient) fit.
Why is the cover for my outside grill much more suited than any of the bicycle coverings I have tried?’ has always been my question. There is a reason why so many bicycle covers on the market are lightweight and flimsy fabrics.
Please see the table below for those who don’t have time to read this guide and want recommendations for the greatest covers we’ve come across.
- 1. How to choose the right bike cover for traveling
- 2. Where to purchase a Bike Cover
- 3. Best Bike Covers for Traveling
- 4. North East Harbor Deluxe Single Bike Cover
- 5. Types of Covers
- 6. Lock holes and Accessibility
- 7. Place To Buy It
- 8. Summary:
- 9. Final Thoughts On Buying The Best Bike Cover For Bike Rack:
How We Made Our Decision
For this study, we looked at the two most common applications for bike covers: static storage and mounting on hitch racks and the attributes necessary for each application. At static-storage coverings, we looked for qualities such as material strength and weather resistance, the convenience of use, and compatibility with cable locks, among others. In selecting mobile covers, we looked at features such as minimal wind resistance, an adjustable fit, stability on a rack, and the potential to incorporate reflective or active safety lighting. Every time, we were seeking covers that provided some protection against light impacts and protection from the elements like rain and dirt.
How to choose the right bike cover for traveling
There are many different bike covers available, but not all of them are created equal.
Here are a few things to watch for a while shopping for bike insurance to ensure you get the best deal possible.
When shopping for a bike cover to travel with or bring on a trip, it is critical that the bike cover be waterproof and extremely robust.
Your bike cover must be able to withstand high speeds on the road as well as all types of weather.
Aside from the build quality, the material utilized to make the bike cover will play a significant role.
On-bike covers, only three materials are used: Nylon, Polyester, and polyurethane.
Because of its lightweight nature and waterproofing properties, Nylon is a popular material for bike coverings.
Unfortunately, Nylon is not particularly strong on its own and must be combined with other materials to become stronger.
If you’re going on a short trip or only need basic protection, this may be the most cost-effective option.
Thick Polyester is the ideal material for a bike cover because it is waterproof and the most durable.
If you’re traveling by your bike, this is the best material to use because it will better protect it from rain and road debris.
It will also last significantly longer between uses.
Polyurethane is an excellent waterproofing substance; nevertheless, it is not as strong as Polyester and Nylon.
For traveling, you should look for a bike cover composed of tougher material and blended with polyurethane.
When shopping for bike covers, most will list the material’s strength and durability with a number followed by the letter “D.”
The letter “D” stands for Denier, which is a measurement.
The greater the number, the thicker and more durable the material.
Most bike coverings have a Denier of 120-240D, but if you’re traveling, you’ll want something with a little more thickness.
We recommend a thick Polyester and Nylon bike cover for strength and waterproofing.
We also propose a Denier of up to 600D for those long-distance travels.
This will not only cover your bike from rain, but it should also keep any debris from the road at bay.
The next consideration is the actual size of the bike cover.
This is especially crucial if you’re purchasing a bike cover online, where it’s more difficult to get an idea of the size.
Measure your bike’s height and length.
Ideally, a bike cover that can protect your complete bike as well as other items.
If you are unsure of the exact size you require, it is preferable to err on the side of purchasing something too large rather than too tiny.
A bike rack that is too narrow will not entirely protect your bike, putting it in danger of damage.
Another consideration is price, as a bike cover fits almost any budget.
The purchase of the more expensive bike covers, like most things, will provide you more peace of mind knowing you have a quality product.
The inexpensive bike covers may not be as well made, do not have as many functions, and operate as well as you would like.
By spending a bit more money on a bike cover, you can expect it to stay longer, operate better, and have more features to allow longer rides.
This will be useful for those long travels, considering you would be using the bike cover much as you think.
As previously said, certain bike covers will include features that make them easier and more convenient to use.
Again, you won’t find these features on the cheapest bike covers, but they make life much easier in the long term.
The area of fluorescent material on a bike rack is one of its most significant aspects.
Most bike covers, especially those intended for travel, have a few lines of fluorescent material added to the front, sides, or ends of the cover.
This is a useful feature for making it easier to find in stores.
If you’re looking for a cover for touring, there’s a decent chance you’ll come across some tailgaters.
