As much as everyone would love to ride their fat bike as much as possible, the reality is, it’s going to spend a lot of time in storage. After making a pretty big investment on a fatbike, it’s worth taking care of it and making sure it stays in great condition for as long as possible.
If your fatty is not properly stored and taken care of, it’s not gonna last long at all. No one wants to replace a fat bike early, simply because rust or some other issue pops up that compromises the bike.
What’s the best way to store a fat bike? A lot of the same options exist for fat bikes that work for other bikes as well. The only major difference is that fat bikes are usually bulkier and heavier. It’s important to make sure that every storage option can handle that amount of weight comfortably.
Storage Space For Your Fatbike (on the Ground)
Having some sort of storage space in a home is the easiest way to store a fat bike by far. It takes virtually no effort, and it’s easy to jump on the bike in a matter of seconds.
The drawback to the storage is that fat bikes do take up a decent amount of space, and it might be better utilized for something else. A garage, shed or basement are all common storage areas for homeowners.
Leaning a bike up against a wall is always an option, but what other choices are out there? Storage doesn’t have to be too complicated, especially if there is plenty of space. It’s just about picking the correct setup.
Believe it or not, a good majority of fat bikes don’t even come with a kickstand. It seems like a basic for any bicycle, but higher quality ones usually go without.
They are installable after purchasing, but most serious riders don’t like them. It adds unneeded weight, and it seems unnecessary for people who have other storage solutions.
2. Freestanding rack
A freestanding rack provides a very convenient way to store a bike in an area. These freestanding racks can be put in the garage, a shed, an apartment or anywhere.
They are pretty simple, and usually, can store at least two at a time. They might not seem like much, but they do the trick and are extremely durable.
3. Floor stand
Many people compare a floor stand to having a rack at home that is very similar to a school or shopping area. It’s a very simple set up that doesn’t make the bike’s footprint any bigger. Limited space, and the bike needed on the ground, the floor stand is a perfect way to go.
Storage Space (On the Wall or Ceiling)
To make the most out of storage space, some people might look at the option of putting the bike on the wall, or even hanging from the ceiling. This takes a little bit more work, but it does wonders for people with limited space to work with.
A wall-mount is going to allow the wheels to be placed parallel with the wall. Not only do people do this in a garage or storage area, but even in smaller areas like an apartment. It takes the bike off the ground, and if it’s placed correctly, it doesn’t take that much effort to take on and off.
The drawback to a wall mount or suspending it from the ceiling is that it takes a lot more work to initially set it up. Some people will be able to do it all themselves, while others might need to hire somebody to do some minor construction.
Some just need a few nails or screws in the wall that requires a little bit of drilling, but it’s important to get the right option to support a bike. Fat bikes can weigh over 50 pounds in some cases, so the same brackets used for a road bike won’t be sufficient. Check the packaging closely to make sure the bike falls into the weight range.
It’s even more important to pay attention to this when suspending a bike from the ceiling. The last thing anybody wants is a bike to fall seemingly out of the blue on someone, putting someone at the risk of severe injury.
Below is a closer look at a few examples for the wall or ceiling. Depending on the setup, all of them work well.
1. Gravity stand
Think of this as a blend between floor and wall storage solution. The bike still stays on the ground, but it leans against a wall to stabilize. This means that the wall doesn’t need anything installed to work properly. Some people don’t want to tear up their walls, and others simply can’t do that since they live in a rental.
This is the easiest way to have the advantages of connecting the bike to the wall, without actually doing it. The stand does enough to prevent the bike from marking up or cracking the wall.
2. Full wall mount
A full wall mount works exactly how a person imagines. There are some single hook solutions, but most are not going to work for a fat bike. To properly store one of the heaviest bikes out there, at least two hooks are needed to distribute the weight a little bit.
Some people like to have fun with wall mounts and make the bike part of the design in an apartment. It’s a cool way to fill up a wall, especially when a person considers that the bike will almost always be on display when at home. The only time the wall art is removed is when it’s in use.
Bikes don’t line up completely flat on the wall, so people do need to keep in mind that it’s going to take up some significant wall space. It’s also going to be a little awkward if it is above a seating area, because it might get in a person’s headspace. Just be strategic about where it is put, because drilling more holes for another wall mount is a little frustrating.
The Delta Cycle Fat Tire Leonardo Wall Rack & Tray (Amazon) is the one I recommend that is specifically made for fat tire bicycles.
