Last updated: August 6, 2021

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A bike cover helps keep your bike clean and protected, so it's ready to go for your next ride without hassle or effort. Rain, snow, dirt and dust cannot harm your bike. They come in different sizes and designs, depending on how many bikes are stored in them.

If you are transporting your bicycle on a bicycle carrier, please note before purchasing the bicycle cover whether it is a rear carrier or a towbar carrier. With our big bike cover test 2021 we want to help you find the right bike cover for you. To make your purchase decision easier, we have compared different bicycle covers and listed their advantages and disadvantages.




Summary

  • If you have to park your bike outside due to lack of space, a bike cover protects the bike from weather-related damage. There are also bike covers for indoor storage. These indoor covers protect the floor and walls from dirt and moisture and differ in handling from the outdoor variant.
  • To prevent the bicycle cover from coming loose or being blown away by the wind, it is fixed in place with belt buckles, Velcro or a zip fastener. However, tarpaulins do not protect against theft. The bicycle cover should be waterproof and UV-resistant in any case. Bicycle covers made of polyester are particularly robust.
  • Bicycle covers are available in different sizes and designs. They are used for one or more bicycles, e-bikes and even motorbikes. If the bicycles are transported by car or camper van, a bicycle cover is suitable for rear carriers or towbar carriers. Especially when travelling, a storage bag is useful to stow the cover when it is not needed.

The Best Bicycle Cover: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for bicycle covers

You want to buy a bike cover and are thinking about the criteria you should use to make your choice? Then you've come to the right place! We show you aspects that will help you make your decision. The following criteria are decisive when buying a bicycle cover:

In the next paragraphs you will see what is important when buying a bicycle cover.

Size and number of protected bikes

Due to different bicycle sizes, there are also different sizes of bicycle covers. The decisive factor is whether the bike has normal dimensions or is longer or wider. For an ordinary 28 inch bicycle, the bicycle cover should have a size of at least 180 x 60 x 90 centimetres.

If the cover is too short, wind and rain will get inside and your bike will no longer be adequately protected.

For the storage of two bicycles, protective covers of at least 210 x 100 centimetres are recommended. Optimal dimensions would be 240 x 100 x 120 centimetres. In this case, the cover is also suitable for e-bikes or motorbikes. Covers for up to four bicycles have dimensions of about 460 x 75 x 300 centimetres and are heavier due to the material and workmanship. Special attention should be paid to the dimensions.

A tarp that is too short on the sides allows wind and rain to get inside and the bike is no longer adequately protected. A protective cover for bicycle racks must therefore completely enclose the bike. Bicycle covers for interior storage are independent of the type and size of the bicycle. Due to the elastic fabric and the design, they adapt to the bicycle.

Type of bicycle

Bicycle covers are not designed specifically for one type of bicycle, but are versatile. The size of the bicycle is used as a measure. Classic bicycle covers are suitable for 28 inch bicycles such as trekking bikes, mountain bikes, city bikes or racing bikes. It is therefore important to measure the bike before buying in order to choose the right product.

Bicycle covers are not designed specifically for one type of bike, but are versatile.

Bicycle covers have the advantage that they can be used universally. Therefore, it is important to think about what you want to use them for before you buy them. Large tarpaulins are suitable for several bikes, bikes with a child seat, motorbikes or cargo bikes. A cargo bike cover also offers protection for barbecues or garden sets at the campsite.

The elastic at the hem allows the tarp to be adjusted tightly. Another thing to consider is whether you want to mount your bicycle on a bicycle carrier. For this purpose, there are special bicycle covers with special fastening techniques that are suitable for several bicycles or e-bikes.

Large tarpaulins are also suitable for bikes with a child seat or for your motorbike.

A bicycle cover for indoor use is also independent of the type of bicycle. However, it is only designed for one bike.

Material and product features

Nylon or polyester are offered as materials. An important requirement is a waterproof material and a waterproof finish. Double seams and polyester as the material are particularly recommended for e-bikes or when transporting the bikes on the rear and towbar carriers.

Polyester is considered stable and tear-resistant. A polyurethane coating offers additional protection.

Bicycle covers for the bicycle carrier should therefore be made of polyester and ideally have a polyurethane coating. A UV coating also keeps UV rays away from the cover and the bike. Without UV protection, the bike cover quickly loses stability and becomes susceptible to cracking. Nylon is considered water-repellent and air-permeable.

If you park your bike at home and only want dust protection, a nylon bike cover is sufficient. It is easy to handle and much lighter than polyester. Protective covers for indoor use are also made of different materials. Polyester and spandex materials absorb water quickly, dry quickly and are easy to wash. Special designs of bike covers include eyelets for your bike lock.

