As the colder months begin to creep up on us, it is time to start thinking about what you need to do to winterize your bicycle. Sure you can just shove your bicycle in the garage and not think about it until next season if you want the life of your bicycle to be short. You’ll also have a lot of maintenance come riding season to be able to jump back on your bike and go for a cruise. To winterize your bicycle and get it ready for storage, you will need to take just a few simple steps that will save you time and money in the long run.
Tips for Winter Storage
With just a few simple steps you can preserve your bicycle and have it ready to go when the riding season swings back around. There are many people who live in places that allow them to ride year-round. However, there are also many who experience the harsh winters that force you to put your bicycle away for the season. For those of you who fall in the latter category, follow these few winter storage tips.
Prep the Bicycle for Winter Storage
- Remove Water Bottle and Electronics – Be sure to completely empty your water bottle, wash and dry it. You don’t want stagnant water sitting in it over the season and getting funky, or freezing and potentially cracking and ruining your water bottle. You’ll also want all electronics removed and stored in a dry safe place. Exposure to the cold can harm electronics battery life.
- Get a Full Tune-Up – It is recommended to get a basic tune-up every two to three months depending on your frequency use. However, a full tune-up is recommended at least once a year, especially if you haven’t ridden your bike in a long time. A full tune-up from Bicycles Unlimited will include the following. Labor discounts are provided for major repairs done with the full tune-up such as cleaning and re-packing the bearing assemblies, brake bleeding, and suspension service. A 30-day warranty is given on all services provided.
- Shifting System– Adjust both derailleurs and checks the dropout/derailleur hanger for proper alignment. The chain is checked for stretch and wear. It includes chain, derailleur and cable lubrication.
- Brake Adjustment– Align the pads with the rim as needed. Cable adjusted for optimum braking power. On disc brakes, we deglaze the pads and reset the pistons as needed. We also align the caliper for proper clearance and peak performance.
- Cables and Housings – are lubricated and there is no additional labor charge to install new tires tubes or brake and shift cables.
- Wheels – are stand trued and checked for proper spoke tension and alignment. We also check and adjust the Headset, Bottom Bracket and hub bearings.
- Chain, Cassette, and Crankset – The components are removed and are degreased and cleaned to remove the accumulation of lubricants and other contaminants that trap dirt, moisture and accelerate wear.
- Cleaning – We also wipe/clean your entire bicycle with a special polish that provides UV protection for your bicycle frame. We will attempt to return your bike looking as new as possible.
- *On full suspension bikes, we check all bolts and fasteners and torque them to the manufacturer’s specifications.
Choosing Winter Storage for Your Bicycle
Depending on where you live there could be a variety of options for your bicycle storage through the winter. Ideally, you want to be able to store your bicycle indoors. However, some of you may not have that option. If storing outdoors you will want to invest in a cover for your bicycle to help protect it from the elements. Either way, indoors or outdoors, you’ll want to be sure your bicycle is locked and secure. You wouldn’t want someone to steal your bicycle! Another thing to keep in mind is doing your best to not store the bicycle where the tires are in direct contact with concrete floors. The concrete draws moisture out of the rubber tires and can cause dry-rot and premature aging of the tires. Either hang your bicycle up by the wheel (this is the best way) or put some sort of rug or rubber mat under the wheels to help protect them.
If you follow all of the above steps you will be able to preserve your bicycle lifespan and with a few minor tune-ups, you’ll be able to jump right back on and cruise come the new riding season. For the best bicycle servicing or questions on bicycles, reach out to Bicycles Unlimited.