Outdoor bike storage is ideal if your indoor space is limited and you have safe space outside to store your bikes, such as a back garden or front lawn.
You can maintain a tidy, bike-free apartment or house using outdoor bike storage. The most common outdoor bike storage solutions are sheds (wooden and metal), tents and covers, and ground racks.
This short guide will help you pick the appropriate solution with the short how-to-choose section below, followed by a description of each outdoor storage category with its pros and cons.
Outdoor Bike Storage: What to Keep in Mind Before You Buy
Characteristics to look out for in outdoor bike storage
Great bicycle storage makes life easier, prevents damage, and is secure. Here are the important criteria:
- Saves space and keeps bikes tidy
- Easy to use
- Convenient to access
- Protects your bicycle(s) from exposure
- Weather resistance and durability
Choosing the right one
Consider these six questions about your situation to identify a suitable type of storage:
- How many bikes do you have to store?
- How much space do you have?
- Do you need to access the bikes frequently?
- Is your outdoor space secure?
- Will children be using the storage?
- What’s your budget?
Tip: If choosing a tent or shed, pick one that holds the bikes side-by-side if you will use it regularly (these are larger). Other sheds store the bikes one in front of the other, so you must place the most frequently used bike at the front (these save space but are less convenient to use).
Choose a shed that stores bikes side-by-side for easier access.
Once you have thought about each of the above points, you will have a concrete idea of what you need. Now let’s take a look at each category and the pros and cons.
Although no outdoor storage is 100% secure, bike sheds offer the most security of the different solutions, as they are sturdy and can be locked.
The best bike storage box made with either wood or metal will minimize a bike’s exposure to the elements (extreme temperatures fluctuations and moisture buildup), be long-term weather-resistant, challenging to break into, and easy to access (wide doors).
Here are some general pros and cons of bike storage lockers:
- Can hold many bikes
- Most secure
- Can double as regular storage
- Easy to use and convenient to access
- Labor-intensive to build
- Moisture will accumulate inside if left unkept
- Hard to move
Tip: When keeping bikes in a shed long-term, place cardboard or another absorbent material under the wheels and maintain a slight amount of tire pressure year-round to reduce the rate of tire wear.
Bike Tents and Covers
Both tents and covers are very similar. They protect the bike(s) using a heavy-duty weatherproof material such as polyethylene or vinyl, stopping direct exposure to rain, wind, and debris.
A bike storage tent holds the bikes entirely inside the material, whereas a cover leaves the tires in contact with the ground outside.
For prolonged outdoor storage, a tent is the better of the two, as it slows the wear that temperature and moisture cause compared to the cover. Although, neither is ideal for long-term storage.
- Easy to move
- Resistant to direct weather exposure
- Limited bike storage (just one bike per cover)
- Not secure
- Highly susceptible to temperature fluctuations
- Covers don’t protect wheels from the ground exposure
- Moisture builds up easily
- Not very durable
Bike Floor Racks
Bike floor racks work by holding the front wheel in a slot to keep bikes upright and in line. These racks are temporary and simple outdoor bike storage solutions best for maintaining a tidy garden throughout the day.
Some bike floor racks can be nailed to the ground outside for improved security.
However, they are not considered a secure outdoor bike storage solution. They are also great for garage bike storage, so consider that instead if you have one.
Depending on the quality, they can be heavy-duty or lightweight, making them more or less stable. Ground racks are generally made with a powder-coated steel alloy to protect against rust.
- High capacity (up to 6 bikes)
- Fastest to use
- Most convenient to access
- Zero installation
- May include extra storage
- Zero security
- No protection from the elements
- May have wheel size limitations (fat tires/disc brakes)
- Cheap products are likely unstable
You Might Also Ask
Can bikes be stored outside?
Yes, you can store bikes outside in any of the ways we’ve discussed. If you have a secure outdoor space (a walled garden), choose any of the available options; if not, a bike shed with a strong lock is necessary.
How can I keep my bike safe outside?
Security is the most important consideration if you choose outdoor bike storage. A high-quality bike lock and intelligent locking practices will help you avoid theft in outdoor spaces.
For expensive bikes, it’s favorable to store them indoors to eliminate the risk of theft and exposure.
How do you store bikes on a patio?
If you have a covered patio, you could lock your bike to a sturdy fence/railing and use a heavy-duty cover. Just ensure that you do not have a quick-release seatpost or wheels that a thief can easily remove. But, again, this is not a very secure strategy.
How can I store my bike outside without a shed?
A bike storage tent or cover are alternative outdoor storage solutions. However, they are not secure and should be used only in safe outdoor spaces or in conjunction with locking.
Outdoor bike storage solutions are an excellent way to free up space in the home and ensure easy access to your bike when it’s time to ride.
Choosing the right outdoor bike storage solution will depend on your needs and budget, where you live, and the number of bikes you have.
There are various strengths and weaknesses to each category we covered in this article. No solution is perfect, and they all come with an increased risk of theft and faster wear due to exposure (direct or indirect) compared to indoor storage.
- Bike storage sheds are the most expensive, secure, and protective against the elements
- Tents and covers are cheaper but not secure or very protective
- Ground racks are an excellent daily storage solution for keeping your garden tidy
By following our guide on how to choose and considering the pros and cons of each solution, we hope you have a better idea of which of these solutions is suitable or whether apartment or garage storage might work best.