Whether it's just for between rides or for an entire season or year, proper storage of your bicycle in a storage unit is a must if you want the bike to be road ready when you are ready to go. The following tips can help you store the bike correctly and avoid damage.
Tip #1: Wipe it down
Road dirt can contain more than grime – oils and harsh chemicals on the roadway can eat through paint and even metal if left on the bike during storage. Take a few minutes to wipe down the entire frame with a damp cloth. It's also a good idea to wipe down the seat and the handle grips, since even sweat and skin oil can damage the materials if left alone. If you kept food inside a saddlebag, make sure it's removed and the inside of the bag is wiped out so it doesn't attract pests.
Tip #2: Check for moisture
If you've been riding in wet weather, moisture can get into the frame and cause rust to form from the inside. The simplest way to check for this is to take the seat off and turn the bike upside down. If moisture drains out, allow the bike to dry upside down for a few days before replacing the seat.
Tip #3: Lube it up
Moving parts should be lubricated before storage – especially if it is going to be extended storage. You can use an all-purpose lubricant or a specific bike lubricant to grease the chain, seat post, pedals, and anything else that is designed to move on the bike. After applying the lubricant, move the part around so it works its way in and lubricates the area throughout.
Tip #4: Mind the tires
Don't store a bike on its tires. Air will slowly leak from tires, which can lead to permanent damage, called flat spots. This is caused from the tires warping from being flattened in the same place over time. The best option for storage, especially if you pull the bike out of storage regularly, is to install hooks in the wall or ceiling to hang the bike. If this isn't allowed, you can get a storage rack. It is also possible to simply remove the tires and store them flat, but this can take a bit more time to reassemble when you are ready to ride.
For more help on properly storing a bike, contact a storage facility in your area like Millstream Self Storage.