With the economy being what it is and an emphasis on eco-friendly transportation, there are two trends that are emerging.
One is that people are living in smaller spaces.
A smaller place saves you a considerable amount of money and there are many options, like multi-functional furniture, that can help you take advantage of the space you have.
The other trend is bike riding.
Bike riding is a great way to save money on transportation while being kinder to the environment.
If these are two trends that are dominating your life, then it’s likely you are faced with the problem of where to store your bike.
Bikes are not huge, but they can take up a considerable amount of space in a small apartment.
If you live in a small apartment and are trying to figure out ways to store your bike, here are some solutions.
In this post we'll cover:
- Some Things to Take into Consideration
- Best Bike Storage Solutions for your apartment
- Vertical bike rack
- Store Your Bike on the Wall
- Ceiling Bike Mounts
- Bike Pully or Hoist
- Store the Bike in the Building Outside of the Apartment
- Rent a Storage Space
- On the Balcony
- Behind the Stairs
- Get Creative with Furniture
- Buy Furniture that is Designed to Hold Bikes
- Fold Up Bike
- Take Apart Bikes
- Store it in Your Vehicle
- Store it in the Closet
- Slide it Under the Bed
- Window Ledge
- In the Hallway
Some Things to Take into Consideration
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 mount 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 make holes in your wall. 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 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.
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:
It’s just an amazing tool, here’s No Front Brakes with the Steadyrack:
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.
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:
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 artwork.
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!
Ceiling Bike Mounts
For even more of a space saver, you can hang your bike on a ceiling 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:
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:
Store the Bike in the 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.
Rent a Storage Space
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.
If there is a storage facility near your apartment, this option could work for you. If not, you may be out of luck.
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.
Behind 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
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.
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 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.
Take Apart Bikes
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.
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 it in Your Vehicle
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 it in the 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.
Slide it 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.
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.
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.
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?