We all need somewhere to store our bikes when we're not riding them! And for our bike storage solution to succeed, we've got to strike a balance between two things: security and practicality.
If we get it wrong, we'll ruin our home comforts, spend less time on our bikes, or even worse: lose our bikes to theft!
So our bikes should be secure. But they should also be quick and easy to access (for the kids as well). They should make as little mess and dirt as possible. And they shouldn't infringe too much on the other ways we use our spaces.
It's a difficult balance to get right! So it's worth taking a good bit of time to consider our options. And the great thing is: these days, there are loads of bike storage ideas to consider...
Floor stands, horizontal wall racks, vertical wall racks, ceiling racks, pulley systems, hooks, pedal shelves and freestanding columns. There is a dizzying array of bicycle storage ideas. And don't worry: I'll cover them all here.
I have tried to concentrate on practical, real world solutions that you can buy in the shops for a reasonable price rather than the aspirational, far out ideas you might see on Pinterest!
Most of these ideas will work in apartments, houses, garages, yards and sheds. However, I've got a separate page for the bike sheds themselves. And if you use them outside, I recommend you combine them with a durable bike cover.
5 Options in your Storage Space
There are five main types of bike storage:
- floor racks
- vertical wall racks
- horizontal wall racks
- ceiling racks
- free standing racks
And I'd urge you to read through them all because you might find something that works perfectly for your space that you never knew existed!
Bike Storage on the Floor
Floor Storage Cons
Floor racks provide the most basic kind of bike storage, and they're really only one step up from a kickstand! However, there are lots of reasons to like them...
First of all, there's nothing to install: you just chuck them on the floor! This also means that they're really easy to move to a new space, should you wish.
They keep the bike upright and stationary much better than a kickstand! And they're easy to use for kids as well as adults.
Most importantly: they also provide the easiest and quickest access of all the bike storage options. So they're fantastic for kids.
There are some disadvantages with floor racks, though. They take up valuable floor space, which is what many people are trying to avoid.
And some of them aren't compatible with smaller bikes (< 20") wheels or with bikes that use disk brakes. They're often not the most stable option either.
Floor racks are a form of bike storage that's generally best for families with children and bikes that are used daily. Also, somewhere with plenty of room and where floor space isn't an issue!
There are loads of different floor stands ranging from low tech metal racks to more advanced spring-loaded cradles...
I cover floor stands for storage below. There's a separate article if you're looking for a bike stand for repairs and maintenance.
Metal Floor Racks
These are the bike racks you find outside primary schools and rural information kiosks! They're generally made for multiple bikes and because this makes them quite big, they are best used in yards or garages.
The spaces for your wheels are fixed, which means very wide wheels may not fit and very narrow wheels are likely to lean over and make your bike less stable.
Simple Houseware 5 Bike Floor Rack
At the low end of the price range, we have racks like the Simple Houseware 5 Bike Floor Rack [Amazon], which provide cheap and functional bike storage.
Simple Houseware Rack Cons
It's easy for the smallest kids to use, works with all wheel sizes (> 12") and it's modular, so it can be shortened or expanded to fit less or more bikes. And you can also but a 2 bike version which is even cheaper!
However, it's made from cheap steel that bends easily, and the wheel supports are not very tall. This means your bikes won't be super stable. It's certainly not recommended for windy outside areas. And I'm not sure how long it will last under heavy use.
It's also worth noting that although it's sold as a 5 bike rack, 5 adult bikes won't fit next to each other: you would need to alternate with children's bikes or have bikes on each side.
There are loads of variations of this kind of budget metal bike rack available on Amazon and they all suffer from the same cheap quality and limited stability issues. But this Simple Houseware one does seem to be the best.
And for families with various bikes, (from kids to adults sizes), plenty of storage space (ideally inside a garage) and a problem with regularly used bikes left all over the floor, this is a practical and cost-effective solution!
BestEquip Floor Bike Rack
However, there are much better quality (and more costly) metal bike racks also available. For example, BestEquip [Amazon] make a series of heavy-duty. steel bike storage racks that are designed to hold 5, 9, 10 and 18 bikes.
Best Equip Bike Rack Cons
These are made from super strong, galvanized steel and are fully protected for outdoor use. They are extremely heavy (the 5 bike rack weighs over 50 lb) and completely stable.
