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Winter Cycling Don't let snow and ice discourage you this winter. The key element to year-round cycling is proper attire! Check out this winter cycling forum to chat with other ice bike fanatics.

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Old 12-07-10, 09:04 PM   #1
Vertigory
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Where do you keep your bike after you get back home?

Hello! First time poster, first time winter cycling!

I read plenty of information on how to dress for winter cycling, and suffice it to say I'm actually quite pleased with the fact I've not yet overheated (or froze solid). The ride to and from work is exponentially more enjoyable than riding in warmer weather!

My only concern is I'm not exactly bike savvy. I live in a row-house, I have no garage, and no real place to store my bike indoors. I'm not even sure if I should store my bike indoors, since winter = salted roads = salty snow (and if I bring the bike indoors, salty water) all over my bike = rusty bike. And much as winter cycling is fun, it's also a bit of a necessity financially, unless I'd rather walk all winter.

Is keeping my bike outdoors for the bulk of winter a terrible idea? I can only assume covered, obviously, but I'm mostly hoping the constant exposure to rather cold temperatures isn't going to be worse for it than bringing it inside. Conversely, would it be better to bring the bike indoors and attempt to dry it as best I can?

I've not much experience in anything past only the most basic maintenance, if even that.
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Old 12-07-10, 09:30 PM   #2
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automotive store.
rear runner floor mat or trunk liner.

example: the one in the middle http://www.aztrucks.com/product.asp?...ogo_Floor_Mats

If you keep up the maintenance on the bike, like regular chain lubrication, then there shouldn't be any big concerns with rust.
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Old 12-07-10, 09:54 PM   #3
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I put my bike in the bed of my truck, which is easier to access than getting the bike down from my hangers on the ceiling. Since I don't drive much, this works fine. If snow gets on the bike I brush/wipe it off, but don't obsess over it. I find that even if some rust does form on the drivetrain it'll come off later, at least after winter, but I will clean and lube when it gets substantial. But I don't believe keeping a bike outside is a good idea. As the other member suggested I'd get a mat if you don't have a garage - just do a rough clean of the bike before bringing it in. If it's clear outside leaving it out in the sun for awhile to dry off would be helpful and result in bringing less mess inside.

And welcome!

Last edited by kmcrawford111; 12-07-10 at 09:57 PM.
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Old 12-07-10, 10:06 PM   #4
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Third-floor walk-up apartment here. No garage either.

These pics are from summertime, but the same applies for winter. When we get home, the bike gets hung up and hosed down in the shower. The trick is to get it into the bathroom before the slush starts to melt.




It drips dry while I have supper, then it goes back on its hook in the living room.


Two or three times a week in winter (once a week in the dry) it gets flipped upside down on the coffee table for a chain cleaning and lubing. An old t-shirt keeps the coffee table clean.
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Old 12-07-10, 10:10 PM   #5
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Some years I've left my bike outdoors most days during the winter without any covering before and the bike survived. As long as the bike isn't too nice/expensive I wouldn't worry.

The biggest problem if you can't take it indoors at all is going to be routine maintenance.
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Old 12-07-10, 10:21 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Vertigory View Post
...My only concern is I'm not exactly bike savvy. I live in a row-house, I have no garage, and no real place to store my bike indoors. I'm not even sure if I should store my bike indoors, since winter = salted roads = salty snow (and if I bring the bike indoors, salty water) all over my bike = rusty bike. And much as winter cycling is fun, it's also a bit of a necessity financially, unless I'd rather walk all winter.

Is keeping my bike outdoors for the bulk of winter a terrible idea? I can only assume covered, obviously, but I'm mostly hoping the constant exposure to rather cold temperatures isn't going to be worse for it than bringing it inside. Conversely, would it be better to bring the bike indoors and attempt to dry it as best I can?

I've not much experience in anything past only the most basic maintenance, if even that.
Hello yourself! That being said...YES! To both of these. Keep an old piece of carpet or blanket on the floor for your tires. Keep your bike lubed. How long is your commute? That makes a difference in terms of maintenance.

Get some books, videos, dvds, tools etc. Get involved w/a bike co-op that will enable you to develop bicycle mechanical skills in a supportive enviornment.

If you HAVE to store your bike outside get a cover and bungee cords for it. One of those blue plastic tarps w/grommets will suffice.
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Old 12-07-10, 10:31 PM   #7
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as long as it stays below zero it is usually ok to store it outside. it is when the temperature gets above zero then drops back below zero that you might start running into stuff freezing if left outside.
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Old 12-08-10, 09:56 AM   #8
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Thanks for the replies! They are most appreciated.

I'm in Ottawa, Ontario, currently I have very little fear of it thawing and freezing and thawing and freezing, if that at all makes a difference.

I think I will invest in some mats and cram my bike in a corner. Would a sponge/brush and bucket of water suffice to rinse away the salt, or am I unlikely to be able to rinse enough away without a hose/showerhead? It's below freezing outside, and I'm pretty certain hosing it outdoors might not be the wisest of ideas, hee. Mostly, it's the salt I'm terribly worried about. They salt everything here. And not just a bit of salt, tons of salt.

