Bikes are great; for you and for the environment and even our health. That, we can all agree on.
We can also agree that when it comes to bike storage, not every bike owner has a working idea of how to conveniently store their bikes.
Your case might be that you have sufficient garage space but you’re poor at organizing so your garage ends up looking cramped. And things may seem hard because although you want to revamp the garage and reclaim the wasted space, you just don’t know where to start.
Tell you what; it is particularly a challenge for households that have limited garage space and a fleet of bikes to store. And apartment dwellers have it even harder!
What type of bike owner are you?
Do you have an organized system or do you just wing it? If your choice is the latter then you will be pleased that there are a plethora of bike storage solutions for a family that we have assembled for you. We uniquely address how to store kids’ bikes as well.
Remember, there isn’t one storage solution that will work for everyone so there are a couple of factors that will dictate which bike storage solution is best for you. Do not rush to store your family’s bikes before reading this article.
If you just want to head straight to choosing the best, check out our review of the best bike storage solution for your family or even kids.
What factors should you consider?
Truth be told, you can’t just wake up and decide to hoard your bikes away like you’ve seen them at your neighbors’ place.
There is a simple procedure that entails finding the answers to the following questions. Then and only then should you conclude which method works best for you.
- How many bikes do you need to store? It is easier to store one bike as compared to a fleet. Furthermore, there is no need for a bike organizer meant for a host of bikes to take up garage space yet you own one or two bikes.
- How much space do you have for bike storage?
It is not just about the space but rather how much of it you are willing to dedicate to bike storage.
Bikes need a dedicated spot for their storage as they tend to get in the way. The amount of space you have will dictate the storage spot. For instance, if you have limited garage space and a fleet of bikes to store then it might be best to store them in the outdoors.
At the same time, there are other options you can explore first before settling on an outdoor storage system.
- How frequently do you use your bikes?
Some people ride their bikes every day while others rarely use them. As such, frequent users need the easiest access to their bikes in comparison to non-frequent users.
- Do you have kids and are they regular riders?
Your storage system needs to be easy for kids to manage. In such a case, floor-level storage may be the best option. Otherwise, as every parent knows, the bikes will just get thrown around.
- What type of bikes do you own?
You may be surprised to find out that the size and components of your bikes matter just as much as the bike type.
Some bike storage methods won’t work if the bike organizer is not compatible with your tire size.
As for the type, it is easier to hang mountain bikes by the rims than it is to hand specialty road bikes as their parts are more delicate. Additionally, bike components such as fenders and disc brakes are not usually compatible with all storage equipment as they tend to get in the way.
Be sure to check for compatibility with your bike’s features before settling on a storage system.
- What is the best bike storage solution for smaller kids?
Well, taking into consideration that kids’ bikes are smaller compared to adults, you can use kickstands. It is the best solution for small kids’ bikes such as balance bikes, pedal bikes, and even mountain bikes. Mostly, kids who can ride find it easy to operate a kickstand. Alternatively, you can use the wall hooks and wall racks. Horizontal bike storage is best for smaller kids. Both tires are on the floor and it is easy to operate. Kickstands are great for 12, 14, 16, 18, and 20-inch kid’s bikes. Alternatively, use floor stands for small kids’ bikes.
- What is the best storage for older kids’ bikes?
Older kids have bikes slightly larger, we are talking of bikes of size 20” to 26-inches. In this regard, they would best be accommodated by the garage wall or ceiling storage ideas we share below. Older kids can work well with vertical bike storage solutions, where tires are above the floor.
If you have both older and smaller kids’ bikes, consider mixing storage ideas in the available garage space. Off-floor bike organization or storage solutions, are convenient and leave you with just enough space for other stuff.
Based on your answers to these questions you can then choose a custom storage solution. You may have to mix up the storage methods in order to maximize the space. Whatever you do, just make sure that your storage system works for you rather than against you.
What are the Types of Bike Storage Methods?
Like we mentioned earlier, the amount of storage space will overwhelmingly impact your storage method. Most bike users prefer indoor storage. Regardless of the amount of space that you have for bike storage, be sure to make the most out of the available space.
You need to note from the onset that bike storage is a thought and mind-consuming business. You can never find a bicycle storage option that can accommodate all the bikes you have in a family.
