Claire Thompson

Preparing your bike for Storage

Maybe you’re going off to warmer climes for the winter, or starting a round the World trip. Maybe you’re off to university and don’t want to take your best mountain bike (yet). Perhaps you’re moving to a flat. Or maybe you just want to put your bike away for winter because rain dripping down your neck and being cold and soggy just doesn’t appeal. (We love the winter in the UK!)

Or maybe you’re just storing your bike because one day….

Whatever your reason for storing it, we’ve created some top tips to help store it:

Water bottles 

Remove water bottles and wash with warm soapy water. Make sure they are thoroughly dry before packing for storage. Whether plastic or lightweight metal, we recommend wrapping in tissue paper before popping into a box to store.

Electronic accessories 

If you have any electronic accessories on your bike, remove them. Make sure they are clean and remove any batteries. Wrap the accessories carefully before storing in a box. Make sure they are stored somewhere warm. (if batteries can’t, for whatever reason, be taken out, store them fully charged.

Other accessories 

If you have panniers, bike bags, trunk bags etc, take them off the bike and make sure they’re emptied of crumbs, cans, or worse. Give them a good brush down or wash, depending on what they’re made of, so that they’re clean. Make sure they’re dry before wrapping them up and storing separately to the bike.

Tyres 

Even if it sounds odd to pump your tyres knowing you’ll not be using the bike, pump them up! If you’re not using a bike for a while the air may slowly start to escape, creating bumps, bulges and flat tires.

Bike chain

Condition: Now is a good time to check the condition of your bike chain. By pedalling backwards you can spot if the chain has ‘stretched’, in which case consider replacing it; or if it has links that no longer bend. In this case, see if the pin that holds the links together isn’t going through the links and rollers properly. If this is the case, you may be able to manoeuvre them back into place. For any other reason, you may well be best removing the chain on a bike that’s for storage and replace it fully when you want to use it again.

Cleaning: Assuming the chain is ok (see above!), either clean the chain while it's still on your bike, use a chain cleaning tool that you attach to your bike, or remove it and use a specialist solvent. To do it whilst it’s on the bike, brush out all of the links (an old toothbrush is great for accessing all areas!). If you’ve chosen the solvent route, follow instructions carefully and make sure all solvent has gone before replacing it on your bike. Then re-lubricate the chain, but make sure you wipe away all excess with a dry, clean rag. Lubricating will help prevent rusting and seizing, but leave on too much and it will attract dust.

Cables 

make sure they are clean and dry. Lubricate where appropriate.

Wheels 

Look for loose or broken spokes on your wheels, which should turn straight, with no veering. This is best repaired before storing, partly so you don’t forget, partly because repairs in winter are often cheaper than in the spring, and partly because if left unmanaged, something popping out or rusting could affect the rest of your bike.

Brake pads 

make sure they align properly, have no excessive wear, and work. If they don’t you may want to have them fixed before storage.

Structural integrity

Are any frame parts bent in a way they shouldn’t be? Look closely at the spots where metal parts connect (where there are welding areas). Check the bottom bracket. These are the parts that take the stress and you really don’t want your bike to come apart when you first ride it next.

Cleaning

Wash your bike and make sure it dries thoroughly. Treat your saddle according to instructions, but make sure it’s clean. Things that cause corrosion include mud, road salt, and water. Storing a bike (and/or its parts) dirty or wet means it’s likely to corrode, even if stored in a warm dry place.

If you are storing a bike with us at easyStorage, our storage professionals will tell you the best way to store your bike physically within your container.

Remember that we’re storage professionals, not bike specialists, so don’t take this as anything other than helpful pointers. Getting a bike serviced/winterised before storage is always a great option, if not the best one.


Claire Thompson

Claire joined the easyStorage family as a blogger in August 2020 and is loving it! Her passions include writing and learning, and with easyStorage she’s learning new things fast. When not tapping at a keyboard she can be found renovating an old cottage, despite having inherited a complete lack of DIY skills from her father. She has two children, now grown up, and a dopey, loving Vizler (dog), Chester, who steadfastly refuses to do the same. She claims he’s her soulmate!

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