I'm looking for suggestions for space efficient stands for parking multiple bikes.

A sports club (not cycling) for which I sit on the committee is looking to solve a bit of a problem. At the moment many people come to train in the evenings/weekend by bike and end up piling them up in one of the gym rooms. This has been mostly fine because it's dry, relatively secure and they aren't really in the way. The numbers are increasing, though, and ''something has to be done''.

So we're on the search for some stands. We have an amount of outside space that can host some racks, but we want to buy something that can maximise the numbers held, while hopefully still allowing random access (i.e. any bike can be taken away at any time by its owner).

The current suggestion is http://www.esedirect.co.uk/p-2246-the-s-stand-bike-rack.aspx - we've space for about five of these style (i.e. ten bikes).

I feel sure that we must be able to fit more bikes into the space.

So without knowing the dimensions within which we must work, I'm looking for a few candidate types of solutions which are particularly space efficient.


The main problem I think with these 'S' stands that have been proposed is that, when placed against a wall, I think that the asymmetric nature will mean that, when busy, the slot facing the wall is likely to not be used.

I must admit that my initial reaction is that you have to argue as to why to not just get the Sheffield stand. The wall mounted option looks like an interesting idea and that was certainly the kind of response I was hoping to get!

  • Given how many “Sheffield” stand can fit put in the space of one parted car, do you truely have a lack of space?
    – Ian
    Commented Oct 13, 2010 at 8:50
  • I edited the title to differentiate this question from the other questions about bike parking racks. Commented Oct 13, 2010 at 16:07
  • @Ian - yes. The area is not a car parking space, but an area with reasonably unusual constraints (which aren't really relevant to the question so were omitting to keep it general for hopefully wider interest). Sheffield stands are good, but still require a relatively wide footprint (i.e. a bike length) in comparison to some. It could be that we use a mixed solution - @Gary.Ray points to an interesting alternative we hadn't thought of before this question.
    – Unsliced
    Commented Oct 13, 2010 at 16:31
  • feel free to share the specifics of the space, it's quite relevant to the question. Is the space's shape odd, or is it hard to get to, or what? Commented Oct 13, 2010 at 17:59
  • Not an answer, just a link to photos I have taken of bicycle parking, in a Flickr album: flickr.com/photos/40002045@N08/albums/72157626033051844 Maybe it inspires someone.
    – Willeke
    Commented Feb 22, 2023 at 20:30

6 Answers 6


It is hard to beat a “Sheffield” stand, as they make it easy to lock the bike and don’t bend your wheels if the bike is knocked over.

Sheffield bike stands

Cambridge Cycling Campaign did a good write up on the options.

  • 1
    This is what I want to see when I go to lock up my bicycle - I could be wrong but I strongly suspect that the same is true of a great many other cyclists. I should add that in my case its partly that I've got a recumbent and a brompton (and a tandem, and trailers...) so racks that make assumptions about wheel sizes and frame shapes don't always work...
    – Murph
    Commented Oct 11, 2010 at 20:54
  • Yeah, I favor that style. Get a bike with fenders, or one with racks (especially front racks) and bags, and many racks just don't work. The above racks are virtually indestructible, reasonably cheap (probably installation is more than the "rack"), and quite secure with a decent lock. Commented Aug 10, 2011 at 16:17

If you need to fit a large number of bikes into a small(ish) space, hanging them on the wall is usually the best option.

The simplest and cheapest route is to mount hooks into the studs which will normally be at 16" centers. If you want different spacing you can mount a header like a 2x6 or 2x8 to the to the wall and attach the hooks to the header.

We have a bike cage in our parking garage that we patterned after the plan below. By offsetting the racks/hooks we have space for 18 bikes in what used to be one oversize parking space. alt text

The plan and rack are from CycleSafe, and I really like that "tray" style of rack. I have seen similar rack arrangements at a few local businesses where the racks are mounted to the outside of the building. This style of wall rack is also nice because you can secure your bike with a standard "U" or cable lock.