One option could be suitable for an adult bike but not a kids’ bike and vice versa. Sometimes, drilling the ceilings and the walls could also harm the aesthetics of a home, so what bike storage options are there for families? Let’s dive right in.
Indoor Bike Storage Methods
More often than not, people who claim that they have limited garage space usually just need to invest in better organization. There are a lot of ways you can accommodate your bikes within your garage space. From floor stands to wall mounts, ceiling mounts and even poles; let’s find out which method will best suit your circumstances.
Simple ways never get tired.
Kickstands are a great and simple way to use the bike’s own components for a good organization.
You will notice that by using a kickstand to hold the bike upright, the bike ends up taking up way less space than it does when laid flat on the ground.
It is also the simplest method for kids to use reason being that if a child can ride a bike, chances are that they can operate its kickstand too. It is most common in bikes from 12-26 inches.
Kickstands are also a great storage tool as they are compatible with various other bike storage systems. Just stick around and we will get more into those storage systems!
2. Floor Stands/ Racks
The more frequently you use your bikes the easier the access needs to be. As such, floor stands are the best bike storage method for bikes that get the most use.
Although they are popularly used for out-of-town adventures, there is no reason why daily riders can’t use them too. After all, they too need a dedicated spot to park their bikes when not in use.
Depending on the number of bikes that you own, you can opt for store-bought single units, multi-rack units or you can just make your own D.I.Y bike rack.
Because they take up a lot of space, floor racks are a great choice for bike owners with large garages who are keen on the organization rather than saving floor space. In as much as they use the floor space right up, they will at the very least get haphazardly laid bikes off the floor!
The great thing about this home storage system is that the floor stands can be moved from room to room so sticking to garage storage is not necessary.
Some are easier to mount onto than others while others are stronger than their competitors but here’s where the main difference comes in; depending on the amount of storage room you can either use vertical or horizontal stands.
Vertical Floor Stands
As the name suggests, vertical floor stands are set up such that the bikes are spread out vertically.
The front tire is held in the stand to keep the bike upright. The stand then holds the bike mid-air such that one tire is always on the floor while the other is suspended in the air.
Vertical floor racks generally take up less space although, after set up, the bike will still get in your way as compared to laying them horizontally.
Horizontal Floor Stands
The main difference between horizontal floor racks and vertical ones is that with the former, the bike (tires) lays wholly on the floor. This system is also much easier for kids to operate.
For both of these methods, you still need to leave garage space for retrieval of the bikes from the floor stands.
3. Ceiling Mounts/ Overhead Storage
If you have insufficient floor space in your garage or simply need to free up the space to accommodate extra things then you better look up!
Ceiling mounts are an ingenious way to store bikes as they do not take up any floor or wall space.
They are a great option for families with a lot of bikes simply because they are flexible with the size and number of bikes. The Saris Cycle Glide, for instance, can accommodate multiple bikes while most pulley systems are known to be a single unit
The only downside to this storage system is that it is best for certain types of bikes as compared to others. For instance, they are not advisable for long term use on road bikes as their rims may end up bending or breaking due to too much pressure being exerted there.
Believe it or not, there are several ways to use that extra air space above your head. From a pulley system to ceiling hooks and platform lifts; the choice is simply yours.
Remember, most garages have different heights, so choose a ceiling bike storage that has an adjustable height to fit in your garage space.
Manual Hoist Pulley/Winches
Pulley systems are the best way to get bikes off the floor. They are also known as garage utility hangers and are made of sturdy steel.
A Pulley-operated ceiling rack entails an easy lift-and-hoist pulley rope system whereby you attach your bike to the harness and hoist it towards the ceiling. You only need to ensure that there is enough space to lower the pulley and retrieve the bikes.
A great example of this mechanism is the Racor Bike lift, which uses a pulley system that reduces the bike weight exceptionally and even has a secure locking mechanism.
Pulley systems are however not a great system for kids as they usually require strength to pull. However, if mommy or daddy will always be around then this serves as a great option for families.
Is there not enough space on your garage floor? Worry less, this overhead system will take off the pain of storing bikes off your chest. It operates mechanically whereby the bike is hung on a tire that is secured to a hook drilled directly into the ceiling.
