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Household Remedies Request: Storing bikes, bike trailers, etc., outside

BDBlue's picture

For reasons I won't go into, we have a plethora of bicycles, bike trailers and other metal, wheeled objects about our townhouse. The two newer, good bikes we want to keep indoors and already have a stand for that purpose, but I'm looking for how to store the other items outside in a way that will keep them from rusting or otherwise degrading. We have room for a small shed (wooden? rubbermaid?) on our back patio. Would this be sufficient protection? When I lived in California, I just kept everything in the garage, but I don't have a garage here and even if I did, Virginia is a lot more humid than SoCal. So any suggestions? I'm really tired of my front room looking like a used bike lot. Thanks!

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Submitted by hipparchia on

yes, you can store bikes outside on a porch in a humid climate (been there, done that, in florida), but they won't be in as good shape as they would if you kept them indoors.

Submitted by lambert on

Although there are many opinions. For example, one idea is to elevate the bike but I can't figure out why.

It makes sense to me that covers and plastic would trap moisture and do the reverse of protect.

Maybe just get the plastic shed, and lightly oil the chains and whatever else looks prone to rust?

That said, anybody with any actual experience do please chip in...

Submitted by Lex on

Elevation comes into play when the rubber tires are sitting on concrete, over long periods of time without moving, the rubber starts to rot. With cars you also get flat spotting, but bikes aren't heavy enough for that. That can be solved by having a thin piece of wood or carpet between the concrete and the tire.

A little shed is probably the best. A few years ago i bought one of the rubbermaid sheds and it's been great. I built it in like two hours almost by myself. The wooden kits are a huge PITA, because they're assembled and then disassembled ... and they never go back together quite right. If wood is your thing and you're at all skilled, get plans and build from scratch; it will probably cost less and be easier than the kits.

Like storing a car, do good preventative maintenance before storage. Make sure your bearings are freshly greased (or at least well greased), give the chain and sprockets a coating of oil or grease (you can clean off a protective layer with some brake cleaner in the spring), probably release cable tension where possible like on the brakes.

As long as you don't have chipped paint, you shouldn't see rust from humidity. If you're going to tarp the bikes, don't wrap them too tightly. (trapping condensation) Or buy a motorcycle cover which will probably fit two or three bikes. Car/motorcycle covers actually breathe, unlike a plastic tarp.

I just pop the bikes and the moped in the shed for the winter, and i don't always do much to the moped in the fall because it's just as easy to do it in the spring and it's a two-stroke anyhow.

The BMW gets new filters, stabilizer in the gas tank and a full tank of no-ethanol premium, brand new oil, and a bunch of other stuff in the fall. In the spring it will get all its fluids changed, brake work, etc. But cars are far more complicated. No cares about dry rot or flat spotting this year because it's on gravel and gets new wheels and tires in the spring. I didn't cover it, but did leave the windows cracked to keep condensation from forming inside the car due to temperature changes.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

And I should've known about the tires because my dad always did that when we parked our camper over the winter on the ground. Thanks Lex.

Submitted by lambert on

But a bike that's been sitting on flat tires for awhile ends up looking awfully bedraggled, and I guess this is why...