Hanging 4 bikes

What is the Best Way to Store My Family’s Bicycles?

Family Bike Storage

The best family bike storage depends on your kids’ ages. You can use kickstands, floor stands, wall racks, pulleys, elevators, covers or a shed. Kickstands work best for the smaller kids. But kickstands won’t work if you want to avoid cluttering the garage floor. Mix bike storage methods to get the best bike storage for each family member.

How much garage space do you want to devote to your family’s bike storage? Do you have small children? The best family bike storage solution for your family will do two things: save garage floor space, and be easy for the little ones to use.

What is the Best Family Bike Storage Method for My Family?

The best family bike storage depends on priorities. Maximize garage floor space? Make it easy for the little ones? Kickstands are best for the little ones. Let them park on the garage floor. To conserve garage floor space, the best family bike storage is wall racks or elevator lifts. To get bikes out of the garage altogether, the bike storage is a bike cover or a shed. Store your family’s bikes on the garage floor, garage wall or garage ceiling. Store them outside under a cover or in a shed. Kickstands and floor stands are best for smaller kids. But they use garage floor space. Wall mounts, ceiling hooks and ceiling pulleys are not good bike storage for littler kids. But they use no garage space. Bike covers get your bikes out of the garage, but are not convenient. Sheds have to be very wide to accept many bikes, but they get the bikes out of the garage. Each solution has pros and cons. Use the information here to find out which bike storage solution works best for your family. Go to the end of the article for product rankings.

Bike tire width, disc brakes and fenders affect storage choices

Bike tire width, disc brakes and fenders affect storage choices

Don’t Choose a Bike Storage Method Before Reading This

Some bike storage methods won’t work if your bike has the wrong sized tires.

Fenders and disc brakes can also get in the way.

Inventory your bikes’ dimensions.

Record tire widths.

Note if bikes have fenders or disc brakes

Check that the solution you want will work with your bikes’ features.

Bicycle Tire Size

Most floor and wall racks limit bike tire widths they’ll accept.

Only some bike tires will fit in some of these racks.

The bike industry doesn’t have a standardized vocabulary for tire width ranges.

“Children’s tires,” “adult tires” and even “fat tires” aren’t standardized ranges.

To fix the tire width moving target, here are some rough guidelines.

When I refer to smaller kids’ bikes, I mean any tire up to 2.3 in. wide.

For adult bikes, tire width is 1.9 in. to 2.6 in.

“Fat tire” widths are 2.8 in. to 4 in.

Check floor and wall mounts widths against your tire inventory.

Bicycle Disc Brakes

Disc brakes make the wheel hub wider than normal.

Some solutions will work for your tire’s diameter and width, but not for the disc assembly mounted on the hub.

Check that the solution you want will work with your bikes’ disc brakes.

Bicycle Tire Fenders

Fenders add to the bike tire diameter.

A bike tire that fits a wall mount or floor mount might not accept the fender too.

Check if your bikes’ fenders will work with the solution you want to buy.

Raskullz Kids Bike Kickstand

Raskullz Kids Bike Kickstand (recommended)

Best Bike Storage for Smaller Kids

Kickstands are the easiest solution for smaller children.

A kid who can ride a bike can also operate a kickstand.

If you want your little ones to put their own bikes away, then kickstands are the best solution.

But a bike on the floor is a bike taking up valuable garage floor real estate.

Mix Kickstands with Wall/Ceiling/Outdoor Storage

One solution is to give the smallest kids kickstands. Then store the bigger bikes in space-saving ways.

Another solution is to store all the bikes away from the garage floor.

The bigger kids and adults will have to put away the bikes for the smaller kids.

If you want to save space, you’ll put bikes on the wall or ceiling, not the floor.

Or put them outside, under a cover or in a shed.

Older and bigger kids have many, many more bike storage solutions beyond the kickstand.

Mix Floor Stands with Wall/Ceiling/Outdoor Storage

Some littler kids are comfortable with horizontal garage floor bike stands.

In a horizontal bike stand, both bike tires stay on the floor.

In a vertical bike stand, the bike hangs on a hook above the ground.

