Whether you have a mountain bike, road bike, or any other type of bike, the ideal storage is indoors since you have a climate-controlled environment. However, not all of us have the luxury of indoor space for storage, especially if you live in a tiny apartment a couple of floors up without an elevator. When you have no choice but to store bike outside, make sure that you do it properly for protection against damage.
Thinking of how to store bicycle outside? Read on and learn from the tips we’ll share.
What Happens When You Store Bicycle Outside?
Rust is the most common problem with outside bike storage. Newer models will fare better. They have tighter components to block moisture, which will also prevent corroding the mountain bike inside out. Leaving the bike outdoors for a few days may not lead to rust, but if you leave it longer, the bike will degrade quicker.
Rust will start forming in the chain and gears. You need to know how to clean bike chains properly to prevent rust from causing drastic damage. From the chain, it will spread to the other parts of the bike. This will also cause the drivetrain to be brittle. It can result in problems with shifting gears. You will need to adjust bike gears more frequently to prevent performance problems and safety issues.
Aside from the rain, humidity and heat can also cause problems. It affects a variety of bike frame materials. Exposure to direct sunlight causes different parts of a bike to become brittle.
How Do I Store My Bike Outside?
To store your bike outside, find a safe space. Preferably, it should be in an area with shade. Use a bike cover to protect the bike from external elements that can speed up wear. A lock is also a must-have to protect your bike against theft.
For a more detailed guide on how to store bike outside, below are some of the most important things that you need to do.
Find the Right Location
The first thing to do is to find a safe outdoor space where you can store your bike. It will be good if there is shade. Make sure there is no risk of falling objects. Keep it away from the main road. Find a place where it can always be seen by other people to avoid theft. See to it that you are leaving your bike outside a place where you are allowed to do so. Find a parking lot dedicated to bikes.
Use a Bike Lock
One of the risks of storing your bike outside is theft. The best way to prevent this is to use a bike lock. Choose an immovable object where you can lock the bike. Lock the frame of the bike or the wheels and not the seat or any other part that can be easily removed.
Cover Your Bike
Using a bike cover is the best way to minimize the impact of damages that external factors can cause, such as snow, rain, and heat. This will protect the bike from moisture and humidity that can cause rust and corrosion, among other problems. Make sure to cover the bike properly and that you will not leave any metal component exposed.
If you ride regularly, then you do not need to use a full bike cover as this requires quite an effort to put on and off. If that’s the case, then you are better off with waterproof seat cover.
Bike tents are also great. Like bike covers, it will protect against rust and corrosion. It is bigger than a cover, which also means that there will be a larger space for the bike to breathe.
Inspect the Bike
Inspect the bike for any sign of visible damage. Check the wheel area and look for loose spokes. Damaged spokes can expose the rim to external elements and can speed up damage on your bike. Repair any problem before storing the bike.
Prepare the Bike for Outside Storage
If you will be storing the bike outside for an extended period, take the necessary steps to prepare it. Among others, one of the most important is to keep the tires inflated. Keeping the air is one of the best ways to minimize damage.
It is also a must to grease the cable. By lubricating the brakes and shifting cables, you can reduce the likelihood that they will rust as a result of rain. You will also need to lubricate the chain.
If your bike has a steel frame, it is also a must to spray WD-40. This will inhibit rust in steel frames. You can also use it on the seat tube.
Q: Is it OK to store bike outside?
Yes, it is OK to store bike outside. For a couple of days, you won’t see visible damages. However, if you leave it outdoors for a long time, issues like rust will start being visible. Do not leave the bike as is. Take precautionary measures, such as by using a bike cover.
Q: How do I store my bike outside in the winter?
To store your bike outside in the winter, wash it first. Once everything is clean, cover the bike to protect it from the snow. Make sure that all components are dry to avoid freezing. Inflate the tires to prevent damage.
Q: Is it OK for a bike to get rained on?
It is OK for a bike to get rained on for a day or two. However, exposure to rain for a long time or frequently can make the water get inside the frame and pool in the bracket. This will speed up rust and other visible problems.
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Leaving your bike outside for a day or two won’t cause significant damage. However, leave it for a longer time and you will see rust, corrosion, and other issues that will affect not only the bike’s aesthetics but also its performance. Make sure to store bicycle outside properly to avoid problems.