If you’re an avid cyclist, we don’t need to tell you that your bike has both a monetary and emotional value. While storing your bike at home or in a garage or shed, covering it might seem like a piece of cake.
But as soon as you hit the road, the need to cover your bike becomes more pressing. And the solutions - more tricky.
Which cover would best suit your vehicle and bike rack type? Which bike cover would be the safest for driving on the highway? And will it look decent (instead of giving an impression that you’re dragging a parachute)?
Bike chain, cogs, hubs, and electronics are some of the most valuable bike parts that need to be protected against dirt, insects, and moisture as you’re on the road. However, if your bike is precious to you, make sure you also cover the bike frame, wheels, handlebars, and, well, the rest of your bike.
We’ve listed 7 types of bike covers for car racks that will shield your ride as you embark on your common adventures.
1. HIDEOUT BIKE TRANSPORT SYSTEM
The Hideout bike transport package includes everything you need to safely transport up to two bikes on the back of your vehicle. It consists of the sturdy BikeTree storage mount that is firmly positioned inside the BossHog Cargo Carrier, and is fixed with two adjustable straps. The cover has a zipper and stretch cargo net for secure attachment to the cargo rack. The system is also available without the Cargo Carrier.
The BikeTree system eliminates bike motion and prevents the frames from coming into contact with the rack, ensuring your bikes are safely transported without damage. When you want to open the trunk, the system conveniently slides back.
Best ‘pro’: The cover is large and very convenient to use. There’s no need for additional ropes, nets or elastic cords.
Biggest ‘con’: A pricey choice that will probably pay off for those who use it very frequently.
Suitable for: BossHog cargo rack; cars and RVs
2. FORMOSA BIKE COVER FOR CAR RACKS
Formosa is a more affordable solution that’s made for one or two bikes but can adjust to fit up to four standard bikes. This heavy-duty bike cover fits standard and extended wheelbase bikes and works well for transit via car, truck, trailer, SUV, and RV.
The Formosa cover allows for simple installation - it has buckle straps on the top to tie down your cover and works with bikes facing the same or different directions. There are enough straps and zippers to secure the cover on the bikes to minimize flapping in the wind.
This bicycle cover stands out with its safety features:
- The night reflector piping
- Reflective silver panels on both ends
- See-through PVC for tail lights
The thick and highly weather-resistant material is another advantage of this cover that enables traveling in snow or rain. Formosa completely encloses the bikes and seals at the hitch so you can rest assured that rain, road debris, and nasty weather will not damage your precious two-wheelers.
Best ‘pro’: Safety features like reflective elements and night reflector piping.
Biggest ‘con’: Even if the manufacturers claim that this cover doesn’t cover tail lights, customer reviews say that the dimensions of the cover might impede visibility, and the license plate will most probably be covered, too.
Suitable for: Hitch mount bike rack for 1 or 2 bikes, RV racks; not meant for platform racks
Price: $47 (€40)
3. VELOSOCK FULL BIKE COVER FOR CAR RACKS
If you want to transport your bike with style, VELOSOCK probably is the best-looking cover on this list. In addition to protecting your bicycle from dirt and prying eyes, it looks just great.
The VELOSOCK full cover is available in three models suitable for road bikes, MTB bikes, and triathlon bikes. Thanks to the zippered openings on the sides and the bottom, this tight-fit cover can be used with various types of car trunk racks, as well as inside the trunk.
VELOSOCK’s high-quality, water-resistant fabric protects the bike from road dust, small stones, direct sunlight, salt, insects and other elements. The elastic cover envelops 100% of your bike so all its moving parts are fully protected. Furthermore, the tight fit of the cover will reduce flapping and drag to the minimum.
Putting on the VELOSOCK cover takes less than 30 seconds thanks to its stretchy fabric and a zipper that runs lengthwise along the top of the bicycle.
An important advantage - it will also work nicely when storing your ride on a rack inside the house, in a garage or bike shed.
Best ‘pro’: The best-looking bike cover for car racks - thanks to its innovative design and tight fit.
