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I like to keep my bike in the car on days I drive to work, in case I need it to get to a meeting in another building. However, I'm concerned that it gets too hot some days. Is there a temperature at which bike components might overheat or be damaged?

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    What about leaving a used 50$ beater at your regular office, e.g. in a storage shed, the corner of a production hall, the bottom of a staircase or wherever? – arne Jul 28 '14 at 14:24
  • Agree with arne. I would get cheap single speed with some larger tires (so you can run at a lower pressure). It will also load and unload easier. A cars interior does not melt. – paparazzo Jul 28 '14 at 17:16
  • Get a cheap folder and keep it in the trunk where temperatures aren't as brutal as the main cabin. – RoboKaren Jul 29 '14 at 13:36
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Possibly carbon bikes are a problem, but a regular steel/aluminum bike will have no trouble with "reasonable" heat (such as the inside of the average parked car) for a few hours. The biggest dangers are blown tires (if they were near their pressure limit to begin with) and melted plastic parts.

If left in a regularly hot place for weeks/months/years, however, eventually the grease in the bearings will break down and ooze out, plus the heat will take a toll on paint, tires, and plastic parts. And electronic parts are apt to be damaged.

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I've heard of tyres exploding if inflated close to their limit when cold, then left in a hot confined space. But unless you're running your tyres at 100 PSI and up, I wouldn't be too worried. But perhaps someone with more knowledge will chime in; I'm just hazarding a guess about that. I don't think there's anything else on a bike you'd need to worry about though, not as far as temperature goes, anyway.

Carbon fibre doesn't like UV. Most if not all carbon fibre products use UV-protective resins in their construction to avoid delamination from prolonged exposure to sunlight. I'd be a bit suspicious of cheap n cheerful carbon parts.

To be on the safe side, let your tyres down a bit and keep a white sheet over the bike when it's in the car. Probably a good move anyway; a bike is a good reason for a car thief to break in... it doesn't matter if your car's alarmed; they're stealing the perfect getaway vehicle!

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  • Thanks! It would be interesting to know if heat also degrades things like chain lube, or cables over time. – PepeOfMath Jul 28 '14 at 2:20
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    Going from say 20C to 80C inside a hot car will increase tire pressure by about (60/300K) 20%. If left in direct sunlight, the surface temp can exceed 120C. Its not really the increase pressure that causes the tire to go, but the tire losing strength from the heat. As advised, let the tires down but also cover the bike. Once you take the bike out of the car and start riding, the tires will cool off quickly and loose a lot of pressure, so you may want to over inflate them a bit just before heading off, or check them after 10 minutes or so. – mattnz Jul 28 '14 at 2:45

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