Cycling starts off as a lovely simple hobby – you pop on your trainers, strap a helmet to your head, jump on the bike and off you go. Then – a couple of years pass and suddenly you have multiple pedals, a collection of steeds, several helmets for different purposes, and more saddles and stems than you could use at once.
Being a cyclist doesn’t make you immune to the cost of living – so many of us still find we need to cram a lot of stuff into a fairly small area. This is made even more of an issue if there are two of you, and you’re both I-Have-4-bikes cycling addicts, saving for the deposit on ‘That-Dream-House’.
So how can we prevent the bike gear from consuming what little space we have? It’s about making everything as compact as possible.
It goes without saying if you’re a multi-bike-household, save space by lining bikes up head to toe. Alternatively, you can really claim back your floor with a well designed bike rack, like this Dual Touch Bike Stand – the bonus being it doesn’t require any screws which will please the landlord if you’re renting.
At London Cyclist, we looked at storage for bikes in detail once before, here.
It’s not just about the bike(s). Tools and accessories can get messy and/or lost if not kept in check. I love this amazing Expedit unit from Ikea. It serves two purposes: storage and decoration. I’ve seen the unit put to great use, here is a non-bike example from Dig the Design:
It works pretty well for cyclists, too. You can give every compartment a theme, meaning that everything has a home. If you’re lucky enough to race and win a few shinies, these look pretty awesome when displayed in the Ikea feature:
Of course, not everything can look nice. I’ve never seen a pretty length of cable, or an attractive inner tube (have you?). A unit like this with draws for tubes and cables is perfect. Spare handlebars make good hooks, too – so if you’ve been tinkering with your set-up and have a couple of pairs not quite worth the postage cost of selling them – try turning them upside down and using them to hang bits and bobs. If you like to get creative and make something new – we once compiled 10 of the best DIY projects anyone can do.
Lots of racing cyclist have a few pairs of wheels. I’ve got a friend who is lucky enough to have a nice big house, and he’s got a “wheeldrobe” – yep – a wardrobe full of wheels. My better half, however, came up with a great space efficient solution: adapting a shoe storage unit. Wheels sit between the slats – shoes claim the space underneath. It probably cost about £20 to construct – but it does the job perfectly:
Bike clothing is by nature easy to fold away. Jackets however can be a bit more bulky, so an Ikea over-the-door hook set can be a good draw space saver. This also means they have some breathing space too when they get wet and need to dry:
Little bits of kit are pretty easy to lose. How many times have you been all ready to leave for a ride, only to find you’re missing one glove, arm warmer, overshoe, <other>? To prevent that the ‘where is leftie warmer?’ morning crisis and possible confusion over arm-warmer ownership, mine live on a skirt hanger like this:
Drinks bottles are another item that could cause more grief than necessary. So – give them a home and keep them there. It’s worth noting that these really need to dry properly on a drainer before you ever attempt to put them away. The consequence of not doing this is a smelly bottle a week later- trust me.
Cycling can become a bit of an obsession – and sometimes it can require quite a bit of kit. That doesn’t have to mean clutter and mess, and if it’s a big part of your life, why not let that breathe, and make a feature of your hobby in your home?
I’ve still not come up with a good way of storing, and not losing, long finger gloves by the way (mitts live on the hanger above). Any suggestions?
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.