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Winter storage: Cold Shed or Damp Basement

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Winter storage: Cold Shed or Damp Basement

Old 11-11-11, 01:12 PM
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I live across the river from you and keep a lot of bikes in a non-insulated shed with a wooden floor. It has a small window that I leave cracked open just enough to let a little air circulate through. Never had any problems although it's a good idea to check for critter damage from time to time if you suspect mice may find their way in.
I've pulled bikes from "dry" basements that looked like they were stored outside for years. They were all rusty and the tires were dryrotted from the concrete floors.
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Old 11-11-11, 01:55 PM
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Either way, take the tires and tubes off, and hang 'em up and out of the way of any possible bumps and falls.
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Old 11-11-11, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Wolfwerx
Either way, take the tires and tubes off, and hang 'em up and out of the way of any possible bumps and falls.
This is overkill to the max. I hang mine and have not ever had a problem. There is absolutely no need to remove tires and tubes from a bike hanging in storage. If you expect a dramatic temperature increase, you could let a bit of air out of the tires to mitigate any pressure buildup due to the heat but that is not an issue for winter storage.
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Old 11-11-11, 03:54 PM
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Thanks for all the, uh, interesting perspectives. I do have a dehumidifier in the basement, but in the summer it would run non stop and it'd still be 65-75% humidity. I stopped using it as much because it just seemed like a waste of energy for an unfinished basement. HOWEVER, I did just check the basement humidity and its below 50% (not sure how much below though) so the basement might be a more viable option. It also has a side door, so entry/exit shouldn't be too bad, but still not as easy as opening the shed door and riding off.

Based on everyone's advice, I'll probably keep the bikes in the shed, elevated, unless it gets super cold, at which point I think the basement will be fine.

Thanks.
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Old 11-11-11, 04:07 PM
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Electric blankets.
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Old 11-11-11, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by goatalope
Thanks for all the, uh, interesting perspectives. I do have a dehumidifier in the basement, but in the summer it would run non stop and it'd still be 65-75% humidity. I stopped using it as much because it just seemed like a waste of energy for an unfinished basement. HOWEVER, I did just check the basement humidity and its below 50% (not sure how much below though) so the basement might be a more viable option. It also has a side door, so entry/exit shouldn't be too bad, but still not as easy as opening the shed door and riding off.

Based on everyone's advice, I'll probably keep the bikes in the shed, elevated, unless it gets super cold, at which point I think the basement will be fine.

Thanks.
DC is going to be much like where I lived for some time in Ontario. The humidity in the summer was such that where it was cool in the basement it would all but give rise to indoor rain... However once colder temperatures bring on the use of the central heating the basements become almost bone dry. And if I'm right your present 50% humidity value will drop even more with the sub freezing temperatures yet to come.

So I guess you can ignore all the advice to put your foot down or trade in the wife and just put the bikes in the basement. At 50% humidity and with the even dryer indoor air to come during the deeper winter climate your bike will be very happy in the basement.

A hint for next summer. If your furnace doesn't have a cold air return vent in the basement install one. Then for the summer humidity days when you feel like you want to strip off your own skin if it would make you cooler close all the doors and windows, run that dehumidifier and turn on the furnace circulation motor. Being in the basement with the higher relative humidity the dehumidifier will work more efficiently than otherwise. And that cooler and dryer air can then be circulated through the house with the furnace fan to drop the temperature and relative humidity by a few relief filled degrees and % points. At night if the oudoor temperature drops in any significant way THEN open up the windows to allow an air exchange. And if all this works as well for you as it did for me I'd even suggest a bigger or at least extra dehumidifier that lives in the basement. The dryer you can make the air in the house the cooler it'll seem to you. Done well and with a decent size of basement with bare foundations it's almost like having air conditioning.
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Old 11-12-11, 09:28 AM
  #32  
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Shed. Winter is hard on bikes when they are out being ridden in the salt and grime, not when they are sitting in a dry shed. If you want to do something maybe lubricate the chain before storage and then again before you ride after storage.
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Old 11-12-11, 09:36 AM
  #33  
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You could always partially take them apart and store them inside like inside a closet. I'm going to have four bikes in my bedroom but we have a larger bedroom. For what you spend it doesn't make sense to leave it in harmful environment. Tell your wife something she spent a lot of money onto and leave it outside or damp basement and maybe that might change things.
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Old 11-14-11, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by well biked
Not a good comparison. Bikes are like children, helpless and vulnerable to the elements. We must protect them.
City folk! My bikes all stay out for the winter and get ridden in the very early morning hours when it is as cold as the winter can get. None of them has ever had a cold or a cold related injury.

What the heck is supposed to be the problem with cold anyway? I've never seen a bike shiver.
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Old 11-14-11, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by RaleighSport
as long as your not gonna be dragging them from the shed to inside constantly there should be no issue.. just be sure not to freeze and dethaw over and over..
My bikes go from an unheated garage to the street to a heated building back out to the street to an unheated garage on a nearly daily basis. They have for 30+ years without any trouble whatsoever.

Originally Posted by goatalope
I have a steel 2001 Lemond road bike with a combo of Red/Force/Ultegra parts on it and a 2011 Stumpjumper FSR. I just moved to a new house. I have 2 socially/wife accepted options for storing the bikes: 1) a waterproof but uninsulated shed that will get cold 2) A basement thats damp (no standing water or anything, but 60-80% humidity - or perhaps a little lower in the winter).

Is one better than the other? I live in central PA, so it'll get to low 20s or teens in the winter - would these freezing temps affect the bikes/components/shocks?
I don't think that either would make a huge difference. If you go with cold storage, keep any battery powered items in the house. Bicycle computers don't work real well when they are very cold and batteries have temperature limits...especially rechargeable ones. I don't remove alkaline powered lights...mostly taillights...from my bike on a regular basis and I usually don't have problems. But Li-ion, NiMH, NiCd, lead acid, etc. don't do all that well when stored in very low temperatures.
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Old 11-14-11, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Closed Office
What the heck is supposed to be the problem with cold anyway? I've never seen a bike shiver.
Oh, they shiver. You're just not looking closely enough.
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Old 11-14-11, 09:57 AM
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If you can afford a little higher electric bill, put a 130V electric bulb in the shed near the bikes and leave it on- it will help with any residual humidity and keep anything from condensing on the bikes when the temperature increases outside.
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Old 11-14-11, 01:48 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
My bikes go from an unheated garage to the street to a heated building back out to the street to an unheated garage on a nearly daily basis. They have for 30+ years without any trouble whatsoever.
I was considering more on the factor of letting your bike heat up and cool down multiple times in an hour or two... glad to hear the longevity of what I assume is steel is still well though.
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