People invest a lot of money in their bikes these days, and nobody wants to take theirs out of storage, only to find that it needs to have some repairs conducted. Sometimes putting your bike into a storage locker for a few weeks or months is unavoidable, but what you can avoid is the risk of damage.
Here are just four steps to follow.
1. Inflate the Tires
Firstly, make sure your tires are inflated to normal pressure, especially if you're going to store the bike resting on its wheels instead of hanging it up. Those tires might not be expected to bear your weight and the many rigors of everyday cycling, but they will take the weight of the bike itself. Even if the bike is quite lightweight, constant pressure on one point of the tires can cause the rubber to deteriorate and even distort the wheel.
2. Remove All Dirt
It can be easy to worry about how to wash your bike prior to storage. On the one hand, you want it relatively clean; on the other hand, you don't want to wash away lubricant or get water stuck anywhere. With that in mind, it's a good idea to simply make sure you get rid of the dirt and grime. Grab a soft-bristled brush and remove any dried-on mud and dirt, then wipe the frame down with a spare rag.
3. Lube It Up
People sometimes forget to add more lubrication prior to storage, but your bike needs it even when it is kept stationary if you want to avoid rusting or poor performance. Start by carefully adding some lubricant to the brake and shift cables — just put a few drops on a rag and then rub onto the exposed cable. Next, clean the chain and add a fresh coat of lubricant. You should also lube up the gears and seat post.
4. Remove Vulnerable Parts
Some parts of your bike are more vulnerable to damage than others, especially when left in storage. Luckily enough, quite a few of those parts are easy to remove. A leather saddle, for example, can be affected by changes in temperature and humidity, so you might want to remove yours prior to storage and keep it either at home or at a friends or relatives. You can also remove pedals with leather straps, and it might even be worth thinking about removing the wheels if they are on the expensive side and you know somewhere else they could be stored indoors.