# Bicycle Mechanics - Storing Your Bike

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View Full Version : Storing Your Bike

Anthony2
09-13-10, 12:37 AM
I don't have any place to hang it, which I would prefer, and would probably be, I assume, the best method of storing a bike. And I don't want the pressure to be on the tires throughout the winter months by just leaning it against a wall, so I was wondering what your opinions were about flipping the bike so that it sits on the seat and handle bars? Do you think that would cause damage to the handle bars or some other part of the bike? Or should it be fine?

abdon
09-13-10, 12:58 AM
And I don't want the pressure to be on the tires throughout the winter months by just leaning it against a wall...

I have to ask; do you ride your bike? I mean, if you are concerned about the pressure on the tires over the winter months, I can't see how you would dare put weight on the bike and ride it at speed over who knows what road conditions are on your area.

Trust me; if the bike is strong enough to carry a rider, it is strong enough to stand by itself :rolleyes:

Anthony2
09-13-10, 01:26 AM
I know what you're saying, but at the same time, I remember reading a post on here about a certain something (er another) happening to tires or rims that were left unused/unchecked. Not wanting to damage my new tires and rims, I figured I'd ask some of the pros on here what they thought.

RebelWithout
09-13-10, 01:43 AM
Trust me; if the bike is strong enough to carry a rider, it is strong enough to stand by itself :rolleyes:
Assuming you average a ride time of 2 hours every day:

Normal Force of freestanding bike - 28 lbs
Normal Force of average person riding bike - 193 lbs

193lbs x 2hrs x 356days = 137416 lbs/yr
28lbs x 22hrs x 356days = 219296 lbs/yr

This not even taking into account the fact you are generally spreading the stress evenly over the circumference of your rim while placing it on a single point for extended periods of time when storing your bike.

Edit: Not saying this means standing your bike will ever have any noticeable effect on your rims, mostly just playing devil's advocate...

Mondoman
09-13-10, 01:48 AM
I think what the OP is getting at is that if tire pressure is lost during the storage time so the tire goes "flat", maybe bending stresses on the tire would be harmful.
Fortunately, unless you ride it some distance in that condition, the tire and tube will be fine. Store the bike either right side up or flipped over; either will be fine.

abdon
09-13-10, 03:53 AM
193lbs x 2hrs x 356days = 137416 lbs/yr
28lbs x 22hrs x 356days = 219296 lbs/yr

This is the same as saying that bench pressing 100 pounds 10 times is the same as bench pressing 1,000 pounds once.

If the bike carries 200 pounds in one hour with negligible wear to the tires and rims, carrying 20 pounds for 10 hours is even less stressful by a loooooooong shot.

Heck, over a month ago I picked somebody's 20+ years old Univega with the original tires and probably original inner tubes. I cleaned it, greased things a bit, pumped the tires, and went for a ride.

If 20 years old rubber can hold my fat ass...

dabac
09-13-10, 04:58 AM
...I don't want the pressure to be on the tires throughout the winter months by just leaning it against a wall, so I was wondering what your opinions were about flipping the bike so that it sits on the seat and handle bars? Do you think that would cause damage to the handle bars or some other part of the bike? Or should it be fine?

Tires do tend to lose air over time, and leaving a bike uninflated that can lead sharp folds in the tires. As the tire age, these folds is where the cracks will begin to appear.
But IME a tire will hold enough pressure to remain round under the weight of the bike for weeks unless there's something wrong. Leaving it standing and checking it monthly/every 2nd week to see that the tire is still round at the contact patch will be fine.
I'd be hesitant to leave it flipped over, unless I had a very nice surface to leave it on. You could easily get some uninentional pressure pattern embossed into the saddle.

Bikes with hydraulic brakes and oil-filled shocks can have objections against upside-down storage, as it allows for any air in the system to wander and collect in places where you don't want it.

RebelWithout
09-13-10, 06:35 AM
This is the same as saying that bench pressing 100 pounds 10 times is the same as bench pressing 1,000 pounds once.Tried to counter this but couldn't really think of anything...bah it's early and I'm tired. Either I'm missing a logical step or I'm forgetting some larger physics idea (Physics 1 was three years ago =x). Either way it seems like the effect is negligible on the actual rim.

dabac
09-13-10, 07:40 AM
.... I remember reading a post on here about a certain something (er another) happening to tires or rims that were left unused/unchecked. Unless you have some nasty environmental activity going on(corrosion, vibration etc) the rims will be perfectly fine. Tires age the least if stored cool, dark and away from ozone. A sharp fold in the sidewall of an uninflated tire will be where dry cracks on an ageing tire will appear first.

