We all need someplace to store our bikes when we're not riding them. And if we want to succeed with a bike storage solution, we've got to strike a balance between security and practicality. No one wants either to ruin their home comforts or to lose their bikes to theft. So, what's the solution?
The solution is your garage! The garage is a perfect space to store your bikes year-round. Storing bikes in the garage means security, fast and easy access, and less mess and dirt than keeping them at home. What is more, it means they won't infringe too much on the other ways we use our spaces.
Pros of Garage Bike Storage
It's not that hard to find a bike storage solution, especially if you have a garage. You only need to consider what exactly you want, how many bikes you have, and the size of your bike and its wheels, as it will help you determine how much wall, floor, or ceiling space you'll need.
While it's not a problem to leave your bike out for a day or two, outdoor storage is not as safe as indoor one. So, let's have a look at the advantages of garage bike storage:
- Protection from weather damage. Your bike will be in use for a longer time.
- It's all about safety. When stored in your garage, your bike won't be stolen.
- More space at home. This is especially useful for apartment dwellers.
- Low cost. You can make bike storage racks by yourself or try bike hooks made to screw into a stud or rafter.
Garage Bike Storage Ideas
Nowadays, there are plenty of bike storage ideas to consider. Among them are horizontal wall racks, vertical wall racks, floor stands, ceiling racks, pulley systems, hooks, pedal shelves, and free-standing columns. So, let's concentrate on the most practical, real-world solutions and dive into details.
Ceiling Bike Storage
Whether there is not enough floor space in your garage or you simply want to save space for other items, ceiling bike storage is one of the greatest bike storage solutions - mainly because you can still park a car underneath the bikes.
Use a pulley system or bike storage ceiling rack. A bike storage rack is a perfect choice for those who own many bikes, as some racks may hold up to six bikes with the extension add-on.
To make things easier, you can drill some hooks directly into the ceiling. Mind that you probably don’t want to hang bikes with hydraulic disc brakes upside down. It can cause your brakes to get “squishy.”
Vertical Bike Storage
For those who want to fill their wall space, hanging your bike vertically (that is, by its front wheel) is among the best bicycle storage ideas. It lets you fit it in the wall space behind a door or in a corner.
Use vertical bike racks for this option. To get your bike on such a rack, you simply need to back on its rear wheel and then roll it forward until the front wheel sits in the bike rack, which is wide enough to accommodate even mountain-bikes tires.
If you’re looking for a simpler way to vertically hang up your bike, attach a rubber hook to a ceiling joist and dangle your equipment by one wheel.
Horizontal Bike Storage
Horizontal garage bike storage is generally easier to lift up and down than vertical storage. There are two different types of horizontal bike storage:
- a free-standing horizontal wall stand that leans against the wall
- a wall-mounting version that’s installed on the wall
For this option, you'll need foldable hangers that bolt to the wall. There are many different brands on the market offering models with adjustable hooks to fit a variety of frame shapes as well as horizontal bike racks that double as shelves.
Mind that horizontal bike storage takes up a ton of wall space. That's why you can’t store multiple bikes this way.
Floor-Mounted Garage Bike Storage
If you are an owner of a huge garage and don't need to save floor space, this type of bike storage is definitely for you. Aside from the fact they’re a classic when it comes to bike storage, there are lots of other reasons to buy them.
First of all, you don't need to worry about the tiring process of installing a garage floor rack: you just chuck them on the floor. They're really easy to move to a new space.
Moreover, floor racks keep the bike upright and stationary and provide the easiest and quickest access when compared to other bike storage options. So they're fantastic for kids' bikes as well.
As for disadvantages, floor racks are not about saving space. Moreover, some of them aren't compatible with smaller bike wheels (< 20") or bikes with disk brakes.
You can find plenty of floor stands on the market ranging from low-tech metal racks to more advanced spring-loaded cradles.
Free-standing bike storage also demands quite a bit of space in your garage. However, it doesn't need walls for support and usually works with horizontally hung bikes, so if you have limited wall space, your walls are not strong enough to support a rack, or you just want to avoid scuff marks as well as other interior-design frustrations, this is a great choice.
Free-standing racks are easy to install, and they are just as easy to move to new spaces. However, just like horizontal wall racks, the upper bike may be challenging to hang, and it's not a piece of cake for the kids to use alone.
A free-standing bike rack is best used for no more than two bikes and when you don't have any proper wall space but have plenty of space inside your garage.
One of the key things to consider when choosing a bike rack is to make sure the desired rack will accommodate your bike. If you have an intention to store a mountain bike on a floor stand, double-check that the wheel wells in the rack match your tire width. Apply the same principle if you have 29er wheels. Wheel size applies to all racks where wheels are used as the central anchor, which includes both wall and floor models.
Can I Hang a Bike Upside Down?
There is no problem hanging your bike upside down if it has rim brakes. The problem occurs if your bike has hydraulic brakes. When you hang bikes with hydraulic brakes upside down, it may cause air to go into the calipers and cause squishy brakes (the same happens if you hang a bike by one wheel).
In this case, you'll have to do a brake bleed to eliminate the squish. If you are unsure how to do this, take your bike to a repair shop, as not doing it properly can damage the bike even further.
What is the Easiest and Cheapest Way to Store Bikes in a Garage?
There are many cool systems on sale for storing your bike in a garage. Some of them may cost an arm and a leg. All in all, the way you store your bicycle depends on a number of factors:
- Amount of space you have access to
- Security needs
- Amount of bikes you want to store (and their weight, height, and length)
- Weather considerations
If you want to save money, try good old DIY. We are talking about one of the easiest and least expensive ways to store your bike. These are good old-fashioned heavy-duty rubberized bike hooks made to screw into a stud or rafter.
If you've chosen vertical bicycle storage, hang bikes with one hook and two hooks placed a bike's width apart for horizontal storage.
We hope that you got some ideas on how to best store your bike by reading this guide because the answer to which one of them is truly the best depends solely on your situation - there isn’t a one-fits-all solution.