A bike is important in your life and should be stored properly in the house or garage. Unfortunately, some circumstances force you to store your bike outside. So you have no choice but to ensure your store your bike outside properly to prevent it from deteriorating quickly. Storing bikes outside is, therefore, a challenge. We have put together some vital tips to help you on how to store bikes outside correctly.
Let us get started:
How To Store Bikes Outside?
If you want to protect your bike while storing it outside, use the following:
- Vehicle bike covers
- Waterproof seat covers
- Outdoor bike cover
- Bike tent
Remember, these methods are not equal, some will work better than others. So depending on the method you want to use, read more to have a better understanding.
Where Should You Store a Bike?
It does not matter the model or type of your bike. It can be a road bike, e-bike, mountain bike, or even another type. The best place where you can store your bike is indoors. Storing your bike indoors prevents it from experiencing harsh weather elements that can lead to rusting.
However, you can leave it for some days outside. That is not a huge deal, but it should be secured with a lock.
What will you do when you don’t have an extra space indoor? You will have to store the bike outside and it will face various problems.
Effects of Storing Your Bike Outside
A bike has different components and is made using different materials. Storing your bike outside allows the metallic components to rust.
Each bike is affected by weather differently as they are not made the same.
If you have a high-end bicycle, it is made of stainless steel chain that will not deteriorate easily. But with a low-end bike, it will have easy to rust materials.
As the bike becomes old, the seals will become less effective. These seals are vital as they will prevent water and moisture from bearings, wheel hubs, cogs, cranks, derailleur, chainrings, and more.
- Rubber & Plastic
Bicycles have rubber parts such as an inner tube, tire, rim strip, bicycle seats, cable housing, brake hoods, and more. These parts break down when exposed to humidity and sun.
- Steel Frame
When your bike has a steel frame, after it gets scratches, nicks, or dents, they encourage rust. You have to paint it to prevent rust.
- Aluminum Frame
Other bikes have aluminum frames, but you have to protect those parts made of steel such as chains, belts, gears, cables, and more.
Keep in mind that the bike you buy will have different maintenance levels. High-end bicycles will have quality parts allowing them to last longer outside. However, that will not mean you will not provide some protection.
That said, let us dive into tips to prevent your bike from rusting.
Preventing Your Bike from Rust
Rust occurs when your bike is exposed to moisture. The best way for preventing your bike from rusting is by storing it indoors. Such places are easy to control the elements that cause rust.
However, you may not have space indoors where you can store your bike. In such a case, you need to use the best storage solution.
Where you store your bike outdoors, ensure the protective material you use can withstand humidity, rain, high winds, snow, and other elements. These elements are always harsh to your bicycle.
Here’s how to store bikes outside.
- Bicycle Sheds
If you have a yard, then you are lucky to have a solution for your bicycle storage. This is an excellent option to store your bike or multiple bikes.
When purchasing bike sheds, they come in different materials: plastic, metal, or wood. However, each type of shed has pros and cons.
If you have a plastic shed, it is perfect to protect your power equipment, ladders, bikes, and other outdoor equipment. The material used, polypropylene resin can withstand all outdoor elements.
In addition, buy a lock to secure your bike and prevent access by unwanted people or thieves.
Unfortunately, bicycle sheds tend to be expensive. But the advantage is that you install one and it will last for years. And when moving to a new home or location, you can move with it.
Nevertheless, if you are handy with materials, you can save by making them yourself.
- Bicycle Tents
Sometimes, you may not have enough space where you can install a shed. So the other great option is to get a bike tent.
Perhaps you are living in a rental apartment, ask your landlord or caretaker whether they have set rules on having a bike tent.
In addition, there are many styles and shapes of tents to choose from. The most important thing is picking a tent made of high-quality materials, portable, and has useful features.
Investing in a good tent will protect your bike from snow and rain. But ensure the one you buy is rainproof.
The amazing thing is, bike tents are easy to assemble and affordable. But they also have a downside: a tent will not protect your bike when not enclosed.
- Bike Covers
If you are looking to store your bike for long, then you need a comprehensive bike cover. The cover has durable and waterproof materials that have stretchable straps securing your bike.
In addition, the cover helps protect your bike from dust, harmful UV rays, and moisture.
Some people use a heavy-duty tarp and they have had success in protecting their bikes. The tarp will cover your bike to provide shelter.
Use the tarp to wrap your bike. However, it creates a pocket of moisture which will likely ruin your bicycle.
Perhaps your bike has no kickstand, so you have to buy an outdoor bike rack. You will help it stand up and also secure it using a lock.
The good thing with tarps is that they are pocket friendly and available. You can easily find them in your local hardware store. Ensure the tarp can withstand harsh weather elements such as strong winds. So buy only durable tarps made of high-quality materials.
- Water-resistant Seat Covers
There are waterproof seat covers you can use to protect stored outdoor bikes. This cover will protect your saddle from rain, dirt, sun, and wind. Others are equipped with a drawstring which keeps the bike secure on windy days. And that helps protect the seat from cracking.
Some seat covers are more durable and costly than others. So pick one that will suit your needs and your lifestyle.
Perhaps you have not invested in a waterproof seat cover, worry no more. Use a plastic shopping bag and tie it around your bike’s seat. It will protect the saddle from destructive UV rays from the sun.
Unfortunately, using a waterproof seat cover will only protect the saddle. So other parts of the bike are exposed to harsh weather elements.
- Preparing Your Bike for Storage
If your leave a place where you receive winter, it is vital to prepare your bike before storage. So when you want to store it indoors, you will need to winterize your bicycle.
Perhaps you want to store your bike outside during the winter months, you don’t have to worry about winterizing. You will only need to get a tune-up during spring.
However, it does not mean you will put the bike outside and neglect it for months. If you are to store your bike outdoor, these are things to consider:
Keep the Bike Dry
When it is exposed to moisture, use a towel to dry it. You will help to prevent the bike from rusting.
Monitor Your Seals
When the bad weather arrives, it will damage the seals. So, ensure you have equipped yourself with new seals – mainly those old seals. By doing so, you prevent moisture from ruining the bike’s components and frame from the inside out.
- Check the tires: Properly inflated tires protect your bike’s rims from the hard ground. At least buy a movable air pump and keep checking the tires once a week or twice to make sure they are in good condition.
- Grease the cables: when you are keeping your bike outside, oil the brakes and shift cables to help minimize the buildup of oxidation, which can affect how they function.
- Clean and lubricate the chain: take out all dirt and grime from the chain and keep it lubricated to help protect it from moisture.
- Remove rust: look around your bike for at least some time for two weeks and wipe any rust immediately after it appears. Your bike can be kept protected by WD-40 and other lubricants. Watching this video will guide you to the end on how to use white vinegar and Coca-Cola to remove the aluminum foil from your bike.
How many times you look at your bike will be determined by the weather conditions in your environment.
If you live in an area where it rains and snows a lot, you should check your bike after every rainfall, or at least once a week.
Storing a bike outside for long may lead to rust problems. However, using the above methods can help you safely store your bike. After you have stored it for a long, remember to give the bike a complete tune-up before you use it. This is a service you can easily get from bike shops but the price varies from shop to shop.
In addition, the level of tune-up also varies on the condition of your bike. Also, the weather of your place matters a lot as it helps you to know how safely you can store your bike.