A practical and space efficient way to securely store bicycles in your own home without eating valuable space?
With this in mind I have always preferred to keep my bikes inside my flat away from prying eyes and light fingered miscreants. This does keep them secure and has the advantage that the electric bike has easy access to a power socket, but it does have one or two drawbacks too. The chief of which is that bikes may feel quite compact while you’re riding them but as soon as you get one indoors you quickly become aware that they take up quite a lot of room. Also there’s the British weather… it’s not unheard of for there to be rain in the UK from time to time and so wet and grubby bikes are definitely best kept away from your carpets.
I toyed with keeping them in a spare room or my bathroom when they were wet, and while this did work for a while the practicality was a big issue. Time passed by and while checking out some of the cycle2work options in April 2015 I spotted a product at Halfords which appeared to fit the bill perfectly. A wall mount!
I’ve seen wallmounts before but they have always looked like the kind of products which should be used in sheds or workshops, they are generally very industrial in appearance and largely unsuited to a contemporary living space. The idea of screw mounting a large galvanized steel hook to my walls was not appealing. Certainly not the kind of thing you would want inside your modern freshly decorated home. This new product was completely different from all of the other wall mounting solutions I had seen before.
The cycloc solo in its packaging has the appearance of a brightly coloured plastic bucket. It is made from a very strong polypropylene plastic with contoured cutouts to accommodate almost any frame profile with rubber pads to protect the frame from scratches. The solo sits far enough from the wall to allow bikes with handlebars up to 490mm (suitable for 99% of road bikes), but it also includes a spacer which can allow bars up to 600mm wide. Additionally you can use a D-Lock to secure the bike inside the holder.
Given available space in my flat I picked out a spot in my kitchen to fit the cycloc. It’s relatively out of the way and has the advantage of being above a vinyl floor so hanging a wet bike on it wouldn’t cause any problems. Unfortunately before fitting the cycloc solo I encountered 2 problems. Firstly I wanted to fit it right in the center of the wall directly above a mains powered carbon monoxide detector. A quick check with a cable detector showed that the mains and alarm cables run vertically straight up from the alarm and so drilling into the wall above it was not an option. The area right next to the alarm was clear though and had a wooden stud through it which is something cycloc recommends. The second problem was absolutely confounding… although the solo ships with some large looking bolts included, it turns out these are only used to attach the spacer for extended handlebars.
This £59.99 product ships WITHOUT any fitting hardware!
After re-reading the product literature I found a pack of 10x fixings with cross-headed bolts on Amazon for > £10. Given that this product retails at £59.99 I found the lack of included fittings completely incomprehensible. I had to wait about 3 days for my amazon delivery to arrive but once it did it was a very straightforwards process. The solo has a template card which you fix to the wall after checking the alignment with a spirit level you drill 3 holes and push the M8 fixings through, then you simply screw the bolts through the 3 holes into the M8 fixings until they are completely solid. To refine the level you can loosen the bolts slightly and adjust the solo by eye before tightening the bolts again. Once you’re happy with it you fit the center section to cover up the bolt holes, it has a cute bicycle logo embossed in it too… and that’s it.
Lifting a road bike into the solo is easy and the added holes for a D-Lock are very welcome although I don’t tend to lock mine given it’s already inside my locked flat. I have also found that the “bucket” allows for storage of smaller items like gloves and lights even with the bike mounted. I have tested it with bikes weighing 12kg, 14kg and 32kg (yes really) and with M8 fixings in a sturdy wall the solo handled all three without any problems… obviously this is 100% dependent on the wall that it is fixed to, but I mention it to demonstrate that the plastic shell itself can take a substantial amount of weight.
The Cycloc Solo fills a useful niche for those people who need indoor bicycle storage but don’t want the industrial lackluster styling of current offerings to compromise their living spaces. The solo does it’s job very well, the colour range is limited at the moment but there are enough options that most people will be able to find something which works for them. The question I’m having a hard time answering is this one… Can I recommend it for £59.99?
For the convenience of not having to use the laughable cycling storage in my development it’s certainly handy, but I wasn’t using the storage anyway, I was content to just live with the inconvenience of a slightly cluttered hallway. So while it certainly is a benefit having one fewer bike to navigate around when grabbing the morning coffee, the practicality isn’t the dealbreaker, after all a £12 steel hook would do the same job. It’s the style that mostly sells this product for me, the Cycloc Solo looks slightly peculiar without a bike on it but it doesn’t intrude on the space physically or visually, with a bike on it though it looks superb. It has actually improved the appearance of the long blank wall in my kitchen and is quite a talking point when visitors see it. I have found that it also leads to me taking better care of my bike as having it prominently displayed almost like a piece of art makes you really want to keep it clean.
My recommendation is a yes, for £59.99 I would indeed say it is worth the cost over traditional wall mounts, but only just. If only Cycloc had included the actual fittings you need to install the Solo then it would be a resounding yes, it is a startling omission from what is otherwise a great piece of kit.
To purchase a Cycloc Solo in a variety of colours Check them out here on Amazon (with prime delivery!)