How to Winterize and Store your Bike
If you are not going to continue to ride your bike over the winter, it might be a good idea to consider a few tips on how to manage and store your bike. If you store your bike properly you will get continued years of enjoyment out of your bicycle and maintain your investment. This will also make it ready and working properly when you are ready to ride in the spring. Depending on your riding style and enthusiasm you can plan on putting your bike in storage mode in the Tri State area for up to 4 months.
If you follow these easy steps and take care of your bike during the off season you can have trouble free enjoyment when the 2019 bicycle season rolls around.
The two main steps needed to take into account are Preparation and Storage
First and for most, prior to storing your bike for the winter you need to prep your bike. By performing or purchasing a complete maintenance overhaul or tune up will provide a proper thorough cleaning, lubrication, waxing and tuning. This will remove any grime and dirt that has developed over the past year. This will also add a protective coating of oils, greases and wax’s to prevent any corrosion from the elements as it sits in storage. This will also prepare your bike and have it ready when you are ready to ride in the spring. Now is a great time to have it professional done because bike shops are slower this time of year so they can your bike done quicker. That’s compared to the normal cycling season when everyone needs repairs. This time of year Wheelies offers discounts on both service and parts. If you would like to bond with your bike and do it yourself check how to clean your bike further in this article below.
Remove your water bottles, you don't want your water bottles sitting around all winter collecting germs and bacteria stinking bad and looking more like a science project. Not a pretty site or smell once you’ve open it after it has been in storage for a few months, Trust me on that one.
Also remove Lights, Cyclocomputers and electronic devices and store these items inside in a warm, dry place. This will extend battery life when not kept in the cold. Some of your electronic cycle devices my use rechargeable batteries. They will require some additional attention such as charging and storage check the manufacturer’s instruction for the best way to manage and store them for this period of time.
If you have a geared bike place the shifter so to create the least amount of tension on the shifter cables. For the front 2 to 3 gears where your pedals are it is usually the smallest gear (chain ring) closest to the frame of the bike. In the rear it is usually the smallest gear (cog) the furthest from the rear wheel. This will reduce any stretching of the cables.
If you have brake releases, release them to allow less tension on the brake cables and springs again to reduce stretching.
If you want to service your bike yourself consider:
Clean the bike with a mild detergent. Dry it off well; this will remove all moisture after the wash. Moisture can facilitate rust. Apply a light coat of wax for better protection against moisture, dust, and dirt lightly coat the chain and other moving parts with quality bicycle oil. Use just enough to create a light coating and wipe of any excess oil. Do not overdue it because excess oil can collect dirt and dust overtime. This helps keeps parts moving smoothly, prevent moisture and rust buildup. It is recommended to use bicycle specific lubricant, and cleaning. If you have a bike with carbon fiber make sure the product is recommended by the manufacturer.
Make sure your tires are inflated to the maximum pressure. This will prevent them from dry rotting or becoming deformed as a result of sitting in the same position. It is recommend checking the tire pressure during the storage period and inflating if needed.
If you have to store your bike with the tires on the ground move the tire to another position once a month or so to prevent deformation of the tire. Try to avoid storing your bike on a concrete floor. Concrete can draw moisture from the rubber in your tires causing dry rotting. Also avoid storing your bike in direct sunlight this to can cause the tire, seat and paint to dry out and fade.
STORING YOUR BIKE
When it comes to storing your bike you need to first look and see what you have in the way of Space, Security, Accessibility and Exposure.
Storing the bike indoors in your house or apartment is the best for the long term. This will keep it out of the elements and in a warm climate controlled area.
If you have to store your bike outside cover it up to keep the elements from getting to it. Make sure it covers the bike good but allows for ventilation. If you are planning on using your bike a lot over the winter months it is actually better to store it outside.
Hanging the bike up off the ground would be best for longer storages but if this is not possible, try placing it upside down or wheels toward the sky. This allows for better protection against a cold floor and prevents the tires going out of shape or cracking from sitting in the same spot for a prolonged period of time. Again a nice hanging bike can be a work of art.
You just need to find the space where it will not be in your way and fits in a space that is good for you and your bike. It is all based on how much room you have vs. the size of the bike.
A bike hanging on the wall can be art work.
If you are going to store your bicycle it is a good idea to lock it up. Bikes have been stolen from garages, front porches, sheds, and unlocked homes. A good lock goes a long way in keeping your bike yours and not some thief.
Based on how often and how soon you need your bike will determine where to put if. If you are not going to need your bike at all hang it high from the sealing or rafters or high up on the wall, but if you are going to use your bike over the winter months put it someplace where you can get to it easily.
Keep it in a safe place where it is not vulnerable to theft and the elements.
There are a number of types of storage devices on the market that work great based on your situation.
So as you can see you have a number of options to keep your bike stored safely over the winter and have it ready when you are ready to ride in the early spring.
If you still want to continue to stay in shape consider an indoor trainer or spin classes to keep up your pedal stamina and maintain your legs, lungs heart and other body parts.
Wheelies has these product in stock or can have them to you quickly. We car also assist in installations and set up.
Since you are not using your bike this is the best time to have a Wheelies Tune-Up, Overhaul or have any repairs fixed that may have developed from last year riding season. Currently, we are offering our Full Service Overhaul, originally $189, for only $89.99. For a breakdown of this service, check out our website. Plus we come to you with convenient pickup and delivery. We can even do the winterizing for you so your bike is ready to roll when you are.