While bikes are often our pride and joy, not everyone in the family may feel the same way. When not in use, bikes make for an awkward object to store, being selfish on space and easily knocked over.
Some of us may be fortunate enough to have space to leave a bike or bikes on the floor — in a rack or not — many will need to resort to clever solutions to save space and create a tidier option.
The best bike storage ideas
Without a proper storage solution things can get ugly pretty quickly Oliver Woodman/Immediate Media
There are many permanent bike storage solutions that mount to walls or ceilings, but if you’re renting this could prove problematic. With this in mind, we’ve divided our guide into two distinct sections — permanent and non-permanent — with permanent options needing to be bolted or screwed in place.
Here we’ve focused on functional and readily available solutions, but it’s worth keeping in mind that putting a little ingenuity and a trip to the hardware store to use is always an option.
Also, for many people the floor remains the cheapest and most suitable option. Axle and wheel racks are readily available, which will keep the bikes upright.
Permanent storage solutions
This is a good route if you own your home and have a solid wall or ceiling that can support weight and fixtures.
Permanent type racks are generally the cheapest option and allow for a great deal of tweaking to suit your fleet of bikes. We’ve designated permanent racks simply by the orientation they hold the bike: vertical or horizontal.
1. Vertical racks
Holding the bike by a single wheel, this method is best for storing bikes where width is an issue, but depth is not. It’s the most effective means of storing multiple bikes together and is commonly used in many bike shop workshops.
Generic hooks can be bought cheaply at hardware stores, but Park Tools offers these vertical hooks in a range of sizes that’ll even accommodate fat bikes Courtesy - Park Tool
The simplest variations consist of a basic hook that threads into a masonry wall plug or screw directly into a wooden wall post or ceiling beam. These are readily and cheaply available from hardware stores, although the specialty versions from the likes of Park Tools do offer greater wheel size compatibility, including options for fat bikes and other large mountain bike rubber.
Buy vertical hooks from Park Tools from Amazon
Taking the basic vertical wheel hook one step further, there are many options like these that offer a backing plate for the tyre and have secure anchor points. The PRO bike rack (left) and Delta Cycle Leonardo are popular choices Courtesy
More advanced and secure options include those that bolt to the wall with multiple points of attachment and feature a built-in backing plate, such as models from PRO, Topeak and X-Tools to name a few.
If you’re looking for a permanent vertical hook, the SteadyRack comes at a premium, but is superb Courtesy - Steadyrack
Lastly, the ultimate is something like the SteadyRack (read our review here), which holds the outside of the wheel and will not mark the rim.
Its unique design allows you to swing the bike nearly 180 degrees to get access to others or have the bike sit closely against the wall. The downside? This rack isn’t cheap, especially if you want more than one.
2. Horizontal racks
If vertical storage is best for when width is an issue, horizontal storage is ideal for when depth of space is the concern.
Generally holding the bike underneath the top tube, this method requires more wall space.
This rack from IceToolz is an example of a basic permanent-horizontal rack Courtesy - IceToolz
Basic options include foldable hangers that bolt to the wall, with more expensive options taking the design concept further and creating something that is visually appealing.
Brands such as Feedback Sports offer models with adjustable hooks to fit a variety of frame shapes, while other brands offer racks that double as shelves.
Bicycle hoist systems are handy if you’re looking to store bikes in roof space Courtesy - RAD Cycle Products
For those with plenty of ceiling or wall space out of easy reach, there’s the hoist system.
They’re commonly found in hardware stores to be used for items such as ladders and kayaks, but also work well with a bicycle.
Generally, they are best for people that see cycling as an occasional pastime, rather than a lifestyle — it’s not the quickest system to use and installation is more involved than mounting a fixed hook or bracket.
Non-permanent storage solutions
So perhaps you’re renting or just not keen on drilling into things, if so, these non-permanent rack solutions are for you.
1. Ceiling-to-floor rack
The most common type of non-permanent off-the-floor rack is the pole type that clamps between floor and ceiling.
Ceiling-to-floor racks are a strong solution for rental properties. The Feedback Sports Velo Column (left) and Topeak Dual-Touch are both great options, with the Velo column being a little more stylish and the Topeak offering a firmer hold against the ceiling Courtesy
Most common examples are the Feedback Sports Velo Column and Topeak’s Dual-Touch.
These use either a spring or hinge to lock in place, but can easily be removed if needed. Generally, these racks will hold two bikes, with the option to hold a further two with aftermarket kits.
2. Wall-leaning racks
If you’re after a simple wall-leaning rack, Delta Cycle has you covered Courtesy - Delta Cycle
Wall-leaning solutions are less common, with racks from Delta Cycle being a rare example of bike storage that simply props against a vertical surface.
They look nice and are beyond simple to install, but aren’t suitable for use on slippery floors.
3. Free-standing racks
Free standing bike stands come at a price, but the Feedback Sports Velo Cache (left) and Topeak TwoUp (right) are solid options Courtesy
Brands such as Thule, Feedback Sports and Topeak offer freestanding bike storage, also known as ‘bike trees’. These simply use a weighted or tripod base to offer a pole to hang bikes off of.
While not as clean looking as a celling-to-floor rack, they may be a better option for people whose homes don’t have a solid ceiling or need a solution that can be moved at a moment’s notice.
Other methods of storing your bike indoors
Gear Up’s Off the Door rack, which as its name suggests simply hangs off a door, is an option for renters short on space Oli Woodman / Immediate Media
Gear Up’s Off the Door rack is just like a permanent vertical hook, but simply slips over the top of a door and uses the bike’s weight to hold it in place.
Opening the door could be an issue in some locations though.
Storage security issues
This is another factor that may affect your storage decision. Depending on where you plan to keep your bike, you may need to consider a lockable rack solution.
Some of the rack types mentioned above, especially the permanent versions, often offer slots for a cable or D-lock. Most of the non-permanent racks will be difficult to secure.
While this buyer’s guide is about freeing up floor space, for many people the floor remains the cheapest and most suitable option. For this, axle or wheel type racks are readily available that will keep the bikes upright.