For many people, a bicycle is a treasured possession, for daily commuting, exercise, or purely recreational purposes. But trying to keep your bike in a small apartment can be difficult.
If this sounds like you – maybe you live in one of the Top 10 Bikeable Cities? – and your residence is a small apartment, you know the challenges of bike storage. When you’re short on space, even something as small as a bike can create an obstacle in a room.
Cycling is on the rise — the number of people who commute to work via bike has gone up by about 60 percent over the past decade, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. If you’re lucky cyclist, your apartment community has anticipated this growth and built a bike storage room for residents, like this:
But if you’re not so fortunate, what to do? Get creative. Here are some out-of-the-way spots to store your bike at home.
The balcony is perfect: out of your main living area, and if you have a balcony, it’s much bigger than needed for a bike. Just be careful of rain – if your balcony isn’t covered, you could find yourself dealing with rust issues.
If you’ve got a blank wall, you’re in luck. It’s easy to find special mounts that get your bike off the floor and out of the way, and it can make a great looking decorative piece when it’s hung up. Shop online — Googling “bike storage” will get you all the info you need — or look in any sporting goods store.
Make sure to follow the instructions and drill the mount into a stud so it doesn’t literally come crashing down later. Check with your landlord before you drill anything major into a wall – or be prepared to do some big-time spackling when you move out. Also check that it can hold the bike still, unless you want to deal with tires leaving scuff marks on the wall.
If you don’t have much in the way of horizontal space, think vertical. You can get a pulley system that lifts the bike to the ceiling, so it takes up no floor space in the apartment.
The downside is that they’re complex to set up and quite heavy. Similar to mounting the bike on the wall, having a setup that can’t hold the weight well can end disastrously.
Do you have room to pull your couch out from the wall a bit? Simply wheel your bike behind the furniture for easy storage. This could also work behind a bed, end table or any other wide piece of furniture next to a wall.
No, we haven’t gone completely crazy yet. How much time do you spend in the shower itself? Twenty minutes or so a day, right? You now have a large space for your bike the rest of the time. Just make sure to take it out when you’re actually using the shower – the bike can rust, and it’s not very comfortable to shower on or next to a bike.