Juha
09-13-10, 08:17 AM
I remember reading a post on here about a certain something (er another) happening to tires or rims that were left unused/unchecked. Not wanting to damage my new tires and rims, I figured I'd ask some of the pros on here what they thought.Not a pro here, so take this with a grain of salt :).

My first bike spent nearly 20 years on its tyres. During those years, it spent one entire winter outside with no cover (the U-lock froze solid, couldn't bring it in). Second bike joined it somewhere in the 7-8 year mark, until finally a couple of years ago I got enough storage space to hang them by the front rim. No worries. Even now, summer bikes are outside leaning against the wall, being the ones I currently use. The winter bike is hanging in storage. Come winter, they change places.

--J

nhluhr
09-13-10, 08:58 AM
This is the same as saying that bench pressing 100 pounds 10 times is the same as bench pressing 1,000 pounds once.No, it's not even like that. At least with bench pressing, there is actually WORK being done. Energy being expended.

What he is suggesting is just plain nonsense and should be disregarded as trolling. Tires do NOT degrade because they sit between rides. They degrade over time due to normal and unavoidable environmental factors. The best way to prevent that is to wear our your tires by riding before the environment does. Store it however you can, but out of direct sunlight and in temp/humidity-controlled air would be preferable.

BCRider
09-13-10, 11:07 AM
There's nothing wrong with leaving it sitting on it's tires as long as there's some air in them to hold the tires from being pinched. I have to agree that leaving the tires to deflate so the sidewalls sit with sharp bends in them all winter can't be a good thing. So just put some air into them now and then. Better yet go for the odd ride when the weather allows and it'll never be an issue. On the other hand if you know you'll be in a different city for the next 4 months then flipping it over wouldn't take long to do.

Chombi
09-13-10, 11:55 AM
My experienca has been that tires never really go entirely flat over a winter's season storage. Put them away fully inflated and they should still have some air in them by spring to keep them for going entirely flat.....unless you use latex tubes which lose air more quickly than butyl rubber tubes do because of it's more porous nature. You can also visit your bike and pump some air into the tires periodically (every 2 or three weeks) during winter storage and things shoulod be generally OK.
As for 20 year old tires, REPLACE THEM! My personal experience has been they might sometimes hold for a ride or two, but when they do let go, they go catastrophically. Problem with many old tires is they sometimes look perfectly OK when internally the carcass and other materials are already rotted and cracked and are literally like time bombs if you pump them up.

Chombi

09-13-10, 01:01 PM
Anthony2, You can also pick up a storage rack that leans against the wall and holds the bike by the top tube. Here's an example of a free standing unit:
http://www.performancebike.com/bikes//Product_10052_10551_1023853_-1___

fietsbob
09-13-10, 01:12 PM
How is it you dont have any place to hang the bike , no ceiling or walls?

Hang the bike upside down from bike hooks screwed into the ceiling joists.
the hooks are cheap.

screw into the wall, and you just need one.

vol
09-13-10, 02:28 PM
What's wrong with riding bike in the winter? :rolleyes:

I'd like to know, too, how to hang the bike at home, so that I can do the maintenance, lube, etc. (pedal the bike to lube the chain). Not necessarily hanging, but just suspend the bike so it doesn't need the kickstand.

RebelWithout
09-13-10, 02:39 PM
What he is suggesting is just plain nonsense and should be disregarded as trolling. Tires do NOT degrade because they sit between rides. They degrade over time due to normal and unavoidable environmental factors. The best way to prevent that is to wear our your tires by riding before the environment does. Store it however you can, but out of direct sunlight and in temp/humidity-controlled air would be preferable.Not trolling, just offering a novel idea regarding what I thought was a logical fallacy. If it seemed like "trolling" because of its irrelevance to what he asked it's only because I didn't know it was a non-factor.

Edit: The reason I even brought it up was because I was thinking about my car and it's springs. It can hold up to 5 people (850 lbs) easily but if I keep 150 lbs worth of cargo in my trunk for 6 months my springs will be damaged and quite possibly break.

