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  1. #1
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    Outdoor Storage Questions

    Ok, the owners of my stepdaughter's apartment complex just issued new storage rules and the bikes are headed outside to a new bike rack. The other option is a $35 per month storage cube inside. We got her a new Giant Escape and are now wondering how this bike will fare the New England weather. How do some of you veterans handle storing bikes out in the open? Are there covers that work well with a bike locked to a conventional style bike rack?

    Storing anything outside has me stressed. I miss my big garage.

    Thanks!

    Fred

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    If there's no bicycle covers around, you can get a motorcycle cover from most auto stores. The smallest should be large enough for any bicycle, a large would probably cover two.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Wilfred Laurier's Avatar
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    A small tarp with eyelets and a couple of bungee cords will probably do ok, too.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Nakedbabytoes's Avatar
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    Garage? Do they rent garages? It might be worth it to rent one both for her vehicle and her bike, plus storage. I would worry about theft and the weather outside.

  5. #5
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    I'd move. Seriously. Not so much out of concern for the bike, but because that seems an arbitrary rule. If I couldn't get the bike up into the apartment (which is what I did when I lived in apartments), I'd be giving notice.

  6. #6
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Why not take the bike apart to store it inside for the winter?
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  7. #7
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Folding bikes !

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Folding bikes !
    +1

    Either sell the Giant Escape and replace it with a folder, or keep the Escape and buy a used aluminum framed beater bike. OTOH, if she owns a car, just place the locked bike inside of the secured car. If her commute is daily but short, with no hills, get a cheap single speed from online.

    www.nashbar.com
    www.performancebike.com
    www.bikesdirect.com

    At any rate, u r going to need a really good u-lock for ur bike.

    Ref: New York Fahgettaboudit U-Lock
    Last edited by Cfiber; 04-26-13 at 11:59 PM.

  9. #9
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I'd pay the $35/month until I could find a house with a garage to live in.

  10. #10
    imi
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    Outdoor Storage Questions

    Is there no way you can bring the bike into the appartment, hang it on a wall or whatever?

    I remember reading somewhere that storing a bike outside under a cover can cause corrosion due to condensation.

  11. #11
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    I'm sure all the commenters have you convinced that storing a bike outside will quickly do colossal damage to the bike. Feel free to completely disregard everything I have to say.

    The MAJORITY of bicycles in cities like Copenhagen and Amsterdam are stored outdoors ALL THE TIME (at least in the inner cities where apartment stairwells are narrow and steep). It is true that European bikes tend to have full chain cases and components that hold up to the weather better than the common US bike, but that does not mean that US bikes get rusted out overnight.

    My friend purchased a cheap steel Magna mountain bike from Target for $99 (note: aluminum alloy bikes hold up to rain better than steel). For the first two years he brought it inside most days. Then he said, "to heck with it," and stored it outside every single day for the next three years. This was in Philadelphia, locked up to a No Parking sign on South Street. His brake and gear cables did break once, presumably due to the rust, but he simply purchased replacement cables for $5 from Walmart. He did oil the chain every couple months and used WD-40 (GASP!) on miscellaneous parts to keep rust from getting out of hand. It also helps that he rode the bike nearly every day. Letting a bike sit will lead to an uneven distribution of rust, particularly to the chain and spokes.

    On a personal note, I locked an affordable aluminum bike outside every day for about six months. Rode several times a week. There were absolutely no signs of rust anywhere on the bike. I take that back; a couple screws on the handlebars and the water bottle screws on the frame got a tad bit rusty. The rims and sprockets were fine.

    Bikeforums is full of people who treat their bikes like new born babies. Extraordinary efforts are made to keep the bikes as close to "new" for as long as possible. "Lube your chain every week" ... "inflate your tires before every ride" ... It's a bunch of bologna! If you were to post your question on a Dutch forum, people would laugh at you for even considering storing a bicycle indoors for a fee. And a tarp? Are you kidding me? Tarps are a total hassle, and if you get a decent one it is bound to get stolen.

    My advice, and I doubt you'll take it, is to store the bike outside. If you can add a chain guard or chain case, great. If not, simply lube the chain once a month or so. It will take years before the bike deteriorates to the point of notably losing in performance. If the bike becomes ruined a few years down the road, before getting stolen, consider it a success.

    Since you do live in New England, salt from the roads will take it's toll (if the bike is ridden in the snow). This is when you do want to clean the chain, cogs and derailleurs. The rest of the year, don't worry much about it. Just do routine maintenance.

    I suspect I'll either be ignored or bashed for speaking the truth *shrugs*.
    Last edited by GeraldF; 04-27-13 at 02:54 AM.

