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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 11-02-12, 11:35 PM   #1
onespeedbiker
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Storing bikes; tires inflated, partially inflated or flat

I have a dozen or so bikes and some don't get ridden for months; I also have extra wheelsets. Is it best to keep air in the tires (a little or a lot), leave them flat or does it not matter?
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Old 11-02-12, 11:39 PM   #2
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If you leave the tyres flat (or let them go flat), they can become damaged from folds in the carcass.
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Old 11-02-12, 11:50 PM   #3
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It is best to keep bikes hanging from the wall or ceiling when storing them to avoid damaging the tires
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Old 11-03-12, 12:48 AM   #4
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Pump to max pressure and check and re-pump occasionaly. That should save your tyres from deforming.
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Old 11-03-12, 05:16 AM   #5
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If you have to store them on the floor then of course you need to air them more often to maintain shape. If hanging I would only attend to them if they really get flat, which is unlikely.
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Old 11-03-12, 06:16 AM   #6
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onespeedbiker, If the bikes and wheels with tires are hanging there's no worry about the tire pressure. If the tires are in contact with a tile or concrete floor there needs to be a barrier between the rubber and the floor. A sheet of inexpensive paneling works well and the tires need enough air pressure to prevent a sharp fold. If on carpet only the air pressure needs attending to.

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Old 11-03-12, 07:50 AM   #7
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... If the tires are in contact with a tile or concrete floor there needs to be a barrier between the rubber and the floor....
??? huh?
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Old 11-03-12, 08:26 AM   #8
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onespeedbiker, If the tires are in contact with a tile or concrete floor there needs to be a barrier between the rubber and the floor.
I agree with Looigi. I don't understand the problem you are solving. I agree if the bike is resting on it's tires, they should be maintained at at least moderate or even full pressure to avoid folding and damaging the sidewalls.
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Old 11-03-12, 08:50 AM   #9
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Our house has a concrete slab foundation. In our particular case, I place a barrier between the tires of my stored motorcycle/bicycles and the concrete floor in order to avoid efflorescence. Tile floors can, in some cases, also have problems with efflorescence.
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Old 11-03-12, 12:02 PM   #10
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Back in the 90s we used to be really concerned about this. Once of the bikes I used to baby back then sat for about ten years. Both tires deflated over that time. After ten years I took the bike out, pumped up the tires, and rode the hell out of it.

My conclusion - it does not matter.
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Old 11-03-12, 03:14 PM   #11
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The only advice I have is to keep the tires away from electric motors that run often such as freezers and furnace blowers.
The ozone generated by the motors will destroy (oxidize) the rubber over a period of time. Sometime a surprisingly short time.
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Old 11-03-12, 03:23 PM   #12
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Once of the bikes I used to baby back then sat for about ten years. Both tires deflated over that time. After ten years I took the bike out, pumped up the tires, and rode the hell out of it.

My conclusion - it does not matter.
That's the way it's been for everyone I've known too...
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Old 11-03-12, 04:02 PM   #13
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To maximize tire life, keep them in the dark and away from ozone.

You can keep sunlight off of them by putting trash bags over them. The main source of ozone in homes is electrical motors. (If you have an electrostatic or ionizing air filter, get rid of it and get a HEPA--the others are all junk anyway)

If you want to go crazy, take the tires & tubes off and store them in a freezer. In general terms, lower temperatures = better for storing rubber.



Rubber does age, even under ideal storage conditions. And there is no known type of rubber that gets better with age.
The typical shelf life for latex and buna-S rubber parts I have seen in several industrial sources is five years under typical conditions and seven years at best.
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Old 11-03-12, 04:10 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Bat56 View Post
Back in the 90s we used to be really concerned about this. Once of the bikes I used to baby back then sat for about ten years. Both tires deflated over that time. After ten years I took the bike out, pumped up the tires, and rode the hell out of it.

My conclusion - it does not matter.
Perhaps it depends on the tires, but I have in my posession tires that were permanently deformed from being deflated too long on an unused bicycle. So it does happen.
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Old 11-03-12, 07:02 PM   #15
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Most of my bikes that are ridden less are hanging, while the bikes I currently ride are on the floor. It sounds like it couldn't hurt to keep a little air in the tires, especially if they are on the floor, just in case they are the kind that deforms, but in terms of the material longevity it shouldn't matter.
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