Anyone who owns a bike will at some point need to think about bicycle storage. As much as we’d love to, we unfortunately can’t be riding our bikes every minute of the day, so where do we put them when we’re not using them?
With dirty wheels, wide handlebars, and the seemingly unpreventable tendency to scuff up the walls, bicycles don’t exactly invite themselves inside – most especially at work or in small apartments. But as they’re attractive to thieves and susceptible to weather damage, most people don’t want to simply leave their bikes outside either. Fortunately, the bike industry understands the dilemma. There are numerous bike storage solutions for all manner of circumstances and all different types of bikes – storing your bicycle in a secure and convenient fashion has never been easier. This guide will show you how to show store your bike at home, at work, in a large house, or in a small apartment.
Though there is considerable usage overlap between products and methods, we’ve loosely broken down the options into the following five categories:
If you’re lucky enough to have available outdoor space, storing your bicycle is going to be a much easier process. Numerous options exist for outdoor bike storage that range from high-security setups to methods that simply protect your bike from the elements, but which won’t add much security against theft. Deciding which one to go with just requires assessing your needs from a security and aesthetic standpoint, then deciding how much you’re able to spend. Here are the best options for keeping your steed safe and sound in the yard:
Bike sheds are one of the best choices for outdoor bike storage for families or individuals with multiple bikes who are looking for mid-high security storage. Because of their size, they’re best suited for people with large yards, lane-ways or unused parking spaces, and they do tend to be more expensive than other bike storage options. Bike sheds come in a range of sizes, from sheds that are a snug fit for two bikes up to castles fit for a king (okay, fit for 10 bikes). They’re available in wood, hard plastic, aluminum, and steel, and can range in price from $200 USD to $1,000 USD depending on your needs and style. In general, their security rating is as strong as the padlock you opt to lock them with.
Wooden bike sheds such as those from Bosmere or the Bike Shed Company are good choices for those concerned with aesthetics, but tend to be a little pricier per square foot than the plastic and aluminum options. Companies such as Suncast offer durable plastic sheds in a range of sizes, while Arrow Storage Products offers large (and best bang-for-your-buck) steel sheds for those with a whole lot of bikes who don’t mind having a sizeable steel cabin transplanted into their yard.
Bike tents are an affordable, easy-to-assemble and portable outdoor bike storage option for people who are looking to keep their bikes protected from the elements and out of plain sight. They aren’t incredibly durable and as such aren’t very secure, and also need to be used in tandem with a rack or stand to keep the bikes upright. They’re a good option for people in areas with minimal-to-no risk of bike theft who just want their bikes out the rain and don’t want a permanent fixture in the yard.
Bike covers are the cheapest bike storage option for outdoors, and for a good reason. They literally do nothing but keep the rain and snow off of your bike. But if that’s all you need, then they’re an excellent (small) investment.
Indoor Bicycle Storage
Storing your bike indoors can sometimes feel like a tradeoff between the security of your bike and your ability to walk down your hallway. Bicycles – for all their usefulness on the roads – do tend to get in the way in the home. Fortunately, there are space-saving bike storage solutions for everything from high-ceilinged living rooms to tiny apartments, and you really can’t get more secure than keeping your bike inside.
Wall-mounted bike racks
Wall-mounted bike racks – as the name suggests – keep your bike lifted and out of your way by hanging it from a rack or holder that is permanently affixed to your wall. They typically only hold one or two bikes, and range in price from $20 USD to over $200 USD, with most sitting at the lower end of the price spectrum.
Some wall-mounted bike racks, such as some of the options from Feedback Sports, Cycloc and Delta Cycle, hang your bike by the top bar of the frame so it sits horizontally along the wall. These are great for small spaces, and also create a nice aesthetic by turning your bike into a wall adornment. A few wall-mounts also have independent arms that adjust in two dimensions to accomadate a wider range of frames such as the Velo Wall Rack 2D. The downside is they don’t work well with step-through or mixte frames. The Velo Wall Post by Feedback Sports is one solution to storing step-through or mixte frames because it supports the bike by the seat rather than the frame.
