How to store a bicycle
Long term bike storage ideas
Unless youíre fortunate enough to live in an area with year-round sun, Winter means itís about time to pack up the bike for a few months. For serious bikers, taking the time to do it right will help protect your investment. With the price of some of these graphite or other alloy bikes creeping up toward a $1,000 or more, knowing how to store a bike, especially a specialty bicycle, will ensure itís ready come Spring.
Before we look at the many long term storage options available, letís take a few minutes to prepare the bike for the long (hopefully not too long) Winter hibernation.
Much of the preparatory work entails removing and protecting your bike against moisture. Meandering the Gobi, Sahara or local mall without water is sure to end poorly, but water is the last thing you want when it comes to storing your human-powered transport.
With that said, a quick trip to the local bike shop or place an ordering online for some chain lubricant is in order. Oiling the chain, sprocket and derailleurs is the best long-term protection against moisture. Now, with a dry rag wipe down the entire bike whether youíre able to spot any moisture or not, taking particular care in and around the pedals, handlebars and wheels. Chrome is resistant to moisture, but the smallest crack or blemish is sure to attract water and oxidation will spread like wildfire.
Now that your ride is ready for the long, dark Winter months itís time to get it out of the way; youíll need that space for Christmas trees and shredded wrapping paper. There are no shortage of options, so letís take a look at a few of the more popular.
Vertical Storage Mounts
You may have seen these, they look sort of like a Charlie Brown Christmas tree; barren with just a few ďbranchesĒ sticking out. These are designed to hold up to 3 bikes, stacked vertically. The right vertical floor mount will depend on your particular space.
Wall or Ceiling Mounts
If space is at a premium, a wall or ceiling mount is likely your best option. The key here is to make certain you locate a wall or ceiling stud, as the weight of your ride will bring down drywall after a bit. If youíre trying to determine how to store a bicycle, a simple hook or two is all it takes with these mounts.
There are also wall or ceiling mounts that include what amounts to a tray for the wheels. This helps to distribute the weight of the bike equally, putting a little less strain on the hooks. If youíve found and used a solid stud, the added expense for the tray isnít a necessity.
To really get your bike up and out of the way for a few months, a hoist using a pulley and rope system is ideal. These can be used to raise, and easily lower when the time comes, even the heaviest of bikes making them perfect for tandem, those funky recumbents or other heavy bicycles.
Another option, and a darn good one to help ward off the ďWinter layerĒ many of us are subject to from all the sweets and lack of exercise that comes along with nasty weather, is a stationary mount. Some of these require you to take off the front wheel, others donít. Either way, these turn your bike into a stationary piece of exercise equipment to keep up your regimen. Placing it directly in front of a television isnít mandatory, but itíll make the concept of working that hard to go nowhere a lot more tolerable.