One of the hardest parts of being a bike family is knowing how to store all of those bikes (and bike accessories like helmets). Our family has somewhere around 30 bikes (no, that’s not a typo).
While we currently have plentiful garage bike storage, our last home was built in 1927 and had no garage. And before that, we lived in an apartment. So we’ve had lots of experience over the years getting creative with how we store all our bicycles.
In this article, we’ll share some of our go-to storage tricks and other bike storage ideas that our community has shared with us. Many of these are DIY bike storage solutions, while others you can order online.
Whether you live in a walk-up apartment in the city or have a six car garage in the country, these ideas should provide some inspiration on how to get your family’s bikes organized and out of the way.
|Outdoor Bike Storage||Garage Bike Storage||Apartment Bike Storage / Indoor Bike Storage|
|Bike storage shed||Hanging storage||Vertical storage (walls hooks and vertical stands)|
|Tent or cover||Shelf with hooks||Decorative storage|
|Tips For Kids Bike Storage|
Outdoor Bike Storage
If you don’t have a garage but you DO have a yard, then outdoor bike storage might make sense for your family. The key is to make sure your bikes are protected from the elements (rain and snow will cause rust) and safe from thieves.
Bike Storage Shed
A bike shed is a perfect outdoor bike storage solution for the family who has a yard or patio but no garage (or a garage that has limited space). If you have some DIY construction skills, you can build your own, or buy a slightly less attractive ready-made shed*.
Bike Tent Or Cover
Not as permanent as a bike shed, a bike tent (or a simple bike cover) can still provide protection from the elements. The only problem with these is how to lock up your bikes to keep them safe. If you’re going to use a fabric cover in your yard or driveway, I’d highly recommend installing a ground anchor to lock the bikes to.
When you are out and about on the town, you use bike racks. Why not create one for use at home?
It’s fairly easy to DIY yourself, or you can order a metal rack if that’s more your style. A rack is a relatively simple way to store bikes and can be used on a patio (or in a garage).
The other great thing about racks are that kids can remove bikes to ride and replace them on their own. That’s not true of many types of bike storage.
The only drawback is it takes up more space than some of the other solutions, and there’s no built-in protection from the elements. If you’re placing a bike rack outdoors I’d try to find a protected space like a covered patio or portico.
The other thing to be aware of is that many commercial racks that you can buy won’t fit smaller wheels, wider tires, or disc brakes. If any of those describe your bikes, you might want to DIY instead.
Garage Bike Storage
If you’re lucky enough to ample garage space, it’s the logical place to store your bicycles. But how to organize them?
Ceiling Bike Storage
Not enough floor space in your garage? No problem. Just hang your bikes from the ceiling. This is nice because you can still park a car underneath the bikes.
You can use a pulley system* or a rack like the Saris Glide* (which holds up to 6 bikes with the extension add-on). The only thing to be aware of is that you probably don’t want to hang bikes with hydraulic disc brakes upside down. (It may cause your brakes to get “squishy.”)
The other thing to think about with ceiling storage is that kids can’t access the bikes on their own AND even adults might be less likely to use their bike when it’s up on the ceiling. Out of sight, out of mind, right?
For an even easier option, you can drill some hooks directly into the ceiling. We’ve done the latter for “extra” bikes by hanging them out in our shop (pictured below).
Shelf and hooks
For a family with a big fleet of bikes (like us), a shelf with hooks might be your best option for hanging a bunch of bikes. Here’s a picture of the DIY shelf my husband built.
It extends across the full length of our garage, and holds up to 12 bikes. Above the bikes, we’re able to store helmets and other bike gear.
The other great thing about hooks are that there are no limitations on the bikes that you can fit. Balance bikes, fat bikes, you name it, they can all be hung.
Like my warning with the ceiling racks above, if you have hydraulic disc brakes, don’t hang your bike upside down.
If you’re not much of a DIY-er, no worries. You can also buy pre-made options.
Apartment Bike Storage / Indoor Bike Storage
Whether you live in an apartment without outdoor/garage storage space OR you simply live in a house without a garage and you want to keep your bikes inside, all hope is not lost! Did I mention that we somehow managed to store our whole fleet of bikes in a house without a garage?!?
Vertical Bike Storage
Wall hooks are my personal favorite way to hang bikes indoors, and at our last house, we had several of them in our laundry room. For folks like me with limited upper body strength, they are easy to use but also get bikes out of the way.
The drawback to wall hooks are that you put a hole in your wall (not great if you’re renting) and you will end up with tire marks on the paint (also not great if you’re renting).
If you don’t want to drill into your walls, a vertical bike storage stand is another option, especially if you have high ceilings. Here’s the Feedback Sports Velo Column (available at REI.com*).
Decorative bike storage
These options are attractive, but might not be the best for a family with a lot of bikes. Still, if you have only a few bikes you have to store, and they need to be indoors, you might as well them look pretty!
Tips For Kids Bike Storage
There’s a lot of info on how to store bicycles on the internet, but not a lot of info on how to store kids bikes. Here are a couple of things I’ve learned over the years.
Keep The Bikes Accessible
In my opinion, kids bikes should be kept accessible. Kiddos (especially elementary age kids and above) should be able to access their bikes without having to get mom or dad for help.
For this reason, we hang most of our bikes but keep one or two of our son’s bikes down and accessible. If you have more than one or two kids (and therefore more than one or two bikes that need to be accessible), consider using a bike rack. It takes up more space than vertical racks or ceiling trays, but it will encourage your kids to actually ride their bikes.
Use A Stand For Balance Bikes
Unlike most kids bikes that have a kickstand, balance bikes usually don’t. Rather than laying the balance bike on its side where it can get scratched (or runover buy an unsuspecting parent in the car), use a simple wooden balance bike stand. You can buy one (we like the Woom Dock rack*), or make one yourself.
Smaller Wheeled Bikes May Not Fit On Store Bought Racks
If your child’s bike has smaller wheels (20″ and under), you may find that many bike storage options don’t work that well. Hooks are always a great option as are DIY bike racks.
More Bicycle Storage Ideas
For more creative ideas, check out my bike storage board on Pinterest.