Storing a road bike in a plastic shed?

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Nearly A Moose
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Storing a road bike in a plastic shed?

Postby Nearly A Moose » Mon Jul 25, 2016 10:38 am

Has anyone tried keeping a road bike in an outdoor plastic Rubbermaid storage shed? I live in a row home with limited storage, and wall mounting it in the entry hall isn't a great option for various reasons. I often bike to work, so it gets regular use. I already have one Rubbermaid shed in the back (fenced in) yard that houses yard tools and such. I'm thinking of getting a second to house the bike. I seem to have had reasonable success caulking the first one to make it mostly water tight. Because the stuff stored in there are yard tools, its kind of hard to tell how well the shed is keeping them clean and dry versus them going in dirty. I have a decent enough road bike that I don't want it rusting, etc. Think replacement value of a few thousand dollars - not a $10,000 racing bike, but definitely not a beater. My first shed sits under a (not watertight) deck. My second would likely have to sit exposed. Alternatively, I guess I could put the bike in the first shed, which has some shelter from elements, and put tools on the new exposed one.

So, any thoughts or experience with this? The bike currently lives in our living room.

Edit: added a post dated 5/17 with the update. In short, this worked well.
Last edited by Nearly A Moose on Wed May 17, 2017 12:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bloom2708
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Re: Storing a road bike in a plastic shed?

Postby bloom2708 » Mon Jul 25, 2016 10:58 am

They work pretty good and keep the elements out. We have a taller upright cabinet that could house a bike (upright) with the shelves removed. Reasonable price.

http://www.menards.com/main/tools-hardw ... m_vc=PDPZ1

If you have an expensive bike, I would make sure the storage shed/cabinet is secured to something substantial.

A good lock will help, but they are more of a "theft deterrent" than "theft prevention".
Last edited by bloom2708 on Mon Jul 25, 2016 12:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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hicabob
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Re: Storing a road bike in a plastic shed?

Postby hicabob » Mon Jul 25, 2016 10:59 am

I store some old large mechanical devices in a decent weatherproof 8x12 wood shed. Stuff does rust significantly in there after a couple years. Possibly due to condensation/lack of airflow? Although a shed is better than outside, inside is better than a shed.

livesoft
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Re: Storing a road bike in a plastic shed?

Postby livesoft » Mon Jul 25, 2016 10:59 am

No experience with storage in a shed, but I bought a used bike that was supposedly stored in a garage for many years yet had many rusted bolts: seatpost bolt, stem bolts, chainwheel bolts, water bottle bolts, .... I replaced the rusted bolts with titanium bolts.
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furwut
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Re: Storing a road bike in a plastic shed?

Postby furwut » Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:02 am

Any bike kept indoors, where the air is conditioned, will fare best.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Storing a road bike in a plastic shed?

Postby Jack FFR1846 » Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:16 am

Humidity and fast temp changes will condense water on the metal parts. While better than leaving the bike out in the rain, it isn't much better.
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Re: Storing a road bike in a plastic shed?

Postby sunny_socal » Mon Jul 25, 2016 12:03 pm

If you have the space, I recommend a wooden shed, the type they have in front of Home Depot. It will last much longer, those plastic sheds fall apart rather quickly in the sun.

Rodc
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Re: Storing a road bike in a plastic shed?

Postby Rodc » Mon Jul 25, 2016 12:32 pm

sunny_socal wrote:If you have the space, I recommend a wooden shed, the type they have in front of Home Depot. It will last much longer, those plastic sheds fall apart rather quickly in the sun.


I have stored bikes for many years in a basic wooden shed. No problem with rust.
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Dutch
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Re: Storing a road bike in a plastic shed?

Postby Dutch » Mon Jul 25, 2016 12:39 pm

furwut wrote:Any bike kept indoors, where the air is conditioned, will fare best.


You don't have to baby the thing. Keep it out of the rain and it will be fine.

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Epsilon Delta
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Re: Storing a road bike in a plastic shed?