Note that the 5 and 10 bike racks are actually about the same width. In order to fit so many bikes, the 10 bike rack is deeper, and you will need to put the bikes on either side of the rack. If this doesn't work in your space, then the 9 bike rack might, as it's just a longer version of the 5 bike rack!
Unlike the cheaper options, your bikes will be stable (whatever the weather conditions) and the stands will be durable (whatever the weather conditions!).
Obviously, they take up more room and will be more difficult to move. And of course they're more expensive!
But if you have the budget and the space, and you don't want to be replacing your bike rack after a couple of years, they're one of the best bike storage solutions.
Designed for individual bikes (although they can often be linked together to store multiple bikes), these racks work inside the home just as well as in yards and garages.
The stands are often small, lightweight and foldable, making them easy to move between spaces and store away if not in use. Unfortunately, this can also make them unstable.
So it's important that you choose one that will grip your wheel and keep the bike stable. Since bike wheels come in all sorts of widths and heights, this means the rack needs to be adjustable.
And the truth is: there aren't many adjustable racks available, which means they often get a bad reputation.
But here's three that are adjustable and will therefore keep your bike stable...
Delta Cycle Shop Width Adjustable Modular Floor Rack
The Delta Cycle Shop Rack [Amazon] is a super simple bike rack which can be adjusted to fit any tire width. The arms can be moved as close or as far a way as you like to adequately support your wheel.
Delta Cycle Floor Cons
The old version of the Delta Cycle floor rack was modular, so if you bought some connectors you could join up to 5 bike racks together. Unfortunately, the new version doesn't work like this, and you will have to keep them separate.
Although they will support any tire width, they're pretty much limited to wheels taller than 16". Smaller wheels will fit in the rack, but there won't be much contact with the supports, so they won't be very stable.
The best thing about the Delta Cycle floor rack is the ability to adjust the rack for any tire width. makes a huge difference to stability and as a consequence the Delta Rack is probably the best floor rack currently available!
However, there are two other adjustable cradles, and both work by changing the height rather than the width.
Bikehand Height Adjustable Floor Rack
The Bikehand Floor Rack [Amazon] has two adjustable pulleys, one for the top and one for the bottom of the tire.
Bikehand Adjustable Rack Cons
* There is a different fat tire version available [Amazon] for tires up to 4"
You can adjust the pulleys so that once the bike is in the rack, they grip the tire and hold the wheel in place. In this way, it will snugly hold wheels of 24 - 29".
The advantage of this system is that it's only the tire that's ever in contact with the rack, so there's no chance of the frame, your disc brakes or derailleur ever getting damaged.
However, since the width is not adjustable, the maximum tire width it will support is 2.4" (there is a special, fat tire version for tires up to 4" [Amazon]).
Also, it's not modular, so you can't link multiple Bikehand Racks together.
CHEPARK Height Adjustable Floor Stand
CHEPARK Adjustable Rack Cons
It can accommodate a bigger range of wheel heights (20" - 29") and is also less expensive than the Bikehand Rack (above).
But don't be fooled by the photographs suggesting it's foldable! In order to fold it up, you will have to completely dismantle it, which is probably not what you're after.
I think that the three ideas above are the best simple floor based bike storage stands currently available. I like the DeltaCycle Rack [Amazon] best because of its simplicity.
However, if you're looking for a solution that only comes into contact with your tires then the other two are great choices.
Spring Loaded Cradles
Another step up in complexity (but not necessarily in price) are spring-loaded stands. They're a bit like the simple racks, but with a cradle that you roll the wheel into and which then tips the bike forward to rest against a spring-loaded support.
There are a couple of advantages with these bike storage ideas. Firstly, you don't need to lift the wheel onto the rack. Simply rolling it into the cradle should be enough to get the wheel in place. This is a big advantage for kids or people with heavier bikes.
Secondly, once the wheel is in the cradle it sits much deeper in the rack so is more supported, which should lead to a more stable bike!
Bikehand Spring Loaded Cradle
The best spring-loaded bike rack is from Bikehand [Amazon] as it's reasonably priced and works really smoothly.
Bikehand Cradle Stand Cons
* There is a different fat tire version [Amazon] for tires up to 5".
