Looking for a bike cover for traveling? Well you not just need your cover to be waterproof but also strong. One that can stand up to traveling 70-90 mph behind your car or a camper.
The popularity of cycling has grown steadily in recent years, a trend you’ve likely noticed in the form of more bikes on the road. Yet not all of those bikes have their wheels on the asphalt.
Many more cyclists have mounted their trusty steeds onto bike racks on their cars, trucks, and RVs to take with them wherever they go. Maybe you’re just such a cyclist.
This is a fine idea, but, unprotected, these bikes stand to suffer real damage in harsh travel conditions. Is there some way to prevent this? Thankfully, the answer is yes.
Bike covers made specifically for travel can keep your ride in pristine condition. They can block the dust and dirt of the road, and serve as a shield from rain and other inclement weather.
Yet, not every cover can be counted on to do the job. You’ll need to shop carefully to avoid purchasing something that will be in tatters after one trip.
To make this task as simple as possible, I’ve collected 7 of the best bike covers available in the list that follows.
There are premium and budget options, designs to suit all racks and bikes, and even trendy looks for the style conscious rider. You’re sure to find something that suits your needs.
Best Bike Rack Cover For Transport & Travel
Formosa Bike Covers for Car, Truck, RV, SUV
- PROTECTS: Bikes are safe from sun rays and Water damage while travelling and while storing. Thick heavy duty 300 D poly with wide clear see through PVC panels for your car tail lights
- SAFE: Night reflector piping Double zipper with easy snap buckles to secure tightly
Whether traveling with a single bike, or taking a set of 4 on a road trip with the whole family, Formosa has a bike cover to suit your needs.
They come in single, dual, and quad sizes, and are able to provide full coverage for any all bikes when mounted on the rear rack of any vehicle, granting you peace of mind while you’re on the road.
These water resistant covers are made of sturdy 300 D polyester, which effectively shields your bikes from the elements and road debris.
Dual zippers allow you to get a tight seal around any mount hitch, which you can further secure with velcro and a rear drawstring. Six adjustment straps make it simple to tie down loose material, cutting down on drag as you drive.
Translucent PVC windows to allow your tail lights and brake lights to be seen through the cover, and reflective rear panels make sure other drivers are aware of your cargo when you’re on the road at night.
These covers aren’t just concerned with getting your bikes to their destination intact, they are designed for driver safety as well.
Skinz Protective Gear Rear Transport Bike Cover
- Protects bikes from road grime and dirt
- Easy installation
Skinz bike covers are another versatile option for traveling cyclists. They are also offered in 3 sizes, rated to hold 1-4 bikes, and are well suited for use on receiver-style rear bike racks.
Full sized bikes of all styles are readily accommodated, so whether you’re transporting an MTB for a trail shredding vacation, or you have a set of beach cruisers destined for the boardwalk, these covers can handle the job.
To keep your cargo firmly secured, a tough mesh webbing wraps the contents from the top, and can be locked in place using built in buckles.
On the sides, elastic straps further assist in forming the cover to the contours of the bikes within.
While the fabric is water resistant, grommets on the bottom of the cover would allow any water that managed to get in to drain out. They also serve as additional anchoring points if needed.
This cover is fully machine washable, so you can keep it looking as fresh as the bikes it protects with a spin in the gentle cycle.
As for safety features, there is a version that includes clear rear windows for tail lights, but the cover can also be fitted with a light kit in the same fashion as a trailer.
Velo Sock Unisex’s SHARD Bike Cover
- Can be used for transportation - made of water-repellent fabric, with moderate abrasion resistance. Ideal for transporting your bike inside the car or on a car trunk rack
- Included components: velo sock bike cover
While every entry on this list delivers when it comes to form and function, Velo does it with style. Velo Sock covers take a different approach than the other entries so far, with single-bike covers only.
That focus allows for a cover that fits the shape of just about any adult bike like a glove. And, with a wide variety of colors and designs, they’ll fit your tastes just as well.
The stretchy material of these covers is 90% polyester with 10% spandex.
It wraps snugly around a bike, protecting it from dirt, dust, salt and sand. It also absorbs moisture and quickly dries, so it can wick wetness away and keep your bike dry.
The lighter material means this is another cover you can toss into the wash without fear.
