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Storing bicycle outside (in balcony)

Old 07-18-20, 05:07 PM
  #1  
dsanchez
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Storing bicycle outside (in balcony)

My flat is very small and one bicycle (I have two) will need to stay outside, probably in the balcony, however I wonder how having the bicycle outside all the time will damage it (regardless if it's winter or summer). What is your experience in this regard and what recommendations can you share?
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Old 07-18-20, 05:22 PM
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It really depends where you live.

If you're in Colorado or most of it's neighbors, no problem as long as you keep the rain off.

I lived in Bermuda for a while. I kept my bike on a covered porch when I first got there, maybe 6 weeks. It never got wet, but the bolts and chain got a pretty decent layer of surface rust in that time. I found a more permanent place and moved the bike indoors and that stopped.

The environment matters more than anything else.
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Old 07-18-20, 05:26 PM
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I live in Europe, so we have rains mostly in winter of course. Summer can get as hot as +35 C and winter as cold as -10 C. Moving that bike indoor is not an option at the moment, due the flat being really small.
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Old 07-18-20, 05:35 PM
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put it on the balcony and cover with a cheap plastic tarp
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Old 07-18-20, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Flip Flop Rider View Post
put it on the balcony and cover with a cheap plastic tarp
that's it? that will ensure all components are protected etc and all will be fine?
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Old 07-18-20, 05:46 PM
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I'd cover it wit a decent quality tarp and make sure the tarp is fastened securely to the bike in various spots including the BOTTOM of the wheels so the tarp doesn't blow off or otherwise expose a lot of the bike components.


If I was going to store it for long intervals outside where it might rain a lot, then I'd lightly grease the chain and rear cogs with a decent quality marine grease. That'll help a lot in keeping rust from forming.

You could even remove the chain and rear cogs and store them indoors but make sure you remember where you put them.

Cheers
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Old 07-18-20, 05:47 PM
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Wax the frame and lube things regularly. Hot & cold won't bother things in general. tires seats etc won't like direct sunlight.
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Old 07-18-20, 10:08 PM
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I just overhauled a bike for my daughter that had been stored outdoors under a tarp for probably 20 years, I replaced the chain, cassette and all four cables and overhauled the hubs. That was it.
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Old 07-18-20, 10:14 PM
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A bike cover will take care of most of the issues. My wife stored her bike on her balcony in Washington DC for years with no cover - I think it prematurely aged it cosmetically - the frame paint faded a bit and the alloy parts oxidized a bit, and the saddle faded, but no functional deterioration. If you keep the rain and the sun off it, it'll be fine, although you'll likely have to replace the cover itself every few years - that's the thing that'll deteriorate
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Old 07-18-20, 10:22 PM
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bag it .. sealed bag + vacuum pump and you can pull out moisture..
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Old 07-20-20, 10:31 AM
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Many a bike has been stolen from a Balcony. Even on the second floor..... beware!

Barry
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Old 07-22-20, 01:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Barry2 View Post
Many a bike has been stolen from a Balcony. Even on the second floor..... beware!

Barry
Happened to me. 2nd floor apartment, bike on the balcony, gone in the morning. Guy had to be Spiderman to get to it but he did.
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Old 07-22-20, 09:39 AM
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1. Bike cover.

2. Lock it to the railing.

3. Use a wet lube (oil) on the chain instead of a dry lube. Probably a good idea to re-lube it every couple weeks in the summer, every month or so in the winter, to keep rust down. Lube cables and exposed pivot points at the same time. Make sure you wipe it down before you haul that bike through the apartment to ride it.
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Old 07-22-20, 12:12 PM
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I've been storing a bike on the back deck, mounted in my Cycleops trainer, since late last year. A bike cover to keep the rain and sun off (Got mine off Amazon for $30ish, IIRC) is all you need. In the evenings I go outside and however the weather has been, I throw off the cover, jump on, and ride as long as I want. I sometimes keep it locked to the railing.

In the past, through lack of options, I've stored bikes outside, with and without cover. If you live where you get any reasonable amount of rain, it will do bad things to your drivetrain, cables, moving parts like brake calipers, hubs, headset. And a good amount of sunshine will do likewise for your paintwork, tires, bar tape, cable outers etc. Heat and cold do not materially affect your bike.
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Old 07-22-20, 12:36 PM
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A bike cover is useful but beware of trapping moisture under it, either through humidity or leaks (through the seams). For once I will agree with fietsbob that you would want to use a sealed bag, not necessarily vacuum-pumped, but reduce the amount of moisture as much as you can. I stored a couple bikes in a fully enclosed outdoor shed over the winter, humid New England climate. Both chains were rusted, one of them seized to the point of being unusable. There were also signs of corrosion on the aluminum spokes, some bolts, and surface rust on skewers. The chain rust could have been avoided had the bikes been used; not so for surface rust. The general problem with metal is that it will stay cool longer and moisture will condense on it; this sometimes happens even in my basement where I now store my bikes.
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