Everybody knows that leaving a bicycle outside rather than inside can cause it to deteriorate over time.
However, while many people have their own reasons for parking their bike outdoors, there are several reasons why it is a bad decision. No matter the price of the bike, or how often you use it, or even convenience, always remember that you would be riding the bike soon and you don’t want your safety to become a concern over your careless negligence. To be able to understand the problems with parking your bicycle outside, you have to understand what exactly happens to your bike when left to battle the weather.
How Long Does It Take For The Bike’s Parts To Degrade?
There are a few conditions that the degradation of your bike parts depend on when outdoors. One of the conditions is the age of your bike. If your bike was made within five to ten years, then the various parts that protect from corrosion are most likely better. Another condition is where you’re located. If the location has high humidity and frequent rain, then your bike will degrade faster. Keeping your bike outdoors for a few days isn’t going to get it to degrade much, even if it gets rained on. But if you leave it in the outdoors for a week, then it’ll start to have visible damage.
The bike’s chain will begin to rust, but even more so if you’re in an area with frequent rain or high humidity. The degradation takes time, and it varies slightly depending on how the bike’s chain’s quality. If you have a chain that’s high quality, then it’ll have more stainless steel in it, which means it’ll rust slower than chains that are low quality. All of the bike’s parts will start to degrade. The heat will cause the rubber and plastic parts of the bike to break down. The plastic will become weak, and the colors begin to fade away. But when it’s cold, those won’t be a problem. Instead, parts seizing up and rust will be the problems you’ll face. The degradation timeline will depend on if you have your bike in direct humidity or sunlight.
How Do I Protect My Bike Outdoors?
There’s a lot of things that can keep your bike safe from the weather by procedures you can follow. Covering your bike with a tarp can protect it from sunlight and rain. You shouldn’t lay the tarp on the bike since it’ll trap the moisture in with the bike. You should suspend the tarp above it so it will be similar to an awning. You can protect the seals by adding some grease around them, which will help keep the water from getting inside. Add lubricant to the bolt heads and cables, so that it’ll seize up less.
In conclusion, one or two days won’t cause significant damage to your bike. After about a week of leaving it outside, you’ll start to see rust. After around a month in the outdoors, the parts of the bike will begin to deteriorate. The price you’ll have to pay to replace your parts could instead be spent on a storage solution. If there’s nothing you can do, try to use a tarp as an awning as protection for your bike.