House-training your bike, step by step
October 2nd 2018
In my cycle commute to work, I regularly see three types of bikes outside all day and night. Each represents a clear perspective about bike ownership.
Some neighborhood lawns have kids’ bikes randomly strewn about. Most of these bikes are responsibly put away at night, but others remain as horizontal lawn ornaments until a parent picks them up. After enough cycles of rain damage and rust, they are routinely discarded at a yard sale or recycled as scrap metal.
Other times, bikes are clearly used for transportation, but with no effort made to protect them from the elements. In this case, the bikes have some value, but the components are disposable.
In the third and most interesting category, people clearly want to protect their bikes from rain and snow, and create ways to make protection happen.
Tarps and hanging bikes from the deck rafters both get bikes out of the elements, but still result in condensation rust. Oil your chain regularly and wipe down your frame frequently.
Assuming your investment in transportation and recreation is worth protecting, here are three steps toward house-training your bike.
1. Put your bike in a transition space.
The first step in house-training your bike is to bring it inside a non-people room.
In suburbia, if you have enough room, the storage location may be your garage. Or, if you don’t have a garage, it may be a purchased or hand-built bike shed.
In highly populated areas such as NYC, this protection may take the form of a dedicated “bike room” for the apartment or work building.
While protecting bikes more from the elements, bike rooms or bike cages also create a security problem. Large collections of expensive bikes, even locked up, are attractive targets for bike thieves.
2. Flatten your bike in a people space.
Whether in a garage or hallway, your bike is among people now and will need to learn how to share space. A folding THINstem does that.
Pop-off pedals take this convenience to the next level, making it possible for shin-scratching and wall-damaging pedals to get out of the way in literally seconds.
That’s all with your existing bike. If you look at a new bike, your options increase even more.
3. Get a bike that is designed for convenience.
A full-size bike like a CHANGE 702 that folds in half takes small-space convenience to the next level.
With a full-size folding bike, you don’t even need a large empty wall to lean your bike against (or hang it on). Any room becomes a place where a bike can fit.
And when your bike is right next to your door, you use it more.
And there you have it–three ways to make your bike last longer, and better overall investment in the things you care about.
Isn’t it time you house-trained your bike?
Bob Forgrave is president of Flatbike, an
ecommerce company offering full-size folding bikes
and kits to make any bike take up half the space.