Indoor Bike Storage vs Outdoor Bike Storage: Which is Right for You?

February 18, 2024

Bicycles are not just a means of transportation but also an investment in health, convenience, and sustainability. They are rising in popularity as an alternative choice for transportation, including commuting. Properly storing a bike when not in use is essential for its longevity and functionality. It is an excellent reason to ensure your employees and visitors have a safe and secure place to store their bicycles.

When it comes to bike storage, one of the primary decisions to make is whether to keep it indoors or outdoors. Both options have their pros and cons, and choosing the right one depends on various factors such as space availability, security concerns, budget, and specific preferences. Let’s delve into the debate of indoor and outdoor bike storage to help you make an informed decision.

Indoor Bike Storage

What Are the Pros of Indoor Bike Storage

Protection from the Elements

Storing your bike indoors shields it from harsh weather conditions such as rain, snow, extreme heat, and UV exposure, all of which can accelerate wear and tear. Nothing beats an indoor bike rack in a garage or a bike hub when it comes to protection.


Indoor storage usually offers greater security against theft and vandalism than outdoor storage. When bike storage is placed inside a building, this often means that there are at least several more layers of protection – buildings often have controlled access, security cameras already installed or security personnel on the perimeter. Getting a bike stolen from inside an office garage, which is locked, plus a secure bike rack or stand to which the bike is chained, is a tough task for any thief.

Preservation of Components

By keeping your bike indoors, you minimise the risk of rust and corrosion on metal components like chains, gears, and bolts, ultimately prolonging the lifespan of your bike. The reality is that moisture is pretty unavoidable, but indoors is significantly drier during all seasons and weather. This means any bikes stored indoors would avoid unnecessary exposure to water.


Having your bike indoors means it’s readily accessible whenever your employees or visitors need it, without the hassle of navigating outdoor obstacles or dealing with weather-related delays. Being able to ride into a nice and sheltered place and walk up to your desk beats parking in the rain and running to the door while trying not to get soaking wet.

Space Utilisation

Using your indoor space by converting some of it to bike storage can be efficient, especially in commercial buildings with limited outdoor space. Vertical bike racks and wall-mounted storage solutions can maximise floor space, allowing businesses to accommodate more bicycles without compromising other functionalities.

What Are the Cons of Having Indoor Bike Storage

Space Constraints

Not everyone has ample indoor space to accommodate bike storage. Finding a suitable spot can be challenging, especially if you are retrofitting a building. This is a common obstacle when it comes to installing indoor storage. However, there are ways this can be remedied, such as using two-tiered bike racks or semi-vertical bike racks. These options save space and can easily make a small space capable of storing more bikes than initially seemed possible.

Initial Investment

Setting up indoor bike storage facilities requires some investment – in infrastructure, bike racks, security systems, and storage amenities. However, setting up indoors may often be cheaper than outdoors as you may already have some necessary things like security or a dedicated car park, part of which you can repurpose. This might mean all you need to add is some safe and secure bike racks and stands, a cost-effective alternative. So, the caveat here is that your specific circumstances will decide whether or not it is cheaper than outdoor storage.

Potential Damage

Storing bikes indoors can sometimes scuffle walls, floors, or furniture if not placed carefully. This may be a minor issue if you plan to install bike racks or bicycle stands somewhere like a garage where scuffed walls are of little concern, but it is still important to consider.


Bikes can carry dirt, grease, and whatever gets stuck to the wheels. This may not be desirable to bring indoors, especially in spaces which are part of the office space. However, like with the above point about scuffed walls, it may not be a problem if the cycle storage is away from the work areas.

Outdoor Bike Storage

What Are the Pros of Outdoor Bike Storage

Space Saving

If indoor space is limited, outdoor storage can be a practical solution for your bike storage needs.


Outdoor bike storage solutions can be more cost-effective to implement compared to indoor alternatives if you don’t have an already available convenient space indoors. Basic bike racks require minimal infrastructure and maintenance, making them an attractive option for businesses with budget constraints.


Outdoor bike storage provides easy access for cyclists, allowing them to park and get their bikes quickly. This accessibility can be a pro for businesses with high volumes of bike traffic, but beware that it may also be a con – people having to walk in bad weather from the bike stands to the entrance or in the dark late at night isn’t very pleasant for anyone.


Outdoor storage can accommodate a larger number of bicycles, making it suitable for businesses with a high demand for bike parking. Additionally, outdoor spaces can be easily expanded and reconfigured to adapt to a business’s changing needs.

What Are the Cons of Outdoor Bike Storage

Exposure to Elements

Outdoor storage exposes bikes to the elements, increasing the risk of rust, corrosion, and damage to sensitive components over time.

Security Concerns

Bikes left outdoors are more vulnerable to theft and vandalism. Even with locks and security measures, outdoor storage doesn’t offer the same level of protection as indoor storage.

Bike Shelters and Enclosures – The Middle-Ground Solution

We often get asked for advice on this topic. Is indoor bike parking better? The short answer is yes, it is more secure, convenient and protective, but it is also sometimes not achievable. Many places simply don’t have the space to fit cycle storage inside and outside, and bike storage is their only option. This doesn’t mean it has to be bad. Bike shelters and bike compounds are the perfect middle ground between outdoor and indoor bike storage solutions.

They offer a balance of protection and accessibility for cyclists. These structures provide a designated area for bike parking, typically equipped with overhead covers or enclosures to shield bicycles from direct exposure to the elements.

Unlike indoor storage facilities, bicycle shelters and larger bike enclosures are not typically fully enclosed. However, they offer excellent protection against rain, snow, and sunlight, helping to extend the lifespan of bicycles and reduce maintenance needs.

Additionally, they often incorporate security features such as locking mechanisms or surveillance cameras to deter theft and vandalism, providing cyclists with peace of mind while parking their bikes.

This hybrid approach allows businesses to accommodate a larger number of bicycles than indoor storage while providing better protection and security than traditional outdoor racks, making bike shelters and compounds a practical and cost-effective solution for commercial spaces.

The sum of it is that choosing between indoor and outdoor bike storage depends on your circumstances and priorities. If you have the space and security measures, indoor storage offers superior protection and convenience, albeit with potential space constraints and cleanliness considerations. On the other hand, outdoor storage can be a viable option for those with limited indoor space, provided proper security measures are implemented to mitigate the risks associated with exposure to the elements and theft. Ultimately, the key is to find a balance that meets your needs while ensuring the longevity and functionality of your beloved bicycle.

Contact us for any advice or consultation; we are always happy to help.

Bike Dock Solutions Team

Bike Dock Solutions is the UK's leading supplier of Bike Shelters, Bike Racks and other Bike Storage. Follow us on LinkedIn.