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Winter storage
#1
I've returned to biking after a 35 year hiatus. I bought a nice bike - more money that I planned or expected to spend - and I want to take good care of it. I'm not a passionate bicyclist ... just a casual rider looking to delay the onset of old age for as long as possible! Over the summer and fall I've stored it in a shed with no air conditioning or heating but I've had it out at least once or twice a week for a ride. I was looking forward to riding this winter but recent snowfalls and the forecast for a snowier winter than usual (DC area) may mean the bike will be in storage far longer than I had hoped. I could store it in my basement (nice and dry and heated) although getting it into and out of the basement won't be convenient and my wife will whine about it. That said, if it's the smart thing to do, I'll do it.

Longer-term, I'm seriously considering at least installing a dehumidifier in the shed to deal with the humid conditions we get for several months of the year and possibly a small heater for the cold months. The bike is hoisted up into the rafters when I'm not riding it regularly - the shed is also used to store tools and other stuff and I want to take good care of those, too. But for right now, I need to think about winter storage for the bike. I've already mostly deflated the tires - I'm really most concerned about the components and frame.

What do you think? Or am I being overly worried?
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#2
Cold won't hurt anything. Long term high humidity isn't great and will promote corrosion, but I wouldn't go too crazy about it. Dry heat will dry out your soft parts (tires, seat, etc.) Running heat/dehumidifiers for a tool shed seems a bit excessive. Most of the problems that could come up would take years to occur and can be avoided by some regular maintenance... relube your cables, stem, and seatpost occasionally. Throw some lube on the chain AFTER you ride to make sure it doesn't sit in storage without oil on the chain. A little auto wax goes a long way to keeping a bike protected from humidity (just keep it off the braking surfaces, etc.)

I say store it where you will get it out and ride it the most. If it's a big hassle to get it down to the basement, it's one more excuse to not to get out the door. A bike's a tool, keep it in the shed.
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#3
Dave,

I know there is a story about this guy and his bike being out in the cold winter for like 2 winters or something like. Although NOT recommended the bike actually rode well after some serious maintenance.

One thing to add is if you can throw a cover over it, keep the dust and some moisture away.
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#4
Store it in the basement. It's the best thing for it. The more climate control you have the better.

Dave is absolutely correct. Cold is ok, but dry heat will dry up handlebar tape, tires, tubes, and seat. Excessive humidity will promote corrosion, plus, depending on just how humid, it can work its way into the bottom bracket and hubs too.

And since you live in an area with fairly large temperature and climate variances, the weather changes will cause all these problems quicker.

Let your wife yell, but the money you'll spend on maintenance (either at the shop or if you buy your own tools), will far outweigh a small inconvenience.

Good luck with the wife!Big Grin
Dedicated scholar of bicycles
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