Tip of the Week 4: Hanging Your Bike

I get a lot of questions about hanging your bike. If you have hooks or a pulley system in your garage or other storage room, hang your bike up and get it off the ground and out of the way when it is not in use. Here are some pointers to a successful bike hanging experience.

  • Hang it away from the windows or where sunlight can beat on them. The intense sun can dry out the tires and brake pads and possibly fade your paint.
  • The tires will naturally lose air with time, the change in temperature, and changes in air pressure. If your tires held air when you hung it up, it is quite likely they will continue to hold air when spring comes.
  • Make sure to install your bike storage system in to a stud, not just drywall. It could be a depressing experience to find your bike in a pile of pieces on the ground.
  • Avoid storing your bike where it will experience frequent extreme temperature changes.
  • Clean your bike and lube necessary components prior to storing it. A dirty wet bike when stored could rust drivetrain components and make an expensive headache next year.
  • Avoid dusty and dirty areas. Dirty bikes are gross. Same reason as above.
  • Although sometimes unnecessary, cover your bike when not using it. It will keep the sunlight, filth, and moisture out. We have bike covers.
  • The purpose of hanging your bike is to get it out of the way. Make sure it is somewhere that won’t be a burden to walk around or under (for you or your significant other).

People often ask me some of the following questions, and the answer is NO to all of them.

  • If I hang it by the wheels, will it pull them out of round?
  • If I hang it by the front wheel, will the shock be damaged?
  • If I leave it on the ground, will it ruin the tires?
  • Do I need to deflate the tires before hanging it?

In general, there are no issues for hanging your road bike. There are a couple of considerations for mountain bikes with oil suspension and hydraulic disc brakes. You’ll likely not have any issues, but some brakes and suspension allow the oil/fluid to travel around when hung vertically or upside down. Unless it leaks oil out, all is well. When the bike comes back down, you may need to cycle the suspension to get the oil back in the right places a few times for it to feel normal again. With the hydraulic disc brakes, sometimes the fluid will pool up and the brake will feel mushy. Like suspension, repeatedly compress the brake lever and the fluid should return back to its proper place. If it doesn’t come back, it might have been time for a brake bleed anyway. For complete peace of mind with for these issues, leave your bike hanging upright.

If you have tubeless tires or tubes with some kind of sealant in them, the sealant will pool at the bottom of the tire and possibly allow previously-sealed punctures to lose air again. When you get your bike back out and ready for Spring riding, make sure to add new sealant so old punctures don’t become new problems.

We have a number of solutions for hanging your bike for short and long time periods. Stop in and see what will work best for you in your home or office. Take a look at some of our favorite storage solutions at http://www.deltacycle.com.

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