Bicycle ownership is only going up in the U.S., with an increasing number of urbanites choosing to commute to work via bike or simply pick up cycling as a fun hobby. Even if you’re not a Tour de France hopeful, it’s definitely a great exercise and a cheap mode of transportation. Still, finding a place to store your bike can be a bit tricky, especially in rentals with little to no available garage space.
Use these handy tips to minimize the amount of space your bike takes up while keeping it easily accessible for all your future rides.
Your rental may have an extra closet other than the one in your bedroom, such as by the entrance or in the hallway. If the space inside is big enough, you may find that you have enough room in there for a bike to fit. That way, when you’re on the run, you can just open the door and wheel it out. In order for this to work though, you’ll have to make sure that the closet in question remains as clutter-free as possible. Or maybe the bike can rest against the wall on one side of the closet while your other belongings take up the other so they’re not in the way of each other.
Nooks and Crannies
Another great area for bike storage is the laundry room — assuming you have one, of course. If you’re one of the many renters that doesn’t have a dedicated laundry facility, you might just be better off keeping your bike in a small alcove around the house.
If you do have your own laundry space, however, you’ll find that there’s usually a little bit of room for your bike to fit alongside the washing machine with relative ease. Still, you might prefer to store an ironing board or broom there instead, or you might not like the idea of your bike, which can get pretty dirty, near your clean laundry. If that’s the case, you might want to try discreetly tucking it behind a large furniture piece, like a sofa or entertainment center.
Racks and Columns
Maybe you don’t mind your bike being visible in your apartment. If so, a bike stand or rack is a great option for you. These aren’t hard to install, and they give you an opportunity to proudly display your love of cycling. Just make sure to find an area in your apartment that’s unused and away from any doors to keep it from creating an unwanted obstacle. If you decide to go with a rack, just remember that you’ll need to actually drill into the wall to mount it. For that reason, it’s probably best to run this idea past your landlord first.
A major plus with bike racks is the fact that they keep your bike off the ground, which means you never have to worry about scratching or dirtying your floors. If you have multiple bikes to contend with, you might even be able to find a rack that can hold two or three at once. Just remember that more bikes translates to more space being taken up, and that the weight of too many bikes on a rack at once could easily cause the whole thing to come loose.
If you’re not so jazzed about the thought of drilling into walls, a floor-to-ceiling bike column could be the answer to your storage dilemma. In spite of being somewhat pricey, these adjustable, spring-loaded columns can be conveniently placed anywhere you’d like in your apartment. Although it might be best to set yours up near a wall to keep it out of the way, it doesn’t directly attach onto your walls, so you won’t have to worry about it taking up more space than it has to. You can also choose exactly how high you want to place the bike on a column. This makes it a particularly good choice for people with kids, as a child’s bike can be placed lower to the ground on one, right underneath their parents’.
If there’s just not much room to work with inside your apartment, don’t despair! Some tenants find a back porch or balcony to be a suitable storage space — though if you’re going this route, we’d advise you to be smart and invest in a good bike lock to prevent theft. Oh, and if you’re worried about the elements, you’ll find that a plain old tarp does a pretty good job of keeping rust at bay, but you can always splurge on a more official bicycle cover from an outdoor recreation store, too.
As you can see, there are indeed plenty of smart ways to store a bike (some of which don’t entail spending any money) in a small space. With a little bit of ingenuity, you’re sure to find the perfect spot for it to go until you ride off on your next adventure.