Why do you need an ebike storage solution?
Cruising through trails and roads on your electric bike is not only thrilling but satisfying. However, you can only spend so much time on your electric bike. There are times you need to park and store it either in the long term or short term.
Maintenance and storage are significant parts of an electric bike's durability and maximum value return. The reason you should employ the best ebike storage solutions. And the right bike storage solution is one with a nice balance of practicality and security.
The practicality covers available storage space, the number of bikes, affordability, and use cases of the different types of electric bike storage solutions available, and the security, as you’d expect, covers the safety of your electric bikes.
Getting any of the two aspects wrong can have devastating effects on your home comfort, bike accessibility, or even the bike’s functionality. Hence, it is vital you know the best storage ideas that will work for you.
When do you need ebike storage?
Before deciding on any bike storage solution, you need to consider whether the bike will be stored for the short term or the long term. This will go a long way to determine the right storage ideas you should choose.
1. Short-term storage
If you are a daily cyclist and you only need to store your bike for a few hours, you might not need to commit to expensive bike storage. The best electric bike storage solution for you is the one that keeps your bike safe and easily accessible (check floor racks) without disturbing your comfort.
This can be in your garage, a community bike stand, and you can as well take your bikes inside. Just make sure you get the practicality and security balance right.
2.2 Long-term storage
If you seldom use your electric bike and only take it out for the occasional cycling in special trails, then you should invest big in top-notch storage. Though it is not ideal to keep your ebikes idle for long, there are still ways to keep them safe and functional even after a long time.
Indoor bike storage is your ideal storage solution but in a space that will not interfere with your day-to-day activities. This might be in the garage, basement, or room (check ceiling pulley systems). Lastly, you might require a bike cover and locks depending on the location.
Factors to consider before storing your ebikes
It is not just good enough for your storage space to be safe and practical. It must also meet some conditions before it can be deemed one of the storage bike storage solutions.
The battery is one of the most important parts of an electric bike. It is the component that provides the electricity that makes the electric bike what it is. Also, it is the most expensive part of the electric bike and battery replacement can cost hundreds of pounds.
Foremost, you need to make sure the surrounding temperature of your storage space is ideal for the battery. Though batteries are rugged, they should never be exposed to extreme temperatures.
The ideal temperature is within 16⁰C to room temperature. Also, you should never unload the battery to zero charges or charge fully before storing it. The temperature and charge level can reduce the battery’s capacity and performance or cause total damage if neglected.
According to popular opinion, you should only charge your battery to around 60-80% capacity before storing. Lastly, it would be best to keep your bike in places closer to a power source for charging. This is important in short-term storage when you need to recharge the battery before using it again. However, most bikes have removable batteries. With this, you can take the battery inside or to a place with a power source for charging.
- Dry environment
Despite most ebikes being weatherproof, they are best stored in a cool and dry place. Also, they should be stored away from high humidity and frequent temperature change.
It is widely believed that the ideal temperature for properly storing an electric bike is 20⁰C to standard room temperature. Even if you are storing it outdoors, you should devise ways to meet these conditions.
Indoors Storage Solutions for Ebikes
Indoor bike storage solutions are storage ideas suitable for the garage, basement, room, or any space in the house. Below are some of the popular ones.
Bike storage on the floor
This is an ideal garage bike storage idea. It is the simplest way to store bikes and the easiest to implement. It does not require any installation. All you need to do is to place it on the floor and secure your ebikes on them.
They can often be mistaken for a kickstand due to their simplicity. But unlike kickstands, the floor racks hold bikes firmly and keep them upright. Another good thing about this indoor bike storage idea is the ease of movement from one location to another.
Floor racks are the best for family use. This is because they can hold different sizes of bikes, like adult bikes, road bikes, and even kids bikes. Also, since there is no need for mounting, they are easily accessible by kids.
It must also be said that they are ideal if you do not intend to store just one bike. Like your community bike stand, floor racks are best used to store up to four bikes and more.
As enticing and straightforward as the floor racks are, they are not without notable downsides. The best bike storage solutions are those that save space. However, instead of saving storage space, the floor rack eats up the space of your garage floor.
