Monday, December 20, 2010

Hanging it up for the season?


Is this weather making you finally think about putting your bike away for the season? It's ok. I won't judge. I promised I write a little something about this very subject. So here you go.

Here are my recommendations:

Mrs. Gilmore was right. I would use 7th grade math in real life one day.

Storing your bike is much more simple than storing your yacht. Really you only need to do one thing- protect it from the weather. The chain has the potential to suffer the most, so I like to hit it with some chain lube, just to provide one more barrier between all of those moving parts and the weather. If your bike's inside you don't need to use anything heavy, but it's still good policy to give it a little love, so things move more easily in the spring. Cover the chain and cover the bike. If it's inside then you're covering it with a building, so that's good. If it's outside, cover it with a tarp or one of these babies (don't worry about the ridiculous name...):

It's bike shaped!

ALL bikes will have soft tires if left for a couple of months. Don't worry, they're (probably) not flat, just pump them back up. Here's a note about bringing your bike in to the shop in the spring. Your bike might not need anything. It might it in perfect shape (if you've taken care to store it with love) or it might have really suffered in the elements (if you don't have climate controlled bike storage you have to park it where you can park it with love). If you're a home mechanic, and you like to maintain your bike, you know what to look for. If not, bring it in for a check up. A lot can happen in a couple of months- chains and cables corrode, water sneaks in and rusts bearings, things get creaky. I'm only advocating for a complete overhaul if you actually need it. It's important to do at least a little regular maintenance to keep your bike rolling.

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