For many people, a bike becomes one of their most trusted, reliable friends even in the winter. It’s always there to get them to class, work, or even the bars. But what happens when it gets cold outside? Or when the inner tube goes wack? What can you do to protect your bike bud from these winter mishaps? Instead of waiting for a moment of panic – prepare and read up.
Q: I’m a student going home for break. Is it really that bad if I just leave my bike locked up outside my place while I’m gone?
A: There actually are a few risks involved with abandoning your bike out in the winter time. Between theft and weather damage, you’re really leaving a key piece of your daily life out to either waste away or get carried away. Even if it is a bike you picked up at a garage sale, we’d suggest you keep your good ole’ transportation bud around in a slightly warmer, safer spot for convenience sake.
Here are some valiant protective options:
- Cheap but lazy: the kickstand
- For just $8 – Walmart or REI can provide you with a small tool that can keep your bike buddy upright in your garage, a Champaign apartment or a big ole Urbana house. This isn’t a bad option, but with cold housing comes deflating tires and flat spots, it’s not the best either.
- Worth it: bike shelter
- For $20 – you can simply hand off your bike to your local bike shop, Neutral Cycle. Our shop runs a holiday special, so you can put your bike in a climate controlled, clean indoor space for your peace of mind. We store it until the harshest winds have blown and until you’re back in town to get biking again.
- A bit much: floor stand
- For $40 – it’s an investment that you can make if you have time to wait for shipping and enough room inside some kind of shelter for the bike.
- Above and beyond: ceiling mount
- For $4 – Are you feeling extra? Like you wanna stick something in your ceiling? After clearing it with your landlord and ensuring your walls can handle the weight, you can try mounting your bike to the ceiling with a $4 hook at the desired height in order to keep it up, up and out of the way.
Q: I want my bike out of sight and out of mind for the whole blustery season. What’s an option to just clear it out?
A: Give us your moola, $60 to be exact, and we can store it in our Bike Shelter for 3-month Hibernation Special, or more for an additional monthly charge.
Q: Okay you got me hooked – I know I need to store the bike. Is there anything I need to do to prepare for storing it?
A: For sure. We have 5 TLC tips we can give you to help you get your bike in tip top shape before you part ways for the winter.
- WIPE IT
- Frame: clean and wax
- Wheel rims and spokes: just clean
- Chain: clean and lube
- Saddle: clean and treat
- OIL IT
- pivot points on the derailleurs
- PAINT IT
- paint clear nail polish on any dings in the paint
- UNSCREW IT
- loosen the seat post binder bolt, remove the seat post, lube it and reinstall it
- FIX IT
- All the above, plus anything that hasn’t been looked at in a while. This includes things Neutral Cycle covers in the basic tune up for $45:
- Derailleur adjustment
- Brake adjustment
- Wheel truing
- Chain and derailleur pivot lubrication
- Tire inflation
Q: Okay man, it’s finals. I’m tired and I honestly just don’t have time for all that reading and cleaning. What’s the easy, quick and dirty?
A: Come into Neutral Cycle with your two-wheeled pal. We’ll give you a free estimate for what you need tuned up and store your baby for the $20 Holiday Special. Walk in, walk out. And yes, it’s really that simple.
We want to give a few thank you’s to:
- REI for the great guidelines info on general bike storage
- Women’s Cycling for the clean-up tips prior to bike storage