Protecting my bike from the elements?
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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2004

    Protecting my bike from the elements?

    Hi everyone.

    My husband and I live in a small condo in SoCal without a garage. With limited space how can we protect our bikes if we leave them outside. Anyone heard of a waterproof cover? Bike travel bags are upwards of $300, and we'd be disassembling them all the time. We did buy a plastic tarp for just $16, but I was hoping it would fit tighter around the bottom.

    My simple google search for a "bike cover" returned Should I entertain a motorcycle cover?

    I just don't want our investment to get ruined.

    Thanks Have a great day!


  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: northcoast's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Don't leave your bikes outside! There are plenty of wall rack systems available for you to hang them. Even if they're locked/ covered, too many thieves.
    TY (northcoast)

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2000

    My place is pretty "compact", too...

    ...I simply screwed a J-hook into the ceiling of the laundry closet (into one of the rafters, of course, not just the drywall). When it's time to do a few loads, I just take the bike down and put it in the living room, and replace it when the wash is done. This obviously would deal with only one bike, but it helps.

    I second northcoast's warning--don't even think about leaving bikes outside!

  4. #4
    Reputation: meat tooth paste's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Given that it's Socal, your main concern is probably just overnite moisture in the air, rust and dust.

    Supergo sells a simple plastic bike cover. It's better than tarp because it's fitted to the width of a bike. Some covers are like shower caps with an elastic at the bottom. I think it's around $10 and I saw it at their Santa Monica store towards the where they keep the Yakima and Thule stuff. It's made from plastic, somewhere between a thick Glad trashbag and a shower curtain ;)

    There are better made ones like the one at These are $15 and made from a better nylon, like a bookbag material:

    Topeak makes these even nicer ones for around $35:

    With all that said, northcoast is right about how outdoor storage will be vulnerable to theft. Make sure you lock your wheels too and maybe even take in your seatpost/seat.
    Last edited by meat tooth paste; 01-29-2005 at 06:30 PM.
    You can call me "MTP" if my full screen name grosses you out.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Thanks for the advice everyone. I love this site!

    We live in a low crime area and we're on a second floor condo, so we'd be putting our bikes on the balcony that's not visible to the public, since we're also on a corner.

    Anyhow, we will take precautions by locking the wheels and removing the seat posts. I'm going to check out those sites mentioned before.

    Only time will tell... With any luck, we'll move to a place w/ a garage sometime this year.


  6. #6
    Jerkhard Sirdribbledick
    Reputation: DrRoebuck's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004

    I guess it depends on the bike ...

    I leave my commuter locked outside. I'm three stories up and want easy access. But I would never, ever consider leaving my road bike outside.

    Theft can be an issue, but I bought the Krypto skewer set to lock the seat post and the front wheel, and a Krypto NY U-Lock to lock the actual bike. That, and I've taken off every other accessory that can be stolen. No saddle bag. No pump. No computer. All my tools/pump, etc. are in a quick-release trunk-bag that I take with me whenever I go.

    But maybe we're all jumping to conclusions and you're thinking about leaving them outside in a protected area, like a balcony.

  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: ottodog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by aimelise
    With limited space how can we protect our bikes...
    Easy, get a bigger place. You've gotta have priorities....

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