How To Store Bikes In A Small Garage

Looking for bike storage ideas for a small garage? You’re not alone. Lots of people are trying to work out the best way to fit a bike (or sometimes lots of bikes) into a garage that is already overly-stuffed with…stuff.

Thankfully there are lots of different ways to store bikes in the garage – some even let you achieve the ultimate dream of parking the car in there too!

There are four main methods of storing bikes and we’ll go through each of these in a moment, looking at what you need and the pros and cons of each.

how to store bikes in a small garage
4 methods of storing bikes in a small garage

The storage solutions are:

  • Using a bike kickstand
  • Parking bikes in a floor storage rack
  • Hanging bikes from wall mounted hooks (either horizontally or vertically)
  • Hanging bikes from a ceiling hoist

Kickstand

bike kickstand
Bike kickstand

Of all four options for storing bikes in the garage, the humble kickstand is probably the easiest, cheapest and most versatile.

Back in the day, most bikes either came with a kickstand pre-fitted or you got one added on before you’d even left the bike shop.

Now? Well, it appears that they’ve fallen out of fashion for some reason. Which is a shame because they’re such a useful piece of kit.

A good bike kickstand retails for around $10 – $20 (which makes it the most cost-effective of any of these storage ideas).

There are stand options available whether your bike has a plate or not (this is a metal plate with a hole in between the crank and the back wheel that a kickstand can bolt on to).

Kickstands are easy to fit and suitable for most bikes including road bikes, mountain bikes, e-bikes, and hybrids.

The real beauty of a kickstand is that it allows you to position the bike anywhere in the garage (or on any flat surface in the world for that matter!) depending on your needs.

Park your bike in the middle of the garage if you like. Move it to the side if you’ve got a few bikes. Put it by the back wall if you want to get the car in the garage as well.

If your kids have bikes a kickstand can be very useful in encouraging them to keep their bikes tidied away neatly – many options (think: wall-mounted hooks) can be too high or tricky to operate for them. Which gives our little darlings all the excuse they need to dump their bikes in the yard for you to clear up!

Pros:

  • Cheap to buy
  • Easy to fit
  • Position the bike wherever you need it in the garage
  • Use the kickstand to hold the bike upright even when you’re away from the garage (useful for bike maintenance)
  • Great for kids bikes
  • Perfect if you have multiple bikes

Cons:

  • Bike will still take up floor space
  • Bike can be knocked over

Bike floor storage rack

bike floor storage rack
Floor storage rack

Floor racks are useful when you have multiple bikes to store and want to have a dedicated space in the garage where they get stored.

These come in a range of different shapes, sizes and configurations. There are floor racks for single bikes up to 6-bike storage racks perfect for any garage or fleet of family bicycles.

The main disadvantage of storage racks like these (in comparison to wall or ceiling mounts) is that they take up valuable garage floor real estate – in small garages this is always a challenge.

That said, they can be very useful in that they make sure all bikes are stored in one location – vs kickstands where folk can park their bikes anywhere.

One of the great advantages of storage racks is that they’re easy to use – pop them on the floor where you need them, then just wheel your bike up and pop the front or rear wheel on to the rack. That’s it!

Because storing bikes in a rack like this doesn’t require the bike to be lifted up (compared to wall-mounted hooks) they can be a really useful solution for kids and seniors.

Again, because bikes don’t have to be lifted into the rack, they are also a perfect option for heavier bikes (such as e-bikes or cargo bikes).

Pros:

  • Cheap to buy
  • Easy to fit (just put them in position on the floor)
  • Can be used by anyone from kids to seniors
  • Useful for heavy bikes, such as electric bikes
  • Great when you wanted a dedicated bike storage location

Cons:

  • Take up scarce real estate on the garage floor

Wall mount

Wall-mounted bike rack
Wall-mounted bike rack

Wall-mounted bike racks are a great option where you want to get bikes off the floor of your garage and have some free wall space.

They usually hold bikes in one of two different ways – either horizontally (on a pair of hooks or arms) or vertically (hanging down from a single hook).

The downside to wall racks is that you need to lift your bikes up to fit them on – either fully into the air with a horizontal rack or potentially just the front wheel with a vertical hanging bike rack.

This can be difficult with heavy bikes and dropping a bike mid-lift can cause injury or damage to the bike or other objects – be careful!

Horizontal bike wall racks are fantastic when you’re looking to store a single bike as they hold the entire bike close to the wall. With hooks at the right height they can also double up as a useful bike repair stand for maintenance jobs.

Vertical bike racks come in a number of different sizes – whether you want one hook for a single bike or a full wall rack for a family-sized fleet.

Pros:

  • Frees up floor space
  • Very secure hold
  • Can get wall mounts which hold the bike sideways against the wall or vertically – useful depending on your garage space
  • Can double as a repair stand for easier bike maintenance

Cons:

  • If wall hooks are placed high up then it can be challenging to lift heavy bikes on and off them
  • Not a good solution for kids or seniors
  • Need to be permanently fitted to the wall – so not great in rented accommodation or where you don’t want to put holes in the walls

Ceiling hoist

Ceiling hoist bike rack
Ceiling hoist bike rack

If you have a high garage roof, then a ceiling hoist bike rack can be a fantastic storage option that uses up all that otherwise ‘dead’ space.

The racks work on a pulley system – loosen the main rope and let the hoist down, hook your bike on, then hoist the main rope and your bike tucks itself up neatly in the roof space.

The major benefit of the ceiling hoist is that it won’t take up any floor or wall space.

That said, there are some downsides.

Firstly, because you have to lift up the entire bike, these can be heavy to operate and difficult for seniors and kids.

They also require a sufficiently high roof so that the bike won’t be dangling down within head height.

For small garages, however, a ceiling hoist can be incredible – freeing up a ton of useful wall and floor space for other essentials.

Pros:

  • Lifts the bike completely off the floor freeing up valuable space
  • Uses ‘dead’ storage area that is otherwise probably not being utilized

Cons:

  • Needs a high garage ceiling to hoist the bike high enough to clear the car roof
  • Only suitable for single bikes
  • Heavy to operate

Conclusion

Being able to store bikes in a garage is fantastic for keeping them safe from opportunistic thieves and protected from rain and snow.

Too often though it’s hard to find a space in a small garage in between all the yard tools, bulk Costco toilet roll, and removal boxes that you’ve not yet opened from two house moves ago.

We need to be smart about finding a suitable storage solution then that will allow us to stash our bikes in the garage safely, and yet have them handy when we want to take them out for a ride.

Of the storage methods I’ve detailed, I hope you find one or more that will let you do that.

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