Bike Sheds 101: Keep Your Bike Protected at All Times
Leaving your bike outside exposed to the hot sun, heavy rains and strong winds will damage it in no time. This is where bike sheds come to the rescue. They’re small and practical “bike houses” that will keep your bicycle away from harsh weather conditions and damage. But choosing one is not an easy decision. You’ll have to think about the material it’s made of, how big you need it to be, and what locking mechanism you want.
What to Consider When Buying
How Many Bikes Do You Have?
This is a factor that greatly influences the size of the shed from the start. If you have just one or two bikes, it’s practical to buy an outdoor bicycle shed that’s a smaller size. Unless you plan on upgrading and purchasing some more bikes such as a new BMX for everyone, or a mountain bike just for you. If you have 3-4 or even more, you should get a big shed. Plus, it would be useful if it has some space where you can work on your bike.
Take a measuring tape and get the dimensions of the bikes. Measure the width of the handlebars, the length from the front to the rear tire and the height from the ground to the tallest point (usually the handlebars or the saddle). You could save some space by installing bike racks on the walls and hanging the bikes there. You should consider some storage space as well. This also comes in handy for some spare parts and accessories.
How Will You Access Them?
Taking the bikes in and out of the shed should be easy for everyone to do. This is especially handy if you have smaller children that love to ride their bicycles often. The best way to get them in and out is by placing them forward or backward. Sideways storing sheds are not so practical. It shouldn’t be an issue if there are some bikes you don’t use that often and they can go in the back. But if you use every bike regularly, getting them out and returning them can be annoying and hard.
What’s the Location and Base?
The available yard space can influence the shed’s size. You may have limited flooring space, a fence in the way or the walls’ height is not right. Depending on the size, you may need a permit to build the shed. The surface underneath should be flat and stable. Some of the options for a base are:
- Gravel flooring;
- Wooden platform;
- Paved stone;
- Concrete foundation;
- Plastic base.
The best place to keep your shed is the backyard. That way it won’t clutter the front yard and it’ll be accessible only to your family. Just make sure your shed is elevated from the ground. This way you’re protecting wooden sheds from rotting and metal ones from rusting.
How Will You Lock it?
A lot of people base their decision on the locking mechanism when they’re buying an outdoor bicycle shed. The ones that have built-in locks are considered the best. These locking systems contribute to the security of the bicycles and serve as a deterrent to would-be thieves. The sheds that have a higher level of security are always more expensive, but sometimes it’s worth investing more.
Additionally, some sheds have internal security features like anchor points. This way you can lock the bikes inside the shed with anchor points and ground anchors. Even if a robber were to break into your bike shed, they would need strong tools to remove the bikes. Although some sheds aren’t equipped with anchoring points, you can easily install them yourself.
Best Shed Materials
Wood is solid, relatively inexpensive, simple to work with, and looks beautiful in a garden area. A well-built, well-maintained wooden shed will be excellent for weather protection. Wooden bike sheds may be easily customised and come in a wide range of sizes and styles, so you can always find one that’s just right for you.
Or, of course, you could assemble your own bike shelter if you have the skills, knowledge, and proper tools. Plus, you can always improve it in terms of security and locks. This is the most environmentally friendly option on the market, but it also requires a lot of care and maintenance. Every few years, you’ll need to re-treat the wood.
And ultimately, the roof will need to be re-felted on even the nicest wooden sheds. To keep away rodents and insects, you might have to put up a lot of work. You must look out for rotting as well. Rotting can shorten its lifespan and make it less secure. A good piece of advice is to look for planks with at least 12mm thickness.
We don’t typically think of metal as a classic shed material, but it’s actually very good for storing bikes. The level of security these sheds have is their best feature. More than any other outdoor storage option, a metal shed will keep your bikes safe from theft and damage. Besides that, they are quite a weather resistant option too. They won’t fade, break, or distort because of the sun. They’re very sturdy so they can withstand heavy rain and strong winds.
If the outdoor bicycle shed is properly galvanised, you won’t have problems with rust. You also won’t have to worry about rodents, insects or other animals harming your shed. Metal doesn’t require a lot of upkeep. All you need to do is wash it occasionally with water and soap.
If you’re making the assembly of the shed your personal DIY, you may run into some difficulties with certain designs. To make sure you have a hassle-free project, choose models with SNAPTiTe assembly for fast and easy assembly. Also, choose panels that are at least 0.25mm thick for the best protection.
Plastic sheds are becoming more and more popular each day. A plastic bike shed is simple. They are simple to move around because they are so light, simple to assemble and simple to maintain because they won’t rust or rot. They’re very light and the most financially affordable option. With this shed, you won’t have to worry about insects, animals and rodents. Plastic nowadays is of high quality, so the shed won’t fade and break because of the sun.
Similar to metal, plastic doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. Soap and water are all you need. They practically require no upkeep. Once they are put together, all they need is the occasional wash in warm, soapy water. But most plastic shelters aren’t aesthetically pleasing. They could appear flimsy and phoney. Most of them cannot be customised either, so you’re stuck with what you buy. Moreover, they’re not as strong as metal and wood, and can get damaged from heavy snowfalls and strong winds.