More than 2 million people across the UK now cycle at least once a week – an all-time high according to British Cycling, the sports’ governing body in the UK.
The popularity of the sport has been highlighted by Geraint Thomas’ Tour de France 2018 win – the first Welshman to win the 21 stage race which culminated in Paris.
For businesses in the cycling industry, this means booming sales particularly in the expensive ‘premium’ bikes and cycling clothing ranges. Average customers purchasing bikes today are in their mid-thirties with more disposable income and are buying more expensive lightweight carbon models.
One of the biggest problems of owning a bike is finding space to store it – bikes are not designed to be stored outside over long periods of time which can cause rust and the tyres to crack. Unless you have a garage or water tight shed, an alternative solution is to rent a self-storage unit.
Before placing your bike into storage, inspect for any damage and deal with accordingly – here are a few tips –
Keep It Clean – ensuring your bike is clean before storing, will prolong its life – any left-over mud or dirt can cause the bike to corrode when not in use. A bucket of soapy water, sponge and an old toothbrush is all you need and dry thoroughly. A proper degreaser will help to break down the oil and grit in the chain and gear sprockets.
Lubrication – Buy some bike specific lubricant and use sparingly on any parts of your bike where metal touches metal – there is no point in oiling the chain unless it has been cleaned first – try not to use too much oil as this will pick up more dirt and make the chain more difficult to clean.
Keep Tyres Inflated – the rubber in tyres is porous and lets air out very slowly – hanging your bike on special hooks is the best way to remove pressure from the tyres, however you can also stand the bike on the floor, just make sure the tyres are kept inflated for the duration of the storage. Leaving a bike upright in storage with flat tyres will distort the rims and damage the inner tubes. Avoid resting tyres on bare concrete flooring such as in a basement or garage over long periods of time – the concrete draws moisture out of the rubber tyres causing premature ageing of the tyres. Another way to store your bike is by flipping it upside down so the weight is on the handlebars and seat rather than the tyres.
Professional Service – if you are storing your bike away for the winter, book it in for a bike service in order to keep it in top condition and avoid costly repairs further down the line.
Climate Control – Protect your bike by storing in a climate controlled environment. Storage in an area with too much moisture can cause steel frames to rust and corrode – leather seats and handlebars will become covered in mildew – avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight which can cause materials on the bike to fade. Drastic shifts in temperature from cold to warm are also damaging to your bike– bringing your bike from the cold into the warm inside air can cause moisture to condense on the inside of the frame which can lead to rust.