Grand Bois
09-13-10, 03:04 PM
Edit: The reason I even brought it up was because I was thinking about my car and it's springs. It can hold up to 5 people (850 lbs) easily but if I keep 150 lbs worth of cargo in my trunk for 6 months my springs will be damaged and quite possibly break.

You can't be serious!

RebelWithout
09-13-10, 03:09 PM
You can't be serious!Yeah, it was something I wasn't aware of sadly until my dad yelled at me about it =x. After keeping some extra stuff I couldn't fit my in new apartment in my trunk for a couple months my dad told me to get it out because he was worried about the springs and you could definitely tell the springs had been lowered by the constant weight =/. I mean, it's a 1979 Mercedes Turbo diesel so it's age might have something to do with it's propensity to break like this but I would assume it would be this way for most cars.

cycle_maven
09-13-10, 03:20 PM
The extra 150 pounds in the trunk of the Merc would only change the properties of the spring material if the springs approached their yield point during use, and the extra 150 pounds made them exceed that point. Mostly springs don't do that, unless there's something mighty wrong with their engineering- they hit the limit (bottom out) before the yield point is reached. Usually springs will break from fatigue before they spontaneously get "soft" or "sag". Disclaimer: that's with a well-designed spring- and not all cars are well-designed.

Not everything my dad told me was completely correct, either... especially about cars.

Chombi
09-13-10, 03:29 PM
Yeah, it was something I wasn't aware of sadly until my dad yelled at me about it =x. After keeping some extra stuff I couldn't fit my in new apartment in my trunk for a couple months my dad told me to get it out because he was worried about the springs and you could definitely tell the springs had been lowered by the constant weight =/. I mean, it's a 1979 Mercedes Turbo diesel so it's age might have something to do with it's propensity to break like this but I would assume it would be this way for most cars.

Must be just your particular car with this problem cause when I lived in Northern Wisconsin in the 70's and 80's many people put extra weight on the rear wheels of their rear wheel drive cars for extra traction on snow by puting many bags of sand, salt, Kitty litter, dog food, or even a bunch of cinderblocks in their trunks during the winter months (at least six months). Some even shovel in snow on to the bed of their pickup trucks to do the same. never heard of anyone having trouble with their rear springs after doing so. As for bicycles ruining their tires if left on one spot for a while, the weight of a bike on the two tires is so little that I would never worry about it damaging the tires Only time I could see a possibility of damage is if the tires go completely flat for a long long time and hte bike is not move at all.
JMOs

Chombi

RebelWithout
09-13-10, 03:56 PM
The extra 150 pounds in the trunk of the Merc would only change the properties of the spring material if the springs approached their yield point during use, and the extra 150 pounds made them exceed that point. Mostly springs don't do that, unless there's something mighty wrong with their engineering- they hit the limit (bottom out) before the yield point is reached. Usually springs will break from fatigue before they spontaneously get "soft" or "sag". Disclaimer: that's with a well-designed spring- and not all cars are well-designed.

Not everything my dad told me was completely correct, either... especially about cars.Interesting. I don't doubt my Dad's expertise on cars as he's spent many hours learning all the ins and outs of the Mercedes but I also don't doubt his willingness to lie to me in order to prevent me from doing something stupid (It might have been closer to 200-250 if that matters at all). So fair enough, I'll concede! But I really wasn't trying to be rude, if my original post seems terse or rude it's only because it was about 4:00 AM and I didn't have the mental capacities to write a nice post.

cycle_maven
09-14-10, 09:34 AM
Interesting. I don't doubt my Dad's expertise on cars as he's spent many hours learning all the ins and outs of the Mercedes but I also don't doubt his willingness to lie to me in order to prevent me from doing something stupid (It might have been closer to 200-250 if that matters at all). So fair enough, I'll concede! But I really wasn't trying to be rude, if my original post seems terse or rude it's only because it was about 4:00 AM and I didn't have the mental capacities to write a nice post.

Upon reflection, and some internet browsing, it seems that spring sag is a problem with a number of cars- usually with leaf springs. Maybe they just don't use the best metal there, and the Merc is one of them. In which case, your Dad was right- riding around with a couple hundred extra pounds in the trunk *will* make the springs sag faster. Mea Culpa. I didn't mean to impugn your Dad- but my father was capable of relaying some of the wildest old-wife's tales as gospel truth, and it was a *long* time before I started to take some of these things with a grain of salt...