  12. #12
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeraldF View Post
    The MAJORITY of bicycles in cities like Copenhagen and Amsterdam are stored outdoors ALL THE TIME (at least in the inner cities where apartment stairwells are narrow and steep). It is true that European bikes tend to have full chain cases and components that hold up to the weather better than the common US bike, but that does not mean that US bikes get rusted out overnight.

    My friend purchased a cheap steel Magna mountain bike from Target for $99 ...

    On a personal note, I locked an affordable aluminum bike outside every day for about six months.

    Bikeforums is full of people who treat their bikes like new born babies. Extraordinary efforts are made to keep the bikes as close to "new" for as long as possible.

    1. I'm not sure what an "affordable aluminum" bicycle costs for you, but a $99 bicycle from Target is really, really, really cheap. A beater bike. Sure, if that's what you've paid for a bicycle, leave it locked outside. If it gets stolen, or rusts a bit you can just run down to Target and pick up another one.

    2. On the other hand, those of us who treat our bicycles like new born babies, have very likely paid well over $1000 for our bicycles. If you happened to own something that cost ... say, $3000 ... would you want to leave it locked to a bike rack outside?

    3. I happen to know that Europeans who have a collection of bicycles will leave their beater bikes outside, will leave their somewhat more expensive bicycles in the apartment bicycle storage area, and will keep their more expensive bicycles in their apartments, even if it means carrying them up many flights of narrow and steep stairs.

  13. #13
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    I spend a lot of money on my bikes, and I agree with GeraldF. There's really not much problem with keeping a bike outside, as long as you pay some attention to maintenance, especially the drivetrain. It is quite rare to see even steel-framed bikes die from rust. If you want to keep things like bolts rust-free, smear a thin layer of vaseline on them.

    Bikes are pretty simple, tough machines. Rain and snow doesn't hurt them.

    Machka, try not to generalise about what "Europeans" do. Habits differ. As far as I am concerned, storing bikes indoors has to do with preventing theft. Protecting them from weather? Not really.
    Last edited by chasm54; 04-27-13 at 03:14 AM.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  14. #14
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    Machka, try not to generalise about what "Europeans" do. Habits differ. As far as I am concerned, storing bikes indoors has to do with preventing theft. Protecting them from weather? Not really.
    Yeah, they do differ ... but not every European leaves all or most of their bicycles locked outside as GeraldF would seem to believe. And I absolutely agree that storing bicycles inside has to do with theft rather than protecting them from weather. Most bicycles can withstand weather ... but I sure wouldn't leave an expensive bicycle locked on a bike rack outside.

  15. #15
    imi
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    Outdoor Storage Questions

    I think this is more a case of how well different people like to take care of their things.

    I spend a lot of money on bicycles and guitars, and like to take the best possible care of them all... and enjoy doing so.

    I even keep my beater snow bike in my appartment, on cardboard to soak up melted snow. On multi-month tours my expensive touring bike is outside 24/7, but gets daily maintenance.

  16. #16
    imi
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    Outdoor Storage Questions

    In european cities leaving a $1000+ bike on the street overnight is crazy due to theft, so everyone with expensive bikes stores them inside.
    We don't all ride those upright tanks yerknow!

    Come springtime some of my friends and colleagues ask me to "see over" their bikes. The ones that have been stored outside all winter are in much worse condition.
    Last edited by imi; 04-27-13 at 04:01 AM.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Nakedbabytoes's Avatar
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    Yeah, I would leave a $99 Target special outside too. But not anything I paid over $300 for. I thought OP's kid had a nice bike?

  18. #18
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    I'm not crazy about storing bikes under a waterproof tarp for extended periods of time. The tarp holds condensed moisture underneath and can actually promote rusting. I'd be looking real hard for a secure indoor place to store a nice bike. How many minutes per day, for example, do you actually use your bath tub?

  19. #19
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by imi View Post
    Come springtime some of my friends and colleagues ask me to "see over" their bikes. The ones that have been stored outside all winter are in much worse condition.
    But have they been maintained properly? Your touring bike comes to no harm being outside for months on end, because you look after it. It isn't the weather that injures them, it's the neglect.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    1. I'm not sure what an "affordable aluminum" bicycle costs for you, but a $99 bicycle from Target is really, really, really cheap. A beater bike. Sure, if that's what you've paid for a bicycle, leave it locked outside. If it gets stolen, or rusts a bit you can just run down to Target and pick up another one.

    2. On the other hand, those of us who treat our bicycles like new born babies, have very likely paid well over $1000 for our bicycles. If you happened to own something that cost ... say, $3000 ... would you want to leave it locked to a bike rack outside?

    3. I happen to know that Europeans who have a collection of bicycles will leave their beater bikes outside, will leave their somewhat more expensive bicycles in the apartment bicycle storage area, and will keep their more expensive bicycles in their apartments, even if it means carrying them up many flights of narrow and steep stairs.
    1. You can purchase a GT Aggressor 3.0 mountain bike new from a bike shop for $320. It's aluminum and good quality.