Try to get a bike cover with a fair amount of reflective material to set your mind at ease about someone crashing into your prized possession.
Where to purchase a Bike Cover
You have a few alternatives when it comes to purchasing a bike cover.
But don’t just go to your nearest Wal-Mart and look for one.
Here are a few of our suggestions for finding your new travel bike cover.
Online – Online shopping is one of the most common ways to buy almost anything these days. When it comes to travel bike coverings, the situation is no different. Buying a bike cover online instead of at a department shop allows you to browse reviews and feedback on the goods you intend to purchase. When it comes to finding the correct bike cover, it comes in very handy, and it can save you time plus peace of mind.
Local Bike Shop –Your local bike shop is another excellent source for bike covers. Bike shops often stock reputable components and accessories, creating a sense of trust in the product. To make matters worse, you can get live advice from the employees, and there’s a strong chance they’re still using the bike cover in dispute.
Best Bike Covers for Traveling
Velosock Shard Bike Cover
It does not work with roof bike racks
The VeloSock Bike Cover is widely regarded as the gold standard in bike covers.
This is not only the most fashionable bike cover on the list, but it is also one of the most innovative.
It shields your bike from dust, filth, salt, and water.
The particular water-resistant fabric is also stretchy and machine washable.
Not only is it simple to put on and secure, but it also works with most types of bike racks, except roof racks.
Formosa Roadtrip Bike Covers
1 and 2 bike options
Harder to protect the bottom of the bike
The Formosa bike cover has been one of the best solutions for transporting two bikes.
This bike cover is available in 1 and 2 bike sizes and fits most bike racks.
The Formosa Bike Cover is one of the most adaptable since it can accommodate two bikes in either direction.
The Formosa bike cover has two reflective panels that reflect your brake lights if you’re concerned about visibility.
TeamObsidian Waterproof Bike Cover
1 and 2 bike options
The TeamObsidian Bike Cover is another excellent travel bike cover.
This is another bike cover that comes in 1 and 2 bike sizes and comes with a 2-year warranty.
There isn’t much in the way of sight, although there are reflective stripes that help identify it.
PRO Outdoor Bike Cover
One and 2-bike options
It only works with hitch bike racks.
The PRO bike cover is among the most durable and cost-effective bike coverings available if you travel with a hitch rack.
This is yet another bike cover that can accommodate more than one bike.
North East Harbor Deluxe Single Bike Cover
Cheapest bike cover
Decent build quality
Walmart’s North East Harbor Deluxe Bike Cover is amongst the most affordable bike covers that do the job.
Amazingly, this bike cover does a great job of protecting your bike from rain and small particles. mn
Types of Covers
Before we get into the technicalities, I’d like to classify the various types of bicycle covers and the situations in which they may be useful.
- Outside bicycle storage for the long term.
- A bicycle is kept outside for short periods of time. (Think about commuting.)
- The bicycle is stored inside the home.
- A bicycle is stored inside the garage.
- A bicycle is just being stored while being transported. (Think of a bike rack on the back of a car or an RV.)
As you can see from the preceding list, you must consider the various scenarios and your requirements. A cover for outdoor storage may or may not be designed the same way as one for indoor use to provide simple dust protection.
‘Isn’t a bike cover quite simple, and it’s only a cover – how expensive can that be?’ you may be thinking. My response is, ‘Actually, and there are a lot of things you should think about.’ Hopefully, after this tutorial, you will know what to look for and will be able to avoid some of the mistakes I made.
This guide will mostly focus on bicycle covers for lengthy outdoor and shelter use. Indoor bicycle covers are rather simple and do not necessitate the same level of thought that outside covers do.
Lock holes and Accessibility
If you’re going to leave your bike outside for a lengthy period, you should have some kind of security mechanism in place.
One of the bike coverings I purchased had metal slots in the front that allowed a front wheel to be lifted and then attached to a post or railing. Of course, having a ‘hole’ in the front is a brilliant idea, but there were two problems to this method on the specific bicycle covers I purchased;
- Because of the front hole, only the front wheel can be locked as a security feature. What’s to prevent a thief from simply unlocking the front wheel and riding away with the bike? This is a significant issue, and I’m surprised no one has thought of it and made a cover with a groove in the center with a velcro flap on either side to allow the lock to be fastened to the underlying bike/frame rather than the wheel. This feature has yet to be found on a bike cover.