Each side of the cover features openings for rack mounts, which is useful on the road as well as for wall racks at home. While not the most economical bike covers for anyone needing to transport several bikes at once, they provide ample protection and do it with unmatched style.
PRO BIKE TOOL Bicycle Covers for Travel and Storage
- HIGH-PERFORMANCE PROTECTION - Very strong and durable 'RIPSTOP' Oxford Fabric with ‘double stitching’ & 'heat sealed’ seams delivering Top-Class protection from adverse weather conditions - whether rain, snow, ice, wind, dust or sun! Includes high-quality drawstring bag for convenient storage
- DEPENDABLE, WHATEVER THE WEATHER - Waterproof and anti-UV material with PU coating ensures your bike stays protected, even against heavy rain or harsh sun. Also suitable for indoor usage or for use with a storage rack or stand.
The longer the trip, the more punishment your bike cover is likely to take.
The same is true if you’re venturing off-road to get to some truly choice trails. In both cases, a heavy duty bike cover like this one from Pro Bike Tool may be in order.
Made from 300 D Oxford ripstop fabric and advertised as thicker than all its competitors, this cover provides serious protection from even chunky debris.
It fully wraps up to 4 bikes, depending on the size you choose, and can be secured in place with buckles, adjusted with toggle wheels, and compressed with necking straps to prevent excess material from billowing in the wind.
All the seams are double-stitched and heat sealed. The cover is waterproof and has an anti-UV coating to prevent sun damage to your bike’s finish over the long term.
And, if you have to leave your bike unattended, there are lock holes that allow you to secure both the bike and cover with your lock.
All this might be overkill for some cyclists, but this cover is a prime candidate for those who need serious protection on the go.
Outdoor Bike Storage and Transport Bike Cover
- QUALITY YOU CAN TRUST! - This very strong diamond 300D ripstop waterproof Oxford fabric material will offer constant protection for your bikes on all your outdoor journeys. The fabric is made with double stitching and heat sealed seams delivering the best in class protection available for a Bike Cover. SUITABLE FOR PLATFORM-STYLE HITCH BIKE RACKS ON CARS AND RVs. MADE FOR TRAVEL USE.
- EFFECTIVE in any weather conditions! This rainproof, anti UV, with PU coating, durable cycling tarp will cover the whole bike body including the wheels to the ground, efficiently protecting your bike against the elements: sun, rain, wind, snow, ice, dust, dirt, hail! The anti-UV material with PU coating will ensure your bikes are always protected.
This cover from Team Obsidian will be of particular interest to anyone with a platform bike rack, as it is specifically designed to be used with one.
Because a bike mounted this way needs to be secured at the wheels, certain full coverage options would make mounting more complicated. Not so with this cover.
Designed to hold a single bike, the cover has many of the features you’ve come to expect.
The ripstop material has both an anti UV and water resistant polyurethane coating, as well as reflective material on the two grab handles for increased visibility.
Those handles allow for the cover to be easily removed, though two drawstrings and safety buckles keep the fit snug and secure during your trip.
This cover also has eyelets for securing everything with a bike lock, as well as a carrying bag for transporting it when not in use.
The black and silver color scheme is not flashy, but is similar to most other options on the list, and looks good with practically any car’s paint job. For those with a platform bike rack, this cover is a solid choice.
NorthEast Harbor Deluxe Single Bike Cover
- Covers Up a Full Size Bicycle
- Features Grommets for locking and securing cover to bike
If you’re looking for a budget option that doesn’t sacrifice much in the way of features, North East Harbor has you covered. For less than a quarter of the cost of its competitors, this cover will do a fine job of keeping your bike clean and dry on the occasional trek.
Reading the feature list for this bike cover, you’d be hard pressed to single it out as the budget option in the pack. It sports the familiar black colorway with reflective accents for a classy look that won’t clash with your bike or car.
The elastic hem lets you simply stretch the cover over the bike, and quick release straps make removing it simple. The 170 T polyester material is not heavy duty, but it is dust proof, and both water and UV resistant.
It also provides anti-scratch protection for both your bike and exterior surfaces, and has locking grommets so that bike thieves can’t ruin your vacation.
For most cyclists, it’s more than enough to keep their bikes in good shape over the course of a typical trip.
Skinz Hitch Rack Rear Transport Cover Light Kit
Skinz has the honor of having two entries on the list, and it’s no wonder. This cover has a few interesting differences from its counterpart, potentially making it a better fit for some cyclists.
