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.
Let’s look at how to store your bike indoors.
Without a proper storage solution things can get ugly pretty quicklyOliver 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 bikesCourtesy - 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.
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 choicesCourtesy
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 superbCourtesy - 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.
Bicycle hoist systems are handy if you’re looking to store bikes in roof spaceCourtesy - 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.
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 ceilingCourtesy
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.