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Leaving your bike on the car all day?

Old 06-22-20, 01:08 PM
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chadtrent
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Leaving your bike on the car all day?

My work schedule is finally at a point where I can ride during the week. There are some weeknight rides I want to do but they would require me going right from work. Is there anything I should be worried about with leaving my bike on my rack all day? Security is not a problem. We have a gated parking lot and only a handful of us are here. Bringing it inside really isn't an option. I guess I could put the seats down in my car and put it inside the car, but I'd rather not do that.
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Old 06-22-20, 01:12 PM
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As security isn't an issue, I would just say back the car into the spot so no one can back into the bike. Being out in the sunshine shouldn't be an issue, at least in the (relatively) short term.

I would personally still try to find a way to bring it inside. Because I would just be fretting over it all day, even if there's nothing to fret about.
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Old 06-22-20, 01:16 PM
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If that Canyon was mine it would be in the backseat and covered. Front wheel would be off and in the trunk.
Thieves will take anything at almost any cost......
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Old 06-22-20, 01:18 PM
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I'd leave mine on as ours is "secure" parking but if it was really expensive I might throw a lock on it too.
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Old 06-22-20, 01:22 PM
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Just me, but I would never leave my any of bikes sitting outside the car on a bike rack. Weather concerns alone are enough to deter me. I have a station wagon, so with back seats folded down, I can get the bike inside without having to pull anything off, including the wheels, and cover it with a tarp or blanket.
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Old 06-22-20, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by delbiker1 View Post
Just me, but I would never leave my any of bikes sitting outside the car on a bike rack. Weather concerns alone are enough to deter me. I have a station wagon, so with back seats folded down, I can get the bike inside without having to pull anything off, including the wheels, and cover it with a tarp or blanket.
That's what I was wondering, but I wasn't sure if the possibility of rain was a bigger concern than the heat that builds up in cars on hot days.
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Old 06-22-20, 01:26 PM
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Well, you're not worried about theft, but I would be. It's easy to access most "secured" lots, and that's assuming you trust all of the people with legitimate access to the lot. Does your work not offer anywhere to lock up a bike?
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Old 06-22-20, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by chadtrent View Post
That's what I was wondering, but I wasn't sure if the possibility of rain was a bigger concern than the heat that builds up in cars on hot days.
I do not do that all day long very often. But, I have never had an issue with that. Covering the bike is for protection from the sun as much as not having it in plain site.
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Old 06-22-20, 03:29 PM
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I have a friend who had her bike stolen from the roof rack

at work parking. I think she keeps it in the car now.
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Old 06-22-20, 03:48 PM
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When we do our long vacation drives the bikes and wheels are in the bed of the truck or inside the SUV. When actually driving (moving) that is not an issue, but when we stop, the heat rises quickly inside. I have gotten in the habit of airing down when we travel. We will not be riding enroute, so I air down to prevent heat related blowouts. Only had it happen once, but I heard it from inside the restaurant where we stopped for lunch. Fortunately, I had the bikes covered with a light tan canvas painters tarp and had left the windows cracked for some ventilation, as I have heard (anecdotally) that it could have blown out the glass. When we checked the bike, the rims were very, very warm as were the tires. It was the rear (a bit more pressure) that blew, the front could not be dented with thumb pressure, and fortunately if blew off without damaging the case or bead. That was back when I used 25mm tires and higher pressures.

For that same reason, I would not leave CO2 cartridges, canned air, lithium batteries, etc. inside a hot car. We will put that type of item in a small lunch cooler.
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Old 06-22-20, 05:55 PM
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I had a 2010 Honda Civic. I put my bikes in the truck. Take off both wheels and use a chain support. Park brand. The mountain bike I had to fold down the back seats. I have 2009 Camry now. Both fit with the seats up. For trips to the trail I just put the mountain bike on the Allen hitch rack. The SRAM X7 derailleur is some what of a pain.
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Old 06-22-20, 06:42 PM
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I have a roof rack on the Subaru. Frequently, I'll put it on the car and go climbing or hiking with my wife then ride home.

Of course the fork mount is locked but I also am able to just barely fit a U-lock through the frame and mounting tray. I've probably left it like this for 6 hours at trailheads and roadside crags. I think it would be pretty simple to get to with a sawzall and drill. Maybe just the sawzall. I certainly hope that someone would notice that.

I'll leave my bike in my truck for days sometimes. It's just a basic camper shell and a locking rear window, not a locking tailgate. It's probably less secure than on the Subaru but isn't as visible.