3. Ceiling mounts
For people who have multiple bikes to store, a ceiling mount might be the best way to go. That area of a garage, or any room with high ceilings for that matter, is largely unused.
Setup is a little difficult initially, but once everything is ready to go, bikes can go up with a pulley. This puts minimal stress on the body, but does take a little bit of time to put away and get back out.
Another reason why not everyone is a fan of ceiling mounts is that they are expensive. A good, heavy-duty one capable of holding fat bikes is worth the price.
For people who move around a lot or travel for a living, it might be worth investing in a travel case for a fat bike. It’s going to be bulky, but some people even use it at home as a way to properly store the bike when not in use.
Not only are they bulky and heavy, but the case might end up taking even more space up in a room. It’s a challenge for a lot of people, because there is no choice other than to place it on the ground.
Some cases require the bike to be separated into different parts as well. One of the most common ways to reduce the size of a bike is the pop off the front tire and make the bike two pieces. It’s not a huge deal, and it’s easy to pop back on, but it’s something to consider if the tire needs to be put on every single day.
Generally speaking, these bike cases come with a hard outer or a soft outer. A hardshell will be much more rugged, and it helps protect the bike as it travels anywhere.
Soft cases are still alright, but they won’t provide the same level of protection. They are a bit cheaper though, and it might be just fine for people who are going to use it for storage. Both cases will help prevent dust buildup, rust, and more aging issues.
Evoc now makes an XL version of their popular travel cases specificlaly for fat and plus size bikes.
A bike isn’t durable enough to be left outside like a vehicle. It’s recommended to never leave a fat bike outside, because it will reduce the lifespan of the bike. With that said, some people may not have any other solution either temporarily, or long-term. When that is the case, it’s important to at least invest in a bike cover that will help protect it from the elements.
A bike cover is intended to repair water and sun rays. So perfect for anyone who wants to make sure that they are not scratching up their bike at any time. The drawback is that it gets pretty tedious to take a bike cover on and off every time. If this is more for long-term storage, because it protects the bike and makes sure that it stays in fairly good shape.
Public Storage Areas
Some people have a covered area to store their bicycle locally, without ever having to put it in their home. This isn’t recommended that much for fat bike owners, simply because they are mostly on the more expensive side. Even with the best lock up system in the world, a good fat bike will be a huge target for thieves.
This is more of a recommendation for people who have a pretty cheap fat bike, or one that is severely used. The advantage is that the bike won’t take up any area inside the home, and it’s still easy to access when it’s time to ride. A lot of college students will use public storage areas to lock their bikes up, but try to stay away from this with expensive bikes.
If public storage is unavoidable, invest in a quality lock to start with. Some people will even go as far as taking off the seat or front tire to prevent easy stealing. Try to find public storage that is covered and in a well-lit area to cut down on the opportunity of theft.
Other Storage-Related Tips to Keep in Mind
1. Check tire pressure after lengthy storage
It doesn’t take a lot of time for a bike to start losing air pressure. Even though fat bike tires are pretty low compared to other bike options, it’s still important to check it before a ride if it has been sitting around for a while.
In a controlled climate, it usually doesn’t take much effort. Where people run into a lot of trouble is if they store their bike in a garage that is not climate controlled. During the winter, the tires can lose air pressure in a hurry, leaving a rider vulnerable if they don’t check before taking off.
2. Use a lock for added security
It might seem silly to lock up a bicycle that is safely inside a locked storage area, but it is more for safety reasons than anything. For example, a locked up bike hanging from a rack won’t fall completely down if it slips. This protects the bike, as well as the floor below.
3. Keep hanging bicycles out of reach for pets
Hanging bicycles and curious pets don’t mix. It is a major risk to have bicycles hanging in reach of cats or dogs. They might be innocently touching the bike when an accident occurs.
This is another reason to use a lock, as mentioned above. This will at least secure the bike a little more, and prevent a huge accident. It’s best to not put the bike rack around anything that provides an easy path to the bike. Most pets are perfectly fine not trying to climb a bike since there isn’t much room to walk around and lay on it, but still, keep it in mind the very first time it is installed.
4. Clean a fat bike before storing long-term
If the fat bike is being put away for a significant amount of time, it’s worth doing a thorough clean beforehand. This will not only keep the bike looking great and prolong its life, but it also prevents any lingering smells in a home, garage or storage area.
The smell might not be too bad, but visitors could notice the unique odor that fills the home. No one wants a living area that smells like the trails.