How do you store multiple bikes in an apartment?

Storing multiple bikes in a small apartment can seem daunting, but with some creative thinking and planning, it’s very doable. As more people ditch their cars and embrace cycling as their main mode of transportation, especially in urban areas, finding ways to store several bikes in compact living spaces has become an increasingly common challenge.

The main considerations when storing multiple bikes in an apartment are space, accessibility, and protection. You want to find enough room to store the bikes securely and keep them protected, while still maintaining easy access so they can be taken out conveniently for rides. This generally requires getting creative and strategic with vertical storage, as well as utilizing dual-purpose furniture and accessories.

Assess your space and storage needs

The first step is taking a realistic look at the space you have available and determining how many bikes you need to store. Measure the square footage of your apartment, especially the entryway, hallway, and any potential storage areas like a balcony or storage locker. This will help you gauge what kind of storage solutions are feasible.

Take into account how often you’ll need access to the bikes – will they be used daily or more for recreational rides on weekends? Daily commuter bikes will need to be very accessible, while bikes used less often can be stored in higher or more inconvenient areas.

Make a list of each bike you need to store along with details like size, type (road, mountain, cruiser, etc.), and how often it’s used. This will inform how and where they can be stored effectively.

You’ll also need to take into account any other items taking up space in your apartment, like outdoor gear, extra furniture, or other sporting equipment. Try to minimize clutter as much as possible to free up as much space as you can for bike storage.

Go vertical with your storage

The quickest way to open up floor space is to store bikes vertically on a wall rather than horizontally on the floor. This takes advantage of vertical air space rather than scarce floor space.

Wall-mounted bike racks and hangers that allow you to hang bikes vertically are widely available at hardware stores, cycling shops, and online retailers. Models that stagger the bikes vertically, or hang them at alternating heights, are ideal when storing multiple bikes.

Some things to look for when choosing a wall bike rack include:

  • Sturdy, weight-bearing materials like metal
  • Cushioned hooks or arms to prevent damage to bike frames
  • Easy mounting hardware – toggle bolts work best for drywall
  • Optional bike lock holes for security
  • Enough space between hooks/arms to prevent handlebar entanglement

Entryways or hallways with high ceilings and blank walls make perfect bike parking spots. For extra stability, try to mount racks into wall studs. You can also install racks high up on walls above furniture, but make sure they’re still reachable.

Wall-mounted racks allow for dense vertical bike storage, but they can be tough to mount properly on flimsy apartment walls. Make sure to consult your building management before drilling holes.

Opt for space-saving racks

Floor racks and stands are another option if wall space is limited. Though they take up more floor space than wall racks, models with a small footprint can squeeze into tight areas.

Look for compact options like:

  • Vertical stands that allow bikes to be stacked on top of each other.
  • Overhead hanging racks that lift bikes up and out of the way.
  • Foldable or collapsible racks that can be stowed out of the way when not in use.
  • Multi-bike floor racks that allow you to store 2-3 bikes in the footprint of one.

Entryway coat racks or shelves that can double as bike racks are also useful space-saving solutions. Look for sturdy racks that have protective hooks and ample clearance between storage levels.

Bike storage doesn’t have to be an eyesore – choose racks with an attractive design to integrate seamlessly into apartment decor.

Repurpose household items

With some MacGyver-style creativity, you can transform household items into DIY bike racks to add extra storage:

  • Use an old tension shower rod pole vertically in a corner to hang bikes by their front wheels.
  • Mount a wooden board horizontally on a wall with bike hooks screwed into it.
  • Use PVC pipe fittings screwed into a board to create bike hooks.
  • Hang buckets or crates from the ceiling to nest bikes in.
  • Use carabiners on coat hooks to hang bikes vertically.

DIY solutions are inexpensive and perfect for maximizing awkward wasted spaces like corners and walls behind doors. Get creative repurposing household materials!

Invest in multi-purpose furniture

For a compact apartment, furniture that serves multiple purposes will give you more flexible storage. Look for these multifunctional pieces:

  • A storage ottoman that can hold helmets, gear, tools, and accessories.
  • A coffee table or storage bench that lifts up to store bikes underneath.
  • A console table or shelving unit with bike hooks installed on the underside or back.
  • Bunk beds with bike lifts installed to hoist bikes up and under the top bunk.
  • A loft bed or Murphy bed with enough clearance underneath to park bikes.