Like all ceiling systems, there needs to be sufficient space under the bikes for retrieval.
Hooks come in different sizes which means that depending on the size you can store just about any bike this way; be it a road bike or a mountain bike.
Platform/ Elevator Lifts
Although not as common as the rest, elevator lifts are also a great and innovative way to store bikes.
This system is a high-tech solution to bike storage. It entails a motorized hoist that does the heavy lifting of the bike such that all you have to do is load the bike onto it.
Although bikes are lifted off the floor, you must reserve space underneath for the lift to land the bike. Otherwise landing them on your car’s ceiling just won’t work.
Flat-bike-lift is a great lift system that parks bikes flat to the ceiling. Through a simple hand motion of a handle, the lift ascends and descends the bike when necessary.
Lifts usually have a great locking mechanism so you need not worry about the bike falling off, for installation, just ensure you have a separate bracket to affix the lift onto and you will be good to go.
4. Wall Mount Systems
Sometimes, there is plenty of space in the house. Of course, walls in the laundry room, balcony area, or garage can be a great unexplored bike storage area. To say it as it is, this next method of bike storage has quickly gained momentum in a lot of family-biking households as it is a great way to reclaim floor space.
If you do not have enough garage floor space and do not want to mount and dismount your bike from the ceiling then you should definitely consider wall mounting.
With this system, bikes can be mounted vertically by the rims or horizontally by the frame.
On-wall vertical mounts
This mechanism entails hanging bikes vertically against the wall such that the bike is off the floor but its frame protrudes into the garage.
Depending on the angle that the bike hangs off the wall, a lot of garage space can be saved.
All you have to ensure is that the floor-to-ceiling measurements can accommodate the length of the bike. Plus you should have sufficient space for the bikes to stick off the wall and still have room to move around the bikes and your vehicles. Therefore if your garage is tightly packed then this might not be the method for you.
There are various advantages to this mounting system. For starters, it takes up very little wall space so not only are you saving floor space but you are also using the wall space minimally.
Another great thing about this system is that you can hang any type of bike; from balance, bikes to pedal bikes.
- Vertical wall mount
Steadyrack classic is a great example of a high-quality vertical bike rack with a unique pivoting design that saves you from heavy lifting as all you have to do is balance the bike on its rear wheel then push it into the rack.
Bike racks are however difficult for children to remove their bikes from this position
They are also great for garage and outdoor use rather than the indoor unless bumping into the bikes sticking off the wall won’t be a problem for you.
- Wall rack/ Shelf and hook combination
The vertical mounting system does not limit bikes to being stored in an upright rigid position.
You can alternatively use the combination of a shelf and hooks whereby the shelf extends across the garage with simple hooks attached on the bottom side.
These hooks hold the bikes in a leaning position which is great as the sideways hanging of the bike gives you more room to move around. Additionally, a number of bikes can be stored this way!
This system secures a bike flat against the wall
Here’s the great thing about horizontal wall stands; although they take up a lot of wall space, they take up very little space in the actual room. This is excellent of bikes getting in your way is a major issue for you.
Hanging the bikes flat against the wall further saves more floor space as compared to hanging them vertically.
So if you have limited garage space and a few bikes to store then this might be the ideal bike storage solution for you. If you are however on the opposite end of the spectrum, this method will not work as usually a maximum of two bikes can be hung
There are two ways you can do mount bikes;
- Wall hooks
Wall hooks can be installed on the wall itself to support the bike. Depending on the type of hook, the bike can be laid flat on the wall or held up close to the wall.
A major strength of this system is that it is most appropriate for kids or those with limited upper body strength. Examples include the Leonardo bike hook and the Racor B-1R Solo vertical bike rack.
- Free-standing horizontal/ Poles/ Floor to ceiling systems
A floor-to-ceiling column rack system works best for rooms with walls that you either don’t want to damage by attaching hardware or it is difficult to attach hardware.
Based on tenant compliance, they are a great option for those who reside in apartments that do not own garages and are liable for damaging walls.
Topeak Two Up is an indoor bike storage stand that works great as it has a large base to support itself. It can carry an exceptional 150 pounds which means that it easily carries the heaviest steel bikes!
