Many people get a lot of joy from riding their electric bikes. Racing through the streets and woods at top speeds can be a thrill. Or, perhaps your bike is primarily for transportation to and from work or school. No matter what its main purpose is, finding a proper storage place for your electric bike – and preparing it for storage – is important.
How do you store an electric bike? Whether it be long-term or short-term storage, there are several different forms of bike racks available: floor models, wall mounts, and ceiling hanging racks. Preparing your bike for storage is as important as the storage space you choose for it, as long-term storage can be harmful to the battery and bike.
Protect your investment by properly storing your electric bike. Don’t let a lack of storage space get you down; we have several helpful solutions to the problem. We’ll also cover maintenance and preparing your electric bike for storage.
The Right Storage Space for Your Electric Bike
You finally have your set of wheels, and it will take you wherever you wish to go. One challenge bike owners face is finding a place to store their ride. Before we figure that out, we must decide how convenient this storage space must be to be a good fit for you.
- Will you be riding on a daily basis? Then it would make the most sense to store in an area close to the door, and easy to get.
- Are you not able to keep your bike in your home, yet need it daily? Perhaps a bike cover and strong lock will give you peace of mind when leaving it at the community bike rack.
- Winter storage? Some people do not plan on riding throughout the winter months, and I can’t say that I blame them. Follow the guidelines below for proper bike prep for long cold season storage.
Wall Mounts for Your Electric Bike
If you don’t have the free floor space to store your bike, perhaps you have an empty wall that you can use. A strong wall is a perfect spot to hang your bike safely and out of the way. Using the wall also gives more flexibility.
When shopping for a wall-mounted bike rack, you have several options. Choosing which style best suits your needs also depends on your bike and your wall. If you are storing more than one bike this way, you will also need to consider which direction you will want them to face.
If you have ample space around them, you may think about a style that allows your bike to hang out into the room, rather than flat against the wall. Let’s take a closer look at some of your options.
- Hooks. Hook option is popular because it is simple to install and offers versatility. For this method, you’ll hang your bike from the wheels or frame. Some believe hanging from the wheel can damage the rim and tire.
So, you have to make your own decision based on your bike(s) and on your hook set up. When not in use to hold bikes, hooks double as handy hanging spot for anything you wish to hang.
- Posts. Posts are the least popular, for they typically provide the least secure of the three wall mount options. With posts, you will have to angle them in such a way that your bike(s) slide onto them without strain.
- Rack. Thought to be the strongest out of the three wall mount options. A rack is more supportive because it is anchored with more than one screw point. It gives you the freedom of several different ways to hang your bike(s).
Find the studs and measure a safe height for you to easily take it down and put it back up. Before you drill any holes, lift your bike up to a level that you feel comfortable with, and make a mark on the wall with a pencil.
Once you’ve got that all situated, make sure that you are using the proper hardware for the job. Something suitable for the material of your wall, and strong enough to hold the rack with your bike on it. The last thing you want is to come home to find your bike laying damaged on the ground
Storing Your Electric Bike on a Rack
Floor model bike racks come in many styles for use inside the garage, also great for out in your yard or in a shed. The type used in parks or public places is heavy-duty and durable for all seasons. Just make sure your climate and electric bike get along before you store outdoors!
Look for metal or heavy-duty plastic rack that you can push the front wheel of your bike into, and it will be secured by the bars. Designed in single racks for one bike, or multiple racks with enough room for the entire family’s rides, you’ll be able to find the right size for your needs.
They can be free-standing models that will stand on their own. Other models have posts that can be buried and secured with cement. Most racks are labeled for either indoor or outdoor use. And, once your rack is in place, you can load it up. Add a bike lock around it and your ride for a bit more peace of mind.
Storing Your Electric Bike Up Top
When you don’t have the room to store a bike on the floor, nor can you hang a rack from the wall, what is your next option? The ceiling of your garage, shed, or basement may be the perfect solution to your issue.
If you have storage rafters, boom! Problem solved. Not that lucky? This DIY project can be done in an hour or two and will require little more than a ladder, some rope, large hooks and a drill. Perhaps a second set of hands would be helpful, too.
Typically, ceiling mounts are a set of hooks on a pulley system. Your bike will be raised from floor to ceiling with a crank, manual or electric. Check out some different bike lifts for storing your bicycle here.
Other than a pulley system, hanging your bike from the ceiling can be done with a simple bike rack that you install on the ceiling, which would be better used by those that do not use their bike on a daily basis because it’s not quite as easy to get down.
Keep in mind electric bikes are heavier than a standard road bike or mountain bike. Take this into account when you do your calculations and purchase your materials.
Bike Tent or Shed for Your Electric Bike
The great thing about a bike tent is that it doesn’t take up much room. And, most times, you won’t have to consult with the district you live in about regulations. Generally, there is no building permit needed, since it is not a permanent structure. If all you are trying to store is your bikes, save yourself a trip to city hall.
Simple enough to set up on your own, you can easily construct your new bike tent in a matter of hours.
Should you decide to step it up and purchase a bike shed vs. a simple tent, you may need to check in with your local building ordinances. It will be a bit more work to assemble, but it will be a great deal sturdier than a tent.
Not a fan of DIY? No worries. Buying a prefabricated shed is, of course, a lot easier than building on yourself, though it may cost a bit more. But at least you’ll have a bike shed that’s ready to go, and probably even get it delivered!
Get Your Electric Bike Covered!
Whether you are storing your bike indoors, or outdoors a bike cover is always a good idea, especially with one as complex as an electric bike. Protecting your investment with an affordable cover is wise.
