What are the Different Types of Bike Sheds?

Dan Cavallari

Bike sheds are basic structures designed to house bicycles and protect them from damage from the elements or from theft. The styles of bike sheds vary, and the materials used to construct the sheds can vary significantly as well depending on the location and application of the shed. Some large cities, for example, feature bike sheds that not only protect rental bikes from the elements, but also lock them in place to prevent theft until a renter has purchased a rental and unlocked the bike. At home, small wooden sheds can do the job, or for a more inexpensive and quicker solution, plastic sheds are available.

A bike wheel.
A bike wheel.

If a bike owner plans on storing only one or two bikes, small, plastic bike sheds work well. These units are lightweight and therefore easy to move around a yard, and they are resistant to weather damage from rain, snow, and direct sunlight. The bikes fit in the shed easily, and the shed can often be locked for added security. This is not the most secure option for bike sheds, however, and some plastic sheds tend to be somewhat flimsy. For a more secure and solid choice, a homeowner may consider building or purchasing wooden bike sheds.

A utility shed may be used to store hobby equipment.
A utility shed may be used to store hobby equipment.

Some wooden sheds can fit several bikes easily, and hooks can be drilled into the wall beams to hang bikes vertically, thereby freeing up even more room for more bikes. The size of the shed depends entirely on the user's needs, and some prefabricated sheds will work perfectly for the number of bikes a homeowner may be storing. Wooden sheds can be fitted with a lock system fairly easily, making it a secure choice for locking up expensive bicycles.

Some college campuses and other public areas feature bike sheds made from glass and aluminum frames. These are stylish, attractive, and secure, but they can cost more than other types of sheds. Such sheds often feature bike racks inside to allow users to stand the bikes up vertically, or to lock the bikes with personal cable or U-locks. Any sort of shed or covering can usually be fitted with some sort of bike rack to keep the bikes in order and securely locked.

An open air shed is a sturdy, inexpensive way to protect bikes from the elements. The bikes can simply be wheeled into the shed, or they can be hung from hooks to maximize space. Hanging the bikes allows for more bikes to be stored beneath those that are hanging.

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Discussion Comments


@Laotionne - Any type of tight outdoor shed that doesn't allow moisture to build up will probably be fine for keeping a bike in. Serious bike riders are particular about the maintenance and care of their bikes, so bike shed storage is very important to them. I think most people who have garages simple store their bikes there.

When I was in college, my roommates and I kept our bikes in our rooms. Basically, keep the bike out of the rain and extreme cold, and keep it somewhere it is not likely to be stolen.


I'm considering taking up mountain biking as a hobby. After looking at the prices of the bikes, I definitely want to take care of the bike I get so it will last a very long time.

When I was a kid we didn't have an outdoor shed where we could store our bikes. However, the house I grew up in had a large front porch that wrapped around the side of the house. This is where we kept our bikes to keep them out of the weather. Like most kids, I sometimes didn't put my bike back on the porch when I finished riding it. When this happened and it started to rain, my father would tell me to go get the bike and put it away.

I can't tell you how many times I got soaked to the bone running outside in a rainstorm to fetch a bike. My father was trying to teach me a lesson about responsibility and taking care of my things. Also, we couldn't afford to be replacing rusted bikes every couple of years, so they needed to last as long as possible.


Unless you absolutely have nowhere else to store your bike, a bike shed seems a bit over the top. I guess if you could use the shed for storing other stuff then it might be a worthwhile purchase.

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