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It’s the worst time of the year…
Riding season is over and winter is coming. And it won’t take 7 seasons to get here. Now is the time to start thinking about how to store a bicycle for the winter.
There’s a lot of work that goes into getting your bike ready before you want to put it away.
Today, I will walk you through the 6 simple steps plus a bonus step to make sure your bike is ready to ride come next spring!
Let’s get into it…
Table of Contents
Prepping For The Winter
Before you can store your bicycle you have to make sure you take care of a few things. If you follow these steps you won’t have to worry about your bike during the winter.
1. Make Sure Your Tires Are Pumped Up
Pumping up your tires before you store your bike away for the winter months is very important if you don’t plan on hanging your bike up on the wall.
Have you ever seen what happens to a basketball when you sit on it? You get weird bulges on it. The same thing can happen to your tires if they are deflated.
It happens because of the weight of the bike bares down on the tires. This is an easy step that will save you the money having to buy new tires.
Check your tire pressure throughout the winter months because of time they will deflate especially because of the change in temperature.
2. Fully Tune-Up Your Bike
The major upside to the tune-up is that as soon as it gets warms you can immediately start riding your bike again!
It’s recommended to tune up your bike at least once a year. This is as great a time as any to get it done.
Here are 5 simple steps you can do at home to tune-up your bike:
- Clean your chain.
- Clean the cassette
- Check your brakes.
- Adjust the rear derailleur cable tension.
- Check your bolt torque.
I’ll be going into more depth on why you should at the very least clean your chain next!
3. Cleaning Your Chain
So you don’t want to tune your bike up…
Well, that’s fine but at the very least you should make sure your chain is clean.
You’ve been riding all summer long and your chain has gotten a lot of grime and dirt on it. It’s important to clean that off and apply a new layer of lubricant.
This layer will help make sure you don’t end up with a rusty chain when spring comes around.
WD-40 has a product specifically designed to clean and degrease bike chains you can check it out on Amazon by clicking here.
Once you are done cleaning your chain you will want to lubricate it. Just make sure you Don’t over lubricate your chain.
I really like DuPont Teflon Chain-Saver Dry Self-Cleaning Lubricant for this. You can check it out at Amazon.
In the long run, this will save you money because…
Once your chain is rusted you will have to replace it!
4. Wash Your Bicycle
It’s been a long season and you and your bike have been on so many adventures together. Now it’s time to give it a little TLC.
You wouldn’t put dirty clothes in your dresser draws so why would you put a dirty bike away for the winter?
You need to clean your entire bike. This includes wiping down your bike seat, the frame, handlebars, tires, and hand grips.
Good ole soap and warm water will do the trick. No need to buy anything fancy. One thing you should avoid is pressure washing your bike.
It sounds like a great idea, right? But, you can actually damage your bike components.
5. Check Your Bike For Damage
With your bike clean it will be much easier to see any damage you might have caused by your summer adventures.
Start by checking for any cracks in your bike frame. Pay extra attention to where the bike was welded together.
These are spots where you are more likely to see the damage. Once you are done move on to tires, wheels, and brake pads. Make sure the tread of your tires isn’t worn down.
Brake pads also get worn and unaligned so it’s important to check and change them if necessary. Also, check the spokes to make sure none are missing.
6. Cover Your Bicycle For The Winter
Now it’s time for the hard part…
For the next few months, you won’t be seeing your beautiful bike. Covering your bike instead of leaving it out in the elements has a few different advantages.
You will stop any dust from getting onto your bike or into any hard to clean places. Also if you plan on storing your bike in a wet environment you stop any rust from forming.
The Pro Bike Cover won’t rip, is waterproof, and will protect your bike from UV rays and dust! I highly suggest checking out the Pro Bike Cover on Amazon!
BONUS: Other Bike Storage Ideas
If you don’t like the idea of putting your bike in a cover for the winter don’t worry you do have a few other options you should really consider.
A garage is a great place to store your bike.
What you do to your bike before storage will greatly impact how much work you have to put into once you take it out.
If you are eager to ride, like me, as soon as its warm outside I highly suggest taking care of your bike before the winter.
Not keeping up with your bike will cost you time and money when you could be enjoying the breeze and the beautiful scenery on the trails.