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How to store a bike outside and still avoid rapid decay?

I'd like to store my bike on the balcony. I use it daily and don't mind lugging it up the stairs but I'm tired of leaving it out at the mercy of the elements.

Since my balcony is open, I was thinking of a tarp. Also, I'm in the midwest and winter's coming!

Any other (cheap) suggestions?


1 Answer 1


I've used a bike cover with great success in the past. Something like this Topeak Cover from REI is great. It covers the bike well and has a self contained pocket that it folds into for easy storage when not in use. There are several similar products that range in price if you're looking for something more cost effective. You will still need to do routine maintenance throughout the winter like lubing your chain, but this will keep a majority of the snow and ice off of your bike while it's being stored outside.

Don't forget to lock your bike while it's out there. If you live on a 3rd+ floor it's less of an issue but I've had friends and fellow bike commuters have their bikes stolen off 2nd floor balconies many times.

  • My big complaint about this is it's hard to u-lock to anything with this on. Cable locks suck.
    – Benzo
    Sep 17, 2012 at 15:56
  • @Benzo Since it's just for storage, and you aren't concerned with weight, you could get a motorcycle security chain such as this one (almax-security-chains.co.uk/nu3bkv151/…). A 19 mm chain is probably going to be a lot more secure than probably most u-locks.
    – Kibbee
    Sep 17, 2012 at 17:31
  • @Kibbee - Yeah, If I was doing this, I'd probably use a burly chain to secure my bike as opposed to cable locking. I luckily have a lot of indoor space for bike storage. However, I've heard too many stories of bikes being knicked from porches that only had cable locks on them.
    – Benzo
    Sep 17, 2012 at 17:36

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