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Old 06-24-2019, 10:32 AM
d_douglas d_douglas is offline
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Location: Victoria, BC
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PNW / wet weather storage question

I live in a wet climate (Victoria, just North of Seattle). I just closed in my carport to have as storage for things of value. The 'shed' will not be insulated, nor is it 100% sealed from the elements, so while it is dry under the roof, and rain wont be contacting any of the contents, there is plenty of humidity in the air in the winter months.

Should I be storing my Speedvagen in here? Will keeping it in this dampish environment contribute to its early demise? I would really like to get this thing out of my basement (limited space for other crap) but don't want to risk damaging it.

What do other PNW'ers do with thin-walled steel bikes in the winter months?

PS makes me love my cheapo ti commuter - i've stored it outside all winter and it looks perfectly fine to me
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Old 06-24-2019, 10:35 AM
jtakeda jtakeda is offline
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Besides security reasons I don’t see why damprid and a dehumidifier wouldn’t be enough for your needs
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Old 06-24-2019, 10:37 AM
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Ozz Ozz is offline
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Mine stays in a heated garage....

I am contemplating moving to a shed, but have same concerns as you do.

Oldest son is moving off to college next fall....his old bedroom might be an option.
2003 CSi
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Old 06-24-2019, 10:38 AM
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AngryScientist AngryScientist is offline
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As long as the inside is treated with corrosion inhibitor and the paint is in good condition, no problem with the frame itself, but the components may suffer.

as the condensation sits on exposed bolts, springs, pedal spindles, etc, (edit:- even brass and alloy wheel nipples i have seen some corrosion on in this type of environment) they may see some corrosion.
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Old 06-24-2019, 10:59 AM
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notsew notsew is offline
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I'm in Bellingham and all my bikes live in a similar environment (carport converted to garage - no insulation). I've had steel bikes and haven't noticed any issues. Never felt like components showed any impact. It never really feels damp in there. I personally would not worry about having a nice bike in a shed like that around here.

I don't think we have the right kind of humidity here for this to be an issue. (like, if its humid, it raining, not hanging in the air). But that's a completely unscientific (and probably fairly absurd) statement.

The only issue is when I don't dry off my cross bike or something, it will stay wet and the chain will rust, etc. But, you're probably not riding the vagen in the rain anyways.
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Old 06-24-2019, 11:04 AM
d_douglas d_douglas is offline
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Location: Victoria, BC
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The shed is pretty secure and I live in a nice neighbourhood (famous last words!) so not a concern there. Basically, the wall that I didn't construct is the fence that separates my neighbours yard from mine. That is the weak link, thermally (and yes, security wise, but as I said, not worried)

At the moment, bits of lush ivy are creeping through the fence boards here and there and there is a small lattice up top that small critters of all kinds can slip through.

I could put up an 'airtight' barrier, but then the overgrowth of plantlife has nowhere to go and will destroy the fence and leave dead animals, wasp nests and rat lodgings, etc. to fester.

Everything in there will be bikes, tools, and household/kids stuff that can be in bins or in the open. The only thing that concerns me is that steel bike
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Old 06-24-2019, 11:29 AM
ryker ryker is offline
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Location: Victoria, BC
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Do you have any steel stuff out there already? How does it look?

I'm close to you (but maybe far enough to make a difference?) and it hasn't been a big problem for me. My cast iron drill press table gets a little surface rust but can be cleaned with steel wool and would be immune if I used any kind of protectant. My space isn't airtight at all but good enough to use a dehumidifier without running constantly.
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Old 06-24-2019, 12:19 PM
d_douglas d_douglas is offline
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Thanks Ryan.

Your garage is WAYYYYYY more airtight than mine. The bikes sitting outside are heavy steel ones - an ancient tandem that appears to have a light layer of rust forming on it.

Also my wife's Fisher Klunker from the mid-90s - it is a tank as well, so it has room for rust, but I think a Speedvagen might not fare as well if left outside. Summer is no problem - it's the eight months of wetness that comes between the sunny period we are in now!

As for a dehumidifier, it wouldn't work - the one side that is essentially a fence is totally porous to damp air. I would need to seal it with a vapour barrier of some sort.
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Old 06-24-2019, 01:07 PM
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weisan weisan is offline
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What's wrong with keeping it in your bed(room)?
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Old 06-24-2019, 02:09 PM
d_douglas d_douglas is offline
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Originally Posted by weisan View Post
What's wrong with keeping it in your bed(room)?
I think I've moved past that in my life. I don't think my lady would appreciate it either
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Old 06-24-2019, 08:01 PM
steelbikerider steelbikerider is offline
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Lucky you. My wife and I just spent a week in Victoria(James Bay area) and loved it. Fantastic weather when we were there. We marveled at how we could be outside and walking all day and stay comfortable. Here we are dripping with sweat after a walk around the block.

The humidity shouldn't be an issue. I live just south of Houston and dew points are usually 72-75 all summer and the humidity is even more than Victoria. My steel, carbon and alum bikes all stay in the uninsulated garage that is only ventilated when the door is open. I have had the steel bike for 20 years now( a nice riding custom that I won't give up and is on its 3rd groupset.) Even with 90+ temps in the garage in the summer, somedays, I go out in the morning and helmet straps are still damp from the day before. However, Alum handlebars do get replaced every 3-4 years from sweat corrosion and bar tape needs to be replaced about every 3 months or it starts to smell.
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Old 06-27-2019, 12:11 AM
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KidWok KidWok is offline
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You're actually better off leaving it in the shed than bringing inside and taking it out over and over again. The warming and cooling causes condensation to build up inside the tubes.

My bikes are
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Old 06-27-2019, 07:14 PM
mj_michigan mj_michigan is offline
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 33
My personal experience was a bit different than what's described in some posts above. When stored in an unheated garage, my (heavy gage) steel bike got some surface rust at spots where the paint was scratched. The last 4 to 5 years it has been setting in the basement, and no rust showed up anywhere. I think the difference is that the cold months in Michigan have many sudden changes in temperatures and humidity, producing a lot of water condensation on the metal. And it could be staying there for days, even freeze. Anyway, my 2c.
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Old 06-27-2019, 07:42 PM
jbf jbf is offline
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Location: CT
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I keep an old Transition Trans Am steel hardtail at my sisters house on San Juan Island. It is stored upside down on ceiling hooks inside a cheap Home Depot shed. It was untouched for 18 months until my recent visit just 2 weeks ago. It was in in perfect condition and ready to ride when I arrived. Frankly, I was shocked. I say store it clean and well lubed in a backyard shed and you are fine.
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