How to Store Your Bicycle Long-Term (And Save Space)

Learn how to store your bicycle long-term with our beginner's guide. Find tips for choosing a storage location, proper storage techniques, and more.

If you’re like me, you’ve probably spent more time than you’d like to admit searching for the perfect storage solution for your bike. Maybe you’ve tried storing it in your cramped apartment or keeping it outside, only to find it rusted and unrideable the next time you want to hit the road. Today, I’m going to share with you tips on how to store your bicycle for a long period of time.

In this post, we’ll cover all the bases, from choosing the right storage location to preparing your bike for storage. We’ll also discuss space-saving tips when storing your bike. By the end of this post, you’ll have all the tools you need to ensure that your bike stays safe and in good condition, no matter where you choose to store it.

How do you properly store a bicycle for a long period of time?

There may come a time when you need to take a break from cycling or plan to use a different bike for a while. It’s crucial for cyclists to properly store their bicycle to ensure it remains in good condition even when stored for an extended period of time. Here are some ways to prepare your bicycle for storage:

Image of a bicycle on top of a table in a garage. Source: unsplash

1. Choose a suitable location

Find a dry, cool, and protected space to store your bike, as exposure to weather elements can damage the components and impact the bike’s longevity.

2. Clean the bike

Thoroughly wash your bike to remove any dirt or corrosive material from the frame, as these can cause damage during storage. Make sure to dry it well to prevent moisture from encouraging rust.

Wipe down the frame to remove any grime, grease, moisture, and dust that may have accumulated on it. This will help prevent corrosion and keep the bike in good condition during storage.

Before storing the bike, either give it a tune-up or have it serviced by a professional to ensure it is in optimal condition when you’re ready to use it again.

3. Perform a tune-up

Before storing the bike, either give it a tune-up or have it serviced by a professional to ensure it is in optimal condition when you’re ready to use it again. Inspect the frame for any cracks, dents, or other signs of damage that may need to be addressed before storage.

4. Release tension on springs and cables

Avoid storing your bike with springs in a tensioned or “loaded” position, as this can speed up deterioration. For example, don’t store a road bike with the chain shifted to the largest chainring in the front and the largest cog in the cassette, as this causes the most tension on springs and cables.

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How to keep the chains, brakes, and cables in tip-top shape

By performing regular maintenance on your chains, brakes, and cables, you can ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your bicycle. Here are tips to keep the chains, brakes, and cables of your bicycle in tip-top shape during storage.

1. Clean the chain

Flip your bike over and, using a rag, grasp the chain behind the chain ring. Turn the pedal backward, allowing the rag to gather the built-up gunk from the chain.

2. Lubricate the chain

Apply lube to the chain while continuing to turn the crank. Do this for one full rotation of the chain.

Image of a man using a chain checker on a bicycle wheel. Source: unsplash
Image of a man using a chain checker on a bicycle wheel. Source: unsplash

3. Check and maintain brakes

Inspect your brakes for wear and ensure they are functioning properly. Replace worn brake pads and adjust the brake cables as necessary. Keep in mind that you may need to re-bleed your brake system or retune your gears after performing maintenance.

4. Secure and maintain cables

Use zip ties or other cable management solutions to keep your cables tidy and prevent them from getting damaged. Check the cables for fraying or other signs of wear, and replace them if necessary. Clean and lubricate cables periodically to ensure smooth operation.

What is the optimal temperature to store a bike?

The optimal temperature for bike storage varies depending on the type of bike. For electric bikes, the ideal storage temperature is between 32ºF and 68ºF to protect the sensitive electrical components and maintain the battery’s health. For e-bike batteries specifically, the recommended storage temperature range is between 41°F and 68°F.

In general, store your bike in a cool and dry space that is above 50°F and doesn’t exceed 98.6°F. Avoid extreme temperatures or direct sunlight, which can cause the tires to lose strength and potentially damage other components. If the bike was exposed to freezing temperatures during shipping or storage, allow it to acclimate to room temperature for three hours before using it.

How can you save space when storing your bike?

To save space when storing your bike long-term, consider the following storage solutions:

Image of a bicycle mounted on the wall. Source: unsplash
Image of a bicycle mounted on the wall. Source: unsplash

1. Overhead shelf with bins

Maximize your garage storage space by installing an overhead shelf with bins to store your bike and accessories.

2. Entryway bike storage

If you don’t have a garage or shed, store your bike inside your front door by creating an organized entryway that can accommodate one or more bicycles.

3. Wall-mounted or ceiling-mounted hooks

Install screw-in storage hooks on the wall or ceiling to hang your bike vertically or horizontally, making efficient use of vertical space.

4. Bike storage pods or racks

Use dedicated bike storage solutions, such as bike storage pods or racks, to securely and compactly store your bike in small living spaces.

If you want even more tips and insights, watch this video called “How Can I Prepare My Bike For A Long Period Of Storage?” from the GCN Tech YouTube channel.

A video called “How Can I Prepare My Bike For A Long Period Of Storage?” from the GCN Tech YouTube channel.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Do you still have questions about storing your bike for the long term? Below are some of the most commonly asked questions.

How can I prevent rust on a stored bicycle?

To avoid rust, wipe down the frame and any metal parts with a dry cloth before storing. You can also apply a light coating of oil or rust inhibitor.

How often should I check on my stored bicycle?

It’s recommended to check on your stored bicycle every 3-6 months, depending on the storage conditions. This will allow you to catch any potential issues before they become more serious.

Can I store my bicycle outside?

While it’s possible to store your bicycle outside, it’s generally not recommended for long-term storage. Outdoor storage can expose your bike to harsh weather conditions, increasing the risk of rust and other damage. If you must store your bike outside, make sure to cover it with a tarp and secure it with a lock.

Conclusion

So, are you ready to put these tips into action and give your bike the long-term storage it deserves? And did I cover everything you wanted to know? Let me know in the comments section below (I read and reply to every comment). If you found this article helpful, be sure to share it with a friend who’s struggling to store their bike.

And before you go, remember this: storing your bike doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With a little bit of effort and some know-how, you can keep your bike in tip-top shape, ready for your next adventure. Thanks for reading, and remember: no matter where life takes you, always keep pedaling forward!

Key takeaways

This article covered how to store your bicycle long-term. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Storing your bicycle long-term is important to keep it in good condition and ready for use.
  • Choose a storage location that is dry, cool, and secure.
  • Clean and maintain your bike before storing it to prevent damage.
  • Remove and store any accessories separately.
  • Use proper storage techniques, such as hanging your bike or using a stand, to prevent damage to the frame and tires.
  • Check on your stored bicycle regularly for any potential issues.
  • To prevent rust, wipe down the frame and any metal parts with a dry cloth before storing, and consider applying a light coating of oil or rust inhibitor.
  • Outdoor storage is not recommended for long-term storage.

Helpful resources

Bradley Knight Image
Written by Bradley Knight, Staff Writer

Hey there! My name is Bradley, and I've been riding fixed for years. I love all the joy and pain that comes with this unique style of cycling and the passionate community that drives it. If you love fixed-gear bikes, this is the place for you.

Nick eggert.
Edited by Nick Eggert, Staff Editor

Nick is our staff editor and co-founder. He has a passion for writing, editing, and website development. His expertise lies in shaping content with precision and managing digital spaces with a keen eye for detail.

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