Biking or cycling is a fun and healthy hobby to enjoy during the warmer weather. It’s great exercise and it gets you outdoors to enjoy the beauty and serenity of nature. If you live in and around the city, biking can be a practical and money-saving way to get you to your favorite hot spots. On the other hand, for those who truly enjoy taking part in a sport, biking is more than transportation or exercise. It’s a passion.
According to Statista, the number of cyclists/bike riders in the U.S. in 2017 was 47.5 million. As reported by the world economic forum, in America and globally, the COVID-19 pandemic suspended a number of public transport services, getting some citizens on their bikes. The end of 202o saw $6.9 billion spent on bicycles and accessories, and Q1 reports show that the trend is continuing, with Americans expected to spend $3.2 billion by year’s end.
Whatever the reason, many Americans are enjoying the trend. While you may be enjoying your bike during the warmer months, cold weather is right around the corner. It’s time to think about storage options to keep your bike free from damage or deterioration. The most practical and affordable method of keeping your bike safe and protected during the winter weather is a secure, affordable self storage facility.
Protect Your Bike in a Self Storage Unit
When you’re storing your bike for an extended period, look for a convenient, affordable self storage facility that has the amenities you need. Look for climate-controlled storage, a wide range of unit sizes, and plenty of security features. To get you started in the right direction read, How to Choose the Right Self Storage Facility for Your Needs as well as the following tips and suggestions.
Check the Bike Frame
Check your bike frame for cracks, and be sure that the frame is not bent. Look at the welded areas where the metal connects and examine the bottom bracket. These areas absorb the most stress when you’re biking and should be carefully checked. You wouldn’t want your bike to come apart while you’re enjoying a ride.
Clean Prior to Storing
Prior to storing your bike for an extended time, give it a thorough cleaning. Leftover dirt and grime will cause your bike frame to rust. Wipe down the frame, gears, and any other accessories on your bike.
Remember to clean out any bags and empty and clean water bottles. You don’t want to attract pests with leftover munchies. You’ll be glad your bike is clean and ready to ride when the warm weather returns.
Inflate the Tires
Another important step that you don’t want to miss is properly inflating your tires. If possible, use a bike rack or hook to keep your tires above ground. Tires can deflate over time. If you leave the bicycle on the ground for an extended period, you may find flat spots if the tires have not been inflated during storage. The weight of the bike can warp or distort the rims and rubber of the tires.
If you can’t use a bike rack, another good way to store your bicycle is by flipping it upside down. That way, the weight is on the handlebars and seat instead of the tires and rims.
Lubricate the Chains and Cables
Chains and cables accumulate a lot of dust and grime. To stop rust and keep your bike looking great, clean and lubricate the chains and cables. This will prevent corrosion on these sensitive components.
Any batteries should be removed prior to storing your bike. Remove batteries from backlights, headlights, and flashers. If you’re unable to remove batteries, make sure they’re fully charged before you put your bike in storage.
When It’s Time to Retrieve Your Bike From Storage
When you’re ready to take your bike out of storage, it can be tempting to get right on and take it for a spin.
No matter where you’ve been storing your bike, it’s bound to be a little dusty. Rinse it with a hose and then lightly clean it with warm soapy water and a soft brush. Be sure to thoroughly dry it. If you find any rusty spots, use WD-40 to clean them as well as possible. You’ll probably have to replace those pieces sooner or later.
Pump some air into the tires to make sure they are properly inflated and that no holes have developed. Look at the brakes and press the brake levers to be sure the pads are making contact with the rims.
Your bike may have dried out a bit while in storage. Lubricate all of the moving parts, and rub down the seat, pedals, and handlebars.
Don’t ruin your bike with improper storage methods. Take the time to maintain it properly and store it away from the elements. Safe, affordable self storage is the perfect solution to keep your bike in the best possible condition so that you can enjoy it for many years to come.