Not everyone needs a bike cover. But if your situation fits any of the below, you’ll need to get one.
- You need to store your bike outside for a long time.
- You need to store your bicycle outside for a short term (e.g., bike commuting).
- Your bike will be stored while in transit (e.g., at the back of your car using a bike rack).
- You are storing your bike inside the garage.
Bike covers are not equal. Some’s works great for garages while some are ideal for long term outside storage. In this blog, I’ll help you choose the right bike cover for your needs.
Bike Cover Material
Choosing the right material is one of the most important considerations you need to make when selecting a bike cover. Ideally, you need something made from thick materials. Most bike covers in the market are from polyester.
The strength and durability of polyester are measured using a unit called “denier.” The larger the denier rating (meaning, the thicker or heavier the threads), the stronger the polyester is. For example, 600D is more durable than 400D. And 400D is better than 240D.
When looking for a high-quality bike cover, go for one with a high denier number. Pay attention to products that use 600D polyester ONLY on the top part. Ideally, you want a bicycle cover that’s made of the same material all over.
Bike Cover Size
Look for a bike cover that covers your bicycle up to the floor. Avoid regular or small size covers. Instead, buy large or XL ones. Some even allow you to cover more than one bike.
Don’t worry about excess materials. What matters is that the entire bike is covered!
Bike Cover Security and Accessibility
Bike theft is rampant in the United States, so don’t just leave your bike outside without any form of security. Most bike covers come with lock holes.
These lock holes are usually found at the front so you can access and lock your bike’s front wheel easily. Lock holes are a great feature, and you need to take advantage of this if you are planning to leave your bike on the streets.
Look for bike covers with lock holes made from durable rust-free metal so they’ll last longer against the elements.
Another nice to have feature for bike covers are reflective strips. Although not essential, reflective strips are great if you are going to store your bike where there’s not much light available.
Also, reflective strips make your bike cover more visible at night when you are in transit.
Bike Cover Grab Handles
Look for bicycle covers with grab handles. This feature allows you to do things:
- Grab handles are an excellent spot to put reflective strips, so your bike is more visible at night.
- You can hang the cover by the grab handles when drying.
- Grab handles help you put on or take off the bike cover easily. They provide a good reference point when positioning your bicycle cover to the correct place.
Grab handles are a standard feature among bike covers. No surprise there.
Look for bike covers with security straps. Why? Because you’ll need this to secure your bike cover against high winds. Most security straps are near the middle of the bike frame; they usually go under the bottom bracket.
More security strips equal to more protection. Also, please stay away from metal buckles as they may scratch your bike. Look for plastic ones instead. More massive buckles are always welcome.
Securing the Bottom of Your Bike Cover
Buy a cover that offers a way to secure the bottom. Most bike covers in the market come with drawstrings and elastic hems to do this. Let’s discuss both:
Drawstrings are made of a secured cord with a clip at the end. To secure the bottom of your bike cover, pull strings tightly and lock the clip. Drawstrings provide the easiest way to put your cover on and off.
Elastic hems secure the bottom of your bike cover quite nicely, but it’s quite hard to take on and off. Elastic hem options are great if you are planning to store your bike for more extended periods.
Go for drawstrings if you are looking for ease of use. For longer storage and better coverage, go for elastic hems.
Water and Heat Proofing
Your bike’s finish is delicate, so a bike cover that protects it is a must. Most bike covers in the market come with UV protection coatings to keep your bike cover from overheating. They also offer some degree of waterproofing against light rains and drizzles.
Ventilation holes in bike covers help prevent the buildup of mildew and moisture. This feature is a must-have, especially if your bike cover is thick.
Most ventilation holes are in the corners, right at the handlebars. You won’t even find it if you’re not looking!
Make sure to read the product description carefully and see if there’s any mention of ventilation holes. Or better, ask the seller.
Bike Cover Color
I know what you are thinking. Does the color matter? Yes, but this is more of a personal preference. I like black because it’s discreet and doesn’t shout “BIKE” on the streets. If you’re not worried about security, pick the color you like best.
Can I Use a Bike Cover when Transporting My Bike?
Although I’ve seen covered bikes hanging on a bike rack behind somebody’s car, I will not recommend it because of the following reasons:
- Bike covers tend to block taillights and brake lights.
- Not all bicycle covers have reflective materials.
- Your bike cover may not have enough straps to secure it against a bellowing wind.
There you have it. I hope this blog post can help you find the right bike cover for your needs.
We’ve compiled a list of the best bike covers you can buy today here.
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