Again, only the tire comes into contact with the stand, so this is a good option for people with disc brakes and those worried about the stand interfering with their derailleurs, spokes or frames.
Plus unlike every other bike storage stand on this list, the Bikehand floor rack folds down into a nice compact package that is easy to store away or transport in the car.
It supports bikes with wheels from 20 - 29". And while the standard model will support tires up to 2.4" wide, they do have an alternative model for tires up to 5" [Amazon]!
Floor racks are simple but effective form of bike storage when you have loads of floor space. But if floor space is scarce, you can start looking at the walls!...
Horizontal Bike Storage on the Wall
Horizontal Wall Storage Cons
Horizontal bike racks allow you to store your bike parallel to the floor by hanging them along a wall. There are several advantages of this type of bike storage...
First of all the bikes don't intrude very far into the room, so they take up very little room space.
Secondly (for one bike at least), you don't have to do much maneuvering of the bike: you just wheel it in and lift it slightly off the floor to get it on the rack...
Unlike other racks, you can probably get the bike in the house and on the rack without touching the floor!
Thirdly, while some require fixing to the wall, others will just lean against the wall, making them ideal for renters / those with DIY aversions and apartments with unsuitable walls.
And finally, they are the best bike storage option if you want to display your bike like a work of art!
However, there are disadvantages with horizontal racks too. While they don't take up room space they do take up a huge amount of wall space (at least as long as your bike).
Also, each one is limited to carrying 2 bikes and while the first will go on easily, the second one will need to be lifted above it, which could be tricky, especially for kids.
I'd say horizontal bike racks are one of the best solutions for one or two adult bikes in small areas with a significant amount of empty wall space.
Delta Cycle Michelangelo: No Installation Bike Storage!
The most popular horizontal bike stand is the Delta Cycle Michelangelo [Amazon]. And there's a lot to like about it!
Delta Cycle Michelangelo Cons
The best thing, that you don't have to "install" anything! You just put the pieces together and lean it against the wall.
So it's great for renters who don't want to damage their walls, for those that dislike any form of DIY and for homes with walls that aren't strong enough to support the weight of a couple of bicycles!
The arms that support the bike frames aren't fixed in place with screws, so they can be moved up or down and twisted around to make an infinite number of configurations. This means you should be able to position them to support any bike geometry.
The basic model is for two bikes. But they also make a free standing model [Amazon] (no contact with the wall) that can support up to four bikes!
Although Delta Cycle claims that the two bike stand will support up to 80lbs (35kgs), I think that it's more suited to lighter bikes. And to be honest, whether it's heavy or light, getting the second bike up there is always going to be a bit of an effort!
Also, since it leans on the wall, mountain bikes with particularly wide handlebars may actually touch the wall.
But if you're looking for an easy to set up, one or two bike, wall based storage solution at a very reasonable price then the Michelangelo is worth trying. If it doesn't work out, you can send it back without having messed up your walls!
If you're looking for something more permanent, then there's a ton of bike racks that you properly fix to your wall...
Hiplok Airlok: A Bike Storage Hanger with Built In Security
Delta Cycle Michelangelo Cons
You'll only get the full security benefits of the Airlok if you install it on a brick or concrete wall. This makes it good for garage bike storage.
And if that option is available to you, then I'd highly recommend this device. You can even get it color matched to your decor!
Pro Bike Tool Hanger: A Budget Friendly Storage Option
The Airlok isn't cheap, though! So if you're looking for a budget option, then how about the Pro Bike Tool Horizontal Wall Storage Hanger [Amazon]? It's much cheaper and if you can find the stud supports, it will work with a drywall, (unlike the Airlok).
Pro Bike Tools Wall Hanger Cons
The frame grips are infinitely adjustable, so you should be able to find a position that works for your bike geometry. And the main beam is extendable from 8.7" to 12.6", which means it can accommodate handlebar widths up to 31" (78 cm).
It also comes with a strong, elasticated rope that will stop your front wheel swinging into the wall. You'll need one of these with any horizontal wall mount if you want to avoid marking the wall. So it's nice that it's already included with the Pro Bike Tools mount.
