When it comes time to take a road trip with your bike, you can be worried about traveling for such long distances.
In addition to making sure you have the right bike rack, it is also a good idea to have a good bike cover.
That bike cover plays a vital role in keeping your bike protected on the road.
But what are the best bike covers for traveling? Here is a list of the best bike covers for traveling along with a few tips for choosing the best one:
How to choose the right bike cover for traveling
There are plenty of bike covers out there, but they are not all created equal.
Here are a few factors to look out for to make sure you’re getting the best bike cover for your trip.
When you’re looking for a bike cover you can travel with or take on a trip, it is vital that the bike cover is waterproof and highly durable.
Your bike cover needs to hold up to the high speeds on the road and all of the rough weather you may encounter.
On top of build quality, this will be hugely decided by the type of material used to make the bike cover.
There are only a few types of materials used on bike covers: Nylon, Polyester, and Polyurethane.
Nylon is a popular material used in bike covers due to how lightweight it is and its waterproofing ability.
Unfortunately, Nylon is not very strong by itself and is usually mixed with other material to make it stronger.
If you’re taking a short trip or only need limited protection, this may be the most cost-efficient material.
Thick Polyester is the best material for a bike cover, as it can not only be waterproof, it is also the strongest bike cover material used.
This is the best material to use if you’re traveling with your bike, as it will better help protect it from the rain and debris from the road.
It will also last a lot longer in between use.
Polyurethane is a great material for waterproofing; however, it is not as strong as polyester and nylon.
For traveling, you want to find a bike cover that is mixed with polyurethane but mostly made of a stronger material.
When you’re shopping for bike covers, most covers will list the strength and durability of the material with a number followed by the letter “D”.
“D” refers to the term Denier, which is a measure of the strength of a bike cover, based on the threads and thickness of the cover.
The higher the number, the thicker and stronger the material is.
For most bike covers, they have a Denier of 120-240D, but you will want something with a little more thickness if you’re traveling.
We recommend a bike cover that uses a thick polyester and nylon material to provide strength and waterproofing.
For those long-distance trips, we also recommend a Denier up to 600D.
This will not only protect your bike from the rain, it should also guard against any debris that bounces up from the road.
The next thing to keep in mind is the actual size of the bike cover.
This is especially important if you’re buying a bike cover online, as it is harder to get an idea of the size.
Take a measurement of the height and length of your bike and compare it to the measurements of the bike cover.
Ideally, you want a bike cover that can cover your entire bike plus more.
If you’re not sure of the exact size you need, it is better to err on the side of buying something too big vs too small.
A bike rack that is too small won’t cover your bike completely, and potentially leaves it at risk of damage.
If you get an extra-large bike cover, you can easily wrap the excess around the bike or use it for another bike altogether.
Price is another thing to keep in mind, as you can find a bike cover for about every budget.
Like most things, the cost for the more expensive bike covers will give you more peace of mind that you have a quality product.
The cheaper bike covers are not as well built, they do not have a lot of features and they do not work as well as you would want.
By spending a little more on a bike cover, the bike cover should last longer, work better, and have more features to accommodate those longer rides.
This will come in handy for those long trips, as you will be using the bike cover more than you think.
As I mentioned before, some bike covers will come with features that make it easier and better to use.
Again, you don’t usually find these features on the cheaper bike covers, however, they make things a lot easier in the long run.
One of the most important features of a bike rack is the area of reflective material.
One most bike covers, especially the ones meant for travel, the manufacturer often ads a few lines of reflective material to the front, side, or ends of the cover.
This is a handy feature not only because it makes it easier to find in storage, but it also makes it easier to see when it’s on the back of your car.
If you’re looking for a bike cover for traveling, there is a good chance you’ll encounter some tailgaters on your trip.
To put your mind at ease of someone crashing into your precious bike, try to get a bike cover with a decent amount of reflective material.
When you’re traveling with your bike, security is also a worry.
Whether you’re making stops to eat or a for a bathroom break, there are times where you will need to leave your bike unattended.
This is where you have to worry about the security of your bike.
The bike cover that you use should have a way for you to access the bike, so you can secure it to a post or to your bike rack.