My ride isn't very far, it's 7km, or... 4.5ish miles? 4.6? There's no real backroads I can take to avoid the road salt. And I'm waiting for payday to purchase fenders and a chainguard.
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Old 12-08-10, 09:58 AM   #9
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If you can't find a place in your house for your bike your priorities are misaligned .

There's a lot of different bike storage solutions, you should be able to find one that you and your roommates/spouse(s) are comfortable with.

Otherwise, maybe throw a tarp over it and bungee the tarp to something? I think the main thing in the winter is to keep the new snow from falling and sitting on it, then melting into it.

The nice thing about indoor storage is that when you go ride you start on warm surfaces.
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Old 12-08-10, 10:01 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Vertigory View Post
Thanks for the replies! They are most appreciated.

I'm in Ottawa, Ontario, currently I have very little fear of it thawing and freezing and thawing and freezing, if that at all makes a difference.

I think I will invest in some mats and cram my bike in a corner. Would a sponge/brush and bucket of water suffice to rinse away the salt, or am I unlikely to be able to rinse enough away without a hose/showerhead? It's below freezing outside, and I'm pretty certain hosing it outdoors might not be the wisest of ideas, hee. Mostly, it's the salt I'm terribly worried about. They salt everything here. And not just a bit of salt, tons of salt.

My ride isn't very far, it's 7km, or... 4.5ish miles? 4.6? There's no real backroads I can take to avoid the road salt. And I'm waiting for payday to purchase fenders and a chainguard.
Get fenders (the regular full coverage sort). Wax at start of season. Clean somewhere in there if you like. Clean after the winter. Watch out for frame rust, and otherwise enjoy and quit worrying about it.

It's a bike. If you can't afford to replace it you spent too much (or you've chosen a very poor career).
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Old 12-08-10, 10:19 AM   #11
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Against the wall behind my recliner. My wife hated it at first, but she's use to it now . We have a tiny apartment right outside Washington D.C., so space is very limited.
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Old 12-08-10, 10:48 AM   #12
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I live in an apartment, and am pretty limited on space too. I do have a foyer with tile floor so that's where the post-winter ride bike lives. Before coming inside I usually try to know off as much slush as I can. I have some knock-off shamwow type rags that I put under the bike to catch the melting snow. As far as cleaning, last winter I would wipe the frame down every few days with a damp rag, and then use a spray on automotive wax, then clean and relube the drive train.
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Old 12-08-10, 11:00 AM   #13
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My ride isn't very far, it's 7km, or... 4.5ish miles? 4.6? There's no real backroads I can take to avoid the road salt. And I'm waiting for payday to purchase fenders and a chainguard.
Without a chainguard, an entire winter of salt and slush would cost me a chain and a cassette ($30-$50 total), which wouldn't be that bad for 3 or 4 months, except that the distances were pretty low.
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Old 12-08-10, 11:24 AM   #14
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I leave mine outdoors year round, all steel steeds, haven't had a problem yet, on really snowy days or if i have a bunch of slush built up on the bike ive been hosing it down with a water/antifreeze window cleaner mix that has been working pretty good so far. Every night i just cover my seat and bars with a bag which is mainly personal preference, i just dont like sitting on or holding frosted parts. ill throw a pic of my set up later tonight, i live in a duplex with no garage but i have a small "patio" out front that has an overhang.
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Old 12-08-10, 11:47 AM   #15
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just don't use window cleaner on bare aluminum.
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Old 12-08-10, 03:07 PM   #16
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just don't use window cleaner on bare aluminum.
ooo yeah i forgot about that +1 when you do, you get to do bunches of polishing (I did that on an old specialized fatboy)
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Old 12-08-10, 10:40 PM   #17
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Normally keep mine in the unheated garage. I have a battery charger set up there so I can have lights for the next day. If I need to do work on it, I can take it indoors and work in the living room.
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Old 12-09-10, 08:46 AM   #18
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I installed bike racks in to the front yard.
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File Type: jpg MB2 ready for winter.jpg (100.2 KB, 13 views)
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Old 12-09-10, 04:33 PM   #19
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At my current residence I can put my bikes in the basement. At my former apartment (3rd floor walk up) I kept them inside next to a window (They like to look outside at the cars going by and chuckle. Although they would harass me when other bikes went by wanting to go out and play).

Since I can't use a hose I have a spray bottle filled with water that I use to wash and wipe down with rags.
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Old 12-09-10, 09:55 PM   #20
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Lock it to a pole on the street all day.
Set it in the garage all night.
Ride it like I stole it in between.
Clean it and fix it in the spring.
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Old 12-09-10, 09:58 PM   #21
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Lock it to a pole on the street all day.
Set it in the garage all night.
I did the first one up until the winter. Then my hands got cold messing around with the lock in the morning and I started doing the second one.
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