When the warm days are over and the headwind does not seem pleasantly cool, it is time to think about how to store your bike in winter. Many people ignore this question, and in vain, because the bike, like any other equipment, needs to be treated with care. Why can not just put it in a secluded place and forget for a few months until the arrival of spring? The matter is that mechanisms and accessories are exposed to influence of external environment, as a result of which oil seals and rubbers start to dry out and crack, and a chain and ropes start to extend. For this reason, it is worth thinking about how and where to store your bike in the winter.
Reasons to take care of bike storage
Many cyclists with the first frosts hide the transport on the balcony, forgetting about it until the arrival of spring. This is not the way to do it, since the sharp changes in temperature can lead to the formation of microcracks on the frame. Moreover, we should not forget about the devastating effect of rust on all mechanisms. Sending the bike to the balcony, not taking care of proper storage, you may encounter very unpleasant surprises that will delay the beginning of the riding season. Ultraviolet radiation, sharp fluctuations in temperature, high levels of humidity – all this eventually leads to the appearance of corrosion, cracks and other defects.
Therefore, you should think about how to store the bike properly, so that with the first warmth you can go for a ride unhindered. The best option is to choose a dry heated room, where there are no sudden temperature fluctuations and high humidity. In this regard, the apartment (a secluded place where the bike will not stumble household members), a closed balcony or garage is ideal. Some people send their bikes to workshops for the winter, killing two birds with one stone: storage and maintenance.
Optimal storage conditions
To choose the right place to winterize your bicycle, you need to know what conditions (temperature, humidity, lighting, etc.) the room should meet. In particular, direct sunlight can damage the rubber elements of the bike (they dry out and then begin to crack). Plastic, paint and varnish under the influence of sunlight also lose their aesthetic properties. In addition, fans of carbon frames can also face problems if you do not cover the iron horse from ultraviolet radiation.
Dramatic temperature changes also do not bode well: plastic and rubber parts lose their elasticity, as well as get soaked with moisture. Do not place your bike near radiators and other heat sources: high temperatures are bad for your tires.
From all of this, we can conclude what should be the optimal conditions for storing a bicycle in winter:
- No sudden changes in temperature (not below +5C).
- Normal humidity.
- Avoid direct sunlight.
- Not near any heat sources.
It is clear that the “wintering” bicycle should not block the aisle and constantly come into view. Folding models are good in this regard, which, when folded, do not take up much space and can easily fit in the closet.
Once you understand the conditions that must be observed, sending the bike for wintering, you can begin to find the most appropriate place. Remember, this can be a glazed balcony or loggia, a vestibule room in the entrance, heated garage or workshop. Now you can easily buy a special bracket and hang your bike directly on the wall to constantly admire his faithful friend. If the area of the room allows, you can store the transport in a far room where it will not interfere with anyone (do not forget about the conditions).
Many people store the bike in a folded form in the vestibule room. But here, too, you need to think about the temperature fluctuations and ultraviolet radiation. The balcony is not the best option, but many people store it there. If it is glazed or at least heated, then this option will do. If not, it’s like leaving your bicycle outside for the winter. With the possible options sorted out. It remains only to decide where not to store your bike in the winter.
In a private home
The house has a place to turn around, so there should not be significant problems with storage. As a rule, there are quite a lot of outbuildings on the homestead, which are quite suitable for this purpose. Garage, shed, storerooms, outbuildings and more – you just need to choose the optimum temperature regime and protect the bike from adverse weather conditions. If the outbuildings do not meet the requirements of storage, you can find a nook in the house, where you put your bike.
In an apartment
It is much more difficult to find a suitable place, since the area most often does not allow hiding a sufficiently large equipment. With a balcony, the question is solved: if it fits – we store it there, if not – we’re looking for another place. Most often in apartment buildings, each floor has vestibules, where residents can leave strollers, children’s toys for the sandbox, bicycles and other things that take up a lot of space in the apartment. If you trust your neighbors, you can leave your bicycle there as well by locking it in advance. The main thing is to keep it out of the sunlight and not put it near batteries.
Do not forget that the bike can be stored in disassembled form – so it takes up much less space. It is only necessary to prepare it competently for the winter and to allocate a place of honor in a far corner or a closet.
The nuances of bike storage
You can not just pick up and send the bike for the winter without proper preparation. Before “preserving” it, it is necessary to thoroughly clean all elements and mechanisms from dirt. It contains aggressive substances that in a few months will destroy not only rubber and plastic parts, but even metal and steel. Therefore, first of all, the bike should be thoroughly washed and dried. After that, the chain should be cleaned of old grease and dirt, wiped dry, and then re-lubricated. It is also recommended that the shifters, pivots and sprockets be cleaned of dust and sand and then lubricated with oil.
To prevent cracking and drying of the rubber elements (including tires), you should treat them with a special silicone spray. The bicycle frame should be washed, dried, covered with a thin layer of oil and covered with food film to prevent dust. That’s essentially it. All that remains is to take another look at your bike, saying goodbye to him, “See you again.”
A bicycle is not just a means of transportation. It is a complicated device consisting of various mechanisms and systems, the coordinated work of which provides a comfortable ride. Is it worth repeating that even in winter, when there is no chance to ride in the wind on the streets, the bike should be in favorable conditions? If you want with the advent of spring just to take the bike on the street and ride, you need to take care of a warm and cozy place for his winter. Otherwise there is no other way.