Where and how you store your bicycle between bike rides or for the winter is just as important as consistent bike maintenance.
Save space with a good indoor bike storage solution. Storage racks will help keep your bicycle clean and prevent all sorts of damage to your bike such as scratched paint, rust, flat tires, damaged wheel rims and other assorted bicycle ailments. By taking the time to care for and properly store your bike, you’ll be able to spend less time and money in the Spring Tune-up phase.
There are a variety of Indoor Bike Storage solutions and methods available on the market. What bicycle storage option you choose will depend on a few basic factors such as available space in your home or apartment, garage or college dorm room, number of bicycles you need to safely store and your personal preference.
We live in a small Manhattan (NYC) apartment, so the Vertical Off-The-Wall Bike Storage System we chose, had adjustable arms that held both of our bikes securely at two points of contact on the bike frame. It was visually appealing and easy to set up. It looked great in the corner of our living room and our guests often complimented us on our nice Bike Sculpture.
No matter which bike storage solution you buy, you will need to do some basic maintenance as well as clean and thoroughly dry your bike before storing it. (See Winter Bike Maintenance Tips.)
What Bike Storage System Should I Buy?
Here are a few points to consider when deciding which indoor bicycle storage solution to buy.
- Well balanced. The system should stand or hang securely with the bikes on it.
- Supports the bike above the center of gravity with support at two points of contact on the bike frame, not just a wheel.
- Avoid Hooks or Ceiling Mounted Bike Rack Systems which allow bicycles to be suspended by a single wheel rim or rims from the ceiling. Some bicycles have "quick release" wheels which could possibly disengage from the bike causing it to crash to the floor. Your bicycle wheel rims may not be strong enough to support the weight of the entire bicycle resulting in bent or damaged wheel rims. If you buy a wall mounted rack, anchor it securely into a wall stud to prevent the weight of the bikes from pulling it out of the plaster.
- Accommodates a wide range of bicycle and wheel sizes and types.
- Choose a flexible, versatile system. You want to be able to accommodate that new bike you may get as a gift (hint, hint), store bikes for the entire family, or be able to fit your roommates unusual, custom designed mountain bike.
- Does not have sharp edges and is made with a material that won’t scratch your bike or chip the paint.
- Easy installation and set up
- Easy to get your bike on and off. Some Bike Storage options require you to physically lift the bicycle above your head in order to mount the wheel rims onto the hooks or arms. This may not be a problem for some, but if you have children or have neglected to eat your spinach – this may be a consideration when choosing the right bike storage solution for you.
Types Of Indoor Bike Storage Solutions
Vertical Bike Mounts save floor space by stacking upwards. They can accommodate a variety of bike sizes and have adjustable arms which hold the bike securely and horizontally off the floor. This puts less stress on the tires. There are several vertical storage methods.
- Off The Wall Bike Storage System
These sturdy floor to ceiling vertical bike racks require a level floor and have an adjustable spring or hydraulic driven column which can expand to brace against the ceiling. They usually hold two bikes securely and take up very little space. Perfect for apartments or college dorm rooms.
- Free Standing Bike Storage Rack
Free standing bike racks are easy to relocate and and perfect for situations where free wall space is not available. They also do not require bracing against a wall or ceiling. They can hold from one to four bikes.
- Gravity Wall Bike Racks
These lean against a flat wall and have rubberized feet which curve out in front bracing against the floor. The weight of the bikes stabilize the system against the wall. Requires caution removing bikes from the arms.
- Horizontal Floor Bike Stands
Free standing Horizontal Wheel Stand Bike Racks allow you to get the bikes in and out with minimum effort. Great for families with children. They do use a lot of floor space. If you leave the bikes standing for long periods of time, you'll need to keep the tires inflated to keep them in shape.
- Ceiling and Wall Mountable Bike Storage Systems
Horizontal Wall Mounted Bike Hangers attach to the wall and can hold up to two bikes. They often provide a shelf for holding bike helmets or other items. This a good solution for a hallway or entranceway.
- Hooks or ceiling mounted solutions are inexpensive. We don't reccomend hanging a bike upside down by a wheel or wheels.
- Bike Hoist Systems are mounted to the ceiling and secured with brackets allowing you to hoist the bike up via a rope and pulley system. The bike is usually secured at two points of contact via the seat rail and handle bars.
- Bike Cases or Bike Bags
Heavy-duty thermoformed plastic bike cases with foam lined interiors and wheels are great for compact storage and travelling. They can usually hold any bike frame and a pair of wheels with space to store extra gear and bike tools.
- Soft carry over the shoulder bike bags hold a frame and usually have inner wheel dividers to separate the wheels. A good one will have lots of pockets for tools, pedals and other bike accessories.
Where To Store Your Bicycle
- If possible, store your bike inside in a dry location with good venilation, whether it’s your home, apartment or garage. An indoor self storage facility may be a practical alternative if finding the appropriate space to store your bike is a problem. In urban areas, it is likely you'll find one conveniently located within a 5 mile radius. If you keep your bicycle outside, even if you have a cover, overhang or porch, there’s no escaping the moisture in the air which will condense on metal bike parts causing rust over time.
How To Store Your Bicycle
Some things to keep in mind when storing your bike.
- If you can, store your bike with the tires off the ground to avoid tire problems like flattened rubber tires and cracked sidewalls. Hanging your bike also saves floor space and will help prolong the life of the tires. If this isn’t possible, check the tires regularly to keep them properly inflated.
- If you have a suspension bike or disc brakes, storing them upside down can cause oil leakage.
- Exposure to heat, solvents, oils, ultra-violet light and the ozone emmitted by electrical appliances such as refrigerators and air conditioners can also damage your tires.
- A breathable bike cover can help protect your bike from grit and dust which can add wear and tear to bicycle mechanisms.
- Lock your bike securely if storing it in a public space or even your garage.
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