How to store 4 adult bikes was a question I recently faced? The obvious answer would be put them in your garage, but I don’t have a garage. I’ve tried using plastic bike covers, the type made from tent material, but where I store the bikes can be quite windy and within a few months the covers I tried were ripped and having to be patched with gaffer tape.
So many options
I looked at secure metal bike boxes, wooden garden sheds, plastic garden sheds, garden storage boxes, renting storage space, selling the bikes and just hiring bikes when I needed one or even replacing the current bikes with folding bikes.
I enjoy cycling and wanted the bikes to be nearby and easy to access. The option that seemed to fit my criteria best was …… wait for it …… a bike shed. But what sort of bike shed, they come in a range of heights widths and lengths. You can get apex roofs, roofs that slope forwards or backwards, pent sheds, shiplap, tantalised, with shelving or without, single door or double door, with bearers or without and a selection of different delivery and installation options, not forgetting the range of warranties.
Don’t forget the base
Adding to this you need a base for the shed to stand on, as standing a shed on grass will not do the shed any good.
Now that I knew what I was after was a bike shed, the first question was how big I needed a bike shed to be to store 4 adult bikes. When I say 4 adult bikes, I mean one Dutch style adult bike with the curved handlebars, 2 ladies city bikes and a large touring bike (with panniers), none of these are lightweight or small.
It turns out measuring 4 bikes and the space they need, can be a challenge as each time you try to lean them up against each other they take up a little bit more or a little bit less space. I decided to play it on the safe side and go for a slightly larger shed than I might need and decided on a shed 7 by 5 by 5½(ish)
I’d had a base laid for a standard shed a while back and had it made larger than it needed so I was able to extend it with some paving bricks so the bike shed would fit.
After a lot of internet surfing, I came across a company called Tiger sheds. They are based in Leeds and specialise in making sheds. They had a lot of good reviews on the web and the sheds seemed a good price. I’ll admit being a little concerned by the price as they were coming in a lot cheaper than I’d been quoted by other suppliers.
The shed I purchased was a 7 by 5 Tiger Pent Bike Store, pent being a shed with one slope on its roof, apex being a shed with 2 slopes to it, i.e. it has a ridge line.
I went for a pent shed as I was going to put the bike shed or store next to my existing shed and wanted any rain water to run away from the shed.
I decided that I’d separately get some bearers. Bearers are pieces of timber ranging in size, mine are about 3cm square, that run under the shed in the opposite direction to the shed base. The reason for getting these was that the base that my shed was going to sit on was a little uneven and the bearers helped level the base, they also lift the shed a little so that air can pass under the shed allowing it to dry better.
As you can see in bearers picture, my shed base is only just big enough and when it rains the front of the bike shed gets a little mud splashed on it, the bearers help reduce this.
Ordering the shed was easy. When you click the buy option on the Tiger sheds site you are presented with a selection of different treatments to come with the shed. Please note you’ll need to apply these yourself, Tiger sheds are only sending the container of the treatment,
You can also choose different security, door and shelving options, for me as I was trying to keep the price down, I just went for the spare shed key option.
Enter your details and the shed’s delivery date was set for a couple of weeks’ time.
You’ll receive an email from Tiger Sheds confirming the date and time of the delivery (at the time I ordered they were doing 2 hour delivery slots, which was great). You’ll need to confirm your delivery slot by clicking a link in their email otherwise your shed won’t get delivered until you do.
The flat packed shed with all its assorted nails and hinges arrived on the expected date, and the delivery driver kindly leant the shed up against the wall we asked. Unfortunately, that night the wind picked up and in the morning the flat packed shed was on the floor. The lesson we learnt was don’t lean the shed up against a wall unless you can stop if from falling over, fortunately no damage had been done to the shed.
In trying to keep the cost down we decided that we should install the shed ourselves. If you’ve read any of my other articles, you’ll know I’m not a huge DIY’er with putting Ikea furniture together being about my usual skill level.
The process was simple enough, although we did have to read the instructions several times before we put the shed together, and it was only when the shed was put together we found we’d missed a couple of bolts that we retrospectively fitted.
It took 2 of us about 4 hours to install from start to finish. This was probably longer than the norm as I decided to screw the shed together rather than nail it. The reason for this was twofold. Firstly, I had a stack of suitable screws going spare, and secondly I knew from past projects sometimes you have to take things apart and move them.
Although the shed is ideal for storing the bikes, I did make a small customisation. This being adding a few extra pieces of 3cm by 3cm timber battening to the back wall of the shed. The reason for this was that I lean all the bikes against the back wall of the shed and the way they ended up leaning meant the back wall was taking a lot of weight so to spread the weight I added these extra battens.
The story so far
The shed has now been in place for several months, it has coped with strong winds, heavy rain, a little sun and freezing temperatures and it’s doing absolutely fine. The bikes are kept dry, are easy to access and are nearby, so the shed achieved everything I wanted from it.
You can probably tell from the pictures I haven’t given the shed a coat of paint yet, although this is recommended by tiger sheds and in the warranty T’s & C’s they have requirements for doing this and some other stuff to keep the 10 year warranty valid.
The keen eyed amongst you may well have noticed, that this article was titled “How to store 4 adult bikes (or possibly 5)? “ this is because there are now 5 bikes and a tow bar bike rack squeezed in the shed, what can I say, going for the slightly larger shed definitely paid off for me.
For me 7 by 5 The Tiger Shed is doing a great job. Don’t get me wrong, if budget isn’t an issue or you have greater security requirements then there are always other options, however for me this shed was a budget friendly option for storing 4 bikes (or 5 and some other stuff)
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