  • +1. My employer has something similar to this, and it's always worked well for me. Commented Oct 11, 2010 at 17:49
  • But how many people would be able to lift a heavy BSO into one of those? Commented Aug 10, 2011 at 16:18
  • 2
    While I can lift and hang my E-bike, and do if really need, I am really far from happy when forced to do this.
    – nightrider
    Commented Feb 21, 2023 at 16:55

The recently opened Berkeley Bike Station has a few of these, and I've been quite impressed:

alt text

They're really easy to use, and are the highest bike/sqft solution I've seen. They also have some of the less fancy ones, which are similar to the solution suggested by Gary.Ray:

alt text


The Dutch cycling association has instituted a quality mark for bicycle stands called Fietsparkeur (a contraction of the Dutch words for bicycle (fiets), parking (parkeren) and quality mark (keurmerk)). Getting the mark means the stand:

  • doesn't damage your bike directly
  • allows bikes to be removed easily
  • is vandalism proof

Fietsparkeur has a site with a single page with English information, a list of manufacturers and an overview of various bicycle parking stands. The model called "tulip" produced by VelopA is my favorite. It is used for the streetside bicycle parking facilities near almost all Dutch train stations.

The first one linked by Zigdon here is very nice, the best for space efficiency I would say, but not suited for a public space because they can be wrecked relatively easily. If they'll be behind a fence during the night you should be fine.

Finally, to boost the credibility of my suggestions, check here for reference material about the type of issues we're dealing with in The Netherlands.

  • The Dutch link no longer works. Jilles, could you update it?
    – Pere
    Commented Jul 14, 2017 at 10:20
  • 1
    @Pere Unfortunately the nice overview with pictures is no longer available. You'd have to visit the websites of the different licenced producers in the document I link. Commented Jul 14, 2017 at 12:12

Just another idea (plus the ones already shown):

Some time ago I figured out the best way to store my bikes at home is to put them side by side with the front wheel sligtly turned, about 30 or 45 degrees. So I put a bike against the wall, with front wheel pointing slightly to the wall.

The second bike goes the same position, leaning against the first, so that the handlebars don't interfere with each other, and the front wheels form a ////| pattern (last vertical line is the wall).

This principle can be expanded to optimize space in any kind of bike rack, but last week I went to a place where the bike rack was only a single horizontal rail placed 1,5 meter above the ground. Then the bikes were hanging in the same position I explained here, the rail stucked behind the fork crown. The rear wheels were still in the ground, with the bikes tilted around 60° in the "wheelie" position.

I was afraid to damage the painting, but surprisingly it was extremely simple and "comfortable" to hang the bike and close the lock, while saving a lot of space for the rack owner. A simple plastic cover on the rail would make that the perfect bike rack, in my opinion (except for recumbents or tandems).

  • +1 for the last little bit, as recumbent rider it is impossible to park in those fancy front wheel of the ground parking things.
    – Willeke
    Commented Feb 22, 2023 at 20:34

If you are looking for more modern solutions since you have double tier parking systems nowadays such as this one:

Optima V10 by VConsyst Figure: "Fietsparkeersytemen" from VConsyst.

This system makes it easy to have 10 bicycles in a small space. A gas cylinder in the top rack makes it easier to lift.

  • Hi, welcome to bicycles. A bi-level rack was proposed in one of the other answers; can you add details, like the manufacturer, to make this answer distinct?
    – DavidW
    Commented Feb 21, 2023 at 12:12
  • 1
    Hi DavidW, I've added the manufacturer (VConsyst) in the description below. They also have a more modern and easier to use solution called Optima Ventura nowadays. This one is even easier to use than the Optima V10 (the one shown in the picture below)
    – VCon12
    Commented Feb 22, 2023 at 15:09
  • @pere I can't comment on your post about the FietsParKeur English website, but the link is here: fietsparkeur.nl/english. Sadly it's not https though. But it explains the standards that companies have to oblige by to get a FietsParKeur keurmerk. The Optima Ventura of VConsyst is FietsParKeur approved, though. Only one of two in the Netherlands that is approved.
    – VCon12
    Commented Feb 23, 2023 at 10:17

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