Long term bike storage

Question from a reader of London Cyclist Blog:

I’m about to move into a flat that has no bike storage. This leaves me and my flatmate with a dilemma:

How to store 3 bikes, one of them a high end mountain bike.

I ran a Google search to see if there are any enterprising people out there who have set up long term bike storage rental facilities for people in the same predicament as me (of which there must be thousands…), but no joy. Your article on bike storage options in the home came up, though, so I thought I’d drop you a line to see if you knew of any such facilities? If not, I’d almost be tempted to look into it as a business opportunity, as I’m sure there would be a demand for it in certain areas of London.

I had a similar issue the last time I moved in to an apartment. There’s a few different solutions and I’d be open to hearing suggestions in the comments.

The first is to sell one of the bikes. This is the option that I ended up going with after about 6 months of a bike taking up loads of space. This isn’t ideal as you may regularly use the bike and therefore not want to sell it.

The second option is to find a self storage facility nearby. I’ve stored away a few of my belongings in a storage unit that is based in Luton. London based facilities tend to be more expensive, especially as you get closer to the centre. Again, this isn’t ideal both due to the added cost and the inconvenience of having to get to the storage facility.

Another option is to ask the council to see if there are any garages nearby available for residents. Our residential block had some but they were unavailable and there was a waiting list. I believe this is fairly typical.

You could look in to solutions such as the Cycloc. Although there may be a lack of space to store this or it might go against the contract you’ve signed on your rented apartment.

Occasionally, you can find safe bike storage locations such as The H2 gym in Soho. However, this is still a little rare and you still need to ensure your bike is well locked.

The ultimate victory would be to get the council to install secure bike parking. After all, if parking spaces are being provided for car owners, why not for cyclists?

I’d love to hear from London Cyclist readers with their suggestions. Are there any solutions I’ve not heard of?

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24 Responses to Long term bike storage

  1. Jane 01/03/2013 at 9:41 am #

    My flat is on a development of about 300 flats, shops and houses. We found a lot of the residents were having problems with storing their bikes. Some were using their apartments and hallways, lifts and stairwells were often scuffed by people taking their bikes through them. Others were chaining their bikes to outside railings and benches which also caused damage to the paint work and looked untidy. In the end the simplest solution was to install a bike store for use by all residents. We did a lot of research to ensure it would meet our requirements I.e. secure, doesn’t detract from the rest of the development and large enough to fit a reasonable number of bikes. Whilst we’ve had a few problems (local kids trying to break in) so far it’s been a great success, in fact so much so that the 50 spaces are now so full we are thinking of building a second store.

    If your new flat is on a development I suggest you contact the board of the company owning the leasehold (your managing agent will have the details) and propose something similar.

  2. Liz 01/03/2013 at 10:39 am #

    I’ve looked into hiring a bike locker from my council to store some of our bikes; they’re about £30/year but not all of the estates have spaces. Worth having a look to see if there’s one near you: http://www.cyclemanagement.co.uk/lockers.aspx

  3. Paul H 01/03/2013 at 10:46 am #

    I wrote a review of the revolution bike stand on RoadCyclingUK last year: http://roadcyclinguk.com/news/gear-news/revolution-storage-floor-to-ceiling-bike-stand-review.html

    It works really well once you get it in place, I’d watch the ceiling though when you install it and look for a structural beam going across the ceiling to place the top support on. They do a standalone version that might be better, but you can effectively store 2 bikes and then place a third against the bottom one – that’s what I do.

    Hope that helps!

  4. Migui_blu 01/03/2013 at 11:00 am #

    Buy a sh*tty transit on a web-based auction site, tax, insure and get a permit to park it on the street (local restrictions permitting) and it’s probably cheaper than putting your stuff in long-term storage.

    • Big Softy 01/03/2013 at 11:51 am #

      Buying, taxing, MOTing, and insuring a vehicle, even if you don’t actually drive it, sort of defeats the object of owning a bike.

    • Marc Beek 02/03/2013 at 11:08 am #

      I actually did this just to provoke city counselling wich did not wanted to have bikes parked on the road but allowed sh*tty tranits everywhere. I got the media and next day we were allowed to place a shelter on the street. : )

  5. BobT 01/03/2013 at 11:04 am #

    I remembered this being discussed a couple of years ago on a blog I read. Take a look http://travellingtwo.com/10938 or http://www.ikeahackers.net/2008/02/stolmen-bike-rack.html

  6. Big Softy 01/03/2013 at 11:36 am #

    Lidl and Aldi sell something called a Bike Hoist for about a fiver that allows you to store your bike at ceiling height with a pulley system. And if you add a couple of cheap ladder hooks you can store your steed almost flat on the ceiling.
    Just make sure you attach to any fittings to ceiling joists.

    • James R Grinter 03/03/2013 at 11:57 am #

      The problem with hoists is that in a lot of modern flats (mine included) the ceilings aren’t high enough to have a bike held above you!

  7. Gizmo 01/03/2013 at 11:57 am #

    http://www.lockupgarages.co.uk/ ?

