Bike storage is an important part of bike ownership. But there are so many options — from gravity-defying pulley and hoist designs to no-installation-required floor racks — and figuring out what style is right for you and for your bike can be overwhelming.
“Bike storage is important for a variety of reasons,” Neil Jurgella, an aftermarket purchasing manager at Trek, says. “The two most common reasons people choose bike storage is to protect and display.”
Before investing in bike storage, there are considerations to take into account — how much space do you have available, how is the available space configured, and how often do you need to access the bike are all questions to ask to help you make the best possible purchase.
“Consider features that allow you to display your bike appropriately in the space you have available,” Jurgella says, “while making sure your beloved bicycle is secure and safe from tipping, rolling or getting bumped.” With the help of Jurgella and other bike experts, we rounded up the best bike storage options for every type of space, from the smallest apartment to dedicated standalone storage solutions like bike sheds.
When picking out a vertical bike storage solution, Jurgella offers some general advice. “Avoid a storage solution that could cause damage to your bike or your home,” he says. “It’s important to recognize the potential for damage to surface areas like walls and ceilings, where your bike or the storage item itself could leave scuffs or scrapes if it’s not the right fit.”
The Dirza wall-mounted vertical bike rack takes the concept of garage hooks up a level by adding a tire plate to protect both the tires and the wall. And the metal hooks are covered with a thick rubber coating to protect the rim of the bike from scratches and dents.
Erik Saltvold, the owner and founder of Erik’s Bike Board Ski, says to ask these questions before making a bike storage purchase: “Do you want to hang it from the wall or on the floor? Do you need to hang it up somewhere high where it requires lifting? Will it be stored outside or somewhere where it will endure elements from weather? Consider the bike storage weight limits with the weight of your bike. Also, consider the size of your bike’s tires. Is it a fat tire bike? Some storage units will have specific options for that.” This vertically mounted wall rack is one such option.
If display is an important part of selecting a bike storage option, Jurgella recommends the Delta gravity stand, a vertically-oriented floor model that leans against the wall and which can accommodate two bikes. This is a fantastic choice for apartment-dwellers because of its small footprint and ease of setup.
“There are lots of small scale storage solutions to help accommodate,” says Jurgella, “including single bike storage options like a simple floor stand to keep your bike tucked away in a corner, or a vertical wall hanging hook that can pivot to the side to maximize space in a small area.”
“If you live in an apartment or smaller space, it is crucial to make the bike storage space effective for your environment,” Saltvold says. He recommends the Steady Rack Fender Bike Storage Rack for its flexibility: It folds up when not in use, and can pivot when your bike is being stored on the rack. “This rack will also accommodate your bike if you have fenders or mudguards,” he says.
Jurgella recommends this bike storage hook for apartment storage. The simple design allows you to hang your bike by the wheel, and the hinge allows the bike to swing left or right to keep it out of the way.
Another low profile storage solution Jurgella recommends is Portland Design Works’ vertical wall-mounted bike hook, which can accommodate wheels with up to 2.5” tires.
“Ensure that any part of the storage device coming in contact with your bike has a protective surface, such as a rubber coating, that won’t scratch or damage your bicycle,” Jurgella says.
Jurgella and Saltvold recommend the Delta El Greco Ceiling Hoist for those looking to store a bike in a garage or shed. “It is a system of pulleys that make it easy to hoist your bike up high,” Saltvold says.
Garage hooks are incredibly versatile and inexpensive storage options that can be used for everything from canoes to bicycles. “A very simple solution is buying rubberized wall hooks,” Stephane Roch, a manager at Revolution Bike Shop, says. “This is what I do in my garage.” When installing bike hooks, Roch adds, be sure to thread them into a stud.
The experts we spoke to all agreed that the simplest solutions are best. “Keep it simple,” Roch says. “Don’t get an overly complicated system.” This is especially true if you’re a regular rider — ease of access will be something you’ll want to consider. “Ceiling hoists can be nice to get your bike out of the way, but often annoying to use so you may not end up riding your bike as much,” Roch says of a drawback to this popular bike storage style.
Floor stands are among the most basic bike storage solutions out there, and are great for people who don’t care for wall- or ceiling-mounted designs. Jurgella and Saltvold both recommend the Feedback Sports Rack floor stand for use in a garage or shed.
“If you are looking to store your bike in a shed or garage but want to have easy access to it on the ground,” Saltvold says, “check out the Gear Up Grandstand 1.” This model is especially good for renters, as it does not require permanent installation.
The experts we spoke to agreed that parking a bike in your home is the safest option, and encourage people who use garage, shed or outdoor storage to invest in a good safety lock. “Bike theft in garages and sheds are very common,” Saltvold says. “You might want to consider some added security.”
Standalone bike storage sheds are a smart option for those who don’t want to park their bikes indoors, but who don’t have covered outdoor space, like a garage, available. “Storing your bike indoors is very important,” Roch says, “so they don’t get weathered and corrode. If you don’t have room in your place make sure to cover it up under a tarp or cover. Sheds work well if you have a small yard.”
For those looking to buy a small shed for bike storage, look for horizontally oriented fabrications that allow you to easily park the bike inside. This multi-purpose resin shed has three locking points to help keep bikes secure when not in use.
If you’re looking for shed-style storage that can accomodate 4 to 5 bikes, the Catrimown storage shed is a good option. Its 8’x6’ footprint means it’s roomy enough to park several bikes inside, without risking damage.
For those who prefer the look of a wooden storage shed, the Arrow Woodridge shed — at 10’x6’ — is an attractive and roomy choice. Some assembly is required, and the job will be easier to tackle with two people, and with the use of an electric screwdriver.
There are some considerations to take when storing a bike outside so that changing temperatures and exposure to the elements don’t cause damage. Bike covers and tarps can be useful even in a storage shed. “If your bike will be stored outside for long periods,” Saltvold says, “check out the Topeak Mountain Bike Cover to keep your bike protected.”
Another important part of protecting your bike, if you plan to store it in a shed, is security. Always lock either the bike or the shed (or both!) to keep them safe from theft or vandalism.
Storage sheds are easy marks for people looking to commit property crimes, so it’s important to have a good lock for your outdoor storage structure. Stanley Hardware’s basic padlock gets high marks for its multilayered security features at a very affordable price point.