How to Store Your Bicycle Long-Term

Nov 18, 2015

If you have a bicycle, there is a good chance that you may need to store it at some point. Whether you have an injury, it’s out of season, or any other number of reasons for not biking, if you do not store your bicycle correctly, you could expose it to unnecessary damage that could be costly to fix. Storing your bicycle in a shed, garage or storage facility is recommended, as weather and theft are possible when storing it outdoors. Prepare your bicycle now so you don’t have to pay for costly fixes and replacements in the future.

Reasons for keeping your bike in a storage facility

  • Keeping your bike in storage frees up space in your home, garage or shed.
  • There may be other items around the house that you need extra storage for already, which would be a perfect opportunity to store your bike there as well.
  • Your bike will be safer and less likely to be stolen in a storage facility.

If you travel with your bicycle by car often, think about investing in a bike rack to keep your bicycle safe and secured in transit.

When taking your bicycle out of long-term storage, be prepared for the problems that may have occurred to it. The tires, frame, chains, brakes, and cables can all have issues and might need to be replaced if stored the wrong way.

Bike Storage Infographic


It’s good to use a bike rack or hook to keep your tires off the ground, but it’s not completely necessary. If you are to use a hook to hang the bicycle by the rim, over a long period of time, gravity might warp the wheel rim. In this case, it would be better to hold it by the frame instead.

If you do leave the bicycle on the ground, you may encounter flat-spots if the tires are not inflated throughout the storage period. Flat-spots happen when the tires become deflated over time. The weight of the bike can warp or distort the rim and the rubber of the tires.

Inflate your tires before you store your bicycle. Air will slowly leak out over time, so check periodically to make sure that they’re still inflated.

Another good way to store your bicycle is by flipping it upside down so the weight is not on the tires and the rims, but on the handlebars and seat instead.

winter bike infographic tires


Check over the frame carefully to make sure there isn’t any rust, cracks or breaks that could weaken it while it’s in storage.

Wipe everything down – wiping down the frame gives you the perfect opportunity to check it and make sure there’s nothing wrong with it and removes excess dust, dirt, grease, grime or moisture.

This would be a great time to also wipe down the seat, handlebars, and tires to keep your bike looking good.

winter bike infographic frame

Chains, Brakes, and Cables

Rust can break down your bike and create unnecessary costs for you down the road. Storing your bicycle in climate control storage can be a huge help to keeping rust at bay. Humidity and fluctuations in temperature can cause rusting.

Chains accumulate a lot of dirt and grime over time. Now is an ideal time to clean it off and apply a fresh layer of lubricant.

Over time, if brake pads are unused they can harden and will need to be replaced. This is an inexpensive fix, but one to be aware of and test before riding.

Inspect all of the cables and chains and lubricate to keep everything working correctly.

Bike Storage infographic - Brakes, chains and tires

(flickr: kryshen/via cc)

Have any other tips to store your bicycle? Let us know in the comments below! 


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