Bike hooks solve the frame-incompatibility problem by hanging the bike by its wheel. Wall-mounted bike hooks grab onto the front wheel and allow the back wheel to rest on the wall. The downside is that they leave the bike sticking out into the room by a distance of its height, so they are probably best for use in corners. Delta Cycle, Feedback, Gear Up, and Cycloc all make bike hooks, which are typically priced around $20 – $40 USD. Steadyrack, $79.99 USD, is a bit different in that it cradles the entire front wheel of your bike on the wall rather than just hooking to it, then folds up onto the wall when you’re not using it.
Simple bike hooks for the ceiling are the cheapest indoor bike storage option, are incredibly easy to use, and are very subtle when not in use. Feedback Sports offers a storage hook for $5.99 USD, or you could pick up any simple hook at the hardware store. Simply drill it into a stud in the ceiling and then hang your bike off the hook by one of its wheels. This is a particularly good method for storing kids’ bikes, which easy to lift to the ceiling and won’t hang down into your way too much.
Freestanding bike stands, gravity racks, and tension racks
Vertical bike stands are great options for those want to store their bike inside but don’t want to drill any holes in the wall or ceiling. They come in a range of material and design options to suit a variety of needs and decorating styles, and range in price from $100 USD to over $300 USD. They typically hold 2 bikes, and some can be adjusted to accommodate step-through and mixte frames.
The Delta Cycle Michaelangelo and Saris Bike Bunk are both affordable, minimalist gravity racks that simply lean against the wall. They both have adjustable arms which enable them to accommodate sloping frames. Feedback Sports and Delta Cycle both make tension racks, which have a minimal footprint and don’t attach to the wall, they stand with tension between the floor and the ceiling. These are very easy to install and the soft rubber arms on Feedback Sports’ Velo Column help protect your bike’s paint. If design is your primary concern, the Saris the Hottie 2-bike stand is your best bet. It has an attractive wood face and a modern appeal, but can only accommodate step-throughs with the purchase of a Saris Bike Beam – which would become tedious through everyday use – so it is best suited for diamond-frames. A more affordable free-standing bicycle storage option is Feedback Sports’ Velo Cache which features a small base footprint to maximize existing space.
Single-bike stands are a good option for those who only want their bike to stay upright without leaning it on the wall. They’re easy-to-use, affordable, and in some cases quite portable, so they’re also a good choice for people who bring their bike to the office.
Feedback Sports offers the Rakk Bike Stand for $42.99 USD, or for a more understated option, the Saris The Boss stand is small and folds for easy transport. Another portable and lightweight option is the Scorpion bike stand that allows for convenient washing, and lite maintenance. Perhaps the tiniest bike storage option on the market is the Clug, an itty-bitty wheel clip that attaches to your wall. Simply slide your wheel into the clip, and the bike is held in place.
Bike hoists, also referred to as bike pulleys or bicycle lifts, are an excellent option for getting your bike completely out of the way by securing it up near the ceiling. They are a great option for anyone with high ceilings, and tend to lend themselves nicely to the aesthetics of modern loft-style apartments. The downside is they require a bit of effort to install, but once they’re in you have an easy pulley system to get your bicycle up in the air and out of your way as soon as you enter the house.
Racor’s PBH 1-R bike lift. Delta Cycle’s El Greco ceiling hoist, and Gear Up’s Up and Away bike hoist all lift one bike vertically and cost around $20 – $30 USD. More expensive but even more space-saving is the Floaterhoist, $99 USD, which stores the bike horizontally along the ceiling by employing tracks and 3 hooks.
Garage Bike Storage
There is an obvious overlap between indoor bike storage and garage bike storage. Really, any of the previous options could be installed in the garage and any of the following options can placed in the living room. But going on the assumption that most people don’t have the space or the desire to keep 4-6 bikes in their living room or front hall, we’ve decided to relegate these bike storage ideas to the garage.
Multi-Bike Stands and Racks
Multi-bike stands and racks for home use are basically organizing tools for people with a lot of bikes and the room to keep them on the ground. They keep the bikes upright and provide something to lock to, but aren’t extremely secure unless you bolt them into the ground, which is why we included them in the garage section. That said, they’re typically made of weather-proof steel and are designed for outdoor use as well if you want a permanent fixture in the yard.