- As previously stated, the metal hole that came with this particular cover had to be changed because it corrupted over time. (Please see the list below.) I’ve seen some covers with an embroidered hole in the front, which is a much better option than using metal, which can rust when exposed to the elements, snow, and ice.
Suggestion: Try to choose a cover with a stitched hole rather than a metal one that may rust.
These are a good idea with three applications.
- They can assist you in putting on and removing the cover. If you have one of the larger types of covers, it’s not always the easiest thing in the world to manage, so having a handle is handy and a nice reference point for placing the cover into the proper position.
- It’s convenient to hang the cover to dry even by handle/s if you ever need or desire to.
- This is a nice area to add some reflective strips for increased visibility at night.
This function was included on most of the covers I tested, and it appears to be standard with all but the cheapest models.
Suggestion: Choose a cover with handles because they serve several functions.
Straps for securing Cover
Three of the covers I tried featured straps with plastic buckles for fastening the cover to the bike, which I appreciate. The strap is often placed in the center of the bike/frame and is intended to go under the bottom bracket. I strongly recommend this, and it will aid while storing the bike outside in strong winds, preventing the cover from flying off like a kite. (Which may also cause your bike to fall over.) I have yet to see a cover with ‘two’ straps for optimal security or one for each bike if you get a large cover and plan to store two bicycles.
One of the covers I tried had metal buckles, which is a wonderful idea in theory for longevity, but it made an awful banging/clinking sound against my bike frame when I tried to fasten the cover to the bike. (What a waste of paint!) The best design would be two straps with ‘big’ plastic buckles. (I’ve seen these buckles in a variety of sizes.)
Suggestion: Purchase a cover with at least one strap, preferably two if feasible. Also, avoid metal buckles in favor of plastic buckles – the larger, the better.
Securing the bottom
If you decide to go with my advice and buy a larger cover, you’ll need a way to trim the additional material and make sure the cover fits at the base and is narrow around both wheels. There are two methods to do this, both of which I have tried;
- Elastic at the hem – All the way around. I’ve tried both, and while the completely elasticated hem secures the bike neatly, it can be a pain to get on and off. I’d only think about it if I would leave it on the bike for an extended amount of time. (It also made the cover appear smaller.)
- Drawstring. This is a much easier technique to get the cover on and off, and it is unquestionably the best option. The concept is that you have a secured card and a small plastic bungee clasp. You tighten the string around the bottom and secure it with a clip.
Suggestion: For the convenience of use, choose the drawstring option. If you choose an adjustable hem, make sure it is always at the ends and not the entire hem.
This is one you might not have considered, and most of the bicycle covers I’ve tried don’t have it. The bike must have some air while beneath the cover to prevent sweat and avoid moisture/mildew — especially if you’re using a thicker cloth, as I recommend.
These holes are typically located at the top, near the corners of the handlebars. You’d probably miss them if you didn’t check for them, so make sure your next cover has them.
Another area you could obtain some ventilation is through the lock flap, which I mentioned earlier but does not exist. If there was a velcro-secured horizontal flap in the middle, you could leave some of it slightly open to allow air to circulate through. (However, if you find a cover with air holes in the upper corners, this will suffice.)
Suggestion: Make certain that any cover you purchase has some covered ventilation holes.
I don’t think the color makes much of a difference, but there may be an argument that a black cover could get quite hot in the midday sun, but I’m not sure how much different it would be from a blue or green one, for example.
I recommend black because it is more subtle and does not shout ‘bike over here.’ A large black bike cover of 600DF cloth is more likely to mix with other outside goods such as a barbecue or chair cover.
On a related point, there is a cover on Amazon that appears to be one of their ‘best sellers,’ yet it says ‘Bike’ in big letters on *both sides*!? It may appear cool, but I don’t want anyone to know I’m storing a bike. (If you read the reviews, you’ll see that highlighted.) If feasible, try to get a cover with no logo or a logo on only one side. (Then the side without the logo can face outwards.)