  8. Liz 01/03/2013 at 12:02 pm #

    …or get creative with some IKEA stuff http://www.ikeahackers.net/2008/02/stolmen-bike-rack.html

  9. Alan 01/03/2013 at 2:33 pm #

    T’was me who asked Andreas in the first place. Thanks for the input folks. Looks like efficient storage inside the flat is the only option for me and my new housie…

  10. Jozudave 01/03/2013 at 3:21 pm #

    My neighbour has a bike bin in the front of our drive which seemed like an ideal option.

    Plenty of space for two bikes and supposedly secure.

    However, about a month ago he had his bike stolen from it despite outside locks and internally chaining his bike up too.

    Just goes to show the professional thieves can get into anything with the right tools and a bike bin is probably a magnet to thieves.

  11. Stew 01/03/2013 at 3:43 pm #

    Hmm, if you don’t need immediate access the cheeky option might be to find somewhere decent to secure it that it wont be stolen/ removed

    E.G. A couple of hefty locks and loaded up in the middle of a block at waterloo?
    http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m985ddr7XC1rvtp5u.jpg

    Do either of you work for a company with decent storage facilities at work? I have to admit that about 8-10 years ago my wife’s bike spent much of it’s life stored in the London Underground’s old basement car park at St James Park tube station (though I talk to facilities ahead of doing this and agreed I wouldn’t let others know and I’d remove it if they ever became short of space)

  12. Stew 01/03/2013 at 3:49 pm #

    On reflection another decent place might be one of these

    http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/cycling/11947.aspx#city-of-london

    A couple of years ago one of our clients was based on london wall so I used this place the whole time

    London Wall – 176 spaces
    Entry is between the Museum of London and Wood Street

    It is in a manned NCP car park so is pretty secure. Again it is a bit cheeky as you are using up a space. But as Andreas says “The ultimate victory would be to get the council to install secure bike parking” and that is kind of what this is. You would just need to pop down with a pump every so often to keep those tires inflated (and of course take it out for a spin while you are there;)) so it doesn’t look abandoned

  13. LadyA 01/03/2013 at 4:04 pm #

    Hi, not necessarily a response to the question of storage though as someone who will soon be living in london with her bikes this thread is very informative. However, I would like to know is bike theft really that bad? I would be sooooo mad if anyone stole my bike. Are there areas of london where theft is not so bad?

    • bob 08/03/2013 at 11:24 am #

      Yes its that bad in London :-(. You have been warned. Please read Andreas numerous excellent articles about securing your bike in London.

  14. fern 01/03/2013 at 6:47 pm #

    I have often thought that there would be a massive opportunity for bike storage in central London. Leaving it in the street no matter what locks you put on is asking for. Though I guess enough locks and partial diassembly it can work. It would would be great if there was place to park just off oxford street?
    Plan B: = Brompton, living in small flat with an eight mile commute. It can sit by my desk at work and I can catch a cab with it if flat tyre or fight to park it with the prams on the bus. I have even taken it on the tube.
    I would not mind having a full framed touring bike as well. Even though I would only use it a few times a year and I have no where to put it.

  15. Martins 01/03/2013 at 9:26 pm #

    Hi, haven’t tried this, but what about taking bike apart (wheels, pedals) and storing it under the bed?

  16. Alan 02/03/2013 at 7:38 pm #

    I’m thinking exactly that – the mountain bike will be pulled apart and stored under my bed and we’ll get one of those floor to ceiling stands for the 2 daily commuters. Thanks to Andreas for posting. If I ever get off my ass and start up a London bike lockup facility, I’ll be sure to post back!

  17. Harry 09/03/2013 at 7:50 am #

    One of the conditions of planning permissions for some large London buildings includes a requirement to provide cycle parking for the public. It isnt often advertised but for example in Central London the UCLH Hospital, Mcmillan Cancer Centre building (near Euston square, goodge street) has free public parkign for bikes within the building.

    So check that out as an option, you do have to do a real search though.

  18. Hannah Flaherty 03/12/2013 at 3:09 pm #

    LOVESPACE provide bike storage. We collect from your home (for free), store for as long as you want, and then deliver it back to you whenever and wherever you want in the UK – the very next day! So if you want your bike delivered to Scotland ahead of your cycling holiday, or if you just want it back when the weather gets better, you can!

    We can also provide bike boxes for you so pack the bikes into so they are transported safely at a very competitive price.

    Check out the website here:
    http://www.lovespace.co.uk

  19. Anthony Adams 30/06/2014 at 5:30 pm #

    We’ve just opened a self storage just around the corner from Old Street underground storage and we have a number of storage lockers that are perfect for storing a bicycle.

    Our address is:
    Urban Locker Self Storage
    Paterson Court
    Peerless Street
    London
    EC1V 9EX

    Or visit the website for more information: http://www.urbanlocker.co.uk

  20. Ian 07/10/2014 at 5:10 pm #

    Hi,

    This was a problem I continually faced so we’ve started up StoreCycle to offer longer term bicycle storage in London.

    There’s no need to box up the bikes and we will collect and deliver for you.

    We’re starting in the next couple of weeks but you can find our more on our website http://www.storecycle.co.uk

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