Sheds are a great place to store bikes but if you do it wrong you will fill your shed up in no time and not be able to get bikes in or out either.
It's essential to do it the right way to ensure the longevity and proper maintenance of your bicycles. A well-organized bike shed not only protects your bikes from the elements but also maximizes the available space and makes it easy to access them whenever you need.
In this article, we will provide you with some valuable tips and insights on how to store your bikes in a shed effectively.
Whats the best kind of shed to store a bike in?
Various manufacturers produce compact, purpose made bike sheds (or bike pods) for one or two bikes.
These are ideal if you restricted on outside space and only want somewhere to store bikes. If you are hoping to store your bike in a larger, walk-in shed, along with other stuff, like garden furniture and tools, it needs some more thought.
Plastic sheds are an attractive option but these are often quite small and you are likely to be restricted when it comes to mounting things on the wall.
Metal sheds can be very large, up to the scale of a small industrial building. However, fixing things to the wall can be an issue with these too so it's worth checking.
A traditional wooden shed is the most common option and these days there are some really big and fancy wooden 'sheds' that are more like a mini chalet than a shed. Wooden sheds will require external maintenance but fixing things inside the shed, like shelves, wall hooks or wall racks will be easy.
What's the best way to store bikes in a shed?
There are two or three approaches you can take to bike shed storage:
Leave bikes on the floor
If you just shove bikes into the shed and lean them all up against each other you will find that they get scratched and damaged. Not only that, the bike you want is likely to be the one at the back which will mean unloading the whole shed to get to it.
To make this a bit easier you could use a floor mounted bike rack that looks like a giant toast rack. You just push the front wheel in to a pair of hoops.
This can be a bit of a problem if the wheels are narrow (the bike will fall sideways) or if they are fat mountain bike tyres (that may not fit at all).
Either way, if you have a few bikes on the floor you will quickly have no room for anything else. All the space above the saddle and handlebars will be wasted.
Hang bikes from the ceiling
You could fix hooks to the ceiling to hang bikes by the front wheels. This will be fine as long as the bikes are not too heavy otherwise the structure of the shed may be compromised.
Another option would be to use a pulley system to hoist the bike up into the roof space. Unless you have a massive shed you are unlikely to have the height to get them high enough to avoid banging your head every time you walk in. Weight is an issue here too both in regards to the shed structure but also for hoisting bikes into the air without hurting yourself.
Bike shed wall storage
Hanging bikes vertically in a shed, using a single hook or a wall mount bike rack, is probably the best way for most situations. A bike held up by, or hanging from, the front wheel will use about a third of the space compared to it being left on the floor. Bikes can be hung from down one side of the shed or on the gable end.
Individual bike hooks can be fitted to the wooden uprights in the shed. These are often at about the right spacing to avoid handlebars clashing.
Another option is to fix a batten between a few uprights and have a wall mounted rack. This will avoid having to drill new holes when you shuffle bikes around.
Choose the Right Shed
Investing in a high-quality shed is essential. Look for sheds equipped with sturdy doors and locks to ensure the security of your bikes. Consider the size of your shed based on the number of bikes you own, allowing enough space for easy maneuverability.
When choosing a shed, opt for one with adequate ventilation to prevent condensation and moisture build-up. Good airflow helps to reduce the chances of rust and mold formation on your bikes. Additionally, consider a shed with natural or artificial light sources to make it easier to locate and access your bikes.
Securing your bikes in a shed
Locking individual bikes in a shed can be tricky. You can fit anchors or steel hoops but determined thieves with a decent saw will have the bikes away in no time. You might be able to fit a ground anchor into the ground underneath the shed but this should be concreted in place with a 25kg bag or ready mix.
Another, easier way to make life difficult for would-be thieves is to chain 3 or 4 bikes together. This makes it impossible to wheel them out and really difficult to even carry out. Just use a good quality, heavy, motorbike chain through the frames and use a 'Sold Secure Gold' padlock.
Another thing you can do is to install good quality locks (maybe a bar lock), security lights outside the shed and a loud alarm on the shed door. This will either alert you or your neighbours and might just scare opportunist theives away.
Clean and Prepare Your Bikes
Before storing your bikes in a shed, it's crucial to thoroughly clean them. Remove any dirt, mud, or grime from the frame, tires, and other components. This cleaning process helps to prevent corrosion and keeps your bikes in better condition during storage. Additionally, check for any necessary repairs and perform them before placing your bikes in the shed.
Start by rinsing your bikes with water to remove loose dirt. Use a gentle brush or sponge and a mild detergent to clean the frame, paying special attention to areas with stubborn grime. Rinse off the soap and dry your bikes thoroughly. Lubricate the chains and other moving parts to prevent rust and ensure smooth operation.
Don't forget to perform regular maintenance on your bikes, even when they are stored in a shed. Inflate the tires periodically, lubricate the chains, and check for any signs of damage. By keeping up with maintenance tasks, you'll ensure that your bikes are always ready to hit the road whenever you are.
Set a schedule for bike maintenance and stick to it, whether it's monthly, quarterly, or semi-annually. Inspect your bikes for any signs of wear and tear, such as worn brake pads or loose cables. Take the time to clean and lube the chains, ensuring they are properly lubricated to maintain smooth shifting and pedaling.
Consider creating a small maintenance station within your bike shed. This area can be equipped with basic bike tools, lubricants, and cleaning supplies, making it convenient for you to perform routine maintenance tasks.
In conclusion, storing bikes in a shed requires proper planning and organization. By following these tips, you can effectively store your bikes, protect them from damage, and optimize the available space. By doing so, you'll ensure that your bikes remain in great condition for years to come.