The Bike Stable

Tuesday, 07 November 2017 11:26

The Bike Stable

They say home is where the heart is. If, like us, your bike is pretty close to your heart, it needs somewhere proper to stay when away from the road. Call it what you will—store, home, stable, shed, garage, kennel, hutch, vault—it’s important.

Your perfect storage solution will depend on your circumstances, however. If you live in a top floor apartment, your ideal arrangement is going to differ from someone in a bungalow, but what would you need, with all things being equal? This got us thinking…

1. SECURITY

Your bike(s) need to be safe—that much is fundamental. It’s no use creating the perfect home for your most valued possessions if they’re not yours any more. To that end, treat a bike in a garage or shed as though it were outside and lock it up (a rule of thumb is to only leave your bike unlocked somewhere you’d let a child sleep). For garages, there are a lot of wall and floor-mounted locks to make this easier.

2. WASHING SPACE

A dirty bike is a slow bike. Take a few wet rides and it’s amazing just how much more lethargic your steed can feel, not to mention the drivetrain wear and aesthetic pitfalls of dirt, mud and grit. As such, an outdoor space, running water and a drain are fundamental. Hot water, a work stand and a hose are ideal.

It’s also worth saying that your bikes need to live somewhere warm and dry, but where it’s fine to put a damp set of tyres. Unless you fancy a complete drying routine every time you come in, that is.

3. A WORKSHOP

Whether you’re a budding home mechanic or not, it pays to have somewhere to do maintenance. Even the thickest wallet will soon tire from a trip to the bike shop every time something creaks. A toolbox, stand and work bench will get you through a lot. Our dream scenario, however, would have something resembling a pro service course, with tools for every job and plenty of space to use them.

4. DISPLAY

Beautiful bikes deserve to be seen. The perfect storage space should double as a display cabinet-cum-museum, where you can show off your bikes to visitors or simply sit and admire them yourself. Hanging racks are ideal for this. They combine good visibility with an efficient use of space.

When space doesn’t allow for a specific bike room, bikes can double up as interior design features. Hanging racks can be used in hallways, whilst you can buy low shelves and cabinets with slots in the top for your wheels.

5. GROUND FLOOR ACCESS

We hear stories of New Yorkers washing, drying and storing bikes in their 15th-floor apartments. If bikes in an elevator and chain degreaser in the bathroom aren’t for you, however, it’s best to store your bikes at ground level. Our dream store certainly is itself.

Generally speaking, the closer to the ground the better. Climbing stairs with road cleats isn’t particularly fun, especially when holding a bike.

6. MORE THAN A STORE

The ultimate bike home is more than just a place to park your ride. Quite what this could mean is a reflection of you and what you love in cycling. How about a flat screen tv, sofa and fridge full of Belgian beer to watch the spring classics? What about an espresso machine and a Memphis movement armchair, bringing the café stop to you with your own Italian twist?

Stellar though these ideas sound, our number one priority would have to be combining the storage with a top-class pain cave: a smart trainer, big screen, decent sound system and enough fans to shift the Spanish armada.

Your dream set-up will depend on you, but it’s worth remembering that like all dreams, it’s hard to make it reality at a stroke. Rome wasn’t built in a day. What we want to know, however, is how you store your bikes? Will any convenient corner do or is it only the best for your pride and joy?

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