I have to store a couple of bicycles outside. I've tried several types of bicycle covers and they do a decent job but are not durable. The last barbeque cover I had lasted 20 years. I replaced it with one that has faded a bit in two years but works great otherwise and is tall enough to completed cover my bike. Has anyone ever tried this? I'd be interested in your experience.



2 Answers 2


Covers do help protect your bike, but they're only marginally better than nothing. This includes tarpaulins and dedicated bike covers as well as BBQ covers.

A cover will reduce dew and rain and dust landing on the bike, but in turn they can sweat and build up condensation underneath. At the same time, a cover limits airflow.

The covered bike is outside so subject to temperature swings across the day/night. This also contributes to moisture especially around dawn.

So your bike will be damp and still for long periods. This encourages rust.

Ideally your bikes would be inside, in a warm dry space. Remember you can use all sorts of corners to store a bike, or use a lift to haul it up out of the way.

If that's not feasible, a closed garage or shed is better than under a cover.

However, a cover is still better than leaving the bike out completely unprotected.

Other features to consider are

  • wind (do you need to tie the cover down lest it end up blown down the street?)
  • security (locking the bike to an immovable object then cover it)
  • noise (if the cover crackles and flexes, will it keep sleepers awake)
  • drainage (put the covered bike in a place that won't develop puddles)

The barbecue and garden furniture covers I've had have only ever lasted a couple of years before starting to leak (if they were even truly waterproof to start with). Once they leak, they keep your bike wet, worse than useless

It's not so much the application as the material that matters. I suspect your barbecue covers have, by chance, been much better quality than mine, and thank your bike covers.

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