Though nature is beautiful, it doesn’t do a bike any favors when you’re storing. A simple piece of material that is slipped over your bike is secured with Velcro or clips. Giving a barrier between the elements and the battery, chain, tires, and frame can make a big difference.
If you are storing your bike outside, you will appreciate that a cover is windproof, preventing things like leaves and other debris from blowing through. Dust and dirt will be blocked and won’t clog up the works or get your bike all dirty while in storage.
Of course, with a cover protecting it, you won’t have to worry when it starts to rain or snow. No water damage can happen if you have it protected – as long as you’ve secured it well. Keep the sun out, as well. UV ray barriers shield from the strong sun beating down and beating your bike up.
Your cover doubles as handy protection for when your bike is on your car rack. Keep it safe from stones and gravel that may potentially damage your bike and chip your pain. It will also be safe from rain and hail, as well as the occasional bird droppings.
The Battery Life of Your Electric Bike
Batteries are made to be tough and durable, and they live up to their promise. But storing them for long periods of time without use can be damaging, if not done properly.
You will want to make sure that your battery is charged up to the correct level. The last thing you want is for your battery to die due to low charge; the cell will go bad, rendering it unusable for next season. Avoid throwing money down the drain and check it before storing.
The recommended level of charge for your battery to be safe during storage is 60-80%. Check and adjust accordingly. If the level is lower than 60%, charge it up. If it’s got a full charge, take it for a ride and see if you can’t use up some of that power.
Typically, a charged battery will last about 20-50 hours. And, when taken care of properly, the battery can last anywhere from 2-6 years.
The Right Temperature of Your Storage Area
Storing in extreme cold or hot temperatures could be harmful to your battery. The ideal temperature for storing batteries is 60 degrees (F). Not every storage space will provide you with that ideal temperature, though.
If your storage area is not climate controlled, you may want to think about removing the battery from your electric bike to bring it indoors, where the temperature is regulated.
Allowing your battery to heat up or freeze could damage it beyond repair. Depending on which battery you choose, buying a new one can cost you anywhere from $50-$300.
Storing Your Electric Bike Tires
Your tires take you everywhere you wish to go; therefore, it’s advised to take good care of them. Of course, filling them with the appropriate amount of air and checking for cracks are part of routine maintenance.
- Too much air can be dangerous for the obvious reason that you can blow the inner tube.
- Too little air can be desired by some riders because it may give you better grip on certain terrains, but not all. Obviously if you don’t have enough air in your tires you can spring a flat.
Rotating bike tires? Some bike owners will rotate the front wheel to the back and then replace the front tire. Not necessary, but it can be helpful.
Bring a compact air pump, and a few tire patches in your bag. Better to be safe than sorry, especially when riding in areas far from civilization.
Cleaning Your Electric Bike Before Storage
Most biking enthusiasts will keep their rides spic and span on a regular basis. Taking pride in making sure the day’s ride is wiped away and buffed to a shine. Maintenance is made much easier if you stay on top of it.
The dirt and debris your bike picks up can ruin the mechanics, if not properly handled. Are you storing your bike for the season, or for an extended period of time? Make sure you give it a thorough wash (and dry!) before stowing it away.
Take your time and be as thorough as you can be. Go over the entire bike cleaning and making adjustments. Grease your chain and polish all of the chrome. You’ll be glad that you did when you pull your bike out of storage and just have to dust it off a bit.
Don’t Want to Clean It Yourself? Go Pro.
Your local bike shop staff is happy to help you get your electric bike ready for storage. We don’t always have the spare time to do things like this, and there is no shame in making an appointment to have the dirty work done.
Drop it off, pay the bill, and take it to hibernate for the winter. One less thing on your to-do list , as your bike shop will take care of everything for you. The team at the shop will go over a complete checklist.
Your battery will be inspected, as well as the charge level checked and adjusted, making sure it’s at a healthy level for storage. They will also inspect clean and lube your chain, repairing any broken links that they may find.
Tires will be on their list. They will take a close look at them and assessing the wear and tear that’s been done throughout the season. Once the tires and the rest of the inspection are done, your bike will be cleaned and will be ready for you to pick up.
Find a Storage Facility for Your Electric Bike
Not able to store your electric bike at home? Living in an apartment, condo, or another area where there is a limited amount of storage space can be a challenge. Luckily storage facilities are popping up all over the place!
Especially with the boom in tiny living, you may be in a “just-right” size space that doesn’t have room for your beloved bicycle. People want safe and affordable places that they can store things they need but don’t have room for. Finding a storage facility that suits your needs and budget has never been easier.
Here’s how it works at a storage facility.
- Typically offering several options such as size and length of contract, most storage facilities have locked gates with security codes, keys, or swipe cards to enter the property.
- Your belongings are usually accessible to you 24 hours of the day.
- Good storage facilities are well-lit and often will have cameras for added security.
- You will receive keys and probably sign a contract.
- Now you can fill the space with all the extra things in your way at home, as well as your bike.
- Make sure you review the instructions on how to prepare your bike before locking the door for the winter.
Unpacking Your Electric Bike After Storage
When the ice melts, and nature shows signs of spring, it’s time to get the bike out of storage and prepare for the season to come. If you have used a cover to protect it from the elements, pull that baby off, and let’s get started!
How well have you prepared your bike before storing it? If you have followed the checklist of maintenance prep, you will be better off than those that haven’t.
- Replace the battery, if you have removed it. And charge it up!
- Check tires and adjust PSI.
- Inspect and grease chain.
- Give the brakes a once over and test them, adjust if needed.
- Clean it up and get ready to ride!