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Before you put your bike into storage, make sure you take the right steps to keep it in top condition.

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If you’re not in college, don’t bike to work, or aren’t an avid fan of cycling, chances are that you only ride your bike a few times throughout the year. If you end up deciding to put your Peugeot into self-storage, make sure you take the necessary precautions to ensure that your bike will still be as great as it ever was if you decide to ride it again.

1. Keep your tires inflated

Hanging your bike is the best way to remove pressure from the tires, but you can also stand your bike on the floor. If that’s the case, make sure the tires are inflated for the duration of storage. Leaving your bike upright with flat tires during storage is equally as dangerous as riding on a flat — the weight of your bike will distort the rims and ultimately destroy the rubber tires. If you’re going to be storing your bike for an extended period of time, the best thing you can do is make sure your tires stay inflated.

2. Keep rust at bay

Ah, rust: our greatest enemy. Keep rust away from your bike by lubricating your brake and shift cables. Be careful if you decide to clean your bike before putting it into storage–make sure you dry it thoroughly, as any excess water will cause rusting during long periods of storage.

Consider climate control, especially if you’re storing your bike during the winter months. If you own a steel-frame bike, under no circumstances should you be storing your bike in an unheated space–dramatic swings in temperature will cause condensation to build up along the tubing, which eventually leads to rusting.

3. Inspect all parts

Self-storage can sometimes be a blessing in disguise, because it forces you to inspect and examine the things you otherwise may have overlooked. There’s a lot more that goes into putting things into storage than just putting something into a box — you have to be prudent about preservation and mindful of the stress that time can place on your possessions.

Before putting your bike into storage, you’ll want to inspect your bike for any damages and address them appropriately. Check the quality of the tires, the condition of the gears, wires, and cables, and make sure you lubricate the chains. Neglecting these things can pose unnecessary hassles in the future when your bike comes out of storage.

Additionally, you may want to cover your bicycle with a cloth to prevent dust and unexpected changes in light during storage. Finally, give your bike a test spin when you take it out of storage, if not to make sure everything still works, but also to ensure that you’re still the expert bike rider that you once were.

UPDATE:

Just learned this new bike storage tip and we thought it was important to share. Life Storage’s current brand manager Eric Schlegel is a bike enthusiast and worked in a bike repair shop for years.  He said that when storing a bike, it’s actually better to either hang the bike (as mentioned in tip #1) or store the bike upside down on it’s seat. Storing the bike standing up puts pressure on
the tires.  When the tires lose air pressure, the weight of the bike can actually cause damage to the rim.  That’s why tip #1 says to keep your tires inflated.  Good thought, but if you’re storing long term, consider storing your bike upside down or hanging it, if only to eliminate frequent trips back to the storage unit. So remember that when storing your bike!

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This post was written by Jenny Zhang from Sparefoot.com.

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