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The place where I work has some bike racks outside with some basic roof on and not much else. That means if it rains it won't fall directly on the bike, but otherwise it is exposed to the elements. Is it ok to store my expensive mountain bike there every day, all year round, for 8 hours/day? Or will it get damaged over time?

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  • Where do you live/what kind of climate? Jul 17 '17 at 19:01
  • In Bucharest, Romania. For climate info, see en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bucharest#Climate
    – redhotsnow
    Jul 17 '17 at 19:10
  • Also the commute from home to work is quite short, 2.0 km (1.24 miles).
    – redhotsnow
    Jul 17 '17 at 19:13
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    I'd be worried about theft more than weather.... Why not get a beater bike -- a cheap 100~ eurodollar used bike that you'd just use for commuting?
    – RoboKaren
    Jul 17 '17 at 19:18
  • This is mostly a matter of how much effort you are willing to put into maintenance. High-quality components generally will perform better and are easier to maintain. To avoid corrosion you will have to diligently apply lubrication and water-deplacing coating to almost all components at least every other week. Unless you enjoy that, it's too much effort for most people and the bike will suffer. Jul 17 '17 at 19:30
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If weather is the concern, yes. You will get some damage over time. Most of that will just be accelerated wear of all the normally wearable components. Keep your chain lubed or it will rust. You will go through grips, tires and seats faster. Any bolts that aren't alloy or stainless will rust. Non-stainless cables will rust through.

That is not the only concern though. You will be exposing your bike to a greater opportunity for theft or vandalism, especially when it becomes obvious that bike sits there all day.

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  • Theft is not an issue, as it would be stored inside a yard which is guarded around the clock.
    – redhotsnow
    Jul 17 '17 at 19:32
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    @Andrei I've had a bike stolen from a locked bike room in the building where I live. If someone wants it they will find a way.
    – ebrohman
    Jul 17 '17 at 20:04
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    I did this for about a year, the rusting on some bolts was minimal. The real issue comes from filthy water kicked up off the road into your bike.. as long as you clean, lube and grease you should be ok. You might want to cover the saddle up too
    – John Hunt
    Jul 17 '17 at 22:01
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I have a bike that lives outdoors all the time (sometimes under cover, more often without even a roof). It's also near work not home so I don't have much kit to maintain it, or access to facilities for washing it. It's old and was very cheap. I've had it about 2 years and it's not much more rusty than when I bought it.

On this bike and this bike only, I use a spray chain oil (GT85). A light spray on a cleanish dry chain and gears reduces rusting significantly, and I try to do this every few weeks at wet times of year, taking the opportunity of a dry day.

I've replaced the brake cables with stainless as the housings had rusted enough to cause friction; the gear cables are just about OK as I'm prepare to tolerate poor shifting on this bike. Rust on bolts etc. is only a surface issue, but I've replaced some with stainless anyway (as I've used anti-tamper Torx as a deterrent against component theft)

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