Clever bike safety and storage solutions
If you live in Cambridge, chances are you’ve got a bike. And if you have a family or live in shared digs, you’re likely to have lots of them. And unless you live in more salubrious accommodation, you’ll probably have quite limited storage space. So how can we keep our bikes secure, tidy and out of the way (or if it’s your prized possession, in full view of everyone). Wandering around the streets of Cambridge provided lots of inspiration: here are a few ideas.
Inside or out?
A bit of outside space is helpful, especially if you have some cover to keep your bikes dry. If the space is secure, say round the back of your house, then your main concern is keeping your bikes in an organised space.
Organising your space
If you have a dedicated bike store you will still need to organise your bikes so that they are protected from damage and can allow easy access. You have two main options: wall hooks or floor stands. But from each of these, there is a huge variety of solutions, both DIY and on the market, so take a look to see what suits you best. Floor stands can be stand alone devices from your local bike shop, or they can be bespoke. Floor stands are easier if your bike is heavy, and they avoid the risk of getting oil and mud on your clothes that comes from lifting it on to a hook. You can custom make these from logs, concrete blocks or a pallet.
A pallet is without doubt the cheapest solution.
Wall hooks allow you to keep your bike up and out of the way so you can pass by without causing a domino bike pile. But these only work if your bike is quite light and/or you have the strength to lift it. Also, the more cumbersome accessories of some bikes, such as baskets and pannier, makes wall storage less appropriate.
And of course if you’re short of space, vertical storage is a great solution.
If you have to leave your bikes outside and potentially exposed to all comers, then security will be your first concern. Cambridgeshire has, according to the Office of National Statistics, the highest levels of bike theft in the UK, with students and young people the worst affected. If you have enough space, a shed or smaller lock-up cabinet is ideal as it can give another layer of protection. The example below is clad in sustainable hardwood with a green roof and is available here.
Otherwise you will need to be able to lock your bike to something solid. A secure fence or railings provide a ready-made source of anchorage.
But a brick wall can provide an anchor once you have embedded your tie point within it.
And a traditional railing provides an elegant feature as well as secure anchorage for your bikes.
Of course, your bike is only as secure as the lock you secure it with.
Superintendent James Sutherland of the Cambridgeshire Constabulary reckons that cycle crime is “99 per cent preventable” and people who have their bikes stolen often buy “rubbish locks”.
Here’s a useful guide to the different types and standards of bike locks. The golden rule: Spend 10% of your bike’s value on the lock itself
If you have to keep your bikes inside, then wall mounts are usually the best. These can take on decorative or multi-purpose uses.
Our local handymen have lots of experience and ideas to help you with bike storage and security. Get in touch for help.
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