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Bike Geek
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was told that when storing a bike, you should leave the chain on the small chainring & small cog to remove stress on the derailleurs springs thus preventing premature wear.

Truth or B.S.?

Sorry about the title, not sure what to put...:eek:
 

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It doesn't hurt....

Storing springs for long periods in a tensioned condition can cause them to loose a bit of strength, they tend to "take a set" so to speak. So yeah if the bike isn't going to be ridden for a long period it won't hurt to drop the derailleurs into their relaxed positions. This is particullarly true for very low end stuff. It doesn't seem to be as much of an issue with mid to high end components though. I work in a shop and our standard set up for the floor is middle ring front and 3rd gear in the rear, and the bikes sit that way for as much as a year or more. Doesn't seem to have any affect on them at all. But as I said, it doesn't hurt anything to store them in the small chainring/cog front and rear.

Good Dirt
 

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I beg to differ,

This is really a myth. There's no harm in storing a bike with the derailleurs in the slack spring condition so you might as well. On the other hand, there's also no harm in storing it with tight springs.

Metal springs are elastic and do not take any kind of set or get weaker from long periods in the compressed state. If they did, your car would get lower over time as the springs sagged, and scales would need to be constantly re-calibrated as the springs changed their constant.

The tension property of any spring is called the spring constant for the simple reason that it is constant. As long as a spring is not flexed beyond it's elastic limit it will not change dimension or constant and can be stored almost indefinitely in the compressed state.

The only things that might take a set or be damaged from long term improper storage are your tires. Either pump them from time to time, keeping them hard enough to keep their shape, or store the bike with the weight off the wheels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies, guys! Truth or myth, yeah, it doesnt hurt to set the drivetrain in the small-small rings so might as well just do it & not worry about it.
 

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FBinNY said:
I beg to differ,

This is really a myth. There's no harm in storing a bike with the derailleurs in the slack spring condition so you might as well. On the other hand, there's also no harm in storing it with tight springs.

Metal springs are elastic and do not take any kind of set or get weaker from long periods in the compressed state. If they did, your car would get lower over time as the springs sagged, and scales would need to be constantly re-calibrated as the springs changed their constant.

The tension property of any spring is called the spring constant for the simple reason that it is constant. As long as a spring is not flexed beyond it's elastic limit it will not change dimension or constant and can be stored almost indefinitely in the compressed state.

The only things that might take a set or be damaged from long term improper storage are your tires. Either pump them from time to time, keeping them hard enough to keep their shape, or store the bike with the weight off the wheels.
Can I ask you why car and truck suspensions sag over time?
 

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All of the rubber bushings in a vehicles suspension have a certain amount of preload in them. As they wear out the effect of that preload on the suspension lessens.

Has anyone here ever changed their valve springs because they went soft? Those springs operate in some very tough conditions. Ever hear of a car that wasn't ran for a few years needing new valve springs? Several springs would be fully compressed during storage.

Unless you are storing your bike for 20 years I wouldn't worry about it.
 

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Most of our bikes at the LBS I work for are kept on the racks with the front on the little chainring and the rear on the big chainring. Bikes need to be setup on the easiest for customers to start out on.

I'm with FB on this. I've stored my old MTB for almost 3 years with it in the big rear/ little front combo without any derailleur problems.
 
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