A version of this story originally appeared on the Strategist U.S.
Perhaps, like my husband, my colleague Louis Cheslaw, and countless other city dwellers, you or someone you live with has also picked up a bike this year to avoid commuting on public transit. Of all the accessories required as a bike owner, choosing the right storage system can be particularly tricky, especially for urbanites new to biking who want to keep their two wheels locked safely inside their homes. It’s harder still when shopping online, as most of us are these days, because seeing these things in action can often quickly help telegraph which would be right for your space. That’s a big reason I suggested Cheslaw speak to bicyclists and bike-store employees about their favorite bike stands and racks — surely their years of riding and serving riders would have led them to uncover all the best bike storage for newer converts looking for solutions.
While those experts did present an array of functional options, none quite ticked all the aesthetic boxes I sought in a storage system for my husband’s bike. As some of my writing for Strategist suggests, I care a lot about every last inch of my home’s décor, to the point that I’ve installed (kind of) walk-in closets and carefully inspected fake fruit in order to find the most lifelike replicas for the bowl of it we use to decorate our dining table. Because our apartment has 12-foot ceilings, I originally thought some sort of hanging storage system would allow us to take advantage of this space and display the bike as wall art. But I learned very quickly that the issue with storing something high up is that you have to constantly raise and lower it. Even with a road bike as lightweight as my husbands’ 19-pound Fuji, this daily lifting seemed too daunting. A floor stand that mimicked the effect of hanging a bike vertically, I thought, would be a better solution; less bike–as–wall art and more bike-as-sculpture, with no hole-drilling required. But the floor stands Cheslaw heard about are all made to store bikes horizontally, which would give my husband’s the look of … bike-as-bike parked in an otherwise carefully thought-out space.
I texted this dilemma to my dad, a savvy shopper who has written for the Strategist and who actually gave my husband his bike. Seconds after I hit SEND, one of those bubbles with three dots appeared, and a few seconds after that, those dots turned into a link directing me to the Bike Nook, a floor stand that promised to do what the other floor stands recommended to the Strategist could not. At £50, it’s not the cheapest bike storage out there, but it’s far from the most expensive, and the thought of storing my husband’s bike vertically in the exact corner I imagined was enough for me to click buy.
Putting it together was simple enough: The Bike Nook comes with instructions that are easier to follow than any from Ikea and the tools (Allen wrenches) needed to screw it together. Its base has a long grooved leg where you’re meant to put the back wheel of a bike, and the stand’s tallest part has another groove where you’re meant to rest the part of the bike frame that supports the seat. Photos help explain this better than words, but basically, once a bike’s rear wheel is in the lower leg, you just need to tip it back until the frame rests on the taller groove and voilà: Your bike is stored vertically with the only floor space occupied being whatever the compact stand is taking up. A crucial third element to this system comes in the form of an included Velcro strap you use to secure the front wheel to the bike frame so it doesn’t wobble around and risk tipping the bike as it stands upright.
While the Bike Nook is by far the most superior storage (in my opinion), there are a couple of kinks. The long grooved leg that supports a bike’s rear wheel, for instance, is one-size-fits all when it comes to tires, so while it’s wide enough to fit the chunkier tires on a mountain bike, it’s a less perfect fit for the skinner tires on road bikes like my husbands’. The Velcro strap goes a long way to help stabilize things — but placing the stand near a wall, like we did, may help even more, because you can gently rest a handlebar against it for more support. Even with these tiny flaws, the Nook delivers on its promise of providing vertical bike storage with the convenience of a floor stand, displaying my husband’s hand-me-down as the latest objet in our home of inherited paintings, ceramics, and other curated artworks.
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