Biking is great exercise, and it’s a wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors while reducing your carbon footprint. If you live close enough to your job to commute to work, you also save on the costs and frustration of commuting by car. Those looking to simplify their lives will often switch to using a bike rather than a car, and may also consider downsizing into a smaller home. The dilemma comes when you need to figure out where to leave your bike when you’re not riding it! Leaving your bike on the street or sidewalk might not be an option, and even if you have a place to lock it securely, you risk having your ride stolen. Ideally you can store your bike inside, but if you have a small house or an apartment, you may struggle for storage space. Here are 7 tips for storing your bike inside your apartment or small home.
Hang it up. The simplest solution is to install hooks from the ceiling and hang your bike when you are not using it. If you have a porch or small garage, this is the perfect place to put your bike hooks. If you need to store your bike inside your living space, hooks can go into a closet or laundry nook ceiling too. While it might not be the most attractive, if you are really strapped for space you can hang your bike from the living room or bedroom ceiling. Hang a curtain if you want to keep it out of site.
Put in on the wall. Your bike can also be stored on the wall itself — think of it like hanging a piece of 3-D art. A bike shelf, which looks like a floating shelf, will hold your bike securely. You can also install some hooks or brackets for a lower-tech, more industrial look.
Get a bike dock. This is a more expensive solution, but it’s an elegant one. A bike dock looks like a piece of wall art, but opens to reveal hanging storage for two bikes. Expect to pay more and spend a little more time on installation if you go with a dock.
Use a display shelf. No, really. A large shelving unit with an open upper or middle shelf works for bike storage. Having other shelves or cubbies in the unit gives you a place to store shoes, outer gear, and other accessories. You’ll need enough space to place such a large piece of furniture, of course, but if you can make it do double or triple duty as entryway storage, it’s worth it.
Slide it out of sight. Perhaps the most low-tech solution of all! Slide your bike out of sight behind a large piece of furniture such as a high-backed sofa, a bookshelf, or an entertainment center. You’ll need to be sure to have enough clearance to get it back there — think about the handlebars especially — but this keeps your bike out of sight while also making it easy to retrieve when you want to ride it.
Go for a bike rack. A free standing bike rack is another great choice for small spaces. Some racks will hold two bikes easily. These racks tend to be lightweight, and they are a great accent to a place with a more industrial feel. While such a rack doesn’t place your bike out of sight, it does provide a prettier way of storing your bike. Placing a free standing rack in a discreet corner is one option — or make it the center piece of your living room! Some racks even have lamps with dimmers installed, making them dual-purpose items.
Hide it under the stairs. If you’ve got a staircase in your apartment or small home, the underside provides great storage that’s too often overlooked. Of course you can just tuck your bike under the stairs. But you can also install hooks and hang bikes from the staircase. If your staircase doesn’t have an exposed underside, you can also consider creating a cabinet or cubby under the stairs to hold your bikes.