May 24, 2006

    I live on the third floor of an apartment building (no elevator) and lugging my bike up and down each time I want to ride can be a hassle. Because of this, I don't ride as much as I like to.
    So now I park my bike (all the time) at a nearby outdoor bike rack. Problem solved! Not really . . . now I worry about it getting rusted because of the rain. If I cover it with plastic bags, will that prevent rusting? Do they make bike covers? My bike is 10 years old and in decent shape. No rust yet. How long or how much rain will it take to rust it? Should I just stop being lazy and carry it up and down the stairs all the time? Thanks for your help!
    Keep on biking!

Beth K.

    I will indeed keep on biking, if I can just get away from this dang computer.
    I recommend keeping your bike indoors if at all possible. Constant, overnight parking in the rain will rust the chain, cables, and derailleurs pretty quick. And even if you manage to protect the bike from moisture (either by lugging it up on rainy days or covering it), regular overnight parking outdoors makes your bike a thief magnet.
    You can do a few things to ease your stairs cares:

  • Before lifting your bike, remove baggage you might have attached to it and sling the baggage over a shoulder (if needed, affix a carrying strap).
  • Push your seat down so it doesn’t hit the ceiling. (Having a quick-release seat post helps.)
  • To lift your bike, while standing alongside it lean over it, grab the bottom of the seat tube, then stand up. This way, you can use just the muscles of your legs, not your arms.
    You’ll find this stuff illustrated in my book, Urban Bikers’ Tricks & Tips, along wih other bike-storage tips for apartment dwellers.

Mr Bike

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