As our outdoor season, at least road bike season — there is still plenty of Mtn Biking to be had, comes to an end we are all faced with the question of what to do with our gear. Unlike running or swimming where all your gear can be stored in a backpack in your closet, a bike is a pretty large piece of equipment that requires much more real estate in your home or garage. Multiply this several times over (N+1 rule, please), and you'll have a mess on your hands.
There's a whole host of ways to store your bike inside, but we'll address a few of the most common methods. Of course, simply leaving a bike or three in the hallway is always an option, but in case your significant other isn't OK with that, these are some great alternatives.
One of the more complex storage solutions out there, a bike hoist is exactly what it sounds like: a way to lift your bike off the ground and store it in the rafters. It utilizes a pully system where you simply hook the bike's saddle and handlebars and slowly lift the bike by pulling on the rope. This storage method is perfect for rooms or garages with high ceilings where having a bike hanging above won't pose a risk for cars pulling in or people walking by.
For houses or apartments with limited floor storage space, ceiling mounts are a great solution. Similar to a bike hoist, this method stores bikes upside-down, off the ground by means of hooks. I have used hooks in the garage for years and one of the great things is that the bike is usually high enough that you can get the hood of your car under it to maximize space.
Leaning a bike leaning against a wall in the garage poses a risk of it being knocked over (usually in slow motion, with a crash, bang and a few cuss words thrown in). A wall mount still keeps a bike parallel to the wall, but it suspends it off the ground by cradling the bike with hooks on the top tube. It's more secure, and depending on the size of the bike, wall mounts will often allow one bike to be stored above the other on the same wall.
Note that some ultra-lightweight carbon frame manufacturers suggest no pressure be put on the top tube. Keep this in mind when deciding if a wall mount is right for you.
If you're renting your living space, you may not want to put holes in the wall to mount hooks or hardware to store your bike. Gravity stands are a nice alternative–they keep your bike (in this case, bikes) off the ground and are designed to safely lean against a wall. They're compact, adjustable and give you the flexibility to store your bikes wherever you move the stand.
Floor stands have come a long way since the fixed metal bike racks at your school when you were a kid, although the four bike one currently in my basement still looks a lot like that. While you can still find racks that hold your bike upright by sliding the wheel into the slot (the one that I have), it's more and more common to see floor stands that prop a bike up by its rear hub. These floor stands utilize the gap between the frame and the hub, and are often compatible with both road and mountain bikes.
I hope this helps you to organize your space a little bit while you get ready for the Winter Training season.
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