A Guide on Bike Covers: Buying, Usage, and Protection

A bike cover offers a simple and effective way of protecting your bike. It is an important investment if you own or ride a bike considering that you have spent a large amount of money to purchase the bike, and you don’t want to dispose of it prematurely. A quality waterproof bicycle cover can shield your bike from elements, ensuring it lasts longer. Ideally, if you aren’t using your bike, you want to keep it indoors, but then, even when storing the bike, you also want to ensure it is covered to prevent dust and other elements from taking their toll on it.

Of course, there are times when you will have the bicycle stored for a couple of months, especially during the winter because the weather does not permit. During this time, you want to get protective bike covers that can adequately shield the bike from dust and other elements found indoors.

Leaving your bike exposed to the elements is going to speed up its aging process. Things like water, dirt, and the sun can cause damage to the bike, costing you a lot of money in repairs. In the event that you reside in an area with a humid climate, you want to be aware of rust – it can cause damage to certain metal components, especially those that aren’t rust-resistant. In this guide, we look at why you need a bike cover, tips for buying your bicycle cover, how to use or install the covers, and how to take care of it.

Best Bike Cover Comparisons

Brand

Features

bike cover - team obsidian

Team Obsidian - Waterproof Outdoor Bicycle Storage

  • Sizes: l, xl, xxl
  • Capacity: 1, 1-2, 2-3 bikes  
  • Fabric: 210D  
  • Safety Buckle: 1-2
  • Carry Bag
pro bike tool bike cover

Pro Bike Cover for Outdoor Bicycle Storage

  • Sizes: l, xl, xxl
  • Capacity: 1, 1-2, 2-3 bikes  
  • Fabric: Ripstop Oxford 
  • Double stitching, heat sealed seams 
  • High-quality drawstring bag

EUGO Bike Cover

  • Sizes: xl, xxl
  • Capacity: 2-3 bikes  
  • Fabric: 210D with PU coating
  • Belt buckle
  • Pouch w/ drawstring
yardstash bike cover-min

YardStash Waterproof Bike Cover | Outdoor Bicycle Storage

  • Sizes: l, xl, xxl
  • Capacity: 1, 1-2, 2-3 bikes  
  • Fabric: Ripstop Oxford
  • Top & Bottom drawstrings
  • Carry Bag

Ohuhu Bike Cover Waterproof Outdoor Bicycle Cover

  • Dimensions: 78.7 x 43.3 x 27.5 inch 
  • Ideal for mountain and road bikes
  • Fabric: 210T Nylon
  • Top and bottom buckles
  • Carry bag

Why You Need a Bike Cover?

waterproof bike covers

The reason you need a bike cover is to protect your bicycle in the first place. When you buy a bike, you will be riding it, and when you aren’t using it, you will store the bike. A bicycle cover can be used when the bike is in storage and when it’s outside. For instance, let’s say you take a ride down the streets and you decide that you will watch some movie. You want to park the bike somewhere safe and cover it. 

When you get home, you place it in the garage and again cover it. The cover protects the bike from things like dust that can accumulate in various parts, causing problems. The bike covers also protect it from rainwater or even sunlight when outdoors. It’s not likely that you will always find a shaded area where you can park your two-wheeler, so you need to carry with you the cover.

When bikes are left outdoors, the tires and tubes may start to crack, meaning they may pop easier after applying pressure or when you take the bike for a ride. Covering it protects the bike against sunlight that could cause cracking of tubes. Hot climate may also cause parts and components of the bicycles made of rubber or plastic to be brittle, making them break. Also, exposure of the bike to the sun can make colors of the seat, tires, frame, pedals, and other surfaces to fade, causing the transportation equipment to get a washed-out look. 

What Happens When You Don’t Cover Your Bike?

When you don’t cover your bike with a bicycle cover - and that’s the last thing you would want to do - you will be risking parting with it sooner than later. A bicycle is a significant investment you make, it gives you a comfortable ride, takes you to places, and offers you transport when you want to go to the grocery. It’s also a great tool for exercising the body. With all these benefits and the cost you have incurred when purchasing it, you don’t want to let it get damaged by elements that you can shield it from. 

weather conditions

Leaving your bicycle exposed to the elements accelerates the rate at which it ages. Parts and components begin to rust, and it loses its structural integrity, and it could, in fact, put you in danger of causing accidents. Proper protection and care of the bike are crucial if you want to ride safely and lengthen its lifespan. 

Often, bike owners spend a lot of money in repairs when they don’t cover their bikes. That is money they could have saved by simply buying bicycle covers and covering the bike. A word of caution is that when you have been out riding before you store your bike and cover it, you can give it a simple cleanup, just in case, to remove any loose dirt, grime, or even moisture so that when you cover it, those elements won’t stick on the parts, surfaces, or components of the bike. It will also make it easier for you when you eventually do a thorough cleanup. And you know what? Moisture and dust can be a recipe for sludge, which can contribute to the quick rusting of metal parts. 

