A bicycle comes in handy on a college campus, because you don’t have to worry about auto insurance, gas, or parking. But many colleges don’t allow bicycles in dorms so how do you store a bike in a dorm room and prevent it from being stolen?
Coming up with bike storage solutions doesn’t have to be hard, I’ve put together some great ideas no matter where you live.
How To Store A Bike In A Dorm Room?
If your school allows it, you can store it under your bed, the wall, or use a freestanding rack to keep your bicycle safe.
Bike storage can be extremely challenging if you live in a dorm room. The great thing is many college students have their own suites and don’t have to share a room.
Not to mention, you will have to worry about it getting stolen if not properly secured.
These methods will help you keep your bike safe while attending college. Before storing your bike in your dorm, make sure you can trust your roommate and they don’t mind.
Many schools require students to use designated bike racks in common areas. Before implementing any of the following methods, you’ll want to find out what your school rules are.
5 Ways To Store Your Bike In Your Dorm Room
If you’re lucky enough to have a lofted bed (about 6 feet off the ground) in your dorm, you can store 4-5 bikes underneath it without any issues. Many colleges utilize lofted beds because they provide additional space under the bed, where you can put your desk or other furniture.
You’ll want to hang some hooks from the metal frame under the mattress to hang the bikes securely from the front tire. You can purchase cheap rubberized hooks from Lowe’s or Amazon that protect your bicycle tires.
This bike storage solution works great if you are only storing one bicycle. If you have multiple bikes, you will have to find a way to keep the handlebars from getting tangled together.
Make sure you use a good lock to keep your bikes from being stolen.
Underneath The Bed
After doing some research on Reddit, many past and current college students have had luck by storing their bikes under their bed.
You may have to remove both pedals and wheels to get the bike to fit under the bed. You’ll have to put the wheels and pedals back on every time you get your bicycle out, but it’s better than keeping it locked up outside on the bike racks.
Hang It On The Wall
You could also try hanging it on the wall as a without doing any damage to the drywall, here’s how to hang a bike on drywall. If you do screw drill into the drywall, you can always buy a $15 drywall repair kit from the home improvement store and patch up the wall at the end of the year.
It’s not hard to patch drywall and if done correctly, no one will ever know your drilled holes in it, besides your friends and roommate. This video will walk you through on how to repair a hole or cracks in drywall or sheetrock.
Some college students have found it much easier to hang their bikes on the ceiling. It’s one of the easiest and cheapest options that doesn’t take up a lot of space on the floor.
You’ll need to invest in a vinyl-coated heavy-duty steel wall mount.
The downside is your bicycle will be visible and you can be fined for causing damage to the ceiling.
Most people won’t tell on you, just don’t tell everyone you know that you’re storing your bike on the ceiling, especially in front of the staff.
Use A Freestanding Rack
Depending on your room set up, you could use a freestanding or gravity rack to keep your bike in a corner and out of the way.
A gravity bike rack is easy to assemble and stores one or more bikes along the wall without having to drill into the wall or ceiling.
The average dorm room closet is 24″ deep x 36″ wide and 84″ high, which is more than enough room to store your bicycle.
First, you’ll want to take off the front wheel, using the quick-release lever. Many mountain bikes and other bicycle types have a quick-release button that makes it easy to remove the tires without the use of tools. This makes it easy to transport the bike, store the bike, or fix a flat.
Store the front wheel in the closet by leaning it up against the wall. Next, wheel the bike to the closet on the back wheel and lift the bike up so the closet rack sits nicely between the forks of the bike. You may want to use a towel to prevent your bike from getting scuffed.
If your bike has a hydraulic disc brake system, you’ll want to rotate the handlebars to the left, so the disc brake system is below the closet rack. You never want to store a bike with a hydraulic brake system upside down, as it’s not good for it.
This will prevent the bar from damaging the cables or the braking system.
Also, if you have hydraulic disc brakes, don’t grab the front left brakes, because the calipers will pinch close and won’t reopen.
The downside to this method is you won’t be able to lock your bike up, which leaves it unsecured and vulnerable to theft.
Bring It In A Night
If you go to school in a city where the weather is nice and your bike won’t be exposed to rain or snow that can cause it to rust quickly.
You may want to consider locking it up outside during the day and bringing it into your dorm at night.
You’ll want to contact the dorm’s front desk and ask them if you can bring your bike in at night.
Keeping Your Bike Safe
With over 1.5 million bicycles stolen every year, it’s one of the biggest problems on college campuses everywhere. (source) It’s up to you to take care of your bike while you’re living on campus.
With the proper precautions, you’ll have a much better chance of recovering your lost or stolen bicycle.
One of the best things you can do is buy a good quality bicycle lock that won’t make it easy to steal. Most thieves will choose to steal bikes with locks that are easy to break or crack.
Ask The University Cycling Team
Reach out to the school’s cycling team, you may be able to contact them on Instagram.
Many colleges and universities in the United States have cycling teams or clubs. They may be able to offer some suggestions on how to keep your bike safe on campus without having to park it outside in the elements.
Can You Get In Trouble?
If the University Housing Resident Handbook clearly states all bicycles need to be left outside, you can get in trouble.
While I’m not advocating breaking the rules, sometimes it’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission.
If you’re not comfortable with breaking the rules, you will be better off using the designated bike racks on campus.
You’ll be better off asking what the school rules are before you take your expensive bike with you.
Unless you’re planning on commuting every day, you may be better off using the bike-sharing services available in many cities throughout the United States. If you can’t live without your bicycle, I’d recommend taking an older bike less expensive bicycle.