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Old 05-28-13, 10:45 PM   #1
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Long term bicycle storage

I'm in the process of downsizing as I prepare to move for a new job. I have a couple bicycles that I've restored and would like to keep, but I don't want to take them with me. I was thinking of hanging them in my parent's barn. Its dry and mostly temperature controlled.

Before I take them to their house, are there any guidelines for storing them I should follow? The bikes could be there for up to 5 years. I was thinking they should get some sort of dust cover and I'm also wondering if I should take the cable tension off the derailleurs to preserve the spring mechanism there? Anything else I'm missing?
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Old 05-29-13, 08:28 AM   #2
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I think you have the right idea. Dry especially, not in a damp basement. And a dust cover would be a good idea.
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Old 05-29-13, 08:36 AM   #3
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I would insure the dust cover breaths. A greenhouse effect on the bike would not be good.
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Old 05-29-13, 09:56 AM   #4
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I'm interested in this, since my daughter's bike just hangs from the ceiling except when she visits once a year or so. But I live right by the ocean, and the air is always humid and salty.

I wonder if you should coat all the metal surfaces with WD-40? That's what it was designed for (
In 1953, a fledgling company called Rocket Chemical Company and its staff of three set out to create a line of rust-prevention solvents and degreasers for use in the aerospace industry, in a small lab in San Diego, California.

It took them 40 attempts to get the water displacing formula worked out. But they must have been really good, because the original secret formula for WD-40[SUB]®[/SUB]—which stands for Water Displacement perfected on the 40th try—is still in use today.
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Old 05-29-13, 10:10 AM   #5
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I'll agree with Al's post above because you are living in Oregon where the air is moist and rust is common. I find that WD-40 has a reputation for also gathering losts of dust if not covered, so DEFINITELY cover these bikes immediately after covering them with WD-40.

Also, this is very important: TAKE OUT THE SEAT POSTS. If you let them sit for too long, they will cold weld to the bike frame and become nearly impossible to get off. That's not say it isn't possible, but you don't want to deal with getting a stuck seatpost out; it sucks, it's time consuming, and some methods for removal are toxic and bad for the bike frame.
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Old 05-29-13, 03:30 PM   #6
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I think you're worrying too much. Hang them up where it's dry, move the shifters so there's no tension on the cables and cover them with an old sheet or something. The tires will deflate themselves over time (you'll have to replace them in five years anyway). Pulling the seat post can't hurt, or you could grease it and leave it in (pulling it does stop condensation in the tubes). Treat the leather, if any, and maybe use ArmorAll or something on the rubber and plastic parts, though I'm not convinced that really does any good (it makes things look better; I don't know that they live longer).
I used to have a friend who collected and restored old bikes, and we rescued many that had been in barns and garages, sometimes for decades. The soft parts age and crack, the hard parts don't if they don't get wet.
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Old 05-29-13, 04:44 PM   #7
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+1 on WD40 on pretty much everything including down all the cables.

Do all the spokes and it really won't do any harm to the tyres.

The tyres should still be fine in 5 years time.
The only things I know that kill tyres is UV exposure and ozone.

Although it seems you are going to store them complete, the best
way is to disassemble, e.g. the brakes, headset etc and get WD40
everywhere, and then put it back together. WD40 will also be fine
for the seattube - alloy tube and a steel frame is the worst case.

Its probably best to leave all fastenings barely tight.

Slap it on everywhere - and plan on a restrip, a good clean and degrease,
and proper lubing / greasing when it comes to eventually reusing the bikes.

rgds, sreten.

Last edited by sreten; 05-29-13 at 04:57 PM.
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