London’s gone cycling mad in recent years.
As an environmentally and cost-effective method of getting around town – and with the added bonus of being an easily accessible and family-friendly form of recreational exercise, its popularity is riding at an all-time high, buoyed by UK triumphs at major events such as the Tour de France and investments in the city’s cycle lane network.
The recent lockdowns further fuelled the bike buying fire while high-spending consumer groups such as MAMILs (that’s middle-aged men in lycra to you and I) have helped flood our streets with high-value bikes. With such rich pickings to be had, it’s small wonder bike crime has soared. All of which begs the question of how to safely store our steeds, removed not only from prying eyes and light-fingered opportunists but the rarefied rigours of our climate – all without cluttering and mudding up our homes.
Enter the home bike storage shed, a broad and booming market that’s spawned specialist retailers such as SecureCycleStore.com and is further benefitting from the increasingly common requirement for bike storage provision in local planning department rules.
Not all bike sheds are born equal, however. For starters, there’s an embarrassment of shoddily-built, best-avoided cut-price tat on the market, from flimsy wood-slatted sheds to a bevy of tented options that’ll likely leak, collapse or blow away in their first storm, causing untold damage to your bikes in the process. On the other hand, premium models can run into the thousands. As such, it pays to do your research to make the most of your budget while addressing your outdoor space issues, security concerns and outdoor aesthetic.
Need high levels of security? Look for Police and Locksmith Approved models. Limited outdoor space? Consider a vertical bike locker. Security your priority? Think metal sheds, although they’re generally less attractive. Want to customise or decorate your bike shed? Think wood. Plastic options, meanwhile, typically feature padlocked lids, offering a basic security deterrent, and can look a bit cheap and, well, plasticky, but they score points for their inherent value, ready availability and for being so low-maintenance and durable.
Internally, models featuring internal hooks and shelves – or provision for adding shelves – can be really handy for storing additional cycling paraphernalia such as helmets, jackets and panniers. For added internal security, look for beefy anchor hooks and integral security bars to chain your bikes to.
I’d also recommend ensuring your chosen model features an integral floor – something some models don’t have – for added security and protection from the elements. Adequate ventilation is also crucial to avoid build-ups of condensation and mould that could damage your precious contents. Read on for a taste of what the market has in store.
Keter Store It Out Midi 880L Garden Storage Box
Best for: stylish plastic bike shed
Offering 880 litres of storage capacity for a song, the key selling point of this polypropylene offering, is the style points. While it’s not specifically a bike store, for my money it looks remarkably similar to other plastic options in the circa £500 price bracket albeit much cheaper. So what do you get for your money? Well, for starters, the internal dimensions of 132cm wide x 71.5cm deep x 113.5cm high will be good for at least one adult bike – possibly two with some jiggery pokery – along with one or two kids’ bikes.
Another selling point, at this price point, is the decent floor. With its pre-drilled holes you could easily secure it to a concrete base by investing in some decent bolts (not supplied), boosting stability and security in one fell swoop.
In addition to being weatherproof and waterproof, the exterior incorporates drainage channels to help dispel moisture when you lift the lid. Just be prepared for potentials boffs on the head due to the absence of hydraulic-piston assisted lid lifting to keep said lid in place once raised. That said, you can afford to buy loads of bags of frozen peas to place on any resultant lumps and bumps with all the money you’ll save.
Buy now £125.00, Argos
Best for: value metal bike shed
Bradford-based Asgard is known for making high-quality and durable metal bike shelters and I really like their products, covering a broad range of options across the size and budget spectrum.
This particular model, sitting towards the more affordable end of the company’s offerings, is its bestseller for good reason. A nice, family-friendly model it comes in three sizes; 3ft, 6ft and 8ft, the latter of which can fit four bikes and it’s certainly no tinfoil terror being solidly constructed, weighing in at 114kg.
Despite being reinforced (read heavy), the lid can be easily raised thanks to the gas-assisted mechanism. For added security and peace of mind
it comes fitted with two external, steel plated ‘shrouded’ locking points and an integral steel deadbolt locking bar inside the doors. Plus, there’s the option of bolting the integral metal floor to the ground using the supplied fixing bolts (recommended).
Another nice feature is that you can customise your shed storage functionality to your needs by investing in further Asgard bike shed accessory items such as hooks and shelves – and the 10-year warranty and free UK mainland delivery won’t go amiss either.
Buy now £812.27, Wayfair
Lifetime Horizontal Storage Shed – 75 Cubic Feet (Brown)
Best for: low-maintenance bike shed around £500
Plastic models aren’t always the most attractive of outdoor storage options but this circa £500 horizontal storage option, with its faux plank styling and light beige body topped off by a darker roof, is one of the easier on the eye.
