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Bike Storage Tips: How to Store Your Mountain Bike for Winter

There are two types of cyclists during the winter – the hardcore riders who are willing to conquer the winter snow and those who are preparing to put away their bike for the season. Although riding a bike in winter can be a lot of fun, not everyone is willing to put up with freezing temps and snow falls. If you are one of them, you are probably preparing to store their ride at least for a little while. In this case, you may be in need of some bike storage tips.

Proper bike storage is the key to protecting your ride during the cold winter. Follow these steps to prolong the life of your bicycle and its parts, as well as to ensure that it stays in great shape throughout the winter.

Bring your bike in for a tune up

Bring your bike up for a tune up

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Before you put away your bike for the winter, we highly recommend that you bring your mountain bike to a mechanic for a tune up.

Most people prefer to have their bikes tuned up in spring. Although spring tune ups are fine, having it done in winter will ensure that the chain, brakes and other essential components are in great shape and will work properly come spring. Another reason to have your bike tuned up now is to avoid the long spring tune up queue. All you need to do is to fully inflate your tires and you’ll be ready to hop on your bike and be back on the trails as soon as it warms again.

Wash the bike thoroughly

Wash the bike thoroughly

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Grime, mud, dirt, and road salt can cause corrosion on your bike’s frame and parts. Now is the ideal time to clean your bike. A good quality dish soap and a soft brush will knock any chunk of dirt, grime, and mud. It is important not to skip this step before putting it in bike storage.

You want to make sure that every part of your bike is fully intact. As such, take this opportunity to give the bike frame a thorough inspection. Remember that the frame is subjected to great stresses and supports a lot of your weight. Look for any signs of metal fatigue or cracks, particularly on the bottom bracket and near weld spots. This will ensure the integrity of your bike frame and prevent injury as well.

Lubricate brakes and chain

Lubricate brakes and chain

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The last thing you want is for your ride to develop rust while in storage. Although it usually starts small, rust can quickly grow and eat away at the metal. This can be a death sentence for your beloved ride.

Keep rust at bay by lubricating the cables, chain, and brakes. This provides an extra layer of protection against corrosion. Plus, it will extend the life of your chain and make your pedaling more efficient. Put a few drops of lubricant on a clean rug, and then rub it on the exposed cables. Wash the bike thoroughly and let it dry completely before applying lubricant.

Inflate the tires

Inflate the tires

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Make sure that the tires are properly inflated before storing your bike. The cold winter weather will cause the tires to lose about 1 psi for every 10°F drop in temperature. With the freezing temps, your tires are likely to fall flat if they are not fully inflated. When this happens, the weight of the bike can actually cause damage to the rim. Not a good situation for you and your bike. So if you’re planning to store your bike for a few months, be sure to keep your tires inflated.

Choose a bike storage location

Choose a bike storage location

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Storing your bike outdoors will likely damage it. Moisture and humidity can cause the moving parts of your bike to rust and the rubber to deteriorate quicker. If your bike is left in an unheated garage, it can cause moisture to condense on the inside of the frame, which can lead to rusting. To preserve the condition of the bike, it is important to place your bike indoors, preferably in a heated, low humidity environment. The basement, garage or even large closets are great options for storing your bike. This will protect your ride from the cold, wet weather.

If you don’t have a good place to store your bike at home, you may want to rent out a bike storage unit for your bike. Never leave it outside the house. Not only will it cause damage to your bike, it also makes it susceptible to theft. Bike theft is becoming more of a concern in some parts of the country. In fact, more than $350 million dollars worth of bicycles are stolen each month according to the National Bike Registry. If you choose to store your bike in the garage, make sure that it is locked in the most secure way possible to avoid theft. You’ve taken so much time and effort taking care of your bicylcle. Don’t let that go to waste.

Hang the bike

Hang the bike

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Although it’s fine to leave the bike upright, this isn’t recommended if you’re planning  on storing your bike for an extended period of time. This is because leaving it upright will put too much pressure on the bike. The weight of the bike will distort the rims and destroy the rubber tires.

One of the best ways to store your bike at home is to hang it on the wall. This is an excellent bike storage solution for city dwellers who have limited space. Not only will it prevent damage to your rims, it will also get the bikes off the floor, so you have more free space.

You’ll want to use a bike hook or a bike rack to hand your bicycle on the wall securely. Racks and hooks will help keep your bike in place so it won’t be knocked over. This prevents your bicycle from getting scratched or injuring your child or pet. It is important to take the wall quality and bike weight into account before installing a bike rack to the wall. Don’t forget to take into account the clearance space you need to open doors or navigate around the bike.


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