I can't keep my bike inside my flat, which is why I used to keep it in the staircase of my block.

The problem is, the janitor mops the staircase every day and I'm afraid he will hit the wheels of my bike with his mop.

I'm about to collect my bike from the repair service. They had to install a brand new wheel, because the old one was bent so badly it was almost unusable. While my bike is not new or expensive at all, I still don't want this to happen again.

Granted, my bike was subjected to an even worse mistreatment than just the janitor's mop, which was probably why the wheel got broken. But still, is it possible that this mop has contributed in benting the wheel?

Should I take measures to protect my bike from janitor's mop or may I ignore it?

  • 3
    What is the reasoning behind not keeping it in the apartment? A bike will take up very little space if you find an unused wall to hang it on. If it's your main mode of transportation or a good bike, it's worth keeping it secure.
    – Kibbee
    May 19 '16 at 14:42
  • 5
    Keeping it in the staircase is likely a violation of fire safety codes, depending on your location.
    – RoboKaren
    May 19 '16 at 20:54
  • Talk to your building manager to organize "bike room" somewhere in the basement or "bike garage" outside. Sure you're not the only one who ride bicycle in this building.
    – krzyski
    May 20 '16 at 8:55
  • Depending on where you live, that'd be near impossible. Space is at a ridiculous premium in a lot of cities, so secure locking outside or bringing into the apartment are the way to go.
    – Batman
    May 20 '16 at 20:07
  • Ask your apartment managers for some thought around secure bike storage. Point out that 8-10 bikes can park in the same space as 1 car.
    – Criggie
    Dec 3 '16 at 22:45

I doubt the janitor could unintentionally damage the wheel with the mop by impact -- you don't use much force when mopping, and it would likely just turn the wheel or shift the bike a bit if it was hit. If someone drove their boots into the wheel or something, that could cause damage.

One concern is the chemicals used in the mopping. Certain chemicals (e.g. ammonia) can attack rubber and cause it to degrade prematurely. Depending on the concentration and amount of use, this may be a non-issue.

However, if you are worried about your bike to this level, consider storing your bike elsewhere.

  • Agreed that it's probably not the janitor's fault caused by routine mopping. Some people are just jerks though, so I wouldn't be surprised if someone else in the complex kicked/hit it just out of boredom or to do be destructive. May 20 '16 at 18:29
  • Ammonia and Aluminum react when mixed. Most rims and spoke nipples are aluminum, so ammonia splashing onto it could kill the wheel.
    – freiheit
    May 21 '16 at 16:03
  • 1
    That's true, but I'd guess the concentrations in cleaners are relatively low to make it a second order concern versus, say, someone kicking your wheel in.
    – Batman
    May 21 '16 at 19:24

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