Regular maintenance can help ensure that your bicycle has a long life. A properly functioning bicycle also keeps you safer. Pay attention to the small details, such as how you store the bike, to further prolong its mileage.
Storing Your Bike Indoors
Storing your bike indoors is a simple way to keep it running well and looking new. If it's left outdoors, elements such as rain, snow and wind can damage your bike. Additionally, the sun can fade your bike's paint or dry out the brakes, tires and seat, forcing you to spend extra money to maintain and repair your bike.
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The best way to store a bike indoors is on a bicycle hook. Not only will you prolong the bike's life, but you'll use the space more efficiently. A bicycle hook is shaped like an "S" and coated with vinyl so it won't scratch the wheel when you hang the bike. Install the hook on a wall, rafter or any spot where the bicycle can hang vertically. You can even store it under a staircase if there's enough space.
Hanging a Bike by Its Wheel
Many experts believe it's safe to hang a bike by its wheel.
According to Jim Langley, author of Your Home Bicycle Workshop, "it's perfectly safe to hang most bicycles by one wheel. The only exceptions are bikes with specialty aero carbon rims that are so light the carbon will flex if you squeeze it by hand."
"Otherwise," he adds, "all bikes with steel, aluminum or carbon rims can be hung by one or both wheels. It won't damage the rims or wheels at all. Just avoid putting the hooks on any rim decals if you want to keep the stickers perfect."
Inspecting your bike regularly is important. Check the wheel rims to ensure they're correctly aligned with the frame, and be certain your tires are inflated properly. Lubricate your bike's moving parts regularly. Wipe your bike down after each use to remove harmful dirt and grime that can cause corrosion.