This way, the bike and cover can be secured against theft. A bicycle cover for the rear carrier also needs a pocket for the warning sign. A storage bag for your bike cover is an advantage. This allows the cover to be stored safely and in a space-saving manner when travelling.

Fastener

A bicycle cover must be secured so that it does not come loose. The fastener is especially important in windy conditions or when transporting the cover by car. A distinction is made between variants with belt buckles, Velcro fasteners and zips. Belt buckles are fastened with clips and hold firmly. A Velcro fastener quickly loses its closing force and comes off more easily. Larger bicycle covers are additionally equipped with a zip.

A bicycle cover for outdoor use must be fixed so that it does not come loose in the wind.

If you want to lock your bike with a lock, you can also take this into account with your bike cover. Special protective covers are equipped with safety eyelets. The bike and cover can be secured with a bike lock and protected against theft. Larger covers are also equipped with an elastic band. This allows the protective cover to be better adapted to the size of the bike.

For transport on the rear carrier or towbar carrier, the bike cover also contains rubber tensioners with hooks for fixing. An indoor cover only needs an elastic band to adapt to the size and shape of the bike. Additional fasteners are not necessary.

Suitability of bike carrier

When transporting bicycles on a bicycle carrier, there are important points to consider. A distinction is made between bicycle covers for towbar carriers and rear carriers, although some manufacturers have designed products that are suitable for both.

Protective covers for rear carriers require an opening at the back to be able to attach the bikes to the carrier with bike clips.

Before buying, you should consider how many bicycles will be transported. For rear carriers, there are bicycle covers for up to 4 bikes. Protective covers for rear carriers require an opening at the back.

This is intended for bicycle clips that are used to secure the bicycles to the carrier. In addition, the protective cover should be equipped with a viewing pocket for the warning sign. The fastening options vary depending on the product and range from elastic band to Velcro and zip.

Bicycle covers for towbar racks are usually designed for two bikes or e-bikes. They are made with an elastic band and possibly strap buckles for better adjustment to the bike size. Bicycle covers for towbar racks are also suitable for covering the bicycle at the campsite.

Decision: What types of bike covers are there and which one is right for me?

If you want to buy a bike cover, there are two alternatives you can choose between:

Type of bike cover Advantages Disadvantages
Indoor Protects indoor spaces from dirt, Very elastic, Dries quickly, Suitable for almost all bikes, Keeps bike from rusting Not suitable for outdoor use, Not ideal protection on bike racks
Outdoor Provides protection from wind, moisture and snow, Can be used for different purposes, Models available in different sizes and for bike racks Can tear in strong storms, May be easily stolen by strangers

There are advantages and disadvantages to using each type of cover. Depending on what you need the cover for, a different type is suitable for you. The following section is designed to help you decide.

Indoor bike covers are designed for indoor use such as garage, hallway, office or living room. They protect floors, carpets and walls from sand, mud, dirt and moisture.

Furthermore, they are an ideal protection when transporting the bike in the boot of the car. Bicycle covers for living areas are made of flexible, breathable, strong fabric and fit almost all bicycles. The covers are made of nylon or polyester, which makes them elastic. They are lightweight, absorb water quickly and dry quickly. As a result, they protect the bike from rust and oxidation. Dirt can be easily removed from the cover. Furthermore, they are suitable for cleaning in the washing machine.

Advantages
  • Protects interiors from dirt
  • Suitable for almost all bikes
  • Preserves bike from rust
Disadvantages
  • Not suitable for outdoor use
  • Not ideal protection on bike racks

Handling is very simple. The cover is pulled over the tyre, chain and pedals from below. Residential bike covers are usually uncovered at the top frame. Full bike covers, on the other hand, cover the entire bike and contain openings so that the bike can be fixed in the bike stand or on a bike suspension. Manufacturers usually offer different designs and prints. Thus, these bike covers can be a decorative element in the living area.

Outdoor bike cover

Outdoor bike covers protect bikes and e-bikes from bad weather, dust and dirt. The protective covers are available in different sizes for one to four bikes. Furthermore, they are ideal for transport on a caravan with a drawbar carrier or rear carrier. Larger tarpaulins are suitable for cargo bikes or motorbikes. These can also be used for bicycles with a child seat. Ideally, outdoor bicycle covers are also used to protect garden furniture.

Advantages
  • Provides protection from wind, moisture and snow
  • Can be used for different purposes
  • Models available in different sizes and for bike racks
Disadvantages
  • Can tear in strong storms
  • Possibly easily stolen by strangers

Bicycle covers are made of nylon and polyester. These materials are waterproof. Polyester is very strong and tear-resistant and protects e-bikes and bicycles transported on cars. A UV coating leads to longevity of the cover and the bike.