Most bike racks with a security feature come with locking loopholes in the front so you can lock the front wheel to something while it is still in the bike cover.
This is handy, but not totally secure, so keep a watchful eye on your bike.
An underrated feature on most bike covers is their handles.
This is something that usually comes standard, however, some of the cheaper bike covers are missing handles.
Handles are helpful in a few ways.
First, they make it easier to line the bike cover up with the bike, as they give you a reference point.
When it comes to placing and removing the bike cover, they also make it easier to get the cover on and off.
Finally, you can use them as a way to hang the bike cover, whether for storage or drying.
Straps for Securing Cover
A quality bike cover will do a good job of protecting your bike during your trip, however, the bike cover itself needs to be protected as well.
When you’re driving, you can encounter high winds or high speeds that will cause your bike cover to flap in the wind.
If your bike cover is not secured well, it can fly off completely, leaving your bike exposed.
This can be a huge problem if you’re in the middle of a storm or barreling down a highway.
To prevent something like this from happening, most bike covers will come with a securing strap to help tie them down.
The more straps you have for securing, the better, however, most bike covers only come with one strap.
Color is another feature to keep in mind for a few reasons.
For starters, you definitely don’t want a bike cover that doesn’t match your car or personal preferences.
As well, you don’t want a bike cover that attracts too much attention.
Borrowing a bit from the points above, you’re wanting to keep your bike secure and protected during your trip.
If you call too much attention to your bike with your bike cover, there is a good chance a thief will take notice and may try to steal it.
With just about every product you buy, it is a good idea to get a warranty where possible.
Things are no different when it comes to bike covers, especially if you’re looking for one to hold up on a long trip.
Where to purchase a Bike Cover
When it comes to buying your bike cover, you have a few options.
But don’t just run to your local Wal-mart in search of one.
Here are a few of our recommended ways to find your next bike cover for travel.
Online – One of the most popular ways to buy just about anything these days is by buying it online. Things are no different when it comes to bike covers made for travel. Unlike buying one at your local department store, buying a bike cover online allows you to see reviews and feedback regarding the product you plan to purchase. This comes in handy and can save you time and peace of mind when it comes to finding the right bike cover.
Local Bike Shop – Another great place to buy a bike cover from is your LBS. Bike shops typically keep reputable parts and accessories in stock, so there is a feeling of trust in the product. To make things better, you can get real-time advice from the staff, and it’s a good chance they are already using the bike cover in question.
Best Bike Covers for Traveling
Does not work with roof bike racks
When it comes to bike covers, the VeloSock Bike Cover is considered the gold standard.
Not only is this the most stylish bike cover on the list, but it is also one of the most innovative.
It protects your entire bike from dust, dirt, salt and water.
The special water-resistant fabric is flexible and machine washable as well.
Not only is it easy to put on and secure in place, but it also works with most styles of bike racks, barring roof racks.
1 and 2 bike options
Harder to protect the bottom of the bike
If you’re looking to transport 2 bikes, the Formosa bike cover is one of the best options.
This bike cover comes in 1 and 2 bike options and fits most bike racks.
The Formosa Bike cover is also one of the most versatile, as it can fit 2 bikes going either direction.
And if you’re worried about visibility, the Formosa bike cover also features 2 reflective panels made to reflect your brake lights.
1 and 2 bike options
2 year warranty
Another great bike cover for traveling is the TeamObsidian Bike cover.
This is another bike cover with 1 and 2 bike options and features a 2-year warranty.
Not too much in the way of visibility, but there are reflective strips that make it easier to identify.
1 and 2-bike options
Only works with hitch bike racks
Cheapest bike cover
Decent build quality
One of the cheapest bike covers that does the job is the North East Harbor Deluxe Bike cover from Walmart.
Again, this is the cheapest bike cover on the list, so don’t expect it to last too long or stand up to extreme conditions.
Surpirisingly, this bike cover does a really good job of keeping your bike protected from rain and small debris.
In conclusion, there are plenty of options for bike covers for traveling.
Use this list as a guide to help you pick the right fit for you, or feel free to choose the recommended list we provided.
Good luck on your next adventure and safe riding!