White bicycle leaning against a radiator inside a house

How to Store a Bike in an Apartment (and Keep it Clean)

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For those who live in spacious houses or have access to backyard sheds or garages, safe and convenient bike storage is not a problem.

Apartment dwellers, however, know that storing a bike (or several bikes) indoors is not that simple – especially in the long-term.

You’re afraid to leave your bike in the hallway and risk someone stealing it. But when you bring it indoors, you don’t want it to be in the way, dirty your floors and gather dust all winter. If you’re renting, you have to be careful not to smear the walls or drill any holes.

In this article, we share proven tips on how to keep your house clean and tidy while storing your bicycle indoors.

Clean your bike before bringing it indoors

Performing a “quick clean” after a wet or rainy ride will go a long way in keeping dirt outside of your home.

Here’s how to do it quickly and easily (even if you don’t have a backyard and the cleaning must be done in the hallway):

  • Dry off the frame and forks of your bike with a towel or a clean rag.
  • Clean the chain – water and dirt can get into your cassette and chain causing problems later on, but they are easiest to clean right after the ride. Pat down the chain and clean off any dirt in the derailleurs and rings.
  • If you have to clean your bike inside the building, use a sprayer, a brush, and a microfiber cloth.
  • Ideally, add a few drops of lubrication to the mechanical bike parts (this can also be done later when you’ve already put the bike in its place).
  • If any bike parts remain wet, wipe them with a dry cloth or a paper towel.
  • Alternatively, let your bike dry outside – lock the bike in the staircase of your apartment building for an hour before bringing it in. Preferably, wipe it with a dry cloth beforehand.

Note: Make sure to give your bike a thorough cleaning time after time (at least once a month if you ride frequently or more often if you do MTB or cyclocross)

Place a protective cover under the bike

You’re lucky if your hall has tiled floors where your bike can dry before rolling up to its storage place. But what if your living space is all about carpets and laminate?

A simple solution like a mat or an old rug under the bike can be a great help for keeping your room clean.

A protective cover is easy to wipe when the bike has dried off, and you can roll it up or take it away when the bike is dry or not there. A waterproof and cleanable surface will best do the trick!

A protective cover doesn’t have to be ugly. In fact, there are many types of practical and good-looking covers to choose from:

  • An offcut of lino or vinyl
  • Plastic carpet protector – choose one with a textured surface, so water doesn’t run off the edges
  • A sturdier PVC or rubber mat that can also protect the floors from scratches and dents
  • A decorative rug that can be either bought or DIY

A protective cover can serve you in two ways – first, it can be a temporary cover that you use while cleaning and drying the bike. Afterwards, the bike can go on the wall or stay on the floor without the mat underneath. Or, it can be a permanent solution for supporting your bike and can even serve as a decorative element to your interior.

Dress your bike in a sock

Yes, you got it right – put your bike in a sock! Nowadays you can find stylish and practical bike covers that won’t let any dirt escape – and some of them are stretchy as socks.

For example, VELOSOCK is an elastic, machine-washable cover that keeps the dirt inside for simple removal or washing later on.

Why use an indoor cover:

  • The dirt that sticks to your bicycle is collected at the bottom of cover leaving your floors and walls clean.
  • Covers like VELOSOCK protect walls, floors, and furniture from the bicycle’s sharp parts and pedals (also prevent kids from accidentally scratching themselves).
  • You can carry the bike in the sock straight to your car and thus keep your vehicle clean, too.
Velosock bike sock

Image Source

Many covers are also available for kid’s bikes that can often get even dirtier than adults’ rides.

Use wall racks

Don’t like the fact that your bike takes up the precious space of your apartment and leaves tracks on the floor? Well, put it up on the wall!

Today, there’s an incredible range of wall racks and mounts – from low key and practical to avant-garde solutions that can help you turn your bike in an artsy piece of interior design.

Consider these types of wall racks for your living space:

  • Minimalist solutions like a hook, hanger or two pegs drilled in a wall
  • Ceiling lifts or hoists – great for high spaces of smaller aesthetical importance
  • Multifunctional racks like bike furniture or shelves for bike accessories
  • No-drill racks or stands – the best solution if you are renting or simply hate drilling holes
  • Designer bike racks that will complement the looks of your bike and the interior design of your home.

Wall racks also prevent the room from looking cluttered. Your bike will be safe, dry, cozy and pretty to look at — what’s not to love?

Extra tips to keep your home clean:

  • Store your bike close to the entrance to avoid spreading dirt to larger areas of the house.
  • Clean frequently. It’s more difficult to organize major cleaning than do smaller tidying sessions more often. Frequent cleaning will ensure that the dirt from your bike doesn’t spread around the house.
  • Make use of your garage, spare room, balcony or basement. With a little invention, you can store your bike conveniently and safely outside of your bedroom or living room.

Wrap up

At first glance, maintaining a clean house with bikes inside might seem cumbersome. But after a few rides and 5-minute cleaning sessions, you’ll see that it’s a simple routine that sticks fast.

And it’s definitely worth the extra safety that comes with storing your cycling buddy inside!

Ieva enjoys writing on various topics, namely – lifestyle, productivity, and traveling. Among her other projects, she works with Truesix.co – a content marketing agency that helps tech startups access big markets.

Featured image by StockSnap from Pixabay