Not much space? 17 best bike storage ideas for a small apartment

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  May 18, 2022
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Living in a small apartment can be difficult when you have to find space for everything. But don’t worry, we’ve got your back!

We’ve gathered 17 of the best bike storage ideas to help you make the most of your limited space. From vertical storage to hanging bikes on walls, tested out by urban dwellers like you!

Check out our list and see which one works best for you. All you need is a little creativity and these helpful tips!

How to store your bike in a small apartment

With the economy being what it is and an emphasis on eco-friendly transportation, there are two trends that are emerging.

  1. people are living in smaller spaces
  2. more and more people are riding bikes

They don’t always go that well together as you need a place to store your bike. Bikes aren’t huge, but they can take up a considerable amount of space in a small apartment unless you find a way to tuck them away neatly.

My absolute favorite way of storing my bike in small spaces is the horizontal wall mount from Coastal Provision, which gives you a little extra room to work with when storing your bike compared to vertical mounts and it’s the perfect space saver.

But there are a lot of options and also some things to watch out for.

Here are my favorite ready to-go options, and I’ll get into the entire list right after that:

Best horizontal wall mount

Coastal provision rubber-coated rack

This horizontal wall mount gives more room to work with compared to vertical mounts, the perfect space saver.

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Smallest bike rack solution

Hornit Clug Bike Clip

Hate the standard looking clunky racks and want something that’s almost invisible? This baby is really hard to spot.

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Most durable vertical bike rack

Steadyrack

If you have a heavy bike like a mountain bike, this vertical rack is the way to go.

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Best ceiling rack mount

Saris Glide

If the wall isn’t an option, you can always go higher. The Saris is the best one I’ve seen.

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Best bike pully

Homee bike lift

Perfect for storing your bike in high up places, but ideal for making the most of high staircases.

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Let’s look at the important things to consider when choosing a storage location first.

What to look at when storing your bike

Before we start listing bike storage solutions, here are some things to think about.

  • The Weight and Size of the Bike: Many solutions will involve hanging your bike off a unit such as a wall-mounted rack or some type of hanger. If this is the case, you must make sure that the hanger or mount is sturdy enough to support the weight of your bike. You must also think about how much space the bike will take up in its hanging position. You must make sure it will not obstruct any existing fixtures.
  • Landlord’s Permission: Wall mounts and other types of hangers may require you to drill holes and sacrifice some wall space. Since these units are pretty large, you may end up doing some considerable damage to your apartment. Make sure this is okay with your landlord in advance. You should also think about what the holes will do to the aesthetic of your apartment if you end up removing the mount.
  • Safety: If you are storing your bike in a place where other people have access to it, security will be another consideration. It’s advisable to lock up your bike in these situations.
  • Wall and Floor Protection: Keep in mind that you may bring your bike into your apartment wet and dirty. To protect your apartment, you will want to have protective coverings in select places. Many bike racks come with a small protective plastic housing for the wheels. Racks that extend out from the wall will also reduce the risk of getting tire grease on the wall or floor.
  • Wheel Size: If you decide to go for a rack, make sure it will accommodate your wheel size. This is especially significant for people who have bikes with wide wheels like mountain bikes. There are racks that are designed for larger bikes. Make sure you are investing in these racks if necessary.

Best bike storage solutions for your apartment

Now let’s discuss some solutions that may work for you.

Store your bike on the wall

Wall mounts are one of the most common solutions for bike storage in small spaces. They elevate the bike so that it doesn’t take up precious floor space.

There are a variety of wall mounts available including single hook, a hook and tray, hinges or horizontal wall mounts. They can be used to mount bikes horizontally or vertically.

My favorite would have to be the horizontal wall mount because of the durability and space-saving it provides. The bike is high up without going down towards the floor with its frame:

Horizontal bike wall mount

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It may be difficult to find a wall mount that fits a mountain bike because the top tube has a tricky angle, but some mounts have arms that move to provide extra accommodation.

Some wall mounts are even designed to look like an art piece, perfect for your home decor.

For instance, some come with lights that outline your bike in a similar fashion to how track lighting would surround a painting.

For a more convenient option, some shelving units can have spaces that the crossbar can go right through.

Talk about multi-functional furniture!

If that’s not your cup of tea but you don’t want one of those bike racks on your walls, then there is the world’s smallest bike rack solution: the Hornit Clug Bike Clip.

world's smallest bike rack solution: the Hornit Clug Bike Clip

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It let’s you clip your bike to the wall without all of the clunkiness of a vertical bike rack

Vertical bike rack

If your bike is stored on its wheels, it will take up a lot of room end to end. If you store it vertically, so it stands on one wheel, it will take up a lot less floor space.

