Home Storage Tips for Urban Cyclists

You live in a closet. Your bike is clunky. It’ll get stolen if locked outside for 10 minutes. These excuses keep many city residents from owning a bike, which is silly. We know people who keep not one but two bikes in 300 square foot apartments. Here’s how to make it work in yours.

1. Think of your bike as décor.

Got empty wall space? Consider the bike a piece of art, à la Picasso. Sure, some rusty clunkers out there don’t exactly qualify, but even they can give a space character. Lightweight titanium rides can be lifted easily and hung on the wall to fill dead zones—and give your apartment a sporty look. Heavier cruisers can be parked in the middle of a large space to partition it. In the winter, its basket could hold potted plants or napkins while it goes unused.

Mikili’s bicycle rack drawer. (Courtesy Mikili via Flickr)

2. Look for well-designed racks.

Hip young designers are often cyclists themselves and have worked on this very problem. So look beyond the bike shop for attractive and minimalist storage options. California designer Knife & Straw makes an elegant walnut or hickory bookshelf with a slot for slipping in your frame. Trophy fashions plastic-covered steel into artistic animal silhouettes, like a bull or deer. Mikili makes one that doubles as a drawer. Check out Etsy for other crafty riffs on this idea.

No tools required. (Courtesy of Mark Beckwith via Flickr)

3. Install a vertical post.

If you’re wary of drilling into drywall, you have other vertical options. Gear Up makes “no holes” tension-mounted bike posts, which fit any flat ceiling and adjusts depending on its height. A freestanding rack from Racor weighs little and can be positioned anywhere in the apartment.

4. Look to the ceiling.

Those lucky enough to have high ceilings have even more options, such as the Saris Cycle Glide. This adjustable ceiling rack hangs four bikes from hooks, a cool solution for lightweight frames. If yours is too heavy to lift, you can install a pulley system to get it up and down. A version from Gear Up holds any type of bike that weighs up to 50 pounds.

Vertical bike racks. (Courtesy of Peppered Jane via Flickr)

5. Use bikes to divide a room.

If your apartment has a large open room, your bike rack can also work to define it into two distinct spaces. For a rustic look, those wanting to DIY could try slipping bikes in wooden pallets. Or hang a bike vertically on the wall from a nifty Cycloc, whose simple design comes in seven colors. But the coolest idea comes from Swiss designer Thomas Walde. His rack literally frames the bike in the center of a room, giving it the proud place it deserves in any apartment.


Cover photo courtesy of Missy S via Flickr.