That stain-resistant, dual wall plastic exterior, made of High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE), just screams low-maintenance: simply give it an occasional wash down and it’ll look smart for years to come. Like the steel hinges and padlock-able hasp, the durable exterior is weather-resistant while the UV-protection helps to prevent fading and cracking.
Those dimensions (132cm high X 108cm x 191.1cm) allow for ample storage of your family’s two-wheelers which are easily stashed or accessed thanks to the double door frontage and spring-hinged lid. Other welcome points include the five-year limited warranty.
Buy now £521.99, Robert Dyas
Keter Store It Out (SIO) Premier Jumbo Garden Shed
Best for: general purpose bike shed solution
Despite its roomy 2,020 litre capacity, easily swallowing the family’s bikes, among other storage items, this multi-purpose garden storage solution is pretty compact, measuring 123.6cm high, 178.5cm wide and 94cm deep internally (or 132.5 high, 190.5 wide and 109.3cm deep externally).
Weighing 61kg, it’ll take two people to assemble and I’d advise securing it to a foundation such as flat concrete base by drilling through the floor at the pre-marked locations and screwing or bolting it down (not supplied).
Constructed of Keter’s standard resin material, it’s a low-maintenance, weather-resistant and flexible ‘fit and forget’ outdoors storage solution option. Indeed, it’s a great pick if you don’t need oodles of security, although it is lockable (padlock not included).
Nice features include the easy access aided by the smooth opening hydraulic-piston-assisted lid, enabling users to open the top one-handed, while entering your two wheeled steed with the other up the nicely sloped threshold.
Thanks to the weatherproof exterior, built-in ventilation and integral floor panel, it’ll keep your precious contents clean and dry. Just remember to put some lubricant on those lid pistons now and again to keep it opening smoothly. Comes with a manufacturer’s 15-year guarantee.
Buy now £400.00, Argos
Asgard Maxess E Pro Bike Storage
Best for: bike shed for e-bikes
This newer model has been specifically designed to accommodate some of the latest, chunkier e-bikes, as well as regular bikes, complete with an extra-height ceiling that’s 1,273mm at the front rising to 1,490mm at the rear while the footprint measures 950mm x 2,234mm (or 2306 x 1053mm including lid).
Internally, e-bike owners will appreciate the two pre-drilled socket mounting plates for fitting internal electricity sockets, thus enabling for secure overnight bike charging, with the cables fed through the snug rubber grommeted access holes.
Otherwise, the features, looks and quality materials are typically Asgard – right down to the green paint. Users can expect a solid build complete with weatherproof galvanised metal and an integral all metal floor. Security is paramount, from the deadbolt doors and stainless steel locking points to the reinforcing of the doors and roof with steel bars.
Moreover, Asgard’s ‘inside out’ construction approach deprives thieves of obvious external attack points to target. Users can also buy accessory packs of shelves and hooks to customise the internal storage to their exacting requirements.
Buy now £888.00, Asgard
Brighton Bike Sheds Vertical Bike Shed
Best for: premium vertical bike shed
Billed as ‘an outdoor wardrobe for your bikes’, this supremely well-made Vertical unit is part of Brighton Bike Sheds’ range of customisable bike storage solutions, hand-built in Sussex. With this outstanding and upstanding space-saving model, the bikes hang vertically on the back wall, the hook heights staggered to avoid entangling handlebars.
Thanks to Brighton’s bespoke approach, customers can tweak models to their requirements. For example, with this model customers can choose to store between one and six bikes vertically and request that the hanging hooks are spaced further apart than the standard 40cm to accommodate beefier bikes.
Options for the external cladding include larch, pine and cedar and rooves can be either felt or a sedum living roof – a nice ‘greener’ touch. You can also opt to extend the space by buying ‘add-ons’ such as bin sheds and log stores. Security is equally impressive with one-way screws and lost head nails securing the doors and timber cladding, further secured by the overhanging roof, making removing the slats a headache for thieves.
Once inside, the bikes can be locked to galvanised steel ‘secure bars’ in the back wall. The company even offers an installation service for addresses across the south-east. Now, that’s handy.
Buy now £1099.00, Brighton Bike Sheds
Best for: large secure bike shed
If your storage needs are significant and you crave top-notch security then this beast of a box will tick a lot of boxes. Capable of storing up to eight bikes it sits atop the brand’s higher-end range of ‘Police Approved’ options and it’s Loss Prevention Certified to Level 1. Supplied in flatpack form, the panels are made of heavy-duty 18 gauge galvanised steel that’s weatherproof as well as pretty secure.