Postby Epsilon Delta » Mon Jul 25, 2016 12:43 pm

There are two issues. Theft protection and weather protection.

For theft protection all the shed offers is concealment. This may or may not be useful.

For weather protection it depends on the climate. In some climates I would prefer a roof (e.g. a car port) to a shed . A shed can get very hot if it's in the sun and can trap moisture.

In any case it's less protection than inside the house, but swapping a little extra maintenance for convenience can be a reasonable trade off. I kept my commuting bike in a breezeway for many years.

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Re: Storing a road bike in a plastic shed?

Postby fourniks » Mon Jul 25, 2016 12:43 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:Humidity and fast temp changes will condense water on the metal parts. While better than leaving the bike out in the rain, it isn't much better.


This.

I have a carbon fiber bike, but in the midwest, in a unheated/uncooled garage, the steel bolts will still rust (though not quickly). If you have a steel bike, I wouldn't do it. The heat/cold and condensation can rust a steel bike from the inside out, unless you have treated the inside of the tubes.

four

Nearly A Moose
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Re: Storing a road bike in a plastic shed?

Postby Nearly A Moose » Mon Jul 25, 2016 1:33 pm

fourniks wrote:
Jack FFR1846 wrote:Humidity and fast temp changes will condense water on the metal parts. While better than leaving the bike out in the rain, it isn't much better.


This.

I have a carbon fiber bike, but in the midwest, in a unheated/uncooled garage, the steel bolts will still rust (though not quickly). If you have a steel bike, I wouldn't do it. The heat/cold and condensation can rust a steel bike from the inside out, unless you have treated the inside of the tubes.

four


Thanks for the responses thus far. Sounds like a mix of perspectives. For what it's worth, it's an aluminum road bike with a carbon fiber fork. I imagine that at least the bolts and chain could rust. This was bought to be a weekend road bike, not a daily commuter, but it's kid of evolved into both. It does the former better than the latter.

I'll have to measure the wooden sheds from Home Depot. This is an urban rowhome, so backyard is about 20x20, ie not large, so I was looking specifically at the Rubbermaid shed that has about a 2.5' x 5' footprint (I've measured and the bike would fit). But, it has a high, locked privacy fence, so there's at least some deterrent to theft and it wouldn't be obvious to anyone there's a big in the shed rather than bags of mulch.

Edit: I live in the Washington DC area, so yes, quite worried about humidity.
Last edited by Nearly A Moose on Mon Jul 25, 2016 2:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

texasdiver
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Re: Storing a road bike in a plastic shed?

Postby texasdiver » Mon Jul 25, 2016 1:39 pm

Pay attention to what kind of chemicals you might have stored in that rubbermaid shed. In my last house I had a large storage closet off the garage and I happened to have a couple of gallons of muriatic acid (pool chemical) sitting on a shelf. After a couple of months everything metallic in that closet developed a light coating of rust before I figured out what happened. You can inadvertently cause a lot of unwanted rust by storing corrosive chemicals (cleaning compounds etc.) in proximity to tools and machinery like bikes.

Otherwise no big deal storing a bike in a plastic shed as far as I'm concerned. Just keep it properly lubed and serviced and don't leave it there months on end unattended if you are in a damp environment.

mc2
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Re: Storing a road bike in a plastic shed?

Postby mc2 » Mon Jul 25, 2016 2:20 pm

I'm a bike nut and jest with this quote:

Sean Kelly, being interviewed after the ’84 Amstel Gold Race, spots his wife leaning against his Citroën AX. He interrupts the interview to tell her to get off the paintwork, to which she shrugs, “In your life the car comes first, then the bike, then me.” Instinctively, he snaps back, “You got the order wrong. The bike comes first.”

I'm a Midwest rider and keep most of mine indoors. Honestly, if you maintain the bolts and drivetrain periodically, it's amazing how long a bike can last. I do have a beater/commuter which hangs in our detached uninsulated garage and it's fine. I take good care of my bikes, which helps immensely.