Vertical floor stands are not best for littler kids.

You have to lift the bike to use a vertical floor stand.

You also have to lift the bike for most other wall and ceiling storage methods.

So these methods also aren’t good for the littler ones.

Some kids are comfortable with horizontal floor stands.

Floor stands come in many variations.

Some are better than others.

Some floor stands are better at holding adult bikes.

Some are better at holding children’s bikes.

Some are good at holding disc brake bikes.

Some can accommodate wheel fenders.

Your family bike storage solution depends on your mix of bicycle types.

Compare bike stands against your family’s bicycle measurements, fenders and brakes.

You can either buy one of the few stands that accept both child and adult bikes.

Or you can buy one stand for the smaller bikes, and another for the bigger.

Best Garage Bike Storage for Families

You can store your family’s bikes in the garage using:

  1. a kickstand
  2. a horizontal floor stand
  3. a vertical floor stand

You can mount a bike in the garage wall using:

  1. a wall rack
  2. a wall hook

You can hang a bike from the garage ceiling using:

  1. a ceiling pulley
  2. a ceiling winch
  3. a ceiling platform lift
  4. a ceiling hook

The best garage floor solution depends on whether you need to save garage floor space or not.

Kickstand Pros and Cons

Let’s say you’re not worried about maximizing floor space.

Put kickstands on everyone’s bikes.

So long as saving space is not the goal, kickstands are best.

They’re easiest for little kids.

And they’re convenient for everyone.

You can still give kickstands to the smaller children.

Put the bigger bicycles on the wall or ceiling to save garage floor space.

Best Kickstand for Kids’ Bikes
NameBike SizesProsCons
Raskullz Kid’s Kickstand

Raskullz Kids Bike Kickstand

 

12 in.

14 in.

16 in.

18 in.

20 in.

 

 

Works for small bikes

Easy for children to use

Rubber foot grips road

Tension spring holds it to bike

Use button to adjust kickstand length

Many colors available

 

Takes garage floor space

Ensure you’ve pulled it to full height for bigger bikes

 

 

Best Kickstand for Adults’ Bikes
NameBike SizesProsCons
BV Kickstand

BV Kickstand for adult bikes (recommended)

24 in.

25 in.

26 in.

27 in.

28 in.

29 in.

High quality

Waterproof

Reinforced foot

Good spring design

Good for uneven ground

Very sturdy

Holds one bike

Does not work for small bikes

Not a good solution for small children

Installation takes a little bit of thought (nothing major)

Takes garage floor space

 

 

Delta floor stand

Delta floor stand (recommended)

Floor Stand Pros and Cons

Some floor stands are more convenient than kickstands.

Put the front tire in the stand to keep the bike upright.

Some floor stands allow both tires to stay on the floor.

I call these “horizontal” floor stands.

Vertical floor stands hold bikes in mid air.

Horizontal floor stands take up just a little bit more garage floor space as kickstands.

Vertical floor stands also take up about the same space as kickstands.

On vertical stands, your bikes are still in your way.

They’re not over your head where you can walk under them.

You can’t really store anything underneath the bikes.

It’d be too hard to get the bikes down.

Little children might be comfortable with horizontal floor stands.

Vertical floor stands are too difficult for smaller children.

Best Horizontal Floor Stand
NameBike SizesProsCons
Delta Cycle Floor Stand

Delta floor stand

Disc Brakes: Yes

Fat Tire? Yes

Kids’ Bikes:  Yes

Fenders? Yes

Works for small bikes

Easy for children to use

Sturdy

Adapts up to 8″ wide

Easy assembly

Stable

Easy Access

Also comes with Wheels

Holds one bike

Takes garage floor space

 

Best Vertical Floor Bike Stand
NameBike SizesProsCons
Feedback Sports Velo Cache

Feedback Sports Velo Vertical Floor Stand

Disc Brakes: Yes

Fat Tire: Yes

Kids’ Bikes:  Yes

Fenders: Yes

 

 

Works with smaller bikes

High quality

Sturdy

Stable

Holds two bikes

Smaller kids will not be able to lift their bikes onto a wall rack

Takes garage floor space

 

Steadyrack classic wall bike rack

Steadyrack classic wall bike rack (recommended)

Wall Rack Pros and Cons

Wall racks allow you to place your bicycle on the wall.

