Cycle Storage

Cyclescheme, 24.01.2013

Cycle Storage

Whether you live in a mansion or a caravan, you'll want to keep your bike safe and sound at home. Here's how...

Security, weather protection and convenience are the key considerations when parking your bike at home. You don't want a thief splintering your shed door and making off with your bike. You don't want it rusting in the rain. And you don't want to struggle to get it out and ready to ride each morning.

Any storage solution needs augmenting with a good lock – either a locked door, a bikelock or preferably both. Any lock can be broken, so make sure your bike is insured.

The open air

Leaving your bike outside is a last resort as it invites rust and theft. Fit a wall or floor anchor, so you can secure your bike with big chain or D-lock. An eye-bolt type expander bolt will work okay, so long as the eye is big enough to fit your lock; take that to the hardware store with you.

Dedicated floor or wall anchors from the likes of Squire or Abus are more secure, since they use multiple, tamper-free fixings, and they're bigger, so it's easier to fit a D-lock or chain through them. To prevent thieves stealing bits of your locked bike, such as your wheels or seatpost, equip your bike with lockable skewers from Pinhead or Pitlock.

Protect your outdoor bike from the rain with a PVC or nylon bike cover.

Shed

Whether it's a common garden variety or, like the ShackUpTriDoor, designed specifically to store bikes, a wooden shed offers good weather protection but limited security. Even if you padlock the door, the hasp or staple can be pried out of the wood. Either cut a hole in the floor and site the shed above a ground anchor or invest in a ShedShackle. This provides an anchor point that's bolted to the shed across a wide area; a thief would have to pretty much destroy the shed the remove it.

Metal bunker

Bike bunkers are a step up from sheds in security terms. They're made of galvanised steel, which won't rot like wood, and they can be bolted to the ground. If they don't have an integral lock, there will be mounting points for padlocks. And you can add bike locks and sometimes floor anchors.

Well known brands include Cycle-works, CyclepodsTrimetals and Asgard. Different sizes are available but most are designed to take two bikes easily or three at a pinch, with room for a few odds and ends. Since you lift the bike in from outside, bunkers are smaller than sheds that you stand in. The only downside is cost: expect to spend over £400. It sounds a lot but it's cheap compared to a garage.

Garage

Forget parking the car inside: a garage is ideal as a bicycle workshop and storeroom! Leaning your bike – or bikes – against the wall isn't the best use of space, however.

The cheapest option to get the bike out of the way is to use hooks. You can hang the bike vertically by its front wheel, with both wheels resting against the wall, or horizontally, using two hooks to hold the top tube.

DIY options include big plastic-coated hooks from hardware stores (for vertical hanging) or big shelf brackets wrapped in old innertube (for horizontal hanging). But dedicated bike hooks aren't expensive, will likely be sturdier, and will look better. Take your pick from Saris, Tortec, Tusk, Raleigh, and many more. It's worth adding a wall anchor and lock for peace of mind. Up-and-over garage doors aren't exactly Fort Knox.

If you've got a high garage, you can hang your bike from the ceiling. A hoist is one option. With lighter bikes, the Saris Glide Ceiling Mount Storage is another possibility.

In the house

You don't need to worry about a lock if your store you bike in your house or flat, since it will be behind a locked door already – which is good enough for insurance policies. You do need to consider that your bike might drip oil or dirty water, tear wallpaper, or simply get in the way.

If you have an understanding partner and a spare room, your bike(s) could go there. Maybe that could be your workshop too! It's easiest if this room is on the ground floor and close to the front or back door, but a cellar is a good alternative.

More likely your bike will have to share space in another room. If it leans against the wall, it could fall over. Plus, the handlebar will be at the right height to jab midriffs and the pedals to bark shins. Get it up and out of the way. You could use wall hooks or a ceiling hoist, as in a garage.

If you don't fancy that kind of industrial look, or you're not allowed to drill holes due to the terms of your rent, there's a couple of options. One is a telescoping pole with bike supports on it, such as the MinouraBikeTower. This wedges between ceiling and floor and will hold one bike high up, two bikes on above the other, or (if it's far enough from a wall) four bikes. Another is the Minoura Gravity Stand, which simply leans against the wall; the weight of the bike(s) keeps it in place.

If space is really tight, or if it's difficult or forbidden to bring a conventional bike through the front door – and perhaps up stairs – there is one final option: a folding bike. A Brompton is small enough to fit under a desk, behind a door… or even in a caravan. 

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