The primary change is in the material. This cover uses a breathable nylon that lets air pass through it for significant reductions in drag.
This could be especially helpful for smaller vehicles in windy conditions, where cargo drag can really be felt in the steering. Yet this change in construction doesn’t compromise protection against dust and grit.
It can be used on a bike mounted on any type of hitch rack, and has dual pulls on its zipper opening for secure closure around the rack. Elastic cinches, webbing, and buckles all combine to achieve a snug fit.
Instead of several size increments, this cover is able to hold 2-4 bikes, and could also hold just one if the extra material is tied down. Along with the reflectors, the cover comes with lights and a wiring harness which can be connected just like trailer lights.
It is an innovative design that works well for someone who needs some flexibility with the number of bikes they intend to travel with.
How To Choose Best Bike Cover For Traveling
While many bike covers are one size fits all, the same can’t be said when choosing the best bike cover for your travel needs. There are several elements that could make an otherwise excellent product a bad buy for your particular circumstances. Make sure to consider the following before making a purchase.
What Type of Bike Rack Do You Have?
Bike racks come in different varieties. There are roof racks and trunk racks, rear hitch style and platform style. Which you have dictates which covers will work for you.
Rear hitch racks are most common, and most covers will work with them. For platform and roof racks, make sure to get a cover that allows access to the wheels, as that is where the bike will be secured.
How Many Bikes Are You Taking?
This is straightforward, but as you know by now, some covers will only cover a single bike. It would be far more cost effective to buy a larger style cover than a single if you have many bikes, and the reverse is also true.
If you’re unsure, pick one size up. You can always cinch down the excess material.
What is the Cover Made Of?
Bike covers are generally made of synthetic fabric blends. Polyester is popular, along with nylon, PVC, and polyurethane coatings for waterproofing.
The strength of the material will be measured by it’s denier, which is the thickness of the threads in a fabric. A higher number denotes a stronger fabric, which equals greater protection.
Look for covers with at least 150 D rated fabric.
If your bike is mounted on the rear of your vehicle, there is a good chance that a cover will obscure your rear lights.
Make sure that the cover you choose addresses this issue, either by use of translucent materials, or a light kit that places lights on the cover or rack itself.
Frequently Asked Question’s
Q. Can You Cover Bikes on Bike Rack?
Yes, absolutely. Bike covers that are meant for travel all assume that the bike in question will be mounted on a rack of some kind. They are therefore designed to accommodate the point where the bike connects to the rack.
Some covers accomplish this with openings in the side, others use elastic cinches, ties, or dual zipper pull setups that allow the cover to be closed around portions of the rack as necessary.
For roof and platform racks, you’ll want a cover that allows access to the wheels.
While this might seem like it offers inferior protection when compared to a full wraparound cover, only the very bottoms of the wheels are exposed, and they are afforded some protection by the rack itself.
Q. Are Bike Covers Good?
Yes, an objective evaluation of their qualities shows that bike covers have far more positive properties than negative. To begin with, they help to prolong the lifespan of bikes, which saves both time and money that would otherwise be lost on repairs or a replacement.
Bike covers also conceal your bikes from prying eyes, which can work as a theft deterrent — particularly if you have a very expensive ride.
And, even if you don’t have a lock securing the bike to the rack, the cover would make it more complicated for someone trying to perform a quick snatch and grab.
The only downsides are the additional drag while driving, and the cost of buying the cover. However, both of these are mitigated over time.
The money saved from avoiding repairs and rusty part replacements easily overcomes the upfront cost. As for drag, a properly secured load will greatly reduce such issues.
Q. Are Covers Made For Storage Any Different?
Yes, but not always. A bike cover meant for in-home storage may not have any design accommodations that allow the bike to be mounted on a travel rack, as it may be assumed that the bike will simply be freestanding.
Storage racks don’t always have the same securing methods as those used for travel, either. That means that even when a cover is made for use with a storage rack, it still may be incompatible with travel racks.
Since bikes being kept in an interior space are exposed to the elements or the spray of grit and debris encountered on the road, covers for them can stand to be much thinner.
They also have no reason to be concerned with minimizing drag, so they tend to have fewer ways to adjust the fit.
Kevin Stard – professional sportsman in category MTB. Participant of the Downhill World Cup #1