Some wall racks hang your bike vertically.

You pivot the bike onto its back wheel.

You put the front wheel into the rack.

The Steadyrack is a good example.

After you place the front wheel into its slot, you can pivot the bike to lie flat against the wall.

Now the bike is not sticking out into the room.

The Stalwart Bike Rack is a horizontal wall rack.

You lift your bike frame onto the rubber-coated hooks.

The bike sits horizontally a few inches from the wall.

Bicycle wall storage is too difficult for little kids.

Some wall storage saves garage floor space.

When the bike sticks into the room, it’s sticking out over the floor, too.

Models that store the bike against the wall are better at saving floor space.

Always mount bike racks in studs, not drywall.

Best Wall Rack Bike Storage
NameBike SizesProsCons
Steadyrack Fat Rack

Steadyrack Wall Bike Storage Fat Tire

20 to 29″ diameter and

3 to 5 in. width

Does not take garage wall space

Bike swings flat against the wall, saving room space

Removes bike from the garage floor

Fits tires up to 5 in. wide

Folds against the wall when not in use

OK for bigger kids

Leave back tire on the ground to mount front tire

Holds 75 lb.

Holds one bike

Not for smaller children
Steadyrack Classic Rack

Steadyrack classic wall bike rack

20 to 29″ diameter and

up to 2.4 in. width

Steadyrack Fender Rack

Steadyrack Bike Wall Mount for Fender Bikes

20 to 29″ diameter and

up to 2.4 in. width and

fenders

Wall Bike Hook Pros and Cons

Bike hooks are simplified wall racks.

Good bike hooks have strong screws built into one end.

The other end is a wide, deep curved hook.

Rubber coating protects your bike’s finish.

Mount bike hooks into studs.

Store a bike horizontally over two parallel hooks.

Hang a bike by a tire off of one taller hook.

Look for a hook mouth wide enough for your bikes’ tire widths, disc brakes and fenders.

Many bike hooks have rubber issues.

The rubber coating comes off after a few uses.

Bike hooks aren’t a good solution for smaller kids.

Your bikes will be against the wall, which will save garage floor space.

Always mount bike hooks in studs, not drywall.

You want to mount the hooks into the wall studs.

Best Wall Hook Bike Storage
NameBike SizesProsCons
Tornado Large J Hook (2)

Tornado Large J Hooks

AllDoes not take garage wall space

Excellent reputation across product line

40 lb. capacity

Rubber coated

Spike and notches assist installation

Large mouth for all bikes

 

Not for smaller children

Must install in studs

 

 

 

 

 

Proslat manual pulley ceiling bike storage

None of the manual bike pulleys I’ve analyzed are safe. NOT recommended

Manual Bike Pulley Pros and Cons

A pulley lift uses a pair of hooks to lift your bike into the air.

The pulley woks like a window shade cord.

Let go to bring the hooks down.

Attach your handlebar and seat to the hooks.

Each lift carries one bicycle.

Pull the rope to send your bike up.

The ceiling pulley is a great space saver.

It’s easy to use and cost-effective.

It works for all kinds of bikes.

But there are NONE worth buying.

There are no bike pulleys in the product recommendations.

Although it’s a good concept, none of the manufacturers invest in their offers.

Wide hooks are a common problem.

The hooks don’t stay under the handlebars and bike seat.

The hooks can’t hold the bike in the air.

Many customers report that ropes fray, or come loose from the pulley tracks.

Putting bikes over your family’s heads should be safe.

When a high-quality pulley comes out, I’ll let you know.

And, of course, pulleys are not good solution for little kids.

Best Manual Bike Pulley: Do Not Buy
Do Not Buy

I studied six bike pulley brands on Amazon. All were too dangerous to recommend. Pulleys lift bikes over your head and car. Failure is not acceptable.

Many popular pulleys failed in critical areas.