How to Care for Your Bike Cover

If you have a bike, you will not only need to care of it but also the accessories it uses like the covers. For example, there is the seat cover that is used to cover the bicycle saddle, and there is the helmet cover that you use to cover the helmet. When using the covers, you need to know how you can install them properly. For instance, if it’s the seat cover for protection against dirt, you should know how to fit it.

So, how do you go about installing a dirt bike seat cover?

bike seat cover

Installing or replacing a dirt bicycle seat cover is not difficult, provided you have the tools. In order to install the cover, you will need a set of pliers, staples, Stanley knife, large flat-blade screwdriver, t-bar set, and heavy-duty or air spring-loaded staple gun. When installing the dirt seat cover, you need to remove the seat and flip it over to see where the staples are located- usually the bottom area.

Use the screwdriver to remove the staples. For the staples proving tricky to remove, use the pliers to pull them out. After you have removed the old cover, get the new one and check the ends to see the front and back. Start by pulling your cover over the front end and doing the same over the back end of the bike seat. Try to pull over both ends to ensure you have a smooth, wrinkle-free finish.

Using the staple gun, punch staples – start by punching one to the front and then another to the rear. Make sure you fire the staples properly to avoid damaging the seat. After that, work from the front punching the staples as you move to the back end. Ensure you add the staples to each side as you move the way down to the rear end. Ensure the cover is straight and firmly snug to the base of the seat. Now, you are done with the installation of the bike seat cover.

If you are riding off-road during the rainy season, you want to ensure that the spokes of your bike are protected. Using bike spoke wraps, you can help protect the spokes from dirt and ensure they don’t vibrate when you are riding. To help cover the spokes, you want to purchase the spoke wraps and then wrap them around the spokes as instructed. You may need to trim them so that they fit incorrectly.

When you want to transport your bike, you can fold it up in a bike cover. The folding bike racks or covers are designed to ensure that the bicycle slips in easily, and then you tie the cover around the saddle. The cover may have the saddle exposed so that it can serve as the handle for handling the bike. Using the folding bike rack allows you to transport your bike without bothering other people. It is easy to use and allows the bike to fit inside without causing damage to the cover. When placing the bike in the folding cover, you start by the rear side and then the front end before you pull up the cover to tie it around the neck of the saddle. 

Another thing you need to protect is your helmet. A bike helmet cover allows you to keep the helmet free of dust, moisture, and protect it from sunlight. If you don’t have a helmet cover, you can purchase one or even consider sewing or stitching one for yourself. There are many accessories you need for your bicycle, and perhaps, you don’t have to get to the bicycle store every time you want an accessory. Some of them can be made from home. You just need to have the tools and items needed to make them. 

For example, the helmet cover can be custom-made at home using fabric material like muslin or scrap fabric. To make the helmet cover, you need to get a thin plastic bag like a dry-cleaning bag. It will be used for sketching the cover. You now wrap the helmet in packing tape – ensure it’s tightly wrapped. After you have covered the helmet, make guide marks. Also, mark any special features like ventilation holes. After marking, cut along the mark. Also, cut the pattern pieces so that you use them to cut the fabric. When you have cut the pieces, now use them to trace on paper. Ensure you leave enough space for seams during stitching in each piece. Use the pieces of paper to cut the patterns out of your fabric. Now use the fabric pieces to sew up your helmet.

When you have used the bike covers, you want to ensure you keep them properly so that they last longer and are free of debris or dirt.

How to Clean Your Bike Cover

Your bicycle cover will get dirty with dirt, dust, oil, or even bird droppings. A dirty cover will also mean your bike gets dirty. It doesn’t make sense when you wash and wax your bike then cover it with a dirty cover. Cleaning a bike cover depends on the materials used to make the cover. There are different materials you find in the market, including nylon and polyester materials.

In cleaning the bicycle cover, you will prepare it first. Since bike covers are made of different materials – the good should be made of weatherproof material. Earlier, you would find plastic sheets, but today there are highly durable covers that are weather resistant. Some of them have instructions from the manufacturers detailing how to clean them. If yours doesn’t come with instructions, don’t worry.

A safer way of cleaning the bike covers is by hand, though some can be washed in washing machines. When cleaning the covers, wear an apron or something that you don’t mind if it gets messy or stained. Get cold and hot water in plenty.