In order to get your bike to stand vertically, you will need something to hold the top wheel in place.

You can use a coat hanger rack or any type of large and sturdy device or vertical bike rack that can hang on the wall.

Just make sure it is durable and large enough to accommodate the bike, like this Steadyrack:

Steadyrack vertical bike storage

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It’s just an amazing tool, here’s No Front Brakes with the Steadyrack:

If you have more than one bike you can get 2 units, although there are mounts that can hold up to two bikes or store multiple bikes with a combination of units depending on how much wall space you have.

Ceiling rack bike mounts

For even more of a space saver, especially if you have less wall than ceiling space, you can hang your bike on a ceiling rack mount.

However, this can be difficult if your ceiling is very high or if your bike is too heavy to lift into the air.

It’s a convenient option if you don’t use your bike that often or if you are looking to store it for the winter.

In these instances, you can always have a friend come over to help you get it down or lift it up, but usually you would only opt for this choice if you’re able to lift the bike yourself:

Ceiling bike mount for your apartment

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Bike pully or hoist

If you would like to store your bike on or near your ceiling but can’t deal with taking it down and putting it back up every time you want to use it, a pully may be an ideal solution.

A pully or hoist is pretty much what it sounds like. It has strong hooks that hold the bike and a pully system that helps you hoist the bike up and down.

This keeps the tires from messing up the floor of your apartment and it can also be used to store other heavy items besides bikes.

This Homee bike lift is very sturdy and very affordable, maybe the most affordable on this entire list:

Homee bike pulley hoist

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Store the bike in a building outside of the apartment

There may be other spaces in your building for you to stash your bike other than your apartment.

A laundry room or parking lot are all good examples.

If this is the case, you will want to ask your landlord is he or she is okay with you leaving your bike there.

You may have to pay a fee for this service, but it could be worth it.

If you’re leaving it in a space where other people will have access to it, be sure to lock it up. It may even be worth it to invest in a small storage locker for security purposes.

Bike stored outside the building

Rent a storage space for your bike

If your landlord doesn’t let you stash the bike in your building, you may have to rent a separate storage unit.

Renting a small storage unit for your bike shouldn’t be too expensive but you may have issues if you need the bike every day.

If this is the case, you will have to go to the storage space and get your bike before going to work or school.

Bike stored in storage

If there is a storage facility near your apartment, this option could work for you. If not, you may be out of luck.

Balcony bike storage

Bike stored on the balcony

If you have a balcony in your apartment, you may be able to leave your bike out there.

A bike is already constructed to withstand the elements, so leaving it outside should not be an issue. You can always throw a bike cover over it.

The bike will be easily accessible and it will not take up additional space in your apartment.

Store your bike behind the stairs

Bike stored under the stairs

When looking for spaces in your apartment to stash a bike, get creative. You never know what nooks and crannies you can use for storage.

If you live in a duplex or loft apartment and have stairs in your unit, you may be able to stash it under a stairway.

You also may have space behind a large TV or appliance.

Look around; hidden nooks or crannies may not be as obvious to find, but that doesn’t mean they’re not out there.

Get creative with furniture bike storage

Bike stored on a shelf

When it comes to bike storage, your apartment may have more solutions than you realize.

Besides little nooks and crannies, you may have furniture surfaces that are ideal for storing a bike. A shelf, end tables, or even a coffee table could serve the purpose.

Of course, you will need to make sure that the surfaces can withstand the weight of the bike and you shouldn’t be too worried that the furnishings you’re using might get damaged or dirty.

You also will have to make sure that the bike doesn’t end up in a place where it will obstruct the view of a TV, artwork or the flow of conversation if you have guests over.

It will also have to be a surface you don’t use often for any other use.

Admittedly, this may not be an ideal option for everyone, but it might work for some.

Buy furniture that is designed to hold bikes

There is a Chilean designer named Manuel Rossel that creates furniture with the plights of bike owners who live in small apartments in mind.

His furnishings include beds, couches, and bookshelves that have additional pieces in the back that can accommodate bike wheels.

The furniture features a sleek and modern design and it solves multiple problems for bike owners, and not only in terms of storage.

With a bike close at hand at all times, people feel more motivated to move.

Therefore, the pieces serve as a good way to get people to stay active and maintain a healthy weight.