The greatest advantage of this storage system is that can be moved from room to room while the greatest disadvantage is that you generally can’t store too many bikes this way.
Decoration/ Art display
Have you ever considered hanging up your bike and displaying it as a work of art in itself or even using it as a wall divider?
This indoor system is an attractive option that works best for two groups of people.
If you have limited garage space and want to make the most out of the available space in your house then you should consider this approach.
The second group is that of urban house arrangement of apartment dwellers who have no option but to store their bikes inside.
CorSurf Foldaway, for instance, is a great wooden rack that does a great job of making the bike a part of wall art. You can accessorize it with bike components such as the helmet or water bottle or simply fold it away when not in use!
It’s a stylish yet functional way to store bikes. Our only reservation about this system is that it may not work for families with a lot of bikes. However, if you own one to two bikes, then go for it!
Outdoor Bike Storage Solutions
1. Bicycle Shed
from steel, plastic, wood, and aluminum. The good thing is that there are many DIY video guides online on how to construct a homemade bike tent for family bike storage.
They are a great solution for families with little to no garage space but have available space in their yard or patio. However, you need to have a floor rack or kickstand for the bike to maintain an upright position within the shed.
You can either build your own or buy a ready-made one. The great thing about bike sheds is that kids can participate in building them so they have a more personal touch.
Additionally, they are exceptionally easy for kids to use especially if they are held up using kickstands. You can store kids’ bikes outside and every time they are out of the house, the appealing shed reminds them that it is time to kick some pedals. They can also store a number of bikes. However, you would require enough garden space for such sheds.
Being an outdoor storage system, the greatest drawback to bike sheds is that the bike is more prone to theft as compared to being stored indoors. Also, if you live in hot humid areas, some of the bikes might rust depending on the frame and component materials.
2. Bike Covers
Bike covers are a great way to store bikes outside and protect them from the elements. This cover-up tactic is an outdoor bike storage solution and is also best for travelers.
This system does not work independently. Mostly, you might need a kickstand or floor stand to keep the bike upright underneath the cover.
Some bike covers are heavy and may become a challenge for kids to maneuver. Another disadvantage of this system is that storing bikes outside makes them susceptible to theft. Luckily you can lock them for that extra security measure.
Ultimately, no garage space is used so if you have little space to spare then it’s a win-win.
3. Bike Tents
You read that right, bike tents are an affordable option for families with a good backyard space. Besides, installing or assembling bike tents is easier. And, they also come with an assurance of portability in the outdoor spaces. You could carry them to a bike camping expedition.
Mostly, bike tents protect your family’s bikes against extremes such as rain, sunshine, and snow. However, they are only a viable option for people living in areas where bike theft is not a worry. Otherwise, you can wake up to a grand family bike heist, which can reduce your bike investments to nothing.
They are also suitable for families that travel given their portability. Most tents can take about 3-4 bikes, depending on the size. If it is exclusively for kids’ bikes storage, you will store as many as you can depending on the available space.
Related article: Bike storage solutions for your home, reviewed.
How much garage space you have and how much of it you are willing to devote to bike storage plays a fundamental role in determining a bike storage solution for your family.
There are many bike storage solutions but the best solution is the one that addresses your unique needs. Generally, it saves your garage floor space without inconveniencing you.
These are the best bike storage solutions:
- Kickstands- easiest to use for smaller kids
- Floor stands- take up a lot of garage space but give the easiest access
- Ceiling hoists- best for tightest garage space
- Wall stands- hard/ impossible for younger kids to operate but they buy you back garage space
- Vertical wall racks-best for roomy garages and a fleet of bikes to store
- Horizontal wall mounts- best for saving garage space with few bikes to store
- Art display- best for those with no garage space
- Bike sheds/ covers- best for limited garage space
Storage space should not be a worry in a cyclist’s mind.
With this many options to explore, there’s no excuse for any bike owner to lack a proper storage mechanism! And that is simply it! These are some of the best bike storage ideas you can ever come across for either individual or family use.
If you were initially worried about the best way to store your family’s bikes, we doubt you still are.
Related: Best PSI for kids' bikes.