Monday, 1 October 2012

Cycle storage

I'm currently without bike at the moment, since some bastard nicked mine a few months ago. But I'm plotting to get a new one soon, and so this clever solution to where to keep the thing caught my eye. It's so simple, but it's amazing how the act of framing the bike inside an open shelf, and preventing it from scratching the wall (see the clip device, below) stops it being an indoor eyesore.

Unfortunately the shelf, by Swiss designer Thomas Walde, is currently only available in Switzerland – and costs 735 Euros. But read on for some alternative ways to de-ugly your domestic wheels storage...

There are three basic choices when it comes to domestic cycle storage: wall-mounted, ceiling-hung or outdoors (propped against the bedroom wall doesn’t count as a choice). So first, decide where you have the necessary space or height.

If you’re committed to a streamlined interior, be prepared to pay for stylish storage for your wheels (after all, you wouldn’t live with artwork you hated – and a bike is much more visible). A tenner for, say, the Bruns Storage Hanger, from Amazon, might get wheels off the carpet, but such functionality over aesthetics works best in a big industrial space (so if you’re in a warehouse flat – bingo).

Got a front garden? Front Yard Company sell heavy green or red metal planters-cum-bike racks for £135 (see the 'Plant Lock' above). Also good in shared – but not secure – hallways, given enough natural light for blooms to blossom. 

If security isn’t an issue, and you have a side return to tuck it behind (it isn’t beautiful) the Tidy Tent ‘Bike Cave’ is under £40 on Amazon. Pricier – from £469 – and lockable (but just as ugly) the Trimetals version holds three cycles.

Wall mounting can be beautiful: the minimalist Cycloc is a simple but cleverly designed disc that comes in four strong colours for £59. But it’s not quite as sexy as the wooden alternative, £59.99, from Bike Dock Solutions.

Quarterre do a swish powder-coated steel wall thingamy, £169 (above, top); they also make possibly the chicest option of all: Branchline, £1399 (above, bottom), is a masterful, tree-like design that works as a sculpture in its own right. Doesn’t even need fixing to anything. Expensive, yes, but a bike is not just for Christmas… 

With wall-mounting, a little symmetry goes a long way. says Lewin Chalkey of hip east London cafĂ©/bar/bike emporium Look Mum No Hands. He stores his eight or so bike frames on equally spaced giant S-hooks in the hall. He even decorates them with bunting for good measure. 

Follow the right thread on the lfgss.com forums (London Fixed Gear and Single Speed) and find lots of innovative ideas and passionate debate on the topic.

One LFGSS tip was the ikeahackers.net tip for pimping a Stolmen clothes rail into a cool, two-bike holding floor-to-ceiling pole. Wiggle do a ready-made version (the Topeak dual touch bike stand) for £122.49: easier, but way less pretty.

The innovative Pit In (above) by Japanese Storemuu isn’t yet in production, but will usher in a whole new era in cycle storage whe nit is: the gorgeous moulded wood design doubles as a desk – with your bike as the seat. Love it. 

Or you could just get a good-looking bike to match your interior: and at Made.com, where pretty Hollanders are just £199 (rather than their rrp of £500+), it could be the most affordable option yet. Currently they have sold out, but if enough people vote to bring the bike back, you're on.

I also wrote a feature in Independent about cycle storage and how having some can increase the value of your property – with lots of external storage ideas.


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