The Bike Cave is a small tent big enough for two – or at a pinch three – bikes. It's designed to provide low-cost, weatherproof, minimum-security storage, and it does what it says on the tin.
Designed by Rob McAlister Ltd and also sold under the name TidyTent, it comes in a handy bag (54cm x 18cm x 14cm, 3kg) and took us less than 10 minutes to put up, although you'll need to allow extra time to secure it in place.
The basic structure is fairly rigid – two flexible poles form hoops at the front and rear, and smaller poles form a series of cross-braces between them – and stands up on its own, providing there's no wind.
A series of loops around the edges of the Bike Cave mean you can fix it to a wall, fence or hard floor using the supplied screws and Rawlplugs. It also comes with tent pegs and guy ropes for use on softer ground, and ballast bags to hold the floor down.
The main disadvantage of this design is that it offers absolutely no security. The size and shape of the tent makes it fairly obvious to thieves that there are bikes inside, and the entrance consists of a simple zipped flap.
The manufacturers suggest using the tent in conjunction with a cable lock threaded through a wall-mounted anchor point, such as their own Anka Point. There is a 'hatch' at the back of the tent (secured with Velcro) to allow you to do this.
While this would make the bikes harder to nick, a determined thief with the right tools could still break through the lock in seconds. And they could even shelter inside the tent while they did so, to avoid detection. Even a basic wooden shed would provide more of a deterrence.
Because of this, we would not recommend using the Bike Cave unless you have a walled garden or live in a low-crime or high-security area. But if you're on a fairly tight budget and security isn't an issue, it's worth considering.
It's smarter, roomier and more weatherproof (thanks to the arched roof and integrated groundsheet) than a simple tarpaulin/bike cover, and while it's pricey for a single bike – you could buy a proper tent for less, although then you'd have to lay the bikes down on the floor – if you need to store multiple cycles it could prove cost-effective.