Does Storing Your Bike Upside Down Lead to Fork or Brake Issues?

More of a question than an article on this.

I wanted to see if you, the readers, have had any negative experiences with hanging your bike upside down from the ceiling of your garage for storage between rides. Here is my experience with this issue: I used to hang my bike upside down and although I never developed any problems with my Rock Shox Reba fork, I did notice a slight leaking issue with White Brothers Magic fork. My Avid Juicy 7’s were fine as well. Once I began storing the bike vertically along the wall, the leaking issue vanished.

Currently, I only hang two bikes upside down: 1. my singlespeed commuter with rim brakes and steel fork and 2. my wife’s cheapie Gary Fisher with rim brakes and a low end fork… which surprisingly has not leaked, but then again it doesn’t work very well either.

I ask this question not because I’m exploring this option again but because a good friend of mine hangs his bike upside down from the ceiling and his year old bike with a nice Fox fork is starting to leak badly. I know many of you will say for him to keep it right side up, but his garage is packed with work (owns his own business) and family related stuff.

Three questions total:
1. Do you have any experiences, particularly negative, hanging your bike upside down from the ceiling?
2. Do you know if certain fork or brake manufacturers are better at being hung upside down?
3. Any elegant, space efficient solutions for storing a bike right side up from the low ceiling in a garage? Those pulley systems seem to take too much room.

4 Replies to “Does Storing Your Bike Upside Down Lead to Fork or Brake Issues?”

  1. generally you just have to be careful with the fork dampers and let them settle after you leave it upside down for a whole season.

  2. Just for reference the fork was leaking a fair amount during use as well, not just in storage. From my understanding at this point, forks need service after a certain amount of use, and I am know that I was past that point, if based on nothing but feel alone.

  3. I also have a Reba race that I had upside down for about an hour (needed to do an adjustment and was too lazy to get the repair stand out) and sure enough.. it leaked. Didn’t notice till I turned it back around and compressed it a couple of times and it spurt a little. Also, After a few weeks of being stored at my Parents house while I was cleaning and “remodeling” my garage (my dad stored it upside down like he does all his bikes, guess it was in his way) my Avid Elixer CR’s did need a few pumps before they felt normal again and also make a slight bubbling/spurting sound, but no leaking was evident. And again the Reba did do a little bit of the spurting thing again. I wonder how much fluid I have lost so far.

    John is correct that if you do store any bike with fluids upside down that you need to let it settle first.
    Jeremy is also correct that that is not acceptable in regular use. “Off-season”.. what’s that?

    Standing up vertically also gives the same results. My best solution so far is to just build a bike rack or hang it “against” the wall.

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