Don’t you love knocking into your kids’ bikes in the basement as you pass with a full laundry basket? Or trying to squeeze past it when exiting your car in the garage? Or, worst still, maneuvering around it in your bedroom year-round?
No, you don’t. Biking is fantastic, but dealing with your wheels can be a challenge.
So we’ve turned to professionals and storage gurus for cool ways to hang, mount, and stash your family’s bikes this winter.
“When it comes to properly storing bicycles, there are three things to know: location, safety, and prolonging bike life,” notes biking expert Yeshaya Krispin, founder of the bike accessory company RoadwareZ.
You want to protect your bike from other vehicles and foot traffic, as well as prevent rust and erosion, he explains. Other no-nos? Leaning it in an awkward fashion could damage the gears, puncture tires, and possibly smear chain grease on carpets and upholstery.
For help with bike management in your home, here are nine ways to store your ride when the weather’s no good for cruising.
1. Garage wall clamps
The garage is the optimal space for seasonal items like bikes—and it makes sense to store related gear here too, including your bike’s pump, helmets, and water bottles.
2. Hardware-store J-hooks
The cheapest and most DIY method of bike storage is to head to your local big-box store or home center and pick up a couple of heavy-duty, rubber-coated hooks ($2, The Home Depot). These quickly screw into the ceiling at the appropriate height of your garage, shed, or utility room.
“One is all you need to hang a bike vertically, though you can use two to hang it horizontally,” says Stan Lexow of American Self Storage in Oscala, FL.
3. Under-stair mount
Hiding your bike under a set of stairs with clamps or hooks is another option, says Lexow. This works well if you have basement steps that are out of sight, but less so if your only choice is to view them from the living room.
“Just be sure the stairs are made from material you can drill into, like solid wood,” adds Rich Conroy, education director of Bike New York.
4. Pulley system
Krispin likes a pulley system or bike lift for storing these unwieldy items.
“A setup like this allows homeowners to attach rope to the handles and seat, and then hoist the bike up to the ceiling and then back down again,” he says.
5. Wall-mounted bike rack inside your home
No garage or rafters? Look to the walls inside your living space instead. Wall-mounted bike racks ($70, Amazon) can store gear flat against the wall or allow it to protrude, and can often be installed anywhere, including the garage, mud room, or in a deep closet.
A word of caution: Always check the mount’s weight limit, and aim for something that can hold more than you need.
6. Outdoor shed
“Sheds made from vinyl, resin, or plastic can endure most weather extremes, while wood sheds are known for withstanding strong wind and snowfall, so both options are viable for bike storage,” says Hyer.
Many sheds have double doors, roofs that open, and sliding floors and walls—and a few are even portable, like a camping tent, adds Krispin. Expect to pay between $150 to $1,000 for a decent bike shed.
7. Bike as wall art
Let’s face it—bikes can be beautiful. So if yours is easy on the eyes, why not show it off as art?
“Some may see their bike as a piece of art and want to hang it on the wall for all to see,” says Lexow. One word to the wise? “I’d probably clean it up first.”
You can also hang some lights on it for a more festive holiday look.
8. Storage cabinet
Want to hide those bikes and streamline your garage, in one shot? A storage system like this one from NewAge ($1,500, Lowe’s) comes in multiple pieces and is modular, which means you can arrange the set to fit your bikes and other large items in your garage, explains Hyer.
Meanwhile, apartment dwellers may jump at this idea: Conroy reports seeing a studio apartment with a bed unit that was just tall enough for bikes to roll underneath.
“It was a queen-size bed on a loft, and it had doors that closed below. It was rather cool,” he says.
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