Exploring Innovative Bike Storage Options
July 29 2017 – Ezekiel Binns
Bicycle storage generally doesn’t present any significant problems for those with plenty of housing space, especially, you might think, should that space include a one-, two- or more-car garage and/or a separate storage shed. But even with garage or extra shed space, bike storage can present problems if the garage is actually used for automobiles, and/or the garage and shed are stuffed to the relative gills with other items on either a permanent or seasonal basis.
So, while not a “significant problem” for those with plenty of space, the question of “where to put the bike(s)” can still pose a dilemma. Of course, if one has the real estate they can always consider a dedicated bike shed. Those with an innovative mindset and do-it-yourself (DIY) capability might want to consider building their own. A DIY-er could custom design the perfect space for the bike(s) and accessories, while considering auxiliary features, such as climate control or perhaps Feng Shui placement, to ensure all personal bike storage needs are met.
Absent DIY capability, there are dozens of commercially available dedicated bike sheds that cover a wide range of budgets and needs.
On the higher end of the spectrum, and with relatively high online commentary ratings, is the Bosmere Trimetals Bicycle Storage Shed. It can hold up to three bicycles, is constructed of PVC-coated galvanized steel, is highly secure and guaranteed for 15 years.
There is also the natural wood used for the mid-range Rowlinson Wallstore Storage Shed. It’s a handsome shed that is perfectly bicycle sized, which probably accounts for why it seems to be marketed first as a “bicycle shed,” though it may also be perfect for lawnmowers and other outdoor equipment. Its one drawback seems to be space, as the three-foot width only accommodates two bicycles at most.
For (relatively) cheap and portable, we turn to the Yardstash IV. Made of thick, industrial grade vinyl, this storage unit seems perfectly fitted for two full-size mountain bikes and any associated gear. While it lacks the inherent security of more rigid bike storage sheds, it might be perfect for those looking for more portable options. Additionally, the Yardstash could serve as a tent, should one lose the bike(s) and living quarters.
Bike storage dilemma is likely compounded in proportion to the decrease in one’s space and number of bicycles. Urban dwellers in small apartments and condos in buildings that do not contain designated bicycle storage are often forced to bring their bikes into their already cramped quarters. And many such bikers have long used the storage concept of turning their bikes into art by hanging them up on the wall or suspending them from the ceiling. And why not, as it not only gets the bike out of the way, but many cyclists regard their bikes as works of fine art. An assessment—ahem!—Loco Cycles would certainly agree with, given the Miami-style art deco influence inherent in our line of beach cruisers, fixies, and FG cruisers.
Overall, and whether dealing with a cramped apartment or overflowing garage, wall mounting and ceiling suspension probably represents about the most utilized form of bicycle storage. DIY-ers usually just mount a couple of dedicated bike hooks into the wall or into the ceiling based on where the bike will be most out of the way, but sometimes based on how it looks artistically. The more artistic biker DIY-ers will make the rack itself a work of art, with among one of the more ingenious ideas being the use of old handle bars as the bike rack. We’ve seen them done in a hunting trophy style mount, and by the more direct flange-style mount as shown in this Craftsman DIY YouTube Video. Other artistic DIY-ers have come up with various bike shelf mounts that hold the frame while providing space for gear, books or decorative items. Bikers with an engineering bent have come up with all manners of ceiling-mounted pulley and hoist systems to pull their bikes up high.
No half-decent DIY idea exists for long without being commercialized, and so all of the above ideas, and so many more, have been co-opted and are available for retail purchase either in-store or online. For example, you can pick from a few dozen different brands of the “bike shelf” style of bike storage. Of course, you’re still going to need a touch of DIY capability to actually install these bike storage systems.
A quick run-down of some of these and other commercially available racks include:
- Hiplok’s Airlok — Just hitting the market, this high security bike storage hanger appears to be highly engineered, so we’re not so sure that this one started off as a DIY. ;)
- Knife & Saw’s The Original “Bike Shelf” — We’re not so certain it truly is the “original,” but it has won a few design awards.
- Cyclehoop’s Bikeshelf — A more modern look to the “bike shelf.” Lockable, too!
- Andreas Scheiger handlebar bike rack — Hey, it’s still art!
- Cycloc Solo — Idea came from cutting a wedge out of each side of a five-gallon plastic bucket and then mounting it on the wall.
- Saris’ The Show Off — Minimalist, award-winning and pricey—probably a dozen or so innovative DIY-er Bikers kicking themselves every time they see this one advertised.
- Topeak’s Swing-Up Bike Holder —Ditto on our DIY thinking with this highly engineered one that provides swing room by allowing the bike to swing.
- Delta El Greco Ceiling Hoist Storage Rack — one of numerous types and brands of ceiling hoist storage systems.
For those of you who completely want to avoid any need to use tools, we suggest a free-standing style of bike rack, such as Delta’s Michelangelo Two Bike Gravity Storage Rack, or Topeak’s Duel-Touch Bike Stand.
We hope our findings can help shed some light on your bike storage situation.