Reports included:

hook too wide (Racor, MVPower, Bike Lane, RAD)

bad hardware (Racor, MVPower, Bike Lane, RAD)

rope broke  (Racor, Cartman)

rope frayed (MVPower)

flimsy (Cartman)

defective pulley plastic (Cartman)

rope fell out of pulley track (Bike Lane, MVPower)

Interstellar and Sunlite don’t have enough history to judge their quality. Outright rejected brands include RAD, Racor, MVPower and Cartman.

Garage Gator Bike Lift

Garage Gator Bike Lift (recommended)

Motorized Bike Lift Pros and Cons

A motorized bike lift combines a ceiling winch and hooks.

You mount the hooks onto the bike’s frame.

The winch pulls the bike up to the ceiling.

Most winches modified into “bike lifts” are not worth buying.

They have the same engineering and quality issues that the manual pulleys have.

One exception is Proslat‘s Garage Gator Bike Lift.

You can lift 8 bikes on the Garage Gator winch.

The system holds 220 lb.

Two wires hold a horizontal bar.

The bar holds the hooks.

The hooks hold the bikes.

You plugin the system into a standard electrical outlet.

The Garage Gator Bike Lift is a variation of the Garage Gator Motorized Platform Lift.

The engineering design is the same.

That system has a good reputation with no safety complaints as well.

The lift is also suitable for bike storage.

The review is below.

Best Motorized Bike Lift
NameBike SizesProsCons
Garage Gator 66055K Motorized 8 Bike Lift

Garage Gator Bike Lift

All sizesDoes not take garage wall space

Storage bar expands from 6 to 9 ft.

Holds 220 lb.

Wired remote

Ceilings to 15 ft.

Not for sloped ceilings

Really important to read the instructions

Ceiling Hook Pros and Cons

Ceiling hooks are the ceiling version of the wall hooks we discussed above.

They are rubber-coated, wide mouth hooks.

The screw end goes into a joist.

The mouth accepts a tire.

The bike hangs vertically from the ceiling.

Hooks don’t work on tall ceilings.

It’s too hard to reach.

It’s awkward to place a bike over your head.

And ceiling hooks are not best for kids.

Ceiling hooks are good at saving garage floor space.

The rubber-coated hooks are a cost-effective ceiling hook solution.

The Gladiator GarageWorks Advanced Bike Storage “Claw” supports 50 lb.

The Claw is one of the most popular Gladiator products.

Not that Gladiator Claw v2 is for ceilings.

Gladiator v3 is for Gladiator’s wall storage system.

Best Bike Ceiling Hooks
NameBike SizesProsCons
Best Ceiling Hook:

Gladiator Garageworks Bicycle Claw

Up to 3 in. wideHolds any size bike

Supports 50 lb.

Tires larger than 3 in. won’t fit

Not for children

Cheapest solution:Richohome Heavy Duty Bike Hook Hangers (8)

Richohome Ceiling Bike Hooks

 

 

 

Up to 2.5 in. wide tireDoes not take garage wall space

Holds 100 lb.

Vinyl coated

Tires larger than 2.5 in. won’t fit

Not fo rchildren

Ceiling-Mounted Elevator Bike Lift Pros and Cons

A garage elevator is a platform attached to a ceiling winch.

You press the control to send it up and down.

Consumer models plug into stand electrical outlets.

Many elevator lifts are too dangerous to recommend.

I found only one brand worth considering.

It’s from Garage Gator, which is a Proslat brand.

See the product recommendations at the end of the article.

Platform lifts come in 4 ft. x 4 ft. and 3 ft. x 6 ft. sizes.

The Garage Gator is 4 x 4.

Most adult bikes are longer than 4 ft.

But as long as the axles are on the platform, the bike ends can hang over the platform edges.

Kids’ bikes will fit well.

Elevator lifts are a cool solution.

Little kids might be comfortable with them.

You’ll probably get 3 bikes on a 4 ft. platform.

Best Motorized Platform Elevator Lift
NameBike SizesProsCons
Garage Gator Elevator Platform Lift

Garage Gator Elevator Platform Lift

All sizesDoes not take garage wall space

4 ft. x 4 ft. platform

Holds 220 lb.

Wired remote

Ceilings to 15 ft.

