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So I’ve built a shelter to keep the rain off my bike and intend to keep it outside most of the year. It’s just a sloping corrugated plastic roof to keep the rain off it.

Will this be enough do you think? I could also put a tarp over but wonder if it’s better having the air and just being protected by the rain. Not sure if the condensation will do damage if I leave it uncovered.

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    A photo might help. – Criggie Feb 21 at 18:42
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    Is just a roof actually sufficient to keep rain off? In stormy weather even the chairs in the middle of the gazebo out back will get wet if not draped with a tarp. – DavidW Feb 22 at 20:51
  • Will try to add a photo at the weekend thanks but thinking It’ll be fine with the rain as it’s fairly close to a garden fence as well as a cabin wall. I might look into a tarp as an addition to drop over – Rooton Feb 24 at 7:57
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A roof is better than no roof, but not as good as an enclosed space because wind can blow through bring dust and dirt and moisture.

Sunlight is also a source of slow continuous damage. For years I kept bikes under a carport that was also sheltered from the sun, and while they still rusted, it was much slower than if they were out in the weather.

If safety means secure-from-theft then a roof makes practically no difference. If someone wants to steal it they will.

Airflow can be useful, but a closed dry space is good too. You want to avoid a damp airless space because that's not good.

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    Nearly the same answer I was typing. Only thing to add is washing the bike regularly makes a big difference to rusting as its the dust holding moisture that is the biggest problem. – mattnz Feb 21 at 18:53
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    @mattnz :) You can help keep the dust off by riding it most days. That's my cleaning regine anywya. – Criggie Feb 21 at 18:59
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    Thanks. It’s also a little enclosed as next to the garden fence so that should help. I’ll try to post a picture at the weekend. Looking at everyone’s comments I’m thinking that having a tarp that I can drop over the bikes is going to be a good thing in addition to the overhanging shelter. – Rooton Feb 24 at 7:54
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keep it outside most of the year

If by keep it outside most of the year you mean that it will be stored outside but you will ride it and maintain it then outside storage is not as damaging.

If by keep it outside most of the year you mean stored, rarely ridden (once a month or less) and not maintained then you will see damage.

I've seen many bikes that were stored in a leaky shed or a roof only cover and never maintained. It takes very little time for the rain to wash the oil out of a chain and turn it into a solid mass of rust or rust brake and gear cables until they don't move. As Criggie says a roof is better than no roof but rain often does not fall straight down.

Here is a nice article on What Happens When You Leave Your Bike Outside

The bottom line: Leaving your bike outside for a day or two won’t do major damage. You may see signs of rust after a week of neglect. After one month in bad conditions, your beloved bike parts will start to degrade.

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So I’ve built a shelter to keep the rain off my bike and intend to keep it outside most of the year. It’s just a sloping corrugated plastic roof to keep the rain off it.

Will this be enough do you think?

No.

I have stored a bike for around a year below a shelter outdoors. The bike was in such a location that no rain ever directly touched it but it sure was unprotected from humidity.

The result?

  • Brake lever rubber hoods were so sticky after the storage that I had to change them. A simple roof doesn't shield from sunlight, and sunlight deterioration of rubber is rapid.
  • Brake pad screws were rusted -- not so much that it would affect their function, but it sure looks ugly.
  • Rear hub made of polished aluminum was severely pitted. Not so much that it would affect its function, but it sure looks ugly.

The frame of the bike in question is butted chromium molybdenum steel. Its outside surface didn't rust. I haven't looked inside the tubes, though. It's possible there's internal rust -- not so much that it would affect its function, but a perfectionist might consider even minor internal rust as a problem.

If you don't consider minor surface rust visible to the eye to be a problem, and if you are prepared to change all rubber parts you touch with your hands (i.e. brake lever hoods), then go ahead. But I think you will be far more satisfied in a better shelter, something that isn't humid and something that perfectly protects from sunlight.

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I use a Dasbike cover for my bike that is stored outside.

It completely covers the bike.

I bought it mainly because of all the flying dust generated by the landscapers.

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