How To: Indoor Bike Storage Tips and Solutions
Never tattoo a white wall again
As our years of mountain biking stack up, so does our treasured bike collection. This may not be an issue for those of you with man-cave garages that store 15 bikes while still having room for a couch and a big screen television. On the other end of the spectrum, however, there are those of us with little more than a 12×12-foot room at our disposal. Add a luxurious queen bed and desk and there’s now about enough room to fit two bikes, which isn’t even enough to satisfy those who are new to bike hoarding. We’ve compiled a few ways to not only efficiently store your bikes, but also protect your dwelling from the scuffs and dirt you wouldn’t mind in a garage.
If you have access to areas that are otherwise difficult to use, such as under stairwells, use those first. Otherwise, the most common solutions are freestanding column racks and wall-mounted options that secure into a stud.
Numerous companies offer indoor bike storage solutions, but Feedback Sports has been our longtime favorite. Their Velo Cache freestanding rack holds two bikes, and their four-bike extension can be used when access to the back of the rack is possible.
Lastly, you can always tap into your creative side and fashion your own storage solution out of wood or PVC piping. Regardless of the route you take, the goal is maximizing floor space and keeping the bikes away from the walls.
The typical door trim allows for an opening about 29-inches wide. Only a few years ago, most bikes could have been pushed straight through by simply slowing down when the bars approached the entry. With bars now reaching 32-inches wide, we find ourselves in a quandary. While the natural tendency is to lift the front tire and rotate the bars after the tire has passed through, regardless of how awesome you are at picking technical trail lines, with this method you’ll never get a tire through a door without scuffing the trim or door.
Instead, keep the front tire on the ground, and as the bar approaches the trim, rotate it about 40-degrees. Lean the bike towards the forward grip until it passes through the entry, then rock the bike to allow the other grip to pass through. At this point, watch your pedals. It’s common to think you’re in the clear after the bars are through, only to have your pedal take a gouge out of the door trim.
If you’re tired of constantly cleaning up the dirt film covering your hardwood floor or dealing with dirt clods in your carpet, don’t worry, there’s an easy solution. Place an old, easily shaken rug or doormat inside the entrances of your exterior doors. For coverage of your full bike length, with more than a complete tire rotation as you roll it in, get a 4×6-foot rug. That’ll also provide a landing for your trail shoe footprints at its side. Take your shoes off, let the bike dry, and then lift it over to its storage area.
Regardless of all the techniques you use to keep your walls bright, you’ll sometimes slip up or a slammed door will send your bike toppling. Bikes don’t fall gracefully when left unattended, usually causing tires or grips to leave rubber marks.
For a spot-cleaning approach to removing rubber marks, use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. If you’ve let years of rubber marks build up, we suggest getting a bottle of sugar soap from your local hardware store. It’s gentle, yet strong enough to transform your walls from nasty to nice in no time.
Once again, Feedback Sports offers a standalone solution. Its RAKKs accept anything from 20-millimeter race slicks to 2.4-inch downhill knobbies. If you prefer floor storage and have the extra space, numerous RAKKs can be linked for multi-bike storage. Securing the bike via the tire means the pedal rotation is uninterrupted, allowing for a quick chain lube before your ride. Just make sure you put something with little value underneath to catch all the chain grime.
Depending on where you live, you may not want your high-end build on display to the world through your front window. Place your storage solution in an area that is not visible to passersby. If there’s a perfect storage area in a back room but it’s near a window, keep in mind that storing your bikes there will eventually cause paint to fade from the sun’s UV rays. If the area is a really optimal spot that you want to utilize, be sure to apply 3M Sun Control window film to the windows.
THERE ARE SO MANY WAYS TO GET MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION:
Mountain Bike Action is a monthly magazine devoted to all things mountain biking (yes, that’s 12 times a year because we never take a month off of mountain biking). It has been around since 1986 and we’re still having fun. You can start a subscription by clicking here or calling (800) 767-0345. Also available from the Apple Newsstand for reading on your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch.
Contact us via email at [email protected]