Nylon is preferably suitable for storage in garages or as dust protection. In addition, it is important to pay attention to the closure so that the cover is not blown away by the wind. The better the protective cover can be fixed with rubber bands and strap buckles, the better the bicycle is protected. [/su_spoiler] [/su_accordion]

Guide: Frequently asked questions about bicycle covers answered in detail

If you want to buy a bicycle cover, you probably have a few questions. In our guide to bike covers, we have answered the most important and frequently asked questions. Our guide should help you to find the most suitable bike cover for you.

What is a bike cover suitable for?

An outdoor bike cover offers ideal protection for your bike when you have to park it outdoors. The cover protects the bike from damage caused by the weather. There are also bike covers that are designed to protect your living area when you park your bike indoors.

Those covers that are used outdoors are made of materials that are water-repellent. It is important to consider the dimensions of the bicycle. A cover that is too small will not provide sufficient protection. Covers are also available for up to four bicycles.

Fahrradabdeckung-1

Bicycles are exposed to dirt and moisture. Indoor bicycle covers protect the living area after an outing. Outdoor bike covers keep the bike clean and protected outdoors.
(Image source: Patrick Hendry / unsplash)

There are special bike covers for transporting your bikes on the caravan. For rear racks, covers are made for up to four bikes. These include an opening at the back for attaching the bikes to the carrier with bike clips.

A visual pocket for the warning sign is obligatory here. Bicycle protection covers for drawbar carriers are available for up to two bicycles. The covers can be adapted to the bicycles by means of elastic bands and special strap buckles. The advantage of large bicycle covers and tarpaulins is that they can also be used to protect barbecues and garden furniture at the campsite.

You can store your bike cover in special storage bags when you don't need it.

Bicycle covers for indoor use are easy to use, absorb water quickly and dry quickly. Dirt can be easily removed from the cover. They are also suitable for washing machines.

What is the choice of bicycle covers?

The choice of bicycle covers depends on the area of application, the material, the number of bicycles to be protected and the dimensions. There are also bicycle covers for transport on a camper van or car.

The selection depends on the area of application, the material, the number of wheels and the dimensions.

Therefore, before buying, think about what you will use the bicycle cover for. If it is a cover for outdoor use and you only want to protect your bike, a bike cover with the same dimensions as your bike is sufficient. Also consider whether you want to lock your bike. There are special protective covers with eyelets for your bicycle lock. This protects not only your bike but also the cover from theft. If you want to cover several bikes or use the protective cover for a motorbike, you will need larger dimensions.

In this case, tarpaulins or bike covers for a cargo bike are suitable. Ideally, these are equipped with elastic and strap buckles so that you can easily adjust them to the size of your bike after covering it.

If you use your bike cover outdoors, look for a waterproof material such as polyester or nylon. A finish with double seams ensures a waterproof cover. Additional UV coating protects the cover and the bike from the effects of UV rays.

Did you know that larger bike covers can be used universally? A large bicycle cover or tarpaulin is suitable for several bicycles, e-bikes, cargo bikes or motorbikes. On camping holidays or at home in the garden, they can be used to protect barbecues and garden furniture.

For bicycle covers in the home, the choice is more based on design. The protective covers are only available in one size, are easy to handle and easy to clean. However, they can also be used for transport in the car to protect it from dirt.

What size bike cover should I buy?

The size of your bike cover depends on the dimensions of your bike and the number of wheels it will accommodate. It is therefore important to determine the frame of your bike before buying.

Bicycle number and size dimensions of the bicycle cover (length x width x height)
One bicycle, 28 inches 180 x 60 x 90 centimetres
Two bicycles, 28 inches minimum 210 x 100 x 120 centimetres, optimum 240 x 100 x 120 centimetres
Three to four bicycles, 28 inches Minimum 460 x 300 x 75 centimetres
E-bike 230 x 60 x 90 centimetres
Motorcycle 240 x 100 x 120 centimetres
Freight bike 290 x 135 x 70 centimetres
Indoor Universal size

The dimensions are important because if a tarpaulin is too short on the sides, it does not offer sufficient protection. Wind and rain then get inside. A bicycle cover for bike racks must completely enclose the bike.

What does a bicycle cover cost?

The price of bicycle covers depends on the material, size and closure. Inexpensive versions are available from around 15 euros and offer protection for one to two bicycles. They are water-repellent, easy to maintain and simple to use. Some offer the option of threading the bicycle lock.