Also, it is not the most stable as nothing is holding it to the ground. Lastly, some floor racks are not compatible with smaller bikes like kids bikes or bikes using disk brakes.
Horizontal Wall-Mounted Storage for E-Bikes
The horizontal bike storage is a fanciful bike rack that can be used to store your electric bike while displaying it like a piece of art. It is a wall-mounted bike rack and, as such, takes up little floor space.
Some horizontal bike racks do not require any form of installation. They only lean on the wall without any attachment. Also, they can be the easiest to use for storing single bikes.
While horizontal bike storage does not take up much floor space, they take up a lot of wall space. They are limited to a maximum of two bikes due to their design.
Also, it is not ideal for kids to store two bikes. This is because you will need to lift the second bike over the first one, which can be tricky for kids. Lastly, the horizontal bike storage might not work with some full-suspension mountain bikes and ebikes.
Vertical Wall-Mounted Storage for E-Bikes
Vertical bike storage is one of the best bike storage solutions when you want to store five bikes and above indoors. Unlike a horizontal bike rack, its design only holds the front wheel and rear wheel towards the wall. This makes it easy to fit multiple bikes close to one another.
The vertical bike racks are easy to use and are considered the most space-efficient bike storage idea available. They are also compatible with almost all wheel sizes making them a good fit for mountain bikes, kids bikes, and adults bikes.
The major downside of vertical bike storage is the manoeuvrability involved, especially for kids. The process of lifting the front wheel and ensuring the rear wheel stays away from the ground can be difficult. Finally, although this bike storage solution takes up less wall space, it can occupy some valuable floor space in a small room
Ceiling Storage for E-Bikes
This is one of the best bike storage ideas for long-term bike storage in a tight space. If you are low on floor and wall space, you only need to look up your garage ceiling to see that there is still lots of space to store your electric bikes.
The ceiling bike storage incorporates pulley systems in most cases to help lift the bike horizontally to the ceiling, while some are designed in the form of a rack that vertically holds the bike upside down. They are also compatible with virtually all types of bikes including mountain bikes, road bikes, adult bikes, and kids bikes as well as various wheel sizes. This is because, unlike other storage solutions, they hold the bike by the seat and handlebars.
The major downside of the ceiling bike storage ideas is the difficulty of installation. You can imagine the stress and effort it will take to install a bike rack on the ceiling. Also, most ceiling bike racks are limited to just a single bike, except for a few products.
Lastly, it is a real hassle to get the bike up and down, which is why it is not suitable for short-term bike storage
Freestanding Ebike Storage Solutions
The freestanding bike storage combines some of the features of the floor bike rack, and the horizontal wall mounted bike rack. They stand on the floor but take very little garage floor space.
These bike racks are not mounted on the wall and, as such, do not take up any wall space. As the name implies, they stand free from the ground to the ceiling.
This freestanding storage solution is ideal if you have little to no wall space or you don’t want to install anything on the wall. It is easy to install and can be easily moved like the floor rack.
The downside of this bike rack is that it can only support a maximum of two bikes hung over one another like the horizontal bike rack. While the first bike is easy to place, hanging the upper bike is always a struggle, especially for kids. Finally, it does not fit rooms with high ceilings as they need to reach the ceiling for support and rigidity.
Outdoor Storage Solution for Ebikes
There are times when you might not have enough room to store your bike inside. It might also be because you live in a rented apartment and there is so much you can do to the walls and ceiling amongst other reasons.
If this is you, here are some outdoor bike storage ideas you can implement
Locks for Electric Bikes
Since time immemorial, locks have always been one of the best bike storage solutions. However, with the sensitivity of some parts of an electric bike plus the sometimes-unpredictable nature of the weather, you should only use locks when you cover an area like a balcony. You can also cover your bikes with bike covers.
Presently, there are four grades of lock security level: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Diamond. The bronze is the weakest of all, offering only basic defence and can be easily broken by thieves. The Silver rating offers a bit higher protection, and it is the ideal rating for bikes of low value in low-risk areas. Gold-rated locks offer high security and are the recommended locks for high-value bikes like ebikes, especially in high-risk areas. Lastly, the Diamond rated locks are just gaining traction and are the strongest of all. They are often used to secure ebikes of the highest value and motorcycles.