Gootus Pedal Wall Mount
Another great horizontal bike storage option is the Gootus Pedal Rack [Amazon]. This one hooks onto your pedal rather than your frame and with your wheels sitting on small shelf supports, your bike leans out into the room.
Gootus Pedal Wall Mount Cons
It sounds a bit weird, but there are several advantages to this solution. Firstly, it doesn't need to make compromises for loads of different frame sizes. All pedals are more or less the same (and are found in the same central position!).
This means the one simple design will support every type of bike, and they'll all be balanced.
Secondly, since the hook holds the bike at a 25 degree angle to the wall, it allows other hooks and bikes to be staggered either above or below. So in theory it's a better use of space, allowing 3 bikes to be stored on an 8-foot wall.
In practice, whether that would be practical, I'm not sure. I'd imagine getting the higher bikes on and off could be challenging! Although it would obviously be easier if they were kids bikes or light road bikes.
Thirdly, since the bike is effectively held to the wall in three places this is a very stable storage solution. It's very unlikely that your bike could be knocked off!
Of course, you have the added effort of attaching two extra hooks to the wall, and you won't be able to use this on a drywall unless they're all fixed into the studs. Also, you'll need to be extra careful that the tires don't mark your walls with this rack.
But this is a very stable and very practical horizontal bike storage solution at a cracking price!
Horizontal bike storage works well when you've got loads of wall space. But if wall space is limited, then vertical solutions may be the answer...
Vertical Bike Storage on the Wall
Horizontal Wall Storage Cons
With vertical bike racks, you lift your bike up (as if you were doing a wheelie) and then hang it from its front wheel so that the bike sticks out into the room. There are advantages to these racks too...
Firstly, they take up less wall room, so you can fit them on smaller wall spaces (or fit several bikes next to each other on larger wall spaces).
Indeed, they're probably the most space efficient way of storing larger numbers of bikes.
Secondly, (unlike horizontal racks) each bike is as easy to hang and remove as the next. And they also tend to work with most wheel sizes.
But there are some disadvantages with vertical racks. Usually the bikes stick out into the room, so while they take up less wall space, they take up much more room space.
Because you have to lift up the front wheel, there's also a lot of maneuvering involved, and again this can be difficult for kids. And it's tricky to avoid putting the rear wheel on the floor.
So I'd say that vertical bike racks are generally bike storage solutions for larger numbers of bikes in larger spaces.
However, there are exceptions...
Steadyrack: The Vertical Bike Storage Rule Breaker
The most popular vertical storage solution is the Steadyrack Classic Bike Rack [Amazon]. Why do so many people like it? Because it fixes many of the disadvantages that I talk about above!
Steadyrack Wall Mount Cons
While lifting and maneuvering your bike onto most vertical bike racks can be quite tricky (or often impossible for kids), with the Steadyrack it's super easy (as long as you can get the bike up onto its back wheel)...
You simply wheel the bike forwards until the front wheel is cupped by the metal cradle, which then supports the wheel in place.
Also, while most vertical racks leave the bike sticking out into the room and taking up a huge amount of space, with the Steadyrack you have the option of swiveling it towards the wall, so it's much less intrusive.
You can get the bike pretty close to the wall, which is a massive bonus in small rooms. And if you've got multiple bikes, it's easy to stagger them, much like a vertical version of the Gootus Pedal Rack.
There is also a rear wheel stabilizer that cradles the back tire, keeping the bike straight (even when it's swiveled) and the wall clean and mark free!
When it's not in use, the Steadyrack folds up so that it's almost flat to the wall, which is also really helpful in small spaces.
The cradle on the Classic Steadyrack fits wheels from 20 - 29" and tires up to 2.1" wide. But they also make other versions that are specifically for specific types of bikes:
- Steadyrack Fender (accommodates bikes with fenders/mudguards and tires up to 2.4")
- Steadyrack MTB Rack (for tires 2.1" - 2.8")
- Steadyrack Fat Rack (for tires 2.8" - 5")
- Steadyrack eBike Rack (for bikes with fenders and tires 2.1" - 2.8")
So, if vertical bike storage is what you're after, then I think that the Steadyrack is by far the best option.
However, it's not super cheap. If you're on a budget, or you need to store many bikes, then there are more economical alternatives!
Simple Storage Hooks?
