When the weather is nice, there is no better hobby than cycling. Fun and healthy, biking can make a great day out for the whole family.
They are also healthy for the planet too! These days we are acutely aware of the damage to the environment we are causing through carbon emissions. This has resulted in more people using their bikes for their work commute or simply just getting around.
But understandably, many of us are “fair-weather cyclists”, which means that for much of the year, our bikes are just lying around while we wait for better weather. Bikes can be expensive; the technology has come on leaps and bounds over the past few years. Carbon fibre frames, electric bikes, complex suspension have all been recent developments that mean the cost of a good bike can run into thousands of pounds.
Knowing how to store your bike over long periods of disuse is crucial to maintaining it in the best of condition and making sure you get years of use from that precious investment.
The tips listed below will help ensure that those wheels will keep on turning for years to come:
Clean your bike
All that grime and mud you collected from your last cycle will not do your bike any favours if left for a long period. Taking some time to give your bike some TLC before you store it will pay dividends in the long run. Use a soft brush to remove most of the dirt from the frame, gears, cables, and wheels, then clear any remaining dirt with a cloth or rag.
Make sure all the crucial components are well lubricated before you store it, as it helps keep rust-free over the damp winter months. Pay particular attention to the following parts:
- Gear derailleurs
- Brake and gear shifter levers
- Brake Assemblies
Tip – Don’t over-lubricate as this can attract dirt; wipe off excess lubricants with a cloth before you store it.
Inflate your tyres
Deflated tyres can quickly crack and perish. Always making sure your tyres are inflated properly before you store the bike will prolong their life, and ensure that your first bike outing of the spring doesn’t leave you feeling flat.
Use bicycle hooks or a pulley system
Keeping your bike off the floor during prolonged storage helps keep the tyres in sound condition, frees up precious floor space, and protects your bike from potential knocks and bashes from other items in your storage space.
Security is key
Unfortunately, bikes are frequently targeted by thieves. They make high-value and convenient targets that are difficult to secure. The latest figures for Ireland show that almost 20 bikes a day are reported as having been stolen, but many more bike thefts go unreported. This means that even with bike covers, long-term outdoor storage is not a viable option. Make sure that your bike is stored in a secure indoor location. If you don’t have room, then why not consider renting self-storage space? In the long run, this could save you money and the heartache of losing that expensive bicycle.
Check them regularly
Your bike may have been spic and span when you stored it, with fully inflated tyres and everything lubricated, but moisture and dirt can still accumulate. Checking your bike once every couple of weeks or so is essential in maintaining it in the best of condition.
Store all your bikes together
Many people own more than one bike, it could be that each member of your family has their own bike, or perhaps you own a mountain bike, a BMX bike, and a road bike. Whatever the case, if you have multiple bikes to store, it is best to keep them all together. This prevents damage in storage from having bikes littered all about the place and also makes it more convenient when doing your periodical checks.
Consider a self-storage unit
Bikes can cost thousands of euros, therefore, storing them correctly and securely is essential. If you live in an apartment or smaller home, this can be difficult to achieve without leaving your bike at the risk of accidental damage or theft.
A secure self-storage unit offers the peace of mind that comes from knowing your bike is safely stored in a clean and dry environment. Having your bike securely under lock and key over the worst of the winter months means that come the spring, you and your bike are ready to hit the road again without any issues.
The joy of cycling can quickly turn into despair if you don’t give your bike the TLC and security it deserves when storing it long term. The elements, grime, and humidity can all quickly turn that prized possession into nothing but an expensive repair job, or worse.
Taking some time to make sure your bike is prepared for storage and stored in a secure environment ensures you can enjoy the years of hassle-free cycling that you and your bike both deserve.