Suggestion: To be discreet, choose black, so it blends in and does not draw attention to itself. Choose a cover with no logo or a logo on only one side.
If you’ve made it this far and consider purchasing a specific cover, make sure it has a three-year or even lifetime warranty. Anyone who manufactures a bike cover to deliver a quality product that they stand behind should provide a solid warranty. I know from my research that some do, and some do not, so make sure there is at least a 2-year warranty available.
Suggestion: Purchase a cover that comes with a 2- or 3-year warranty, preferably a lifetime warranty.
Bicycle covers on the move
I include this because it appears that some folks have a duty to cover their bike while in transportation. I’ve seen some people use a standard hitch-mounted bike carrier on the back of their car or an RV, with a standard bike cover attached. While this appears to be a simple task, in theory, there aren’t many covers on the market that are expressly designed to perform this purpose for three reasons.
- The rear brake/taillights will be obscured by the cover. This is hazardous to one’s safety, especially at night.
- Most coverings are devoid of any reflective elements, much alone any type of lighting.
- Most covers do not have enough straps to keep the wind at bay. You may consider utilizing bungee cords. However, this isn’t the most elegant solution. Heavy wind blowing across any type of polyester material will most likely cause it to break down and crack/tear over time.
Suggestion: When in transit, do not use a cover. If you must, make sure it is securely fastened with many bungee cords and includes some reflective material.
Place To Buy It
The weird thing about bike covers is that you won’t find them on the shelves of your local bike shop. They are more likely to be found at an outdoor yard/garden storage provider.
Of course, like most things these days, you can find them online, with Amazon having the best assortment. Walmart appears to have a good assortment, albeit not as many as Amazon. eBay also carries several, but be wary of the lower-priced covers that frequently appear there.
Suggestion: You can get your cover from Amazon or a manufacturer’s website. If you use Amazon, evaluate each cover based on its material, functionality, and warranty rather than its five-star ratings.
So, ideally, if you’ve read this entire article, you’ve realized that there are a lot of factors to consider while shopping for a new bicycle cover. After all, you don’t want to skimp on your bicycle storage.
Bikes typically cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars and are widely sought after by would-be thieves. Spend the money on a high-quality cover with the proper features, and you should be able to meet all of your requirements.
Another thing to consider is whether you ** need to leave your bike outside at all – especially if it is a relatively pricey bike. If at all feasible, put it in a garage with a cover to protect it from dust, filth, cobwebs, and other debris. Storing items outside for an extended period may increase the likelihood of damage or theft.
If you keep the bike outside, another option to consider is this Glidetop sliding shed, which has outstanding Amazon reviews and can store multiple bikes. (We aim to buy this shed shortly and write a thorough assessment.)
Final Thoughts On Buying The Best Bike Cover For Bike Rack:
Ideally, I’d like to conclude by telling you that I know the best bicycle cover and providing you with a link to it. However, I do not believe that there is an ideal cover that meets all needs and requirements at this time. (Perhaps we at Bicycle Universe should create our cover to fill the void on the market!)
If you ask for a recommendation, I will go with this cover from Pro Bike Tool. I’ve tested it out, and while I haven’t exposed it to the weather for lengthy lengths of time, it appears to be the one with most of the features I’m looking for, has amazing reviews, and I appreciate the idea that it comes with a lifetime warranty!
If the Pro Bike cover isn’t for you, keep the following options in mind before you walk over to Amazon with your newfound knowledge:
-600D material is great. (Neither 180, 190, nor 210) Avoid coverings with a combination of materials or thicknesses since they cut corners on quality and must then be put together, perhaps adding a flaw. (As well as later exposure to water/moisture)
-Black in color -No logo or logo on one side
-XL/Oversized instead of regular – think 82 L × 44 H x 30 W inches (208 x 111 x 76 cm)
-Waterproof -Ventilation holes
-Grab handles -Reflective strips or substance -Stitched lock holes that are not metal
-Use velcro to secure the flap in the center of the cover.
-A long, preferably lifetime, warranty
-At least one bottom strap – two preferable for larger/XL blankets – elastic at the hem/bottom preferably or elastic sides – not flexible all the way around
-Spend more than $20, preferably more than $30, if you want a high-quality oversized/XL version.