There have been a lot of different opinions in the past regarding the correct number of bicycles to own. Luckily it seems there has been some consensus regarding this topic lately. Most articles now point you to the scientifically derived “n+1” formula. Where the variable “n” represents the number of bikes you currently own, and “n+1” represents the number of bikes you should own. There is one part of the formula that is not accounted for; the crossover point where your significant other is no longer your significant other due to an abundance of bicycles occupying bedrooms and living spaces. To help prolong this secondary issue, I have put together a few suggestions for bicycle storage and organization that should help.
Before selecting, think about where you are storing your bicycles. This may create limitations around what you can permanently mount to. For example, some racks require wall mounting that would upset a property manager in an apartment complex.
One of the least expensive solutions, yet most space efficient arrangement involves hanging bicycles from a wheel on the wall. Delta offers the Leonardo Da Vinci rack for hanging bikes. It can handle tire widths up to 2.5 inches wide. If you have the ability to mount into studs inside your home, this offers a great way to get your bike up off the floor, saving valuable space.
My housemates and I have quite a few bicycles of our own, and luckily have access to a garage for storage. Despite the abundance of storage, we still need to keep things organized. Our solution was to buy “Bicycle Hooks” in bulk from local hardware stores. They cost less than a dollar a piece, but don’t offer the kind of wheel protection that the Leonardo Da Vinci does. For this reason, we purchased clear tubing that can be slid over the top of the hook to keep the wheels safe from scratches. If mounting indoors, it is a good idea to protect the wall from your bike tires. Try a tough semi-gloss paint that can be scrubbed clean. You can get creative with your color schemes too and turn it into a work of art.
If permanent mounting is not an option, look no further than the Saris Bike Bunk. I used this product while I was in college, living in a dorm room. Our RA’s were very strict about mounting things to the wall, but I had to keep my bikes with me in my room. This freestanding unit braces itself against the wall and floor to hold two bikes. It works well, though when not securely mounted, there is a chance it could get knocked over if it’s in a high traffic area. It is stable though and I never had an issue during the two years that I used it in the dorms.
If you like the idea of supporting the bike under the top tube, Feedback Sports makes the Velo Wall Rack, similar to the Saris Bike Bunk, but more permanently mounted for stability. The Feedback Sports Velo Wall Rack also has adjustable arms in case your bike doesn’t have a horizontal top tube. This is most beneficial for mountain frames with rear suspension that creates unique frame geometries.
Feedback Sports RAKK stands stands are also great for floor standing storage if you only have one or two bikes and are most concerned with the bicycle getting knocked over. Art’s uses these stands on our retail floor and are very happy with their performance.
One of the easiest DIY ideas we have found makes use of recycled dropbars. Get a pair of older dropbars with a quill stem. These were most likely used with 1-inch threaded fork, not the modern 1-1/8” threadless variety. Take your stem to the local hardware store and find a piece of galvanized pipe with an inner diameter that will fit the stem and allow the quill to tighten. A short section of galvanized pipe will be available with a threaded end. Thread a floor flange onto the end of the pipe and then mount it to the wall. For a little extra class, hit it all with a coat of paint before assembly and wrap the bars with some classy bar tape to protect your frame. You can find this idea and more below on the Art’s Pinterest board for Bicycle Storage. We’ve picked out some of our favorite solutions.
With some inspiration and planning, you can turn bicycles into a displayed piece when they aren’t on the road. These ideas will keep your house tidy and your significant other happy… for now, until you buy another bike.
Rubber Side Down is a weekly column dedicated to the fledgling cyclist in all of us. Art’s Cyclery Web Content Editor, Brett Murphy is not a professional cyclist, and doesn’t try to masquerade as one either, but he does love to ride bikes. Whether you are clipping in for the first time or counting down the days until your first race, read on, learn from his mistakes, and keep the rubber side down.