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Technical Q and A with Lennard Zinn on bike storage and battery life

  • By Lennard Zinn
  • Published Jan. 17, 2012
  • Updated Jan. 19, 2012 at 1:25 PM EDT
Tyler Farrar's 2011 Garmin-Cervelo team bike. Photo: Neal Rogers

Dear Lennard,
I am completing an extension of my garage for bike and ski storage. We have a high class yupster problem of having too many of both.

I am planning to hang the bikes from a single hook off the rim.  My quick question is what by your experience is the appropriate spacing … for in and out (off and on) without taking up too much space.  I am asking because I anticipate we will add to our ‘collection’ and I want to have ‘future space’ without having to deal with a cramped spacing on a regular basis.
― Warren

Dear Warren,
I put the hooks in my garage ceiling one foot apart. I have 10 hooks in a row across the back of my garage and hang one bike by the front wheel and the adjacent bike by the rear wheel and alternate this way down the row to fit them closer together, head to tail.

Since my joists run parallel to the wheels of the bikes when hanging, I place a 2X4 up across the joists and screw it into them with long deck screws. Then I put the hooks into the 2X4.

I think you could jam them in tighter than a foot apart, but this spacing allows me the flexibility to get at them easily and to not be particular about having bikes with straight bars hang in different spots than bikes with drop bars — any of my bikes can go on any of the hooks.
― Lennard

Dear Lennard,
More and more bicycling-related devices now come with rechargeable batteries.  I can usually ride outdoors until it snows and then am back on the bike outside in March.  I’ve had trouble with these batteries working well after several months of winter disuse.  They are usually not cheap to replace.  Is there some algorithm for making my light, Garmin and other rechargeable batteries work just as well next year as they do this year?  Should I store them charged or discharged?  Outside in the cold garage or indoors?  Should I discharge and recharge them periodically over the winter?  Thanks!
― Bob

Dear Bob,
From Light and Motion Support:
A short run time is typically a result of a deep discharge battery.  Deep discharge is the result of inactivity of the cells (lack of use).

It is important to keep batteries charged, or at least charge them once a month and also storing them at 40%-50% charge instead of a full charge. Batteries do not like to be left in a fully discharged state.

NiMH:
If you are using a NiMH battery you can expect to get about 300 charges.  If your battery has been stored without a charge for over 2 months, you are most likely dealing with “deep discharge” and you can try to cycle the battery and restore some of its memory. This process is fully charging and fully discharging the system 4 to 6 times.

LI-ION:
If you are using a Li-ion battery you can expect to get about 300 charges out of that battery. If you have left your li-ion battery stored without a charge for more than 3 months, you are dealing with “deep discharge.”  You can try to cycle the battery a few times, but it may need to be replaced.
― Light and Motion Support

From Garmin International Product Support:
With your Edge 800, I would recommend the following when storing the unit for long periods of time:
Upload all you data before a long storage of the unit
Store the Edge 800 indoors
The unit can be full charged or discharged before you store the unit
Please see page 1 of the owner’s manual about temperate of the unit.
― Michael G.
Product Support Specialist
Outdoor/Fitness
Garmin International

FILED UNDER: Bikes and Tech / Technical FAQ TAGS: /

Lennard Zinn

Lennard Zinn

Our longtime technical writer joined VeloNews in 1987. He is also a framebuilder, a former U.S. National Team rider, and author of many bicycle books, including Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance and Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance, as well as Zinn and the Art of Triathlon Bikes and Zinn's Cycling Primer: Maintenance Tips and Skill Building for Cyclists. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in physics from Colorado College. Readers can send brief technical questions to Ask LZ.

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