If you are someone that likes to think ahead to how you are going to store your things, you likely have come across trying to store your bicycle in the best way possible.
Some people store their bikes in the basement or garage year round, but winter poses some extra challenges that are addressed in this guide. Whether you have an indoor or outdoor bike storage solution, winter biking requires additional preparation and care to ensure your bicycle lasts through the season with minimal wear-and-tear.
During the winter months, it can be difficult to muster the motivation to get out on your bike. There is nothing wrong with it. Many cyclists will store their bicycle over winter in preparation to use it again when it starts getting warmer and drier in spring.
Things to take care of before storing the bike over winter
Before we get too far into where and how to store your bike, you first are going to need to take care of a few things first.
Clean your bicycle
Before you store your bike, make sure to clean it first! This is especially important if you winter bike year round. Dirt, mud and salt can do some serious damage to your frame over time.
Fully maintain the bike
Now that your bike is clean, you will want to go through and complete all of your normal tune-up and maintenance items! This includes things like:
- Checking the tire pressure and changing if necessary.
- Adjusting your brakes, gears and other components to make sure they are all working properly.
- Lubricating chains with bike lube (like with this stuff right here). This will help protect from dirt buildup over time.
- Inspect everything on the bicycle for damage or wear and tear that needs repair.
Alright, now that we have gotten the bike all ready for storage! Here is how I would store my bike in different situations.
Garage or Shed
Ideally, you should store your bike somewhere that is cool, dry, and safe. If you have a garage, then that is a perfect place to keep your bicycle safe. Just make sure that it is out of harm’s way and not left to get knocked about or damaged.
This is actually the way that I store my bicycles, however it can prove to be difficult when you have too many and it takes up all of the floor space!
In this case, getting some good bike racks for the walls can work wonders in keeping your floor space, as well as keep your bikes in great condition.
In an Apartment
If you do not have a garage, then you may have to get creative. If you live in an apartment and are confident that you will not be using your bike for a few months, you could take the wheels off and store it in a large cupboard or closet for winter. Alternatively, there are several storage solutions that you can buy to hang your bike on the wall or ceiling while it is not in use.
Another great place to store a bicycle over winter is on a balcony. You are not likely to be sitting out there in the freezing cold, so make use of the space. Be mindful that your bike could be exposed to the elements, so buy a waterproof cover that will protect your bike from the rain.
Pro Tip: If you can’t quite figure out how to store your bike in your apartment over the winter, it might be worth turning it into something usable! Did you know you can buy an accessory that turns your bike into an exercise bike? This is what I am talking about.
How to keep your bike outside during the winter?
Finally, if you have no other option, you can leave your bike outside, securely locked to a post or cycle rack. This is not ideal, as it is exposed to the elements and any potential bike thieves.
If you have no option other than to lock your bike up outside for extended periods, make sure that you have at least two good locks that keep both wheels and the frame secure.
Whether you are keeping your bicycle in a garage or outside, you should consider buying a heavy-duty waterproof bike cover like this one. Keeping your bicycle dry and dust-free will seriously improve its lifespan.
It will also mean that when the sun shines again, you will be able to take your bike out for a ride straight away (maybe with a little extra air in your tires).
Frequently Asked Questions
You can easily store a bike in a small space by tearing the bike down as much as you can. This includes possibly removing the handlebars, the front and rear wheel, and even the seat post. These items then can be easily put next to each other, or even throughout your home to maximize space.
If you only have one bike, you can easily tear the bike down and fit it into a space about 3 feet by 2 feet. However if you want to keep it together, you will want about 5 feet by 2 feet to account for handlebars and the length of the bike.
Maximizing space with two bikes can prove to be difficult! However if you plan on just keeping them standing up right, you will likely need a spot about 5 feet by 3 feet to stand them up. However if you can hang them from a wall, you don’t need nearly that much space, maybe just a 2 feet by 2 feet space.
Now that you know how you are going to store your bike, you can now rest easy knowing that it will be ready to ride again next year.
It is such a bummer that you can’t ride your bike when the snow flies, or maybe you can? Read through this article here to learn how a fat tire bike might be your next best purchase for winter riding.