So yeah, it can be done. I wouldn't do it if it's the sort of rack that can be removed with a knife.
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Old 06-22-20, 07:07 PM
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I wouldn't leave a brand new $3000 road bike on an exposed bike rack. That's like leaving a Rolex sitting on the dashboard of a convertible with the top down.

If you are confident enough with your gated parking lot, go ahead. It's a lesson you only have to learn once, but it will be an expensive lesson.
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Old 06-23-20, 08:59 AM
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I've left mine on the car (trailer hitch) rack, when I was too lazy (or loaded) to roll it to the bike rack near the door. If you're worried, a U-lock to the hitch rack will deter most thieves. I've even left bikes locked to the rack like that overnight at motels just off an interstate, without problems (so far).

The two things I might worry about. With my leather saddle, if there's rain in the forecast I'll put a plastic grocery bag over the saddle and saddle bag (keeps tools from rusting), and perhaps top it off with an Aardvark saddle cover. Also, you might want to have some chain lube in case a thunderstorm hits early (lunch time before an after work ride). A good downpour can flush the chain, and squeaky chains drive me crazy.
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Old 06-23-20, 11:31 AM
  #15  
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I wouldn’t do it. I park in a secure lot at work, and my bike still stays in the cab of my truck behind the front seats with a sheet over it to keep the Az sun off it.
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Old 06-23-20, 01:12 PM
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Put a cable lock on it and don't worry.
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Old 06-23-20, 09:18 PM
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Minor things to worry about leaving your bike outdoors, ignoring security:
  • UV or ozone damage to your saddle, bar tape, hoods, tires, cable housing, hoses, paint, etc.
  • Sap dripping from trees
  • Bird droppings
  • Buildup from general dirt, grime, pollen, leaves, etc.
  • Webs from industrious spiders
  • Rain
  • Possibly sea air corroding parts
It's mostly the first one that would give me pause and make me consider alternate storage locations. I have no problem taking the wheels off and fitting the bike in the trunk, and that also allows for running errands or driving somewhere for lunch, if not actually going for a ride during lunch.
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Old 06-24-20, 02:25 AM
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Bleaching of the paint, etchings from unattended bird droppings, not leaving it on the roof in really high winds.
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Old 06-25-20, 09:20 PM
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Only had it happen a couple of times on different bicycles where the tube popped from the heat exposure. Was a cool morning with tires set at target psi. Later that day it got really hot & sunny. Both times of like conditions. Now I just inflate to 75% of target psi & check before riding. Usually it's about 2-5 psi of the target psi when it's been baking outside in the heat.
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Old 06-26-20, 03:04 AM
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very bad idea to leave it that way, wear will be faster
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Old 08-21-20, 03:13 PM
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Still wouldn't leave a bike locked anywhere for a long(ish) time where it is exposed. A friend used multiple locks to secure their bike and someone must have taken it as a challenge. One day they returned to find every part not locked to something was stripped off the bike.
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Old 08-21-20, 07:57 PM
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What an absolutely bad idea. Within a few months, you will absolutely regret the decision.

Let's say you are insanely lucky in that no thief walks past and says "hey, if I figure that out, I can have a nice bike." So - you're going to store your bike outside for most of the day?

Please tell me you have reconsidered.
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Old 08-21-20, 08:35 PM
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When I had a car that would take a bike rack, I'd put my bike on the rack to bring it to work, where I'd take it OFF the rack to bring it in and park it in my office. This is despite the fact that I parked my car right outside my office. Then I'd put the bike on the roof to drive to where I parked to ride.

Then I got a car that wouldn't take a rack but had back seats that fold down. Off comes the front wheel, in slides the bike, and I wedge it in with the wheel. I've been doing this for 6 years and nobody's tried to break in and steal it.
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Old 08-22-20, 06:31 PM
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I have a Honda Crosstour and I've always put my seats down and kept my bike inside. The thought of driving around with bugs, highway grime, dust, and possible rain beating down on it makes me twitchy. And with my luck, someone would find a way to steal it or back into it.
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Old 08-22-20, 08:54 PM
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I have been leaving bikes on my car at least a couple days a week for the past 20 years. I have had people hit the racks (more times on the road than parked), but the bikes have been fine. Sometimes the bike just stays on my car all week, if the only days I'm not going to the trail I ride the motorcycle to work. If there is a 50/50 chance of rain that will close the trails, I take the bike just in case the weather is good. I don't want to risk the chance of not getting a ride in. These folks who are scared of bikes getting wet amuse me, it is a tool meant to be used,
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