Biggest ‘con’: The cover is water-resistant, but not entirely waterproof.
Suitable for racks: Car trunk racks; not suitable for rooftop racks.
Price: $199 (velosokc.us) (€165)
4.THULE BIKE COVER FOR CAMPERS
If you’re looking for a brand with a reputation, Thule is a reasonable choice. Thule’s bike cover is made of sturdy, high-quality materials providing good anchorage for your bike during transportation on a rear-mounted bike rack for RVs.
Thule’s cover is easy to install and fits nicely thanks to elastic cords and steel hooks.
The cover has a large, transparent in-built pocket for inserting the warning sign or other elements to meet international regulations.
Best ‘pro’: The durable, high-quality material is suitable for long-distance travels.
Biggest ‘con’: Customer reviews say that the sizing could be more generous - most likely the 2-3 cover will only work for 2 bikes.
Suitable for: Rear-mounted bike racks for RVs; Not suitable for bike racks mounted on the A-frame of a caravan, tow bar or rooftop.
5. SKINZ FORK AND HANDLES PROTECTOR
Skinz works like a shield protecting your bicycle from the bugs and road grime during transportation. The durable lycra cover provides good quality and comes in several cuts to fit road bikes or mountain bikes.
Skinz cover is allegedly waterproof but covers only the front of the bike - not the drops and moisture from the sides during rain. Also, the cover takes longer to put on, as you’d have to remove the front wheel first.
Skinz company also offers other types of protectors, for example, Frame Covers or Wheel Protectors.
Best ‘pro’: A good choice if you’re looking for a minimalistic solution.
Biggest ‘con’: For some bike models it might seem too tight and pull in brake levers. Might seem overpriced for an item so small.
Suitable for: Any car rooftop racks.
Price: $95 (€83)
6. POLARIS FRAME PROTECTION RUG
If you’re looking for a simple solution to cover your bike frame, Polaris might be it. Designed to fit all standard sized bikes, this ‘bike rug’ solves the simplest problem with maximum effectiveness. Its rugged outside means you won’t have to worry about your frame when transporting your steed.
Polaris is also a convenient storage accessory to prevent knocks and scrapes at home. It works swiftly thanks to simple hook and loop fastening straps which are secured with a nylon thread.
Important - when using Polaris bike rug, you should provide enough padding to protect both the bike and the vehicle.
Best ‘pro’: Convenience and simplicity of use.
Biggest ‘con’: Doesn’t cover some of the most important bike parts.
Suitable for: Any rear or rooftop racks; storing in a garage or shed.
Price: $59 (€51)
7. SKINZ PROTECTIVE COVER FOR MULTIPLE BIKES
Skinz protective cover is the priciest on the list, but possibly also the most durable and suitable for long-distance travels. Made from waterproof materials, it helps to keep bikes clean and dry while protecting them from salt and road grime.
This cover is easily installed thanks to a large zipper opening with dual pulls and elastic cinch. Straps on the sides and heavyweight webbing with buckles on the top are a tight secure fit.
Safety features like reflective strips and clear tail light panels are an extra advantage.
Rest assured - this cover produces the smallest possible drag and flapping in the wind while you’re driving.
Skinz comes in two sizes available depending on the number of bikes. Additionally available with rear lights.
Best ‘pro’: A peace of mind that your bike is safe in a sturdy, waterproof environment.
Biggest ‘con’: This cover is a considerable investment - go for it only if you are sure you’ll be using it frequently for long-distance travels.
Suitable for: All types of rear racks or receiver style bike racks.
BUCKLE UP AND DRIVE SAFE
As much as you prefer to travel ON your bike, not with it attached to your car, sometimes you need to step out of your comfort zone, and take your two-wheeler to explore some uncharted territory.
Don’t fret - with many different bike covers for car racks on the market, your ideal transport cover is definitely out there.
Remember - investing in a transport bike cover is certainly worth it if you want your steed to serve you faithfully for long years.