Reshape Your Space for Your Bike

A bicycle doesn't ask for much. It just needs a safe, dry spot away from thieves and vandals. Even maintenance isn't an issue. Occasional in-home repairs and tune-ups just require an old towel for catching grease drips, a bottle of degreaser, and a toolset that fits under a bike saddle. Most homes or garages have enough space to attach heavy-duty hooks and hang a bike. You can get a pair of vinyl-coated steel hooks for about $2. The slick bike claw costs more, but makes hanging a bike even easier. Instead of awkwardly maneuvering over a J-hook, the tire pushes up on a button that lowers two hooks around the rim. Push up again and release the hooks to pull the bike down.

If lifting a bike is impractical, try the bike hoist. It uses pulleys to help you do the heavy lifting. Of course, make sure any bike hooks are screwed in to studs and rafters, not drywall. Also, if you walk past the bike regularly, turn it so the chain faces toward the wall. That will reduce greasy mishaps if you get too close to the gears.

Another option that won't put holes in the ceiling is a bike stand. This $100 model turns a set of four bikes into an art installation. Either way, keep the bike accessible. If you have to move the mower and a workbench to get your bike on its hooks, you won't be likely to take the bike off its hooks. If your bike is competing for space with a stair climber or other exercise equipment, turn the bike into an indoor exerciser with a resistance trainer stand .

Finally, if your neighborhood is safe but you just can't find room for a bike inside, get a nylon bike cover.