“ Manufacturer: Wilkinson / Type: Bike Covers „
The weather for much of this year has been pretty unpredictable, meaning that the new bike my oldest son received for Christmas hasn't been used as much as anticipated. One of the difficulties we have is with storage as our garden shed is right at the top of the garden. It's not always convenient to put the bike away straight after arriving home, even when we manage to grab five minutes of suitable weather for cycling, and you can almost guarantee that it will start to rain if the bike is left outside unattended!
I found this lightweight bicycle cover in my local Wilkinson store and hoped it would be the answer to the problem by providing an element of protection for my son's bike, until it could be stored away properly. The cover is a pretty simple affair, made from a very thin and flexible type of silver plastic, designed to be pulled over a bike to provide full coverage and protection from the rain and other elements. The packaging describes the cover as just 'water resistant', which doesn't necessarily instill the purchaser with confidence as to its effectiveness in a typical British rainstorm. Thankfully, the cover has proved itself to be waterproof with the shiny metallic looking plastic repelling water effectively so that rain just runs straight off it. Thanks to our rather bizarre weather patterns this year, the cover has been tested through all manner of weather conditions - snow in March, hail in April, rain throughout the wettest 'drought' in history - and has proven to be equally effective and reliable whatever the weather.
The cover is very easy to attach and remove when needed, as it does not have any straps or any additions to secure this into place, so it is literally just a matter of pulling this over and around the bike and vice versa when removing. Despite its simplicity, the cover performs its function well and has only once become dislodged from the bike, during some really strong winds earlier this year. That aside, the cover has remained in position, even when the bike has been left outside the back of our house for several days, during bad weather.
Sizewise, the nature of this kind of flexible cover means that it can accommodate various different sizes of bike. My son's bike is a 24 inch bike, so just slightly smaller than a standard adult sized bike. The cover fits comfortably over the entire bike with enough excess sheeting to cover every inch of the bike, right down to the tyres. This does mean that the base of the cover trails on the floor and can get rather grubby, but this results in maximum protection from rainwater. The cover is certainly generously sized so could easily fit over a larger adult sized bike without worries and it can be wiped down easily if needed.
The cover is fairly well made, with the main seam at the top of the cover being reinforced so it is unlikely to rip or fall apart, even when stretched to full capacity. I do feel that the cover would benefit from being slightly thicker, as it is not quite as robust as I'd hoped. I have spotted a couple of small holes and tears around the base of the sheeting, where it rubs against the ground, and another small tear towards the top, potentially where the handle bars have rubbed against the cover, or where it has been removed too roughly.
The other minor issue is that the cover is not particularly aesthetically pleasing. It is fine as a temporary storage solution or used somewhere out of view but it isn't a product that you would want taking pride of place in front of the house.
Despite these minor drawbacks, the cover is a perfectly functional and relatively inexpensive product. It is currently available from Wilkinson in store and online for £6.49, although I seem to recall it was slightly cheaper when we purchased this at the beginning of the year. For the price I paid, this is a perfectly acceptable temporary storage solution that helps to protect a bike from the elements.