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My parents want me to store my bike outside. It's white and the tire rims are green. I really want to keep the color looking nice. I know that keeping the bike outside will cause rusting on the chains and cables, so I put a tarp over it and sealed it tight. I live in Seattle Washington where the weather is mostly rain but during the spring and summer it gets super hot. Am I storing my bike correctly?

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  • Don't seal it tight -- make sure that some air can circulate under the tarp. (The sun heating the bike will eventually bake the grease in the bearings, but that takes several years.) – Daniel R Hicks May 11 '15 at 0:13
  • Are you riding it, or keeping it wrapped up for months at a time? – Matt May 11 '15 at 21:45
  • (BTW, the color of the paint has nothing to do with whether it will rust or not.) – Daniel R Hicks May 12 '15 at 1:21
  • In addition of not sealing it tight, try to put it somewhere in the shade so it does not get boiling hot under the tarp in the summer. – Davorin Ruševljan May 14 '15 at 14:51
  • Is there any possibility of putting the bike into a garage or shed instead of outside? Even hoisting it up out of the way would be better than outside. Under a carport and out of the rain is better than under a tarpaulin. – Criggie Nov 15 '15 at 7:56
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The problem with sealing it tight is that water will get in, even just as humid air, then it can't easily get out. You'll get condensation, which will cause rust.

It's much better to shelter the bike so that rain can't hit it or blow in easily, but leave the bottom open so that water than run out. A motorbike rain cover would be ideal, but a tarp thrown over with a rope looped around lower down to hold it in place will be fine. Try to cover the rear derailleur and the chain when doing this, as those are especially likely to rust.

motorbike rain cover

Note that it's a really bad idea to spray the chain (or anything else) with a degreaser like WD40 before you do this. You're better off buying proper chain lube and over-lubricating the chain and derailleurs before storing the bike for any length of time. That excess will better protect them, and then when you pull it out of storage add a little more lube, spin the pedals backwards 10-20 turns, then wipe the excess off (that replaces any volatile parts of the lube that have evaporated while it was stored)

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