How to prepare your bike for winter storage: These 4 handy tips ensure that your eMTB also remains in top condition when you store it over winter

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Are you considering giving your mountain bike a well-earned rest in winter and ‘overwintering’ it in your basement or garage? Our four recommendations about how to correctly store your bike will help, as your bike will then be immediately ready for action at the start of the new biking season. So you can ride it perfectly from the get-go, despite its long winter break.

1. The right storage location

  • Your bike needs to be stored in a dry place, well protected from the wind and weather during winter. A dry basement or garage is perfect for this purpose. If you have space, you can also store your bike in your apartment over the winter.
  • Should you store your bike standing up or suspended? That’s really up to you. But please bear in mind: If you are planning to hang your bike by its saddle, you first need to fully extend its telescopic seat post.

Dry and frost-free storage of the bike in winter reduces the risk of corrosion and protects the battery.

Important note for electric bikes

If you plan to leave the battery on the bike, make sure you store it in a place where the temperature cannot drop below +10 °C. Otherwise, you run the risk of deep discharge and damaging the battery. The battery’s charge level should be around 50 % when you store your bike and may need to be recharged depending on how long you plan to store it. As a rule of thumb, you may consider that batteries lose around 2 % per month in storage.

Before storage, we recommend cleaning the contact surfaces thoroughly and treating them with an anti-corrosion spray. This is easy to use and provides a long-lasting protective film. This is an important maintenance step, especially for the battery and the battery holder.

Make sure the contact surfaces are dry

Dry and clean contacts on the battery and battery holder are essential for trouble-free riding day after day. When you store your bike over winter, moisture on the contact surfaces can cause corrosion with severe consequences. In the worst case, this could cause irreparable damage to the contacts and also to the battery.

Clean, dry and quickly done, that's how the battery contacts should look. Not only before winter storage, but also during the season, clean contacts ensure smooth operation.

Handy tip

Some dealers offer winter bike storage as a special service. This is a good alternative for anyone who does not have a suitable place to store their bike at home over the winter.

Little helpers facilitate a thorough bike wash. The Muc Off Scrubber Gloves are reusable, waterproof silicone gloves with flexible bristles on the palms and fingers. This allows the bike to be cleaned effectively without damaging the surfaces. Then rinsed briefly and they are ready for the next use.

2. Before storing your bike

  • Thoroughly clean and remove any dirt from the entire frame, shock absorbers, suspension fork, drive, rims, and tires. While cleaning, it is worth looking closely and checking all components, as well as the gear cables and brake cables, for possible damage.
  • Lubricate all moving parts, including the chain, drive, and gears. Apply a protective product to the seals of the fork and shock absorbers to prevent them from drying out. The same applies to the seal on the telescopic seat post.
  • Move the gear shift to the smallest ring to relieve pressure on the gear cables. On older bikes, move the derailleur to the smallest chain wheel as well.

After washing, a Protect Spray displaces moisture even in inaccessible places and leaves a thin, non-sticky protective film on the frame, chain and paint. Special sprays are also safe for carbon surfaces.

Handy tip: Apply a protective care spray to your bike

Once you have carefully cleaned and dried your bike, we recommend applying a protective care spray. Spray it onto the frame and all plastic components to give them lasting protection from dust and corrosion. The spray will also displace moisture and leave a thin, non-sticky protective film on all components. Important: Do not spray directly onto the brake discs!

Caution: Because care sprays leave a protective film, none of these agents should get on the disc brakes. Disc covers have proven themselves here, which are mounted over the disc brakes before spraying.

3. Check the tire pressure

  • Tires lose air over the winter break. This is why it is sensible to inflate them with 0.5 to 1 bar more air than usual before storing your bike over winter and check the tire pressure from time to time. If there is not enough air or the tires are flat, the material will suffer during winter storage. In the worst case, the tire will no longer run concentrically at the start of the season and will need to be fully replaced.
  • Sealing fluid accumulates at the bottom in the sleeve of tubeless tires if they stand still for longer periods of time. It is therefore useful to turn the wheel occasionally to distribute the sealing fluid evenly around the tires and prevent it from becoming concentrated.

Is the tire pressure still okay? This check is also an essential part of a longer storage period.

4. Bike service at the end of the season

  • A bike that has just been serviced is the best guarantee for a perfect start to the next biking season. It also means your bike is in the best shape for spontaneous winter trips.
  • It is much easier to arrange a bike service at the end of the season than at the start of the next one. And bike dealers often have more time in the fall for a thorough bike service. 

If you take these four handy tips on board, you can be sure that your bike will make it safely through the winter months and will be in perfect working order for your first outing in the spring.

At the end of the season, it is usually easier to find an appointment for a thorough bike service check at the ROTWILD dealer.

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