The 8 Best Bike Covers of 2024 - Protective Bicycle Covers

These covers will keep your bicycle safe and out of the elements.

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The 8 Best Bike Covers of 2024 - Protective Bicycle Covers

Covering your bike may seem unnecessary or slightly pretentious, but it makes all the difference when you transport your bike on a rack, or store it outside for extended periods of time. Bike covers prevent damage from rain, snow, and UV-rays, which can damage components, fade paint, and generally shorten the lifespan of your beloved ride. They also keep bird droppings, dust and pollen off, cutting down on the amount of time you spend cleaning.

It’s especially important to use a cover if you store your bike outside. If you live in the city, you’ve likely seen those poor bikes chained outside battling the elements (and losing.) Even indoors, a cover reduces the possibility of grease and grime showing up on walls and floors. No matter where you park your bike, whether it be for a few hours or a few months, a cover is a small investment toward the maintenance and care of your favorite ride.

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The best bike covers have a shape to them. You can differentiate the back from the front, which will be wider near the end to accommodate your bike’s handlebars. You should keep in mind that bike covers vary quite a bit, depending on whether they’re made for long-term storage, a weatherproof cover for commuter bikes, or for extra protection while using a bike rack.

Bike covers come in two general flavors: “travel” and “stationary.”

Travel covers are made to protect your bike while it's in transit on a bike rack. They feature lots of buckles and straps, allowing them to get a tight, wind-resistant fit around their cargo. This ensures everything stays in place when you’re cruising down the highway.

They often feature reflective elements, as well as see-through areas so they don’t block your car’s tail lights. (That said, you may need to add external, auxiliary lights in some cases.) These essential features tend to make travel covers a little more expensive than those made for storing your bike in a garage.

Stationary covers, which are designed for storing your bike when you aren’t using it, are often engineered for quick on and off scenarios. The best are made from lightweight materials. and fold down into a carrying case so you can carry it with you on a commute.

In most cases, you should be able to use a travel cover in place of a stationary cover, but not the other way around, since you won’t be able to adjust the fit correctly… at least not without supplementing it with a menagerie of bungee cords and ratchet straps.

The main function of a bike cover, whether it be a travel or stationary one, is to protect your bikes from rain, UV rays, road salt, dust, bird droppings, and other random debris. All the covers on this list are constructed from materials with waterproof and UV-ray resistant properties.

Fabric weight is measured in “denier” (D), which refers to the thickness of the individual threads that make up the material. Most outdoor gear, including tents, chairs, bags and bike covers are made from tear-resistant technical fabrics like ripstop nylon, oxford, or polyester, and treated with a water-resistant coating.

If you plan to use your bike cover in an outdoor location where theft will be a concern, make sure to choose one equipped with grommet holes that are large enough for a bike lock.

I selected the best bike covers based on years of testing and travel experience, as well as recommendations from the editorial contributors at Bicycling, my fellow riders, and reviews from online retailers. This guide features the most durable, protective, and easily removable covers we’ve all tried. The majority of these covers are available in multiple sizes, so they can house one, two, or even a few bikes.

The sturdy, waterproof BikeParka provides perfect protection when you need to store your trusty steed out in the yard or on your porch. Made from a UV-resistant ripstop nylon, it’s equipped with a stretchy drawstring at the top to adjust the fit, and elastic at the front and back to tighten it around the wheels so water doesn’t pool under your bike.

The BikeParka works well for both short- and long-term stationary storage. Commuters will be happy to see brass eyelets at the bottom for threading a thin cable lock. It also comes with a stuff sack to pack it up if you want to pop a cover over your bike when you’re out and about.

Featuring substantial, rustproof grommet lock holes, the Puroma Outdoor Cover is an affordable cover that pairs especially well with a bike lock. A double-stitched elastic hem and adjustable buckles around the wheel area provide a close, secure fit that keeps the wind from billowing underneath the cover in place on your bike.

It’s waterproof, tear-resistant and blocks UV rays, so it’s ready to protect your bike from rain, snow, dust and bird droppings. Plus, it folds down into a convenient carry size that you can Velcro around your top tube for easy carrying. While this cover gets the job done and works well, the thin material means it may not last as long as some other options.

If you, like me, store all your bikes in your apartment or bring them into hotels, you’re probably all too familiar with random tire marks on your walls and tiny piles of road salt and dirt accumulating on your floor under your bike. (Hotel cleaning staff hate me.)

The Velo Sock is made for people like us. Unlike most covers, which fit from top to bottom to protect the bike from the elements, this stretchy polyester cover envelops the bike's wheels and drivetrain, protecting your walls and floors from whatever you’ve been rolling through. Putting this cover on is easy: Simply insert your front wheel into the cover, then stretch it all the way to the back wheel.

As a frequent traveler, I also love that this cover comes in a variety of artistic design prints, so your bike will look as stylish hanging out inside as it does while out on the road.

