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I have a lot of spare tires for bikes. I can either store them inside my house in the basement or in the garage. I've got a lot more open space in the garage, so that's my preference. However, I live in the northeast U.S. where we get a lot of temperature fluctuation around the freeze point and sometimes temps lower than 0F (which is rare, but happened quite a bit last winter). Is it generally okay to store my spare tires in the garage or should I bring them in the house for the winter?

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    Cold will not harm tires and tubes. Extremely hot can, as can gasoline fumes. (I live in Minnesota where temps to -20F are not unusual, and I've never had any trouble with tires stored in the garage, even when stored for several years.) – Daniel R Hicks Dec 11 '15 at 18:08
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Very cold and very hot are generally not good. Zinn has written an excellent article on this topic, and notes that Michelin recommends storing in 5C to 35C temperatures.

You should hang the tires, or keep them mounted and inflated. In general you want to avoid UV and ozone (so keep the tire away from a heater, if you put them inside), and store the tires in a cool, dark, well ventilated, dry place.

I'd say just throw the tires in the garage, even though 0 F is below the recommendation of Michelin; I've left bike tires on bicycles outside in the winter at those temperatures, and the tires are fine. Of course, there may be some life cycle reduction, but the risks are tiny overall.

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    Given how many people ride to work in winter leaving their bikes outside in <5°C temperatures, I don't think you need to worry too much for "normal" tyres. If you have super-expensive summer-race-only tyres and want them to last a second season, maybe you need to set aside a tyre storage facility in your house. – Chris H Dec 11 '15 at 16:53
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    @ChrisH A tire that you are going to year out in a season or two does not need to stand up to to 5+ years. For long term storage it does make a difference. – paparazzo Dec 11 '15 at 17:09
  • Basements are underground so the temperature is relatively well controlled. Provided its not damp (in which case, you've got bigger problems), you can probably just hang the tires from somewhere on the ceiling and not worry about space all that much. But I think for most people, they won't really care or notice with either tire storage system. And if this really is a worry, in the future, you may want to opt for a foldable tire if possible (and if you can't stash folding tires in a closet or something in your house, once again you have bigger problems). – Batman Dec 11 '15 at 18:02
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    I would never store tires in an attic as Zinn shows. The typical garage is a much better environment, unless gasoline vapors are present. And every manufacturer recommends storing everything between 5C and 35C -- that recommendation is meaningless. – Daniel R Hicks Dec 11 '15 at 18:14
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    @Frisbee, you are of course right. I was exaggerating slightly to make the point that things designed for everyday outdoor use must be tougher than that. – Chris H Dec 11 '15 at 19:50

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