Because bikes are typically low maintenance, there are owners who fall into the trap of not paying enough attention to their precious bike. They are tough and durable, but there are still factors that can significantly shorten their lifespan if left unchecked. Weather and the environment they are stored in are at the top of the list, which is why you have to find ways to protect your bike from the harsh elements.
Be ready to remove moisture
In most parts of Europe, including Germany, the climate can be hard to predict. This means you have to give extra care to your bike’s critical parts especially during cold and wet winters. Better by Bicycle reveals that rust may already form on the chain if you leave it wet overnight, and the same goes with other metal components like cogs. Be sure to have cleaning materials within arm’s reach when you’re done riding. Give your precious bike a quick wipe down to avoid moisture damage. Under these circumstances, the idea of ‘prevention is better than cure’ applies, too.
Know your bike lubes
The lube that you use on your bike is also determined by the weather and environment. Knowing the pros and cons will go a long way in maintaining your bike’s good condition.
Essentially, there are two types of lube: wet and dry. Wet lubes can last long in terms of keeping your bike’s parts running smoothly, but they easily attract muck which means you have to be more meticulous when cleaning your bike. Dry lubes generally don’t have this problem, but the downside is you have to use it more often. They can be harder to apply as well because they don’t easily flow into the nooks and crannies like wet lubes.
Get a bike cover
Even if you store your bike indoors, using a bike cover is still beneficial, especially if you have invested in a high-end bike. Aside from protecting it from humidity, which is still present inside homes, a cover also serves as a shield against unwanted marks or scratches.
Bike covers come in different materials, with the most common being nylon and polyester. Diffen explains that the former is typically more weather-resistant and sturdier than the latter. Although, that also means nylon covers are usually pricier.
Use a tarp
Realistically speaking though, not all owners have the option of storing their bikes indoors. If you park it in your back garden, you can also use a tarp to protect it from rain and the sun. What’s important is to leave an opening for air to circulate. Condensation will inevitably occur, and air circulation is crucial for it to dissipate. Bicycling Magazine suggests that setting the tarp up like an awning is the best way to use the material.
Invest in a bike shed
If you have the means and the space, the greatest solution to keep your bike safe from environmental damage is to set up its own storage. For instance, your garden or garage can double up as a bike shed.
It’s also worth investing in an actual bike shed, because they often have extra features that are not usually found in garden sheds, such as built-in metal bars that secure a bike in place. Just make sure to look for sheds designed with materials that suit the climate. Consider its storage capacity as well, especially if you plan to get another bike later on or a family member is considering owning one, too. Screwfix lists a variety of bike sheds, covering popular types such as the Asgard All-Metal Bike Store which can hold anywhere between 2-5 bikes. Lastly, don’t forget to factor durability in as it means getting value for your money on top of protection. The bottom line is: do not hesitate to devote time and effort to searching for the right bike shed, as it can benefit you and your bike for years.
Remember to always keep yourself updated on the latest bike maintenance methods. The only way to ensure that your bike will last is to be proactive in caring for it.
– Contributed post –