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Old 05-09-11, 03:31 PM   #1
DylanG
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How much damage from permantly storing outside?

I'd really like to get these bikes out of my living room. My best option is an area outside that is exposed to the elements. This is a 4 seasons region that gets snow and rain and temperatures from 20 to 100. Am I going to ruin the bikes by keeping them outside?
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Old 05-09-11, 03:35 PM   #2
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Left unchecked and unmaintained they will definitely rust wherever they can.
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Old 05-09-11, 05:07 PM   #3
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Rain and sun, sun and rain. They will certainlly take their toll very quickly. At the very least, invest in good quality covers, and keep them covered.
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Old 05-09-11, 05:38 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by DylanG View Post
I'd really like to get these bikes out of my living room. My best option is an area outside that is exposed to the elements. This is a 4 seasons region that gets snow and rain and temperatures from 20 to 100. Am I going to ruin the bikes by keeping them outside?
Can you say rot & ruin? Store them outside and that's all you'll have left.....rot & ruin.
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Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 05-09-11, 06:47 PM   #5
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Even a cover won't help much; moisture tends to condense on the inside and drip onto the bike. I re-build a lot of old bikes that have been abandoned by kids at the university here. If they are left out I see solidly-rusted chains, rust in all the exposed screws and other fasteners, seized headsets...Seized seatposts... Nasty.
The best ones are left under overhangs or the little "carport" arrangements we have here. they will have some surface rust but are usually fairly sound otherwise.
If you absolutely have to.... Arrange some sort of cover to keep direct rain and snow off.
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Old 05-09-11, 07:10 PM   #6
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Look into a plastic storage unit of some sort.
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Old 05-09-11, 08:44 PM   #7
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If you keep them outside and don't ride them or at least keep them well oiled, then yes you will ruin them over time.

I kept my Trek Remedy 5 outside for almost an entire year (minus winter) without a cover and there was a bit of weathering on the back of my seat, and the chain was a little rusty (along with clip-less pedals & cassette), but after a bit of oil and a few miles of riding then a good bath & re-oil, the bike is like new. Of course, I'm going to tear the bike down and give it a good cleaning and repack all bearings this year, then send it to the LBS and have them tune & true whatever they can.

My opinion, find a tarp (or two), keep the bikes oiled and clean, ride them a bit (if you can) and you shouldn't have a problem.
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Old 05-09-11, 08:45 PM   #8
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If you have a bike with hydraulic brakes, don't ride it when it's below 30 degrees F. The lines tend to freeze up.
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Old 05-10-11, 05:12 PM   #9
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What's wrong with bicycles in the living room?
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Old 05-10-11, 08:40 PM   #10
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I think we're making this more complicated than it is. I've kept my bikes (five steel, one aluminum) under a patio cover, open on all sides, for years. We have major winds around here much of the year, and all of them have been soaked many times. None shows major damage, even the 1983 steel Trek I bought used and made into a singlespeed.
Lube everything that needs it, and keep it lubed. Steel frames can be treated with Frame Savr or some similar stuff (linseed oil works, and it's cheaper). A plastic tarp properly tied down will protect them from nearly everything (leave it open a few inches at the bottom so condensation can evaporate). With a couple of pieces of plywood and some 2x2s for framing, you could build a little shed against the wall of your house, under the eaves on the lee side, if you're not living in a rental. Plastic storage sheds, the little cheap ones, cost only a few hundred dollars. There are all kinds of racks that will get the bikes up out of the way against a little-used wall in a bedroom or den. A tarp nailed at the top to an outside wall, so it hangs down over the bikes, with a piece of pipe or length of board screwed to the bottom, would cover them and stay in place.
Additionally, aluminum won't rust, and most components these days aren't steel. My old (now gone) Bridgestone MB lived three blocks from the ocean for almost five years, in heavy salt air, and the only rust was on paint chips I neglected and a few fasteners that had the plating scraped off.
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Old 05-12-11, 09:45 AM   #11
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Thanks for the replies. My back patio doesn't have any covering and I'm a renter so I don't want to build anything. I'm not real comfortable with the effectiveness of a tarp plus it seems like it would be a hassle. The shed was a good idea. The cheapest metal ones get terrible reviews but this Rubbermaid one looks like it will do the job for about $350.

http://www.rubbermaid.com/Category/P...od_ID=RP091380
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Old 05-12-11, 10:24 AM   #12
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I think leaving your bikes out exposed to the weather is only a little less damaging than throwing them into the river, or burying them in moist soil.

At the least, I would keep the seats covered (even plastic grocery bags helps), the chains well oiled, and a barbecue cover over them. Those covers usually have a felt backing under heavy vinyl. Keep them tied down so the wind doesn't get up under and blow them off the bikes.

Better bikes and components - like carbon or titanium bikes - are more resistant to rust and corrosion. But they're so much more expensive, that good protection will become a real priority for you. Maybe a friend's garage, or rent a nearby storage unit.
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Old 05-12-11, 10:32 AM   #13
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Given we Import more than we Export, there are surplus maritime shipping containers ,
stacking up in most Ports Of Entry a 20 foot one would make a good Garage,
which no apartment complex seems to offer .. a weathertight lockable storage.

they can be moved by calling a towing company with those ramp trucks ..
when you change apartments.

Park it in your assigned parking spot.

oh , and there are nice, freestanding bike storage racks , metal ,
to become part of the Decor..

I rent a 2 Br, smaller room, for bikes and storage ..

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Old 05-13-11, 08:02 AM   #14
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So long as you do your bicycle maintenance outside, there shouldn't be any damage to the carpet from keeping your bikes inside.
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