Not for sloped ceilings

Really important to read the instructions

Winch Bike Storage Pros and Cons

Rather than getting a specialized bike storage solution, you can hang your bikes from a generic motorized winch.

Without adding your own adjustments, each winch would only hold one bike.

Bikes are prone to get unbalanced.

Hang a horizontal bar from the winch; and hang the bike from two points on the bar.

Many winches are not worth buying.

They have dangerous quality-control issues.

I looked at about a dozen winches.

I finally found the highly-rated and respected Partsam winch, which I recommend.

The Partsam winch has an automatic shutoff when it reached its max height.

It also shuts off if its cable twists.

This is something I’d like to see standard on all winches (and pulleys).

The Partsam can lift  1310 lb.

Little kids should not use a winch.

But it does get the bikes off of the floor!

Best Motorized Winch
NameBike SizesProsCons
Partsam 1320 lb. Winch

Partsam 1320lb winch

All sizesDoes not take garage wall space

3 ft. and 6 ft. sling straps included

auto shut off at max height or cable twist

full stop panic button

remote cable 5ft.

automatic mechanical brake

Double cable to double load capacity and halve speed

corded (not wireless) remote

solution not for smaller children

Kaixun – doesn’t have fairlead

Goplus – cable thinner than stated; received used hoist; no warranty; power cord too short; remote broke

Champion – didn’t last

Steel Dragon – cable derails, buttons got stuck, cable kinked

MyLifter – cable tangled in gears, mfg unresponsive, almost set fire

 

Best Yard Bike Storage for Families

You can store bikes outside under a bike cover or in a shed.

Both get your family’s bikes off of your garage floor.

Little kids might be able to use covers and sheds.

It will depend on the setup and the kid’s abilities.

Bike Cover Pros and Cons

A bike cover is a specially-formed tarp the sits over and tucks under your bikes.

It’s a bike raincoat.

Many bike covers have lock cable pass-through’s.

But a locked bike cover isn’t as secure as a locked garage.

Good bike covers protect bikes from rain, snow and wind.

Covers can be too much for small children to use.

If you use a bike cover solution, you might have to put bikes away for the little ones.

A good cover is sturdy, durable and weatherproof.

It should be UV coated.

I recommend the EUGO cover.

 

Best Bike Cover
NameBike SizesProsCons
EUGO Bike Cover

Eugo Bike Cover

Covers 2 bikes up to 29 in. diameter wheelsDoes not take garage wall space

Works with smaller bikes

Easy for older children to use

Does not take garage floor space

Portable

High quality

Sturdy

Durable

Weatherproof

UV coated

Lockable

Safety straps for wind

Can be used with kickstands

Can be used with bike stands

Excellent for back of RV

 

Not for kids’ bikes

Bike Shed Pros and Cons

Add a floor stand to a bike shed to get bicycles off of the garage floor.

The shed dimensions determine the bike rack type.

For a tall, narrow shed, install a wall mount rack.

In a wider shed, you might be able to use a floor rack.

You need to have some space between the bikes.

If other bikes are in the way, you can’t get next to your bike to pull it out.

The best way to use an outdoor bike shed is to equip a tall, outdoor shed with a vertical wall bike rack.

The shed keeps the bikes safe from weather.

The rack keeps the bikes accessible.

If you do have a very large shed, you can equip the bikes with kickstands.

Or you can use a floor rack.

A really large shed is like a garage.

You just need kickstands or floor stands.

But for a smaller shed, only a taller shed with wall mounts makes sense.

Everyone’s bike is equally easy to unrack.

The best bike shed is Suncast Tremont.

Best Bike Shed
NameBike SizesProsCons
Suncast Tremont Shed

Suncast Tremond Shed

AllDoes not take garage wall space

Best garage-substitute shed

Door is 5 ft. wide x 6 ft. tall

Shed is 8 ft. x 7 ft.

Store bikes on kickstands or floor stands

Excellent weather protection

Happy customers say it lasts

Relatively easy assembly

Sturdy

Takes a few hours to assemble

Not the cheapest bike storage

Needs better assembly instructions

Must install on very flat surface