Bike Storage 101 — At Home, Work, And On-The-Go
Let’s face it — when it comes to transportation, society has made significant space allocation for the automobile. Everywhere you look, you’ll find roads, parking lots, and garages all built for cars and trucks. Thankfully, it’s not the only transportation mode out there. As Daily Pedal readers, you likely ride a bike (or scooter) pretty often. You probably also run into the age-old question: where do I put my bike when I’m not using it?
There are so many things to think about when it comes to storing your bike: security (frame and wheels), any bike attachments, potential weather, and length of time. We’ve broken down some key things to keep in mind when storing your bike at home, at your place of work, as well as when you’re out and about in town. No need to stress; let’s make biking (and bike storage) fun and easy!
You’ll most likely keep your bike at home most of the time. When it comes to “home,” there are so many types. You may live in an apartment building, a single-family house, or even a tiny house. The size of our homes (and even how much “stuff” we have) will really play into exactly where we’ll be able to put away your two wheels when we don’t need them.
When it comes to home storage, there are a few things to keep in mind when selecting a bike storage space:
- Ease of access
- Out of the way
- Space limitation
- Ability to co-store and organize bike-related items
A single-family house typically means that there are a few possible storage options. If your home has a garage (or maybe a shed), it is most likely the perfect place to keep your bicycle. It’s designed to “house” a car (the alternative to your bicycle). We also tend to store a LOT of other things in the garage though, so space may be limited. If there’s no floor area for your bike in the garage, you could consider wall-mount hooks or even a pulley system that would lift and keep the bike in the air. There are even wall-mount racks that hold the bike perpendicular to the wall which is great if you have a few bikes to store.
If you decide to keep your bike inside your home, there are a few storage options. In some instances, you may be tight on space (especially if you live in an apartment). You may find that the only options are either in a hallway or even a room like your living room or bedroom. If you go the hallway route, be extra sure there’s plenty of space to easily walk by the bike. The worst is walking by a bike in a hallway with your hands full and getting your pants caught on the handlebars. You don’t want any disasters. If you need to keep it in say your living room or bedroom, you not only want to think about keeping it out of the way but also how it looks within the room. There are some excellent bicycle shelves that not only raise the bike off the floor but also provide space for your helmet and some other biking elements. And they look amazing too! Just be sure to properly install them in the wall.
If there’s absolutely no place to keep the bike indoors, your last option may be an outside space. Even though it’s your home, you still need to make sure a bike stored outside is safe and secure. Lock the bike up so it can’t “walk away” on you. Also, look to keep it protected as best as possible. A tarp or bicycle cover is excellent for this. It’ll help keep the elements and dirt from accumulating on your bike while it stays outside.
Don’t forget about your biking gear. If you’re able to keep your bike inside, we definitely recommend finding a basket or shelf near the bike where you can store your helmet, gloves, bike bag, and repair kit items all in one place. This will likely be very easy in a garage or shed, but space may be more difficult to come by in the home especially if you’re keeping your bike in the hallway. Find a spot that’s close where you can grab your bike gear as you’re on your way out and taking your bicycle. If you do end up storing the bike outside though, definitely consider keeping your bike gear indoors.
You’ve gotten your morning off to a healthy start and enjoyed the sun and sights as you biked to work. But now what? Where can you keep your precious two wheels while you toil away during the day?
An amenity gaining a lot of popularity is a bike storage room. Lots of employers and even multi-tenant building owners are setting aside space in their buildings to create a safe storage area for employee bikes. Some of this is due to requirements (such as a LEED certification or permit requirements), but regardless of the reason these spaces are perfect! Many of these rooms will have a wall or floor rack system to efficiently store multiple bikes. Even if the room is locked, definitely consider locking the bike as well while it’s in the bike room — just in case. Best of all, your bike is safe from any weather elements during the day.
If your employer doesn’t have a bike storage room, you may still be allowed to keep the bike inside. Some employers will let you use a back storage area or hallway. There may even be enough space (and your boss may be cool about it) for you to keep your bike near your work area. Just be sure to ask first. With each of these options, make sure the bike is safe and out of the way of people walking.
Don’t forget about your gear though. You’ll likely have your helmet and commuter bag with you. The best option here is to keep these items with you at your work station, though you may be able to lock up your helmet with your bike.
It’s the weekend and you’ve taken your bike out for a leisurely ride. There’s no doubt that you’ll make a stop or two along the way, maybe to get some food or do some shopping. When you’re not out pedaling, be sure your bike is safe and secure.
In most urban areas, you’ll likely find bike racks along the sidewalk installed by your friendly municipal workers. These can range in style and size. Some businesses will also provide bike rack options near their entrances or parking lots. When using these racks, be sure to use a strong and secure bike lock. The most secure are U-locks though if you have quick-release wheels (which most bikes feature these days), you’ll also want a cable to safeguard them. The one drawback to outdoor bike racks is that a majority of them don’t provide any protection from the elements. Keep the weather in mind as you don’t want your bike sitting out in the rain while you’re enjoying some delicious food.
Your gear will also need to be taken into consideration. At a minimum, you’ll have your helmet to think about. You can certainly lock the helmet up with your bike, but speaking from experience this isn’t always the safest method since helmet straps can easily be cut. Consider taking your helmet with you. Sure it means you have to carry it around, but wear it like a badge of honor. It also creates a talking point as other cyclists may see the helmet and strike up a conversation with you.
Hopefully this info helps you out when you’re planning out where to store your bike. To many of us, our bikes are very special and keeping them safe and secure (and even on display) is definitely important. Let us know how you store your own bike.