We’d all love to have ample, dry storage space for our pride and joy (bike, not children) but sometimes that just isn’t the case. If you don’t have a shed or garage to store your bike in it will be at the mercy of the elements, with parts that are exposed to rain and wind quick to corrode and seize.
If you want to store your bike outdoors, or even further protect it while it is stored indoors, a bike cover is an inexpensive and practical investment that will help to keep your rig running and looking as smooth as it should.
Most bike covers are ‘one-size-fits-all’, with adjustments possible to fit any bar width or saddle height, but there are two main types – durable and waterproof outdoor covers and lighter weight dust covers for indoor storage.
• Outdoor covers: These are durable, waterproof covers designed to protect your bike from the elements when stored outside. Most will be made of a rip-resistant polyester or polyester blend material which also offers protection against harmful UV rays, ensuring not only that your paintwork doesn’t fade but that the cover itself doesn’t either. Look for an elasticated bottom to allow for a snug fit around the wheels, so that the cover is not blown off by gusts of wind, and a storage bag or stuff sack into which the cover can be put when not in use. Also useful are eyelets for a lock, which will enable to you secure your bike, covered, on the balcony or in a communal bike rack. Also falling into the category of ‘outdoor covers’ are bike tents – lightweight tent-style storage solutions for bikes or other outdoor equipment, which are portable enough for use at home or on camping trips but which can be packed down small and stowed away when not needed.
• Dust covers: A dust cover is a lighter-weight bike cover intended for use indoors, to protect bikes from being scratched or damaged and also to ensure that family members or flatmates aren’t smeared with chain oil every time they have to pass your bike in the hallway.