However, there are a few issues with the Rossel’s designs, the first being that they are only available in Chile.

One also has to wonder how much they cost. After all, if you live in a smaller space, it’s likely you’re on a tight budget.

One way to get around these issues is to make similar furniture yourself.

If you’re handy with a hammer and nails you might be able to make your own space saving, bike holding furniture without investing a lot of money.

Use a fold-up bike

Another option is to buy a folding bike.

A folding bike can be unfolded and folded before and after every use so it can be easily stashed almost anywhere in the apartment.

However, folding bikes are known for being difficult to ride.

There are many reasons why this is the case including the following:

  • Small wheels: Because of the compact nature of the bike, most have small wheels that can be difficult to control while you’re riding.
  • Fold up Frame: The bike frame is made to fold up, so it may not be the sturdiest option when you’re riding.
  • Limited Sizes: Most fold-up bikes come in “one size fits all” sizes. Therefore, it can be hard to find bikes that can accommodate you if you are very big or tall.
  • Flat Handlebars: Folding bikes also usually come with flat handlebars that can be uncomfortable if you are riding long distances. Bar ends can be added to increase comfort but they may also get in the way of the bike’s ability to fold.
  • Three Speed: Most folding bikes only have three speeds. Most people are okay with three speeds but this could be an issue if you are riding on a lot of hills or doing long-distance touring.

More expensive folding bikes may be easier to ride, but they are a considerable investment.

Somewhere in between is my favorite model, perfect for the urban rider, and apply named Vilano Urbana:

Vilano Urbana folding bike

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Take your bike apart

It may not be convenient for you to take your bike apart and put it together before and after every ride, but it is one way to store your bike so it’s not taking up a lot of space in your apartment.

After taking your bike apart, you may be able to fit the whole thing in a cabinet or small closet.

Of course, this option will only work well for those who don’t ride their bike very often or are looking to store their bike for the winter.

However, even if you take your wheel off the front of your bike, you will find that it will take up a lot less space in your apartment.

In time, you may be able to figure out how to take your wheel on and off so it’s easy to do.

Some bikes also come with quick-release wheels. Although these are made to make wheels easy to take off in the event of a flat, they also allow you to take both the front and rear wheel off to make the bike smaller for storage purposes.

Bike with quick release wheels

You can store the bike in a corner of the apartment and put the wheels in a cabinet. With a quick release you can take them off and put them on every day to allow for a more compact storage solution.

Being able to take the wheels on and off also makes your bike less likely to get stolen if it’s parked in a public location.

Store your bicycle in your car

Bike stored in trunk of car

Another option, you can also store your car in your vehicle.

If your car has a large trunk that you don’t use you can store your bike in the trunk. If you have a van or a larger vehicle, you can stash your bike in its body.

Take your bike in and out as needed.

If you have a bike mount on your vehicle, you may also be able to keep your bike on the mount when you’re not using it.

However, this will only work if you are storing your bike in a secure location.

If you leave your car on the street, someone may remove the bike from the mount and steal it.

Store your bike in the closet

Bike stored in closet

If you live in a small apartment, you may be short on closet space as well, but you never know!

If you have a large enough closet that you’re not using, or that you can clear out, this can be an ideal place to store your bike.

Bike storage under the bed

Bike stored under the bed

If your bike is sleek enough, and your bed is high enough, you may be able to store your bike under your bed.

It may also fit under other pieces of furniture such as a couch or a table.

Bike stored on the window ledge

Bike stored on the window sill

Some windows have deep ledges that can double as a window seat.

If you have these in your apartment, you may be able to fit the bike into the ledge so that it is not taking up space in your apartment.

Of course, this will obstruct your view and a potential light source, but if you like a dark apartment with lots of privacy, you could be killing two birds with one stone.

Store your bike in the hallway

Bike stored in the hallway

Here’s another one you’ll have to run by your landlord.

If you have a wide enough hallway and trust the people in your building, you may be able to leave your bike right outside your front door.

This will be ideal if you live in an apartment that leads directly to the outside.

If that’s the case, it’s likely there is more space in your hallway and you may also have a metal banister which is perfect for locking your bike to.

Conclusion

If you live in a small apartment, finding the place to store your bike can be challenging. These tips will help you find a solution that’s right for you.

Here’s hoping you find the best place to keep your bicycle.

Also read: how often should I vacuum my apartment?

I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Tools Doctor, content marketer, and dad. I love trying out new equipment, and together with my team I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with tools & crafting tips.

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