Made from durable, waterproof 300D ripstop fabric, Pro Bike Tool’s fitted outdoor bike cover features double-stitched, heat-sealed seams to keep rain, snow, sleet, and dust from wearing out your bike. Available in three sizes that accommodate one, two or three bikes, the Pro Bike Tool Outdoor Cover drapes over them completely, reaching all the way down to the ground.

The front end sports a toggle drawstring to secure around the wheel. A buckled storm strap in the center prevents the cover from taking flight in stormy conditions. Metal grommets provide access for bike locks, and reflective handles make it easy to remove the cover quickly at night (or before dawn.)

The Formosa Travel Cover protects your bikes and your vehicle when you head out on a cycling road trip. Made from a thick 600D polyester with a water- and UV-resistant coating, the dual-zip cover completely encloses your bikes and cinches tight with a drawstring around your hitch mount to keep dust, debris, and moisture out.

Beyond the highly protective construction, it’s designed specifically to work in conjunction with your car and bike rack. It has transparent mesh-reinforced PVC panels on each side that allow the light from your taillights to show through. The dual-bike model comes with a sleeve for your license plate.

Most importantly, though, the zippered top and sides include eight adjustable buckle straps that can be cinched tight for a secure, road-ready fit. No matter where the road (or lack thereof) takes you, your bikes will arrive unscathed and ready for adventure.

This simple, yet durable cover can fit over mountain bikes with 26-inch or 700c wheels. The top is shaped to accommodate wide, flat handlebars with an obvious front and back. An elastic band on the bottom keeps the cover snug around your wheels. It also packs up quickly and easily into a small storage pocket, so you can easily throw it over your bike on overnight camping trips or trail side stops when the weather gets nasty. I wish it had more adjustable buckles and straps to guarantee a tight fit for when the bike goes up on a rack, but it’s a great trail-side shelter.

Team Obsidian bike covers stand out from the competition because of their substantial reflective grab handles, which allow you to quickly and easily remove it, and adjust your bike while it’s mounted on a rack.

There are stationary and bike rack-compatible versions, both of which come in sizes for one, two, or three bikes. The stationary covers are made from a 210D ripstop, while the transportation versions come in either 300D or 600D material. They all offer a secure fit, with drawstring cords on each end to tighten up around the wheels and a safety buckle on the bottom to help keep everything in place.

The Comnova Bike Cover features five windproof buckles that securely cinch around your bikes to prevent excessive flapping or movement mid-drive. That’s more than you’ll find on most covers, so you’ll get the tightest, most secure fit possible. There are also four holes on the bottom, which give you the chance to thread additional bungees through for an even more secure fit.

Made from a strong 600D fabric, the cover offers every kind of protection your bike needs on a road trip–it’s waterproof and windproof, as well as UV- and tear-resistant. The reflective handle makes it easy to locate in low light for quick removal.

Do I need a bike cover?

While bikes are obviously manufactured to perform in wet and stormy conditions, prolonged exposure to the elements will cause corrosion and damage over time. You do not want to store your bike outside, uncovered for an extended period.

If your situation dictates storing your bicycles outside, investing in a quality bike cover will greatly prolong its life and reduce the amount of time and money you invest in upkeep and part replacement. Likewise, if you routinely mount your bike on the back of your vehicle for extended travel, a bike cover will keep road salt and moisture from building up on the bike.

Covers also help keep your bike clean. Even if you store your bike inside, it may wind up gathering dust if you leave it sitting for too long. If you ride your bike every day, it also protects your indoor spaces from the dust and debris your bike brings in with each ride.

Which type of bike cover is best?

This very much depends on your intended use. If you like the idea of having a cover you can toss on when locking up outside, look for a lighter weight one with lock holes that folds down for easy transport. If you plan to use your cover primarily while hauling your bikes on your vehicle, make sure to purchase one made specifically for that purpose. 

In all instances, only consider covers with waterproof and UV-resistant properties. A cover that merely keeps the dust off won’t do any good in preventing rust and corrosion from developing.

How do I clean my bike cover?

You don’t have to be delicate with your bike cover. Use a hose to rinse it off if you’ve left it outside, or wipe it down with a damp cloth or rag to clean it inside.

I’ve also been known to toss them in the washing machine on a gentle cycle with a very small amount of detergent when they’re excessively dirty. No matter how you wash them, though, let them air-dry. Putting your bike cover in the dryer could damage its waterproof treatment, effectively ruining it.

How long can I leave my bike outside without a cover?

Make sure to cover your bike whenever you plan to leave your bike outside for longer than a day. Parking it outside while going to work day after day is fine, since you’ll shake any standing water off of it when you ride home.

Vanessa Nirode is a freelance writer who covers wellness, culture, outdoor adventure and travel for Hearst, HuffPost, PopSci, BBC Travel, and Threads, among others. She’s also a pattern maker and tailor for film and television but most of the time, she’d rather just be riding her bicycle.

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