With towns and cities becoming more congested and more of us living in smaller accommodation than ever before, bike storage is becoming a real issue for many people. From sheds to wall hooks, there are many ways to store your bike and here are some of the best.
Safe, secure and (hopefully) waterproof, the classic bike shed is the stalwart of bike storage solutions. Of course, you need to have a fair bit of outdoor space in order to house a shed, so they’re often not the most practical solution going but they’re perfect for those of us that may have more than one bike in the household. As with all purchases of this nature, bike sheds can range drastically in price (with some going for £1,000+) so do your research and make sure that the shed you’re buying is both secure and aesthetically pleasing enough for your needs and budget. While you may be tempted to grab a shed on the cheap, it might not be the most secure structure for your bike
2. Bike covers
Cheap but not secure, bike covers do exactly what they say on the tin: they cover your bike. If you’re leaving your bike locked up in adverse weather conditions, a bike cover is a perfect way to protect it from the perils of snow and rain and they can often be packed away in your panniers when they’re no longer required or you're on the move. At around £20-£30 a pop, a bike cover should be on the list for both recreational and serious cyclists, however, while they may protect your bike from adverse weather conditions, they won’t protect it from theft and should they should not be seen as an added security measure for your much-loved bicycle.
3. Wall mounted bike racks
Wall mounted bike racks are a fantastic option for those of you who want to store your bike inside but are worried about the space. By hanging your bike horizontally along the wall, wall mounts are a great way of saving space while also turning your bike into a practical piece of wall art. Racks can be picked up fairly cheaply, but there is also the option for more expensive and higher quality racks as well (£20 - £100+). While a wall rack may seem like the perfect solution to your storage troubles, it’s worth bearing in mind that they do have their disadvantages. Certain racks won’t necessarily fit every type of frame and, if you live in rented accommodation, it’s highly likely that the property manager will not allow you to drill a hole in the wall to erect the rack, which brings us along to our next option…
4. Freestanding bike racks
Free-standing bike stands offer the perfect solution to tenants who do not have outside bike parking facilities but also don’t want to drill a hole in their wall or rest their dirty tyres on the carpet. Free-standing stands come in a variety of different materials and styles, with them typically holding two bikes at a time. You can either get a rack that clamps between the floor and the ceiling or a 'bike tree' model that uses a tripod for stability. Whichever option you choose, the flexibility of the racks, and the fact that they can hold multiple bikes at once, make them the best solution for house sharers or an avid cyclist who has more than one style of bike.
5. Bike hooks
Bike hooks deal with the frame-incompatibility that was mentioned in the bike racks section and they are also arguably the most subtle storage solution when they're not in use. By gripping onto the front wheel of the bike and allowing the back wheel to rest on the wall, bike hooks offer a minimalist solution to your storage problems. However, for all the perks of a bike hook, they do leave the bike sticking out into the room so they are best used in corners.
If you’re feeling a little bit crafty, why not do a bit of DIY and transform an unused pallet into some bike storage? Pallets are always available on websites such as Freecycle and they offer an inexpensive and inventive way to transform a bit of discarded wood into something a lot more useful. If you’re thinking about taking on the task, check out the multiple articles and websites online that offer great advice and tutorials on how to build your bike stand from unwanted materials.