When space is at a premium, storing bikes can be a problem. The obvious solution is a dedicated bike store. These generally sit in your front garden. Therefore you have to address issues of practicality, visual appeal and above all, security when choosing a bike store.
Bike Store Security
Taking the last point first, security in a bike store is normally ensured by having a steel loop or similar heavy piece of structural metal concreted into the ground or a wall behind the store. The bikes get chained to this. The store covering the bikes needs to be secure, but doesn’t have to be Churchill’s Whitehall Bunker. This is because the bikes will be attached to that big metal ring so they can’t be nicked even if the whole storage locker is ripped to pieces. For the bike shed itself you simply need something strong enough to deter the passing opportunist from even bothering to find out whether the bikes hidden inside it are worth trying to steal. For that reason you do need solid sides. It is no good having slats with gaps because then thieves can see what is inside and if it happens to be your top of the range brand new two wheeled sex machine then someone will be back at two in the morning to take the store to pieces AND hacksaw through the security ring.
Practicality comes down to having doors or sides that easily open to allow bikes to be placed inside. Fit adults may find that small children have a very different understanding of practicality and so who will be using the bike store really should be borne in mind. There are two distinct types of opening. Either barn doors or a fold up front. Personally I find old fashioned doors easier than the ‘garage door’ style opening.
Beautiful Bike Sheds
Lastly the look of the shed or store is important. Especially if your bike store has to be placed in the front garden where your neighbours will see it. Wood, plastic or metal bike stores are all available. Think carefully about your aesthetic choices to ensure you don’t become the neighbours everyone else loves to hate. Here are some of the most popular bike store options currently available.
Metal store with ‘garage doors’
My friend has one of these and the only downside is that you have to lift the bikes over a lip to drop them in to the store. Very secure and recommended for people with the most expensive bikes.
Keter Storage Unit – from £90
Popular because it is cheap, the Keter storage box does the job when it comes to practicality, but a big lump of plastic in your front garden isn’t everyones cup of tea. There again, since it will never need painting, it is a good choice for people without the time or ability to paint up a wooden store.
If you are a handy person, then why not simply build your own from old palettes? It isn’t hard and for around £50 (roofing felt, felt tacks, thin ply for the roof, screws and perhaps the upright posts if you cant scavenge those) you can knock up a decent store yourself. A lot cheaper than a new bike. We particularly like a bike store that one of our neighbours built, replacing the tried and tested grey felt roof with a green rooftop garden of growing plants. Her store did need much stronger uprights to support the weight, but the effect is lovely. She even has weeping plants tumbling over the edges to soften the appearance still further. It sits very well against the side of her Victorian cottage while giving her a place to easily store and access her families bikes. Here is a link to an article about building your own bike shed