Large protective covers that are very robust and hard-wearing and are considered winterproof cost about 40 euros. They are also PVC and UV coated and thus offer additional protection for the cover and bike. Security eyelets for the bicycle lock are also usually included at this price.

Inexpensive protective covers are water-repellent and suitable for one or two bikes.

A cover for the drawbar or rear carrier also costs between 30 and 50 euros. The higher price is explained by the workmanship, the consideration of special closures as well as the warning plate. An indoor bicycle cover costs - depending on the provider - between 20 and 70 euros. A price comparison at "Idealo" or "Geizhals" before buying is recommended in any case to get the best price.

What are the alternatives to a bicycle cover?

The alternatives to bicycle covers depend on the intended use. When travelling by plane or train, special transport bags are more suitable than a protective cover. If you only want to protect the saddle from moisture and dirt, a pure saddle cover is also sufficient. In the following, we show you the different alternatives and their intended use.

  • Saddle cover: The waterproof covers protect the saddle from moisture and dirt.
  • Bicycle covers with carrying straps: They are suitable for transport in the car and protect the bike and car from scratches. They are made of lightweight material, take up little space and are often designed like shoulder bags. By means of carrying straps, the bike can be carried over short distances.
  • Soft-case bags: These are suitable for car and train travel. Many of the bags are equipped with wheels for easier transport. Some require the bike to be partially dismantled. Strap systems and padding ensure that nothing slips inside. The costs are in the medium price range.
  • Hard-shell bicycle cases: The most stable variant, they are suitable for transport by plane, train and car. The case protects tyres, pedals and gears from damage during transport. The outer shell is impact-resistant and robust. The interior has padding. This is the most expensive transport option.

Which alternative is the right one for you depends on the value of your bike and, above all, on the method of travel. For air travel, a hard-shell bicycle case is recommended. For a car journey, a bicycle case may be sufficient.

How do I clean and care for a bicycle cover?

To ensure that you can use your bicycle cover for a long time, you should clean and care for it regularly. Wiping it with a damp cloth and warm water can be sufficient. Stubborn dirt can be removed with a fat-dissolving washing-up liquid. Aggressive cleaners can damage the material and should therefore not be used.

Fahrradabdeckung-2

It is not only your bike that needs to be cleaned of dirt to keep rust away, your bike cover should also be cleaned regularly.
(Image source: Razvan Chisu / unsplash)

For residential bike covers, accumulated dirt can simply be shaken out. If there is a lot of dirt, these covers can also be washed in the washing machine. Before storing, bicycle covers should be clean and dry so that mould does not form.

How do I mount a bicycle cover?

In principle, bicycle covers are easy to handle. A few extra steps are necessary for covers for drawbar or rear carriers. Indoor bicycle covers are pulled over the bicycle from below. First place the front wheel in the cover. Then use your foot to pull the loose part of the cover backwards and up around the rear wheel and pedals.

Outdoor bike covers are usually slipped over the bike and closed with elastic, belt buckles or zips. There are also more compact bicycle covers for rear racks that are attached to the rear of the rack with Velcro or a buckle. The wheels are then mounted on the carrier and the cover is slid over the wheels with pull loops. At the front, the cover is closed with a zip and fitted to the carrier with elastic.

Is a bicycle cover suitable for theft protection?

A bike cover protects the bike from the weather, but it is by no means an anti-theft device. A protective cover does not save you from having to lock your bike. Therefore, lock your bike before you put the cover over your bike.

A bike cover does not protect the bike from theft.

Special bicycle covers contain security eyelets through which different bicycle locks can be pulled. This not only locks your bike, but also protects your bike cover from theft.

What other accessories are available for bicycles?

For a successful bike trip, you need more than just protection against wind and weather. Good equipment includes a suitable backpack, a bicycle bag, a tool box and a pump.

  • Bicycle pump: The choice ranges from mini pumps to floor pumps. While mini pumps are easy to stow away, floor pumps score with stability. They are, however, bulkier.
  • Bicycle backpack: There are variants with a built-in hydration bladder and a holder for the bicycle helmet. A large number of bags offer plenty of storage space.
  • Bicycle panniers: These are useful for longer trips or when shopping. They offer plenty of storage space and are easy to attach to the bike.
  • Bicycle tool kit: On a bicycle tour, it can happen that an inner tube needs to be patched or a chain link needs to be replaced. Therefore, a small emergency kit is important.

In addition to this equipment, suitable cycling clothing or camping gear can also be useful for longer cycling tours. A compulsory bicycle helmet must fit well, be handy and ideally also ensure good visibility at night.

Image source: sylv1rob1/ 123rf.com

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