Multi-purpose furniture solutions allow you to save space in main living areas by keeping bikes out of sight.

Use accessories for smart storage

Specialized bike accessories can provide extra storage options:

  • Ceiling pulley systems allow you to lift bikes up into the rafters above eye level.
  • An on-wall bike hanger can be mounted over a doorway to hang bikes.
  • Bike hooks that mount under desks or tables can hold bikes out of the way.
  • Specially designed bike racks can mount on apartment patios or balconies.

Accessorizing strategically with purpose-built bike storage devices can help maximize every bit of available space.

Make use of outdoor/basement storage

If your building has outdoor bike parking, a storage locker, or basement storage unit, take advantage of it. Store bikes and accessories that you use less frequently in these spots so your apartment interior stays clutter-free.

Considerations for outdoor storage include:

  • Use U-locks to properly secure bikes in racks against theft.
  • Use bike covers to protect bikes from sun, rain, and other weather.
  • Store helmets, shoes, bags etc. in a locker or other sealed container if possible.
  • Bring removable accessories like lights indoors so they don’t get stolen.

Utilize any additional storage areas your building offers so you don’t waste apartment space on rarely-used bikes.

Keep hallways and doorways clear

Even once you’ve creatively found space for all your bikes, a cluttered entryway can still be an issue if bikes end up blocking doors or hallways. Here are some tips to keep access paths clear:

  • Mount wall racks so handlebars don’t extend out too far to block walkways.
  • Use vertical bike stands instead of horizontal floor storage.
  • Leave enough space around and between bike storage areas.
  • Use angled mounts or staggered racks to nest bikes tightly together.
  • Store bikes farther down the hallway instead of right at the entrance.

Maintaining clear egress is a safety issue, so make sure bikes are stowed neatly away and don’t prevent doors from fully opening.

Keep it clean and organized

With limited square footage, a cluttered mess of bikes will only make your space feel more cramped and chaotic. Follow these tips to keep your bikes organized:

  • Use trays or bins to corral smaller items like locks, lights, tools etc.
  • Hang storage hooks, shelves, or bags to hold helmets, shoes, pads neatly.
  • Add labels or decals to identify each bike’s storage spot.
  • Use a mat or tray to catch drips under wall-mounted bikes.
  • Keep a small towel handy for wiping down muddy bikes before bringing them inside.
  • Schedule regular tune-ups to keep bikes running smoothly.

Tidiness helps everything feel more streamlined, even when dealing with limited apartment space.

Get creative with shared spaces

For apartment buildings with shared common spaces, you may be able to store some bikes there with permission from building management.

Some options to explore:

  • Install wall-mounted racks in apartment hallways.
  • Use hooks near the mailroom or lobby entry to hang bikes.
  • Ask about using unused private storage areas like boiler rooms.
  • See if locked bike cages could be added to the parking garage.
  • Claim a little-used corner of the backyard or garden.

If your landlord or building manager is reluctant, explain the lack of in-unit space and offer to provide racks and locks. Get neighbors on board to share costs and responsibility.

Prioritize bike security

While creative storage solutions help maximize space, bike security should still be a top priority to prevent theft. Some measures to take:

  • Lock bikes at all times – at home and when parked outside.
  • Secure bikes to immovable racks or structural elements whenever possible.
  • Use U-locks rather than cables for better security.
  • Install anchor points in walls/floors to secure bikes.
  • Register bikes & record serial numbers in case of theft.
  • Consider supplemental locks on wheels and saddles.
  • Get renters insurance with coverage for bikes.

Don’t let all your hard work finding space go to waste by leaving bikes vulnerable to theft!


While challenging, storing multiple bikes in a small apartment is very doable with smart solutions. Vertical racks, multi-purpose furniture, and creative accessories make it possible to take advantage of every square inch. The keys are finding the right mix of accessible yet out-of-the-way storage, staying organized, and keeping security top of mind. With the right compact setup, you can fully embrace the car-free cycling life even in a tight apartment!

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