Hang it wheels off the ground if you intend to store it long term, but if it's seeing at least 2-3 rides/month, a good spring and fall cleaning, drivetrain lube is all you need. Grease bolts once every year or so, unless you ride it in lots of rain, salty, snowy streets.

Regarding condensation, I've heard that inside storing and cold outside riding is actually worse than consistent outside storage-mainly what you'd get in the winter, but probably a moot point for the other seasons.

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White Coat Investor
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Re: Storing a road bike in a plastic shed?

Postby White Coat Investor » Tue Jul 26, 2016 1:07 am

You make it sleep in the living room? Move it to the bedroom. What kind of a cyclist are you? And outside? Come on!

Seriously though, people make fun of McMansions, but that third stall in my three car garage sure stores a lot of bikes nicely.

I think I'd keep the bike in the house before using the shed as you describe it. Although now that I think about it, when we lived in a townhome we put the beater mountain bikes out in a wooden shed and kept the nicer ($1K) roadbikes in the dining room. No way I'd put my current MB out there though. It's worth more than the car I was driving back then.
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Nearly A Moose
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Re: Storing a road bike in a plastic shed?

Postby Nearly A Moose » Tue Jul 26, 2016 8:46 am

White Coat Investor wrote:You make it sleep in the living room? Move it to the bedroom. What kind of a cyclist are you? And outside? Come on!


Ha! It used to live in the home office, but maneuvering a bike down the stairs while your baby is napping in the next room became a bit of a deterrent to riding. Now she's learned how to open the brake release lever, so the pre-ride checkup has gotten a bit more important...

I might try a controlled experiment by putting some steel bolts and nuts in the current shed for the fall to see how they survive and trying my best option for mounting it in the entryhall.

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Re: Storing a road bike in a plastic shed?

Postby flyingbison » Tue Jul 26, 2016 8:50 am

I have a bike that I have always kept in a shed or garage for 20+ years now, and nothing has rusted.

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lthenderson
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Re: Storing a road bike in a plastic shed?

Postby lthenderson » Tue Jul 26, 2016 9:02 am

Nearly A Moose wrote:I live in a row home with limited storage, and wall mounting it in the entry hall isn't a great option for various reasons.


Have you looked up? Back when I was single and lived in apartments where wall mounting things was prohibited, I mounted my bike to the ceiling right above the front door. I made a bracket that attached to the top of the door jam where fastener holes wouldn't be seen that held the wheels. I then screwed a hook into the ceiling that long enough to wrap around the seat post. Because it was a textured ceiling, a dab of white caulking to fill the one visible hole when I moved out concealed my crime.

Nearly A Moose
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Re: Storing a road bike in a plastic shed?

Postby Nearly A Moose » Wed May 17, 2017 12:33 pm

Replying to my own thread with an update for anyone who might come across this later: I banished the bike to a reasonably well-built plastic storage shed in my backyard (under a second-story deck), and it handled the winter just fine. It was a pretty mild winter, only one major snow fall that melted quickly, but overall I was pleased with the setup and with having the bike out of the living room. The bike doesn't seem any worse for wear and rides just as well as it did last fall.

I've been riding to and from work most days and also find I don't mind opening the shed to get it in and out. Not much more effort than getting out the front door and down the stairs. So, if others are considering this, I'd say give it a shot.

JoeEngineer
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Re: Storing a road bike in a plastic shed?

Postby JoeEngineer » Fri May 19, 2017 5:45 pm

Just to add another datapoint, I kept my bike in a standard plastic storage shed out behind my house for the 2 or so years that I lived in Washington DC and I found that it kept the bike pretty well-protected form the elements.

However early one morning towards the end of my time in DC I heard some rustling out in the yard and when I finally went to check it out found that someone had cut the plastic hinge and stolen the bike. From the cleanliness of the cut it seemed like it wasn't too difficult--although I suppose using bolt cutters on the padlock would have also been pretty easy. So depending on where you live that might be another aspect to consider!


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