    2. There is absolutely no reason one should waste $3,000 on a new bicycle unless he/she is competing professionally. The only reason people spend such ridiculous amounts of money (sometimes more like the $7,000+ range) is to use the bike as a status symbol. A well-maintained sub-$500 bike is worth far more than a $3,000 bike that isn't as well maintained.

    3. The only thing you see people riding in European city centers, such as Amsterdam, are beater bikes. Only a select few in Amsterdam use the bicycle for anything other than transportation, and mostly short trips at that.

  21. #21
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    I have a couple suggestions for the OP:

    1. Purchase renters insurance if you don't have it already. GEICO's default deductible for stolen property is $500. That didn't interest me, but I was able to talk them down to a $100 deductible for a slightly higher yearly cost. If the bicycle, or any other property, gets stolen from anywhere in the world, even another country, you'll be covered.

    2. It's not uncommon for bikes to get stolen from shared storage spaces in apartment buildings, even if they are locked. Thieves may feel they have more cover in a garage than they do in the street. I've heard of several incidences of thieves using power tools in apartment buildings to cut bike locks.

    3. Perhaps you could get some other residents together and gather some support for COVERED outdoor bike parking if you'd like to protect your bike from rain/snow. A simple canopy above the bike racks doesn't cost a fortune. As another poster suggested, leaving a bike under a tarp for an extended period could lead to condensation buildup under the tarp and hence MORE rust than if you left it exposed to the elements.

    4. If this Giant bike is super valuable and you are not willing to lock it up outside, perhaps you could sell it and purchase a less expensive bike if that gives you more piece of mind.

    5. The location of the outdoor bike parking is KEY. When I was looking at apartments in DC I asked the desk person of one apartment building if I could see the bike parking. They had those crappy racks that you stick your wheel into. There were half a dozen or so wheels locked to the rack ... just wheels, no frames, etc. Other bikes were stripped of parts. The reason thieves were having a field day was because the racks were out of view from the street. In that situation it's a no brainer to park the bike on the sidewalk in full view rather than in a hidden location. Always lock up in the most visible spot possible. In full view of the public.

    6. If you decide to store the bike inside your apartment, here is a space saving rack that might interest you: http://amzn.to/ZsD4dM At one point I used it to hang my bike above my dresser, completely out of the way.

    Hope you're able to find a reasonable compromise to your dilemma.

  22. #22
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeraldF View Post
    2. There is absolutely no reason one should waste $3,000 on a new bicycle unless he/she is competing professionally. The only reason people spend such ridiculous amounts of money (sometimes more like the $7,000+ range) is to use the bike as a status symbol. A well-maintained sub-$500 bike is worth far more than a $3,000 bike that isn't as well maintained.
    <<gasp>> ::


    I've ridden centuries and randonnees on a $300 mountain bike, and on relatively inexpensive aluminum road bicycles, and I can tell you from experience that my more expensive steel and titanium bicycles are much better.

    It's all about having the right tool for the job.

    But thanks for the laugh.



    Quote Originally Posted by GeraldF View Post
    3. The only thing you see people riding in European city centers, such as Amsterdam, are beater bikes. Only a select few in Amsterdam use the bicycle for anything other than transportation, and mostly short trips at that.
    The only thing you've chose to notice are people riding beater bikes. You've chosen to ignore all the others.

  23. #23
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    The OP can store his bicycles for $35/month, which is quite inexpensive. That works out to about $8/week, which is next to nothing. Chances are you're not going to find any other storage facility for that kind of price, and this one has the benefit of being right there at home.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    The only thing you've chose to notice are people riding beater bikes. You've chosen to ignore all the others.
    Watch the following video of bicycle rush hour in Amsterdam. The video speaks for itself in terms of what people are riding: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8h_DalTjV0 Not all these bikes are junk, and I'm sure some could be in the 1,000 Euro range, but I'd qualify most of them as beater or ordinary bikes.

    And here's a photo of some bikes parked in Amsterdam: Screen Shot 2013-04-27 at 11.13.04 PM.jpg

    Wait a second, Machka, are you the one who spent a total of 1 1/2 days biking in Amsterdam? You would be the expert. Let's all listen to Machka.

    I'm done getting sidetracked with this non-sense. Feel free to make more bogus claims in your never-ending quest to get the last word and prolong a forum, contributing nothing to helping the OP with his/her post.

    BTW, everyone has a different budget. You're not the judge of whether $420/year or $2,100 over five years for bike storage is "quite inexpensive."

  25. #25
    Senior Member 009jim's Avatar
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    How can they just "issue a new storage rule". If it's not in your tenancy agreement, tell them to f**k off.

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