Cold Weather Bike Storage



BobCochran

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2015
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If the next morning's ride will be cold: is it better to store a bicycle inside a heated space (like my utility closet) or is it better to leave it outside, but covered with a tarp? I should think storing it inside a heated area is a lot better, but once I'm riding outside, won't the bike frame cool off and contract? Of course, the chain and cogs may get hot from friction.

Thanks a ton

Bob
 

pwarbi

Well-Known Member
Mar 18, 2015
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I think a lot will depend on what you mean by cold, and what sort of temperature you're talking about.

Here in the UK, while we do get cold weather, it isn't usually severe enough to have to worry about things like that. I've always kept my bike indoors all year round and never had any issues.
 

Susimi

Well-Known Member
May 24, 2015
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I keep my bike in a communal shed and when I take it out in the cold mornings I've never had any problems with it. I can see why you want to keep it inside but if you do keep it outside then it will be perfectly OK with some sort of tarp or bike cover. Just make sure they are weather-proof though and also make sure they are secured on the bike tightly in case of the wind getting under it.
 

CAMPYBOB

Well-Known Member
Sep 12, 2005
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"...won't the bike frame cool off and contract?"

Yes. A 56 CM will often end up a 54 CM if brought in from the cold. Carbon frames are exempt from this phenomena as the material is such a good insulator...and why we wear carbon fiber sweaters.


"Of course, the chain and cogs may get hot from friction."

Wut???


You have my permission to concern yourself with the effects of possible condensation.

Shrinking frames? See a shrink.
Heated gears and chain? Team Sky need a new sprinter. Apply today.
 

kmars

New Member
Sep 13, 2015
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It depends on the harshness of the cold climatic condition. Once you have space on the inside then store it on the inside. Inside is always better not just to keep your bicycle from being damaged by the elements, but also to keep it from theft.
 

moneyman

Member
Oct 6, 2015
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I prefer keeping my bike outside no matter what the weather is like out there. It is too much effort for me to take it inside every time I come home.

Like previous posters said that metal shrinking effect between different temperatures is so low in a bicycle frame it wouldn't even matter. Although I agree it would be good to cover your bike if its outside to prevent water and moist weakening the frame and moving parts.
 

sunshiney

Active Member
Aug 19, 2015
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Toronto
Unless you're living somewhere with really extreme weather conditions, storing your bike outside shouldn't be a problem as long as it's protected from the elements. If it's snowy where you live, the sand and salt that gets spread on the road is the more likely to cause damage than the cold. During the winters here in Ontario I wipe down my chains after each ride to get rid of any salt residue, and I also make sure to keep them extra well lubed.
 
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Sunflogun

Active Member
Apr 20, 2015
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That's something important to have a place to store the bike, otherwise where will we put it, on our living room?
 

BobCochran

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May 3, 2015
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@sunshiney, I'm to your south, in Maryland. I think you have a far greater weather challenge than I do. Thank you very much for bringing up the issues of road salt and sand; I will have to collect rags to help with with cleaning the bike. I'm pretty decided that my bike stays inside the house, but it will have to get an extra special cleaning in the winter after snows and freezing rains. Of course I need to negotiate all this with my spouse and see what will be permitted and what won't be.

Thanks a ton!

Bob
 

Sunflogun

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Apr 20, 2015
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Haha, so that's the though part of the bargain, negotiating with the wife usually it's the hardest part! :D
 

pwarbi

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Mar 18, 2015
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With me keeping my bike indoors I also find the negotiations have an important part to play.

We've now come to an agreement where it lives, in the corner out of the way and that seems to work. At first it was at the side of the kitchen door and you wouldn't believe the amount of times I'd hear a bang followed by a lot of swearing and death threats aimed in my direction!
 

oldbobcat

Well-Known Member
Aug 31, 2003
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A hook attached to a ceiling joist in the garage works for me. Don't hang a bike from expensive carbon wheels, though.
 

Damien Lee

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May 16, 2015
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I keep my bike in the garage, next to my motor vehicle as I have enough space in there. The garage tends to be a bit cooler than the rest of the household. There's only one small window, barely big enough for a cat to climb through. I usually keep this window open to allow for air circulation. I haven't experienced any issues with the metalic frame of the bike expanding or contracting, no creaking noises whatsoever.
 

bykster

Active Member
Nov 11, 2015
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Damien Lee said:
I keep my bike in the garage, next to my motor vehicle as I have enough space in there. The garage tends to be a bit cooler than the rest of the household. There's only one small window, barely big enough for a cat to climb through. I usually keep this window open to allow for air circulation. I haven't experienced any issues with the metalic frame of the bike expanding or contracting, no creaking noises whatsoever.
I have similar setup where I am now, and I can say it's been pretty good. But where I lived before, I once made a mistake of leaving a bike outside while I went for a two week trip around this time of year. And of course, weather decided that that would be perfect time for some super early snow storms. Worst decision I made.
 

pwarbi

Well-Known Member
Mar 18, 2015
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No doubt we've all left our bikes outside at some point, and I've no doubt we've all regretted that decision aswell later on. A garage or shed is ideal but like I said I keep mine in the house now, we do have a garage and a shed but they're both filled with junk, or should I say family items. Garden furniture, lawn mower, kids toys...in the garage there's two cars already and I simply can't be bothered messing about. That and I don't trust the girlfriend to accidentally on purpose run over it aswell!

At least in the house I know its safe from her driving...if you can call it that!
 

JSWin

Active Member
Jul 13, 2015
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Inside is always better. A tarp doesn't do much. Any kind of outside air and weather ages and rusts. This is why they have climate control storage places. Moisture and temperature changes can damage. I would keep it inside if you can.
 

Froze

Well-Known Member
Jul 13, 2004
4,711
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NE Indiana
I just store my in my garage, which isn't climate controlled, by hanging the bikes from the ceiling by hooks for years, and the temperature change doesn't hurt the bikes at all. In fact by storing bikes off the ground any moisture from the concrete isn't being transferred to the bike tires rotting them out faster.

I'm not sure if I agree with not hanging a bike with expensive carbon wheels that way, because if I couldn't rely on the wheel to support the bike by hanging I surly couldn't expect the wheel to hold my weight while riding. Your talking about a 15 pound bike (give or take) vs 170 pound (give or take) rider. If you have thin flairing then simply put a piece of pipe insulation over the hook to soften the contact point. If you really want to be doubly safe contact the manufacture of your wheels and ask them if it's ok to do this.

You can read all about this stuff by reading the various forums on this page: https://www.google.com/search?q=can...ome..69i57.15907j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Of course if you use hooks they must be screwed into a stud or the hook could come out of the ceiling and your bike comes crashing down.