delta michelangelo stand holding one bike and helmet in a studio apartment

When you’re living in a small apartment, it’s hard enough to find space for one bike, let alone two. But bike storage is actually easier than you think.

What if I told you there were ways to store two bikes but take up less space than one bike would? You just have to find the right bike rack and it makes bike storage in a small apartment much simpler.

What’s Important for Apartment Bike Storage

Apartment bike storage can get confusing. You don’t want to leave your bike locked outside exposed to the elements, you can’t put it in the hallway (fire hazard!), and it seems like there is no extra space within your apartment.

But there is space, with the right bike rack. Here’s the criteria for choosing the right bike storage solution for your needs:

Efficient use of space. The whole point of the bike rack is to somehow optimize your space. It should be able to store multiple bikes within a small footprint, or fit into a space that you can’t use for anything else.

No holes in the wall. You might not be allowed to put holes in the walls – or maybe you don’t want to, since you’d have to patch them later.

Power tools not required. You might not have tools, since there is no room to keep them, so anything requiring drilling is not an option. We’re looking for tool-free assembly, or at least, easy assembly requiring basic hand tools you might also use on your bike (e.g. screwdrivers and hex keys).

Portable and reusable. It certainly would be nice if the rack was portable and you can take it with you whenever changing apartments.

Price. Finally, price is a consideration, because rent is expensive these days!

(While I have discussed the best bike storage solutions for your home or garage, my recommendations are different for small apartments.)

Best Bike Rack for Most People: Delta Cycle Michelangelo

The Delta Cycle Michelangelo is a gravity-assisted wall rack, so it leans against your wall and stays in place on its own – no drilling required.

delta gravity two bike rack in city loft-style apartment

This rack allows you to stack two bikes (up to 40 lb each), so it’s sort of like putting two bikes in the place of one. It holds the bikes by the top tube, and each arm placement can be adjusted, so it is quite versatile.

Assembly is relatively easy, requiring only a screwdriver. (If you look at their product page, you can download instructions and view the installation video before deciding to purchase.) Same goes for disassembly, so it can be disassembled and easily packed up for moving day.

It’s cheap too! The list price on their website is $104.99, but you can typically find it selling for $70-80, and sometimes on sale for even less. (Amazon typically has the best price.)

But it’s a quality product. This stand is tried and true. I remember they were promoting this rack in the 90’s! The same basic design is still available today (with slight tweaks for easier installation and better user experience).

It might put a few small scuffs on your wall that you’ll need to clean, but that’s it.

Feel free to quit reading now and go order this on Amazon!

Buy online: Check current price at Amazon.com

If You Don’t Have Wall Space: Feedback Sports Velo Column

The Velo Column is another rack that allows you to stack two bikes in the space of one. And not only does it not require drilling, it doesn’t even require an empty wall!

velo column rack holding two bikes

Think of it like a tension rod that extends from your floor to the ceiling. The column is spring-loaded so it’s easy to set-up and take down, yet is stable when it’s in place.

You could place it next to a wall if you like. But you can also place it next to a large window or even in the middle of a room!

The versatility comes at a price – this is a $220 rack. But you’re getting top-notch quality.

Just make sure you have a flat, level floor and ceiling.

Buy online: Compare prices at Amazon.com and REI.com

Best For One Bike: Bike Nook Pro

The Bike Nook sits anywhere on your floor and holds one bicycle.

bike nook pro holding mountain bike in living room

The benefit is that it tilts the bike vertically, so it takes up less floor space than if you used a typical floor rack.

Normally you’d have to drill into your wall and place a hook of some type to get your bike vertical. But the Bike Nook offers a similar benefit, no drilling required.

Neither the bike nor the rack lean against the wall, so no marks or scuffs.

Plan to spend about $80 for the Bike Nook Pro. The regular Bike Nook is a little cheaper, but the “Pro” and “Turbo” versions are designed to be more accommodating for different bike styles, including bikes with fenders.

The one downside is because it does not secure the front wheel, the wheel and handlebar fall to one side (not depicted in product photo!). But they provide a velcro strap you wrap around the front wheel and frame, to keep them in line. A small inconvenience. (That’s the price you pay for not drilling into your wall.)

Buy online: Check current price at Amazon.com

Best Way to Utilize Tricky Spots: Steadyrack

If you’re in a tricky situation, perhaps with only a narrow space available, you likely need to hang your bike vertically. The best way to do that is with the Steadyrack Classic Bike Rack. It’s practical, functional, and highly recommended!

steadyrack bike racks in front of storage shelves

If you don’t mind drilling holes in your wall, this is a great rack to use. (It’s my #1 choice for permanent mounting in your home.)

What’s great about the Steadyrack compared to other bike hooks, is that you can store your bike perpendicular to the wall, or you can rotate it to be nearly flat against the wall. This allows it to fit into some interesting spots.

In the picture above, you can see the rack in a little storage area, but the bikes are preventing access to the shelves. Or are they? Because the Steadyrack pivots 160 degrees to either side, you can swing the bikes out of the way and access the shelves!

Sometimes people use the Steadyrack to position a bicycle against a wall, behind where a door opens.

If not in use, the rack folds flat against the wall, taking up almost no space.

The other downside, in addition to drilling into your wall, is that you have to buy the rack based on your tire size. So if you were to buy one for your mountain bike, but later you switch to a road bike, you’d have to buy a new rack.

Buy online: Compare prices at Amazon.com and RackAttack.com

Honorable Mentions – And What To Watch Out For

I only listed a few options above, when there are hundreds of different bike racks available. What’s wrong with the other racks?

Aside from many of them being knockoffs, and some that just aren’t practical in an apartment, there are bike racks that might work for you but are less universal.

Here are some racks that are worth a look, but at the same time, there are reasons you might NOT want it for your small apartment.

Feedback Sports Rakk

I really like the Feedback Sports Rakk floor rack. It’s super simple with no assembly required, and it fits basically any bike. This rack even folds flat for storage or easy transport. As a bonus, it holds your bike steady for doing minor repairs and maintenance. But for a small space, the only real benefit is that it’s better than leaning your bike against the wall. It doesn’t really do anything to save space in your apartment.

The Clug

A very clever design, The Clug is small, convenient, and aesthetically pleasing. It looks like the perfect size bike rack to use in a small apartment.

But it requires drilling holes in the wall. And it’s sized based on your tire width so it’s not universal like most of the racks I suggested earlier. And it works in conjunction with your floor – it doesn’t support the bike by itself (some people don’t catch that).

Dahanger

The $169 Dahanger is a great idea and certainly eye-catching. But not everyone wants their bike to be the center of attention. To pull it off, you have to be a stickler for cleaning and maintenance, and it only works for lightweight road bikes. (It’s not meant for a heavier hybrid bike with rack and fenders, or an e-bike.)

Renter’s Insurance

As a final tip, make sure you get a renter’s insurance policy that covers your bike.

To learn more about insurance and ensure your bike is actually covered, check out this section on home security and bicycle insurance in my guide to bike storage.

 

I hope this shows it’s possible to keep bikes neatly in a small apartment. You just need the right rack.

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