All told, it’s a spacious 2.2m wide, fronted by double doors, and weighs a whopping great 441kg, or 69.6 stone, so you’ll need to be clear on where you want it erected as you won’t want to be taking it down or moving it again in a hurry.
Security features include a five-point locking system, featuring a pick and drill resistant lock; 10mm heavy-duty deadbolts; and a steel shroud lock casing. In the event of a break-in, any excess force exerted on the handle will cause it to snap off, thus preventing the intruder from getting inside. Plus, the metal base can be bolted to the ground for added security.
A truly feature-rich offering, it comes supplied with everything from a rack for holding four bikes upright and a wooden floor that sits on the steel floor to an access ramp, hooks and shelves. Other nice little touches include the discreet ventilation holes in the reinforced roof designed to encourage air flow and combat condensation.
Buy now £2082.00, Wayfair
YardStash Bike Storage Tent IV
Best for: durable tented bike shed
If you fancy more of a temporary or easily relocated structure, albeit one with some durability, then this solution ticks a lot of boxes. Measuring 74″ wide x 68″ high x 32″ deep, and weighing around 8.5kg, it’s essentially a tall, wide and shallow bike tent made of robust, heavy-duty, weatherproof vinyl tarpaulin complete with sealed seams, quality zips and an integrated floor that can be attached to the ground for added support, stability and security protection.
For added security, users can lock the bikes inside to a fixed external item, such as a fence or post, through the Velcro back panel, while that sloping roof helps shed rain and snow and the meshed ventilation wards off potential condensation and mould build ups.
Lightweight, portable and easy to assemble, it can be moved around and collapsed or erected, tool-free, with relative ease in just 10 minutes, making it a great option for users with changing needs. When not needed simply roll it up and stash it in its supplied travel bag. It’s no slouch in the storage stakes either: you could easily fit two adult bikes in here, or other outdoorsy stuff such as gardening equipment and garden furniture.
Buy now £387.99, Amazon
Keter Store-It-Out Ultra Shed
Best for: bike shed for the all the family
‘Brilliantly versatile’ is how Keter describes this popular outdoor storage solution, big brother to the smaller Store-It-Out Max. The Ultra offers a generous 2,000 litres of capacity with an internal space measuring 164cm wide, 127cm high and 97cm deep.
Made of a durable, weather-resistant resin, it’ll keep looking smart for years to come while the ventilation will help prevent the build-up of condensation and malodours inside.
Essentially the width of an adult bike, which it’ll store two of alongside two kids bike or a lawnmower, s
ay, along with all manner of other items from helmets and pannier books to pumps, the Ultra is fronted by large and lockable, fully opening double doors. Combined with the hydraulic-piston assisted lid, this offers easy access to your goodies while the sloping threshold helps with rolling your prized two wheelers in and out.
Supplied in kit form, it’s a pretty simple two-person job to assemble and an hour should do it. Plus, it comes in a choice of two-tone colour schemes to help coordinate with your existing garden set up, from grey/black and Green/beige to brown/beige. While lockable, bear in mind you’ll need to choose your padlock wisely as those lock holes ain’t the biggest.
Buy now £355.00, Argos
Trimetals Protect A Cycle Ramped – Anthracite
Best for: secure ramped bike shed
I really like the Trimetals range of specialised bike storage products, especially the Protect A Cycle models with their beefed up security, which the company recommends for areas such as London.
Constructed in the UK from PVC coated galvanised metal, this particular model has been designed and built to Official Police Preferred Specification using bespoke security products supplied by cycle security specialist Oxford that are more secure than its commercially available offerings. As a result, it’s insurance rated for added piece of mind.
A key feature of this model, of course, is that robust, dropdown aluminium ramp – great for wheeling in heavier e-bikes. Combined with the easy-action, up and over ‘roof’ this offers excellent access to your contents. On that note, its generous dimensions, measuring H133 x W196 x D90cm, can swallow three adult bikes.
Inside, the integral metal floor features a ground anchor and security chain and for added security it’s advised to position it on a hard, level concrete base and bolt it down. Externally, the folding lid can be secured by two heavy duty padlocks (supplied). Ultimately, if you’re storing your beloved bikes outside then this is about as get as you can get. Oh, and that galvanised, coated steel body is not only low maintenance it’s guaranteed from corrosion for 25 years. Tidy.
Buy now £1287.99, Robert Dyas