All you really need to hang a bike vertically is a hook! And basic bike hooks can be very cheap.
But simple hooks can be frustrating to use, so it's wise to proceed with caution. Different wheel sizes call for different hook designs, but unfortunately this is often ignored, with a "one size fits all" approach prevalent.
Delta Cycle Wall Hooks
Luckily, DeltaCycle make two sizes of their cheap and functional Leonardo Da Vinci bike hooks.
Delta Cycle Wall Hook Cons
Each hook comes in two parts: a top plate with the hook onto which you hang your wheel and a bottom plate into which you rest the bottom tire. Simple.
The plates will protect your walls from dirt and marks as long as you're careful when loading and unloading. And they'll support bikes up to 40 lb (18 kg).
But if you don't have any floor space or any wall space for your bike storage, then the ceiling may be the only option...
Storing Bikes on the Ceiling
Ceiling Bike Storage Cons
Ceiling bike racks allow you to store your bikes above your head. Usually they involve a pulley system that allows you to hoist your bike up by the handlebars and seat. However, they can also be tracks that hang your bike upside down.
Ceiling racks have several advantages. Your bikes won't take any floor or wall space at all, so they're great in small areas.
It won't cost much physical effort to get your bike up there. And they're usually compatible with lots of different types and sizes of bikes.
However, there are disadvantages too. Installing racks on the ceiling is more difficult than on the walls. And of course you need some spare ceiling space!
While it won't cost much physical effort, it will take longer to get the bikes up and take them down. It's more of a hassle. And the kids won't be able to use them.
This type of bike storage is usually best in really tight spaces where there aren't really any other options. And specifically for bikes that are not used regularly!
Racor Vertical Pulley System
Racor make a reasonably priced ceiling mounted pulley system [Amazon] that can be configured to fit any size bike.
Racor Pulley System Cons
All these pulley systems work in the same way with the same basic elements. But the quality of the Racor components are slightly higher and the finish a little better than its competitors. Which is important if your bike is hanging above your car!
With any ceiling bike rack, installation will always be slightly more tricky than the other bike storage ideas (simply because the ceiling is more difficult to access). But in reality, it's just a case of screwing the two pulley sets into your studs.
Then you simply attach one hook to your seat and the other to your handlebars and hoist up the bike with the cable. There's a safety lock to prevent accidental release, and the system will hold bikes up to 50 lb (23 kg).
For sure, while getting bikes up and down is not physically difficult, it does take a bit of time. And it certainly shouldn't be operated by small children! Plus once it's configured for one bike size you would need to re-install it to use it with other sizes.
But it's a very cost-effective system of keeping bikes completely out of the way and is a great bike storage choice where there's no wall or floor space available.
Floaterhoist Horizontal Pulley System
But what if you don't have ceilings that are high enough to accommodate vertically hanging bikes?
Floaterhoist Pulley System Cons
Luckily, Floaterhoist [Amazon] make a great pulley system that hoists your bike up so that it's flat against the ceiling rather than hanging down!
However, pulley systems aren't the only way to get your bikes stored on your ceiling!
Saris Ceiling Rack
Saris [Amazon] make a rack that allows you to hang multiple bikes from your ceiling. It's not a cheap option, but it's good value when you consider it will support up to 4 bikes.
Saris Ceiling Rack Storage Cons
Again, the kids won't be able to use it themselves, but with multiple sliding supports it's a breeze for an adult to use, and it's a really practical way of storing multiple bikes out of the way.
The Saris Rack would work especially well on a garage ceiling, for example.
There are also two other racks that will store your bike horizontally along the ceiling. But both use hydraulic arms to effortlessly lift one bike up to lie against the ceiling.
No floor space, no wall space and not enough room on your ceiling either? Then what about freestanding bike storage?!...
Free Standing Bicycle Storage Solutions
Free Standing Bike Storage Cons
Freestanding bike racks don't use walls for support. Usually they work with horizontally hung bikes. And just like the other racks, there are several advantages with freestanding solutions...
The most obvious is that they're not dependent on a wall! So if you don't have wall space, your walls are not strong enough to support a rack, or you just don't want to mark or damage your walls, these are a great choice.
Like floor racks, they are easy to install and are just as easy to move to new spaces. However, just like horizontal wall racks, the upper bike may be difficult to hang, and they're tricky for the kids to use alone.