Delta Cycle, Swagman, Dero, Feedback Sports, and Saris offer multi-bike stands with capacities ranging from 2-8 bicycles. Feedback Sports’ A-Frame Storage Stand while specifically designed for events is a lightweight and easy to set up solution for storing multiple bikes. If you need more than that, Swagman and Dero’s commercial series offer racks with a capacity of up to 20 bikes. Home bike racks range in price from $40 USD to over $400 USD depending on your needs.
The Saris CycleGlide mounts 4 bikes upside-down on the ceiling by their bottom wheels. At $245 USD, it’s actually quite affordable for its unit capacity, and it frees up the floor space for the rest of your projects. This is a great option for families or individuals with multiple bikes who also need to park a car or a canoe in the garage. It’s more work to install than a floor rack, but the free space is probably worth it in the long run.
Stylish Bike Storage
So you want to keep your bike inside, but you don’t want an unseemly metal hook permanently fixed to the wall or a clunky bike tower looming in the corner. You put a lot of thought into decorating your home, and you put a lot of effort into choosing a beautiful bicycle that suits your style. So why should you have to sacrifice at the intersection of the two? Recognizing that there a growing number of people who bring their bikes inside, a number of small brands have cropped up catering to design-minded cyclists who want bike storage options that look cool. Here a few of our favorites:
The Knife and Saw bike shelf is the original bike storage/ bookshelf combination, available for $299 USD in hickory and walnut. Because great ideas tend to trickle out, the Bike Shelf has inspired a few copycat versions and slight variations in the $100 – $150 range, available on Etsy.
Following the mechanical principles of a regular wall-mounted bike rack but with a serious eye for design, a number of small companies are offering some seriously cool-looking bike racks. The original Cycloc and the Tern Perch are both masterpieces of minimalism for £59.95 and $70 USD, respectively, and British designer Tamasine Osher takes the bike shelf idea and brings it to new levels – literally – with the Pedal Pod. Outline Works Ltd makes a play on hunting lodge chic with the Trophy Deer, and CB2 makes a simple shelf for your bike that has useful sunken top to toss your keys in. Lignum Bike makes three beautiful handcrafted wooden bike racks, one of which is notable in that it hangs the bike by the saddle so it’s suitable for any frame type. Danish company KP Cykler makes a classically beautiful handlebar and wood bike rack. Or if you really want the attention on your bike, Saris makes The Show Off, a wall-mounted bike rack/ light combo that literally highlights your bicycle.
DIY Bike Storage
So you’ve gotten this far, but still haven’t found what you’re looking for? Or maybe you’ve found exactly what you’re looking for but you’d just rather make it yourself. Based off of a number of the commercially available bike storage products, here are a few fun DIY bike storage ideas for the mechanically-inclined. This list is by no means comprehensive, as there are an endless amount of ways to store a bike with the right tools, materials, and creative thinking.
Build your own bike shed
If you know how to swing a hammer and have access to a few good tools, building your own bike shed is a fun, satisfying endeavour, and the best way to get the bike shed of your dreams. Check out Pinterest for DIY bike shed design inspiration, and if you’re ready to go, you can purchase shed construction plans for around $5 USD from sites like cheapsheds.com or ryansshedplans.com, a small price to pay for an enormous time savings in working out the measurements and material requirements. Just be sure to check the zoning restrictions in your neighborhood before you get started, and remember: measure twice, cut once!
DIY Bike Racks
An old pair of drop bars gets new life with a this DIY handlebar bike rack from Kyle Wilson’s blog – all you need is a set of handlebars, and old tube, a piece of wood, and a few tools. Or check out this Instructables post by Dan from MonkeyLectric for an incredibly straight-forward and inexpensive way to build a multi-bike rack with just a couple boards and some hooks.
Pallet Bike Rack
What can’t you build out of pallets? You can make a multi-bike floor rack literally as easily as placing one pallet on the floor and the other leaning towards the wall at an angle. Voila, a low-security bicycle stand. If you want to get a little more involved with it, 1001pallets has ideas for 14 more affordable recycled-wood bike racks.
You can also make your own bike hoist with a board, a length of rope, some pulleys and hooks and a few other bits and bobs, instructions here.