Using a washing powder – and for that matter - a mild washing powder, pour it directly into stain spots so that you remove them before you clean the entire piece. Allow the detergent to soak for a few minutes. Fill a bucket or sink with warm water and add more detergent. Dip the cover in the soapy water then gently wash the cover. Rinse your cover and air-dry it. Ensure there aren’t suds left on the cover after you rinse it because it can damage the material.


Tips for Buying a Bike Cover

buying a bike cover

In selecting a bike cover, you need to consider its use. A full bike cover is used to protect the entire bike during indoor storage or when it’s outdoors. For instance, in winter, you will most likely not be using your bicycle unless it’s a fat bike. For winter bike storage, you want a cover designed for indoor bicycle storage. You may also want to have a cover that protects the chain gear and wheels – these covers become handy when the two-wheeler is being transported or is indoors. A waterproof seat cover helps shield the bike’s saddle from rainwater, thus keeping it dry.

In selecting a bike cover, you need to consider its use. A full bike cover is used to protect the entire bike during indoor storage or when it’s outdoors. For instance, in winter, you will most likely not be using your bicycle unless it’s a fat bike. For winter bike storage, you want a cover designed for indoor bicycle storage. You may also want to have a cover that protects the chain gear and wheels – these covers become handy when the two-wheeler is being transported or is indoors. A waterproof seat cover helps shield the bike’s saddle from rainwater, thus keeping it dry.

A full bicycle cover made of waterproof and UV resistant material allows thorough protection from damaging elements. If you want a cover for indoor storage or transportation, you may want to have one that is full or one that will protect the bike pedals, chain, and wheels but keep the seat and handlebar uncovered. Waterproof outdoor bike covers are meant to help with weather protection while the indoor bicycle covers help protect the two-wheeler from things like scratches, dust, and damages when being transported or when in storage under the shade, garage, or house.

Things to Look for When Selecting Bike Covers

  • The most important consideration is the material of the bicycle cover. A thick polyester material of say, 600D (D- standing for denier) could be the best bet; however, it’s rare to find it. This kind of material is thick enough to endure for a long while, not being able to tear off easily when taking it on or when fitting it over the bike. Most of the materials you will find are 400D and 240D, meaning they may not last long as the 600D. Probably the reason why the bike seat manufacturers don’t want to use the heavy-duty material is because of the cost implication. Nonetheless, you could still find these materials but at a much higher cost. 

  • The cover should also be large enough to be able to cover the bike. When buying the cover, make sure it is large, or it’s XL because the smaller or regular sizes wouldn’t cover the bike in entirety. An XL cover will also ensure, if the need arises, two bikes can be covered together, or you use it to cover a beach cruiser bike or a recumbent bike. You may want to look for bicycle covers measuring 82 L x 44 H x 30 W or something like that instead of the regular 78″ x 30″ x 40″. The correct size of the cover material is calculated from the ground up to the tallest or highest part of your bicycle, that’s the handlebars. The width may differ from model to model, while the length is measured from the front tire’s tip to the back tire’s tip. But the most important thing is to ensure you get a size that is larger than the measurements.

  • Also, get a cover that has some reflective materials, it helps when you park the two-wheeler at night or when on the road transporting it.

  • Again, consider a cover with some closure system within the bottom area like tie straps, buttons, or a zipper. It will help prevent dust and debris from blowing up into the gear, cables, chains, and other parts. When dust gets into these parts, it affects its performance or even makes it deteriorate. Another thing to look at is the UPF rating. This tells you how effective the cover material is at shielding the bike from harmful UV light. Ensure you check the specifications to see that you have a material that is tear-resistant, puncture-resistant, and waterproof. The covers should also have lock holes so that you can be able to lock the bikes for security reasons when you park them. You don’t want to leave your bicycle unsecured with a lock because you may not know what could happen. A bicycle cover that does not have lock holes and accessibility can be inconveniencing, especially when you want to secure the bike safely in the parking area or shade. 

Where to Buy a Bike Cover

It’s important you know where you can get your bicycle covers. Often, you will find that there are many places you can purchase the covers. In most cases, you will be ordering them online, or you may visit a brick and mortar store. Whichever the case, you need to know what you want. Amazon is a good bet when you want to purchase the covers. When buying from Amazon, you want to seek bike covers for sale at Amazon, which meets your specifications and are of the right material. You may find some are made of nylon; however, you would better prefer polyester fabric.

where to buy bike cover

A cover made from high-quality polyester taffeta, for instance, is an ideal choice. The cover should have a protective material that has a smooth feel. The polyester material is waterproof, tear-resistant, durable, and protects the bicycle against dust, scratches, UV light, rain, and snow.


Conclusion


These are some of the things you want to know about bike covers. With a quality bicycle cover and proper care, it will last longer and ensure your bike endures for long. It will keep the bike in good shape while reducing the maintenance and repair costs.