Freestanding bike racks are best used for one or two bikes, when you don't have any suitable wall space but have plenty of space inside the room. Or (for whatever reason) you don't want to (or can't) attach anything to your walls.
Floor to Ceiling Columns
The most common freestanding rack is the floor to ceiling column. These may not work with super high ceilings. But because they're fixed between the floor and the ceiling, they're usually very stable.
Feedback Sports [Amazon] make a great floor to ceiling column which can support up to four bikes. It's basically a spring-loaded aluminum tubing system which wedges between the ceiling and the floor to create a completely stable bike storage solution.
Feedback Sports Column Cons
The arms which cradle the bikes are infinitely adjustable so they should be able to fit any bike geometry. However, you only get 2 with the column: if you want to store 4 bikes, you'll need to buy the expansion pack.
Both ends of the column have soft rubber contact points to protect your floor and ceiling. And it's adjustable to fit ceilings between 7’-10’ (2.1 - 3.0 m) high.
Each cradle will support a bike that weighs up to 40 lbs (18 kg) so that's 160 lb (73 kg) in total.
True: it's not one of the cheapest option. But whether you have free wall space or not, the extra stability and unintrusive design make this bike storage idea definitely worth considering.
And if your ceiling is too high for the floor to ceiling column, Feedback Sports have a version with a stand [Amazon] at the bottom. It won't quite be as stable, but it should do the job OK.
Bike Storage Space & Security
Hopefully this article has given you some useful bike storage ideas! But before you commit to a particular solution, you should think carefully about two things:
- How safe is your bicycle storage space?
- How are you going to secure your bikes in that space?
How safe is your bike storage space?
Now, in this statistic "owner's home" includes gardens, yards, garages and sheds as well as from inside apartments and houses.
But still, it's perhaps surprising that your bike is more likely to be stolen from your home than it is from out in the street!
Indoors vs Outdoors Bike Storage
Ideally, we wouldn't want to keep bikes inside our homes. We only use them outside. They take up lots of room inside. They bring water and dirt into places we're trying to keep dry and clean.
Even worse: homes without garages or gardens, (where we're forced to bring our bikes inside) tend to be smaller. So there's even less room inside to use!
But the fact is that our bikes will be safer indoors.
So which should you choose, indoor or outdoor storage? Well, it's all about finding the balance between security and practicality that works for you.
For example, I didn't think it would be practical to store my bike inside. Until I had two successive bikes stolen from the back garden.
Suddenly I found a way to store the next one inside! I could have increased my outside security, but I found a workable balance inside instead.
Ultimately, wherever you choose to keep your bike, there are storage options that will make it practical and security measures that will keep it safe. It's just a case of finding the right ones for you...
How will you secure your bikes in that storage space?
Wherever you store your bike at home, you need to take some steps to protect it from theft. Because if you’re burgled, an unlocked bike is not only a desirable prize, it’s also a perfect getaway vehicle!
Inside your house or apartment, it may be enough to simply immobilize your bike by attaching your regular lock through the wheel to stop it being ridden away.
You’ll need to do much more than this in a communal area, though, as the people you share the space with will not be as vigilant as you. Any bike stored in an internal communal area must be locked to an immovable object.
Likewise, in any shed or garage, your bike should be locked to something that prevents a thief simply walking (or riding) away with it. A ground anchor and chain combination is usually your best bet.
Luckily I have a comprehensive guide on how to lock your bike properly in the street, at work and at home, which covers all this!
Bicycle Storage Systems: Wrapping Up
When you're deciding on a bike storage idea, it's important to balance security with practicality. If the solution you choose makes it more difficult to access your bike, you'll use it less, which is the worst!
But equally, if you choose a solution that compromises the way you use the space where the bike's stored, then you've failed as well.
The perfect solution for you will depend on how many bikes you have, how many people use them, how often they're used, what sort of spaces you have available and how safe your area is in terms of bike theft.
I'd say that (much like a bike lock), it's worth spending a little more than you'd ideally like to spend, just to make sure you get something that's decent quality and that won't be incredibly frustrating to use!
I've tried to find the best options available, but if you have any other bike storage ideas that you think I should include, let me know below...
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