Unfortunately we can’t be out riding bikes at all times, we still need to sleep or eat at some point of the day. Jokes aside, there are a few key points you should consider when storing your beloved bike.
By keeping on top of the following tips, you can rest assured your bike will be enjoying it’s resting time and ready to rip when the time comes.
KEEP IT CLEAN
A clean bike is a fast bike. We can’t stress this enough, keeping your bike clean is not only beneficial to your components lifespan and performance, it’s also good for morale.
Rinsing or even wiping your bike down after every ride will go a long way. This is even more important in winter or after wet, muddy or dirty rides. Having all that grime and dirt from your last ride sitting on the surfaces of your bike will do it no good.
That’s not even to mention the harm that it could cause to all your bearings and moving parts, so do yourself and your bike a huge favor and get that cleaning kit out before storage time.
CONSIDER THE ELEMENTS
Storing your bike outside is never a good idea and we definitely do not recommend it. However, if that’s your only option, we would suggest looking for a sheltered area and using a bike cover to protect your bike from the elements. It is also important to periodically wash the bike and lubricate the moving parts to slow down the damage weather can cause.
Rain or moisture, wind and dust are not your bike’s friends and will speed up the deterioration of your components. It is common to see rust development after a few weeks of outdoor storage. If you want to keep it in tip top condition, try and find a spot inside for your bike’s resting time.
CONSIDER THE SPACE
If you have space inside to store your bike, you can consider yourself a lucky rider. Depending on the amount of room you have available you may need to look into different storage solutions - such as hooks and wall mounts or even ceiling racks. We strongly recommend storing your bike inside, even if you have limited space, to keep your pride and joy protected from the harmful elements.
Now that we’ve covered the space where to store your bike let’s look into some practicalities to minimize the impact short or long storage periods can have on your beloved bike.
SET THE TYRE PRESSURE
As far as tyres and tubes are concerned, too much or too little pressure during extended periods of time can be detrimental. That’s due to the fact that all rubber is subject to age, especially when you add to the equation mileage, exposure to sunlight or ozone, which can be particularly detrimental to certain rubber polymers.
With that in mind we recommend that you keep your tyres inflated to the recommended/prefered pressure in case you’re not storing your bike for long periods of time.
On the other hand, if you are storing your bike through winter or long periods, we strongly recommend deflating your tyres to around half way the pressure that you would usually run. This will keep your tyres round and prevent high pressure fluctuations inside the tyre/tube due to change of environment conditions - ultimately prolonging their lifetime and avoiding dry rot.
SUSPENSION AND DROPPER POST
Prolonged storage periods can be detrimental to your suspension and dropper post as well. Most, if not all of these components rely their function on rubber seals, and just like your tyres and tubes, they will deteriorate with time if not being used.
What we recommend here is to store your bike with the dropper at full extension (decreasing the air pressure inside the component) and periodically cycle through your suspension and dropper travel. In other words, once a month sit on the saddle, compress the dropper and give your suspension a couple of pumps to get the internals to do their thing. This will prevent your seals from going dry and improve the feel of your suspension and dropper when the riding times are finally back.
CARE FOR THE DERAILLEUR AND HANGER
If you have a rear derailleur on your bike you may have experienced, at some point of its life, inaccurate gear shifting. Many facts can lead to that, one of the most common is a misaligned rear derailleur hanger.
The hanger is a safety device intentionally made out of a very soft metal, so in the case of a crash or impact, the hanger will absorb most of the forces by bending, preventing more expensive parts, like your derailleur or frame, from getting seriously damaged.
Unfortunately that could also go the opposite direction and throw your gears out of alignment if you drop your bike or accidentally hit your derailleur during storage. For that we recommend keeping an eye on your rear mech and being specially careful with that area of the bike. Keeping your hanger aligned through the storage period will prevent your gears from going out of whack, providing a more enjoyable experience when getting back on the saddle.
So now you’re something of an expert on how to properly store your bike. We hope you find these tips helpful next time you have to be apart from your bike - we know, hard times.
Now last but not least, make sure to enjoy your time maintaining your bike as much as you do riding it, and happy riding!
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