Lastly, always remove your battery if you will be using only locks. This is to protect it from unfavourable weather and theft.
Waterproof Covers or Tent
The good thing about the tent is that it is movable and can be set up in just about any space available. You can design it to contain just a single bike or several bikes depending on what you want.
The best tent materials are those made with waterproof materials and sturdy frames. Tents also do not require you to inquire about any community or district regulations.
There is also a waterproof bike cover. It can be used in the balcony instead of the tent that requires a frame. However, bike covers are usually used with other storage ideas like a lock, bike stand, and even bike shed.
All bike racks – except the ceiling mount rack – for indoor bike storage can also be used outdoors provided there is enough space. The floor storage rack is handy when you want to store multiple bikes without mounting anything on the wall.
Also, the horizontal and vertical rack will do an excellent job if there is not enough room for floor bike racks. You can also consider wall mounted bike hooks instead of horizontal and vertical racks.
A major benefit of the bike hook is that it is easy to install and remove. It also has a simple structure that can store bikes of different sizes from adult bikes to kids bikes. There are vertical and horizontal bike hooks, with most people preferring the horizontal hook. This is because the vertical hooks the tire or rim, which might damage the wheels later. However, manufacturers are now countering this problem with padded hooks.
Outdoor Bike Shed Storage
Outdoor bike shed storage is the most secure of all. It is a more permanent structure, unlike the tent, and might require some district regulation enquiring before building. Also, it can be built to store more than one bike if you have enough storage space.
The security of a bike shed depends on the material used to build it. The popular materials are wood, metal, and plastic. The metallic sheds are the most secured of the lot, followed by wood and plastic.
The ideal shed is watertight and sturdy and can withstand the ever-changing weather. Lastly, you can decide to design your bike shed yourself or, better still, go for a prefabricated one. But as expected, the prefabricated ones cost a bit more.
Tips for outdoors storage solutions
Below are some important tips to maximize the benefits of storing your bikes outdoors
How to prevent theft
It is no secret that storing your bike indoors is more secure than outdoors. However, there are ways you can prevent the theft of your electric bikes outdoors to a large extent.
- Use quality locks: Irrespective of the type of outdoor storage solution you choose, it is a good practice to use a quality lock to secure your bike to an immovable object. As mentioned before, the recommended security level of an electric bike lock is Gold or Diamond grade. Also, it would be best if you used more than a single lock. The reason is apparent; the more the locks, the more challenging it is to break them.
- Secure your shed: As strong as sheds can be, the door hinges and padlock can be vulnerable. Experts suggest using clutch-head screws that cannot be opened with the well-known Phillips screwdriver for the hinges. This will make them difficult to break. It is also recommended to buy a weatherproof closed-shackle padlock to lock the door. These two alterations can save your bike from thieves.
- Use alarms: Alarm is a good way to ward off thieves, especially if they are smartly installed and positioned. You should pair the alarm with a lock or multiple locks to make it go off when anyone touches the lock.
- Keep your battery indoors: The battery is the most valuable part of the electric bike. It costs hundreds of pounds, and without it, the electric bike is more like an ordinary bike. Sometimes thieves are just content with just stealing the battery and nothing more. Hence, just keeping it indoors might make it less attractive to thieves.
- Don’t advertise your bike: Taking pictures of your bike and putting it online more often than not attracts thieves. It is even more dangerous when you take the picture in your garage, bike stand, or shed, as this gives a thief a good view of the security of your storage.
Clean before Stored
Electric bike enthusiasts take pride in keeping their lovely machines sparkling clean. Electric bikes are also easier to maintain when it is not dirty. Dirt and debris can destroy the mechanics of your electric bike if unattended.
The effects can be even more devastating if you store your ebike without cleaning it for a long time. Hence, it is important you give your ebike a thorough wash and effective drying. Lastly, remember to grease your chain and other moving parts and polish all the chrome before storing.
One of the major determinants of an electric bike’s longevity and durability is how well you keep them. This is why it is vital to know the best storage ideas that will help with the maintenance of your bike and keep it secure.
This article contains everything you need about properly storing ebikes, providing you with a series of options. Irrespective of the available space, there is always an option for you. Now, it is up to you to store that stunning machine of yours in the best way possible.