Cycling gets more and more popular in the UK and so do garden sheds; so, is it a good solution to store your bicycle in the garden shed if you are fed up with bikes cluttering your hallway, entrance or cellar? Can you or your better half just not stand the sight of your muddy bike in the living room any more?
If you already own a garden shed you could start thinking of ways how to store the bike there and if you don’t you could start thinking about solutions to the storage problem by buying a garden shed which is suited for the task.
Some considerations will have to deal with the question of security, others with insurance and still some more with how to organize the space for the bikes, Moreover, there will, of course, be a difference in storage requirements during the time that the bicycle is used daily and when it is long term stored during the winter.
However, safety is a main concern and the other would be to just keep your bikes out of the elements.
Using your garden shed to store the bike requires some space to be cleared
Maybe this could be the opportunity to apply some storage tricks like building a small attic under the roof, purchase some shelves or put some hooks in the walls to clear an area big enough for the bike to park and for you to be able to easily grab it and manoeuvre it in and out. Getting rid of some things would be another solution. Luckily, for most, biking is popular during the same times of the year when the garden furniture is used outside, maybe on the covered veranda of the garden shed if you have such a thing. Anyway, with things like toys, garden furniture, gardening equipment, potted plants outside it is easier to find the space in the garden shed to quickly move the bicycle in and out.
Of course, there are also some means to store the bike itself on as little space as possible for example on bike stands that elevate the front wheel so that the parking area becomes shorter or bike hooks on the wall. Even elevator systems are in use for example in garages where the bike or even some bikes are elevated to make room to park the car below them. However, this is probably more a solution for people who don’t use their bike very often.
When all the things go back into the garden shed for winter you might store your bike with them and even without the space to move it around, there will be enough space for a permanent storage during the winter.
How are wooden garden sheds suitable to store bicycles?
Wood has some physical properties that neither steal nor brick or concrete have. The material is able to absorb moisture from the air during wet times and slowly give it back during dry periods. So with the air rather dry and sudden changes in temperature prohibited by the excellent insulating properties of wood, condensation is not as big a problem as in steel constructions. A properly working garden shed with an intact roof and proper insulation against moisture from the ground is usually a dry space and from that perspective perfectly well suited to store a bicycle.
Another question is that of security. Many enthusiastic cyclists have invested quite some money to buy a high-quality bike to be up to the mark of their sport. We have recently published an article on „How to Secure Your Summer House Against Break-Ins“
which we recommend you to read if you feel that your garden shed might need a bit more protection before you would be willing to trust it with your precious bicycle. But with or without additional measures, it seems that most insurances in the UK would treat storage of bikes in a garden shed in the same category as storage in a wooden garage.
Of course, nothing stops you from locking your bicycle up good and proper even in a locked garden shed.
Storage of more than one bike gets a bit more challenging
While one bike can easily be pushed into a garden shed for example to a place directly next to the door, things get a bit more demanding when it comes to storing some bikes. If you think about a typical family, then there might be on average two to five bikes to store. And these might not weigh just eight kilos a piece but maybe more like 18, so lifting 5 bikes up on hooks or down from them each time for a family bike trip or helping your kids get their bikes every time they want to play with them is no longer a viable solution. Also, just pushing them in and leaning them against a wall doesn’t work any more because they would get caught on one another and damages would inevitably occur.
Unfortunately storing a few bicycles in a way that you can get each single one in and out easily needs nearly much more space than storing them long term for example over the winter when you could turn the handlebars 90 degrees and remove the pedals. Also manoeuvring each bike around in the storage room to bring it into its storing position will need additional clear space.
The easiest solution would be a simple cycle rack as you can buy it where the bikes are usually fixed at their front wheels. However, with a little DIY experience, you will also be able to make such a rack yourself from wood. These racks have the big advantage that they offer a good solution to keep the bikes safe and tidy and everybody, even children, can move their bikes out and in by themselves. However they use quite a bit of space. Not too much for an average garden shed, but the truth of the matter is, that bicycles generally need a certain minimal storage space.
In the case of multiple bikes there are racks with a lead upwards for the front wheels that result in a storage position with the front wheel lifted up, so that the storage space for the bikes gets quite a bit shorter than it would be if the bikes are stored in a horizontal position.
Bike storage in the garden shed – some useful tips
Anyhow, for many, their garden shed might be a more suitable place to store wet or muddy bicycles that their hall or their bedroom and so garden sheds offer a good alternative. A good idea would also be to cover the wooden floor in the storage area with some watertight material like for example with a piece of vinyl, linoleum or rubber mat, large enough to prevent water dripping from the wet bikes on the wood or even under the material. In this case you should check if the floor under the mat really stays dry. Otherwise you must use a larger mat covering the area up to right to the doorstep or if you can’t ensure that the floor under the mat stays dry it would be better to have no mat at all and have the natural ventilation do the drying.
Another idea would be to keep a piece of cloth next to the storage space in the garden shed and just wipe over the bike when it comes in wet to get some of the water and mud off of it right after the entrance.