With space at a premium in many cities, some people have developed innovative ways to store bicycles:
Fortunately some cities have responded to the challenge with exceptional ingenuity. Japanese engineers have developed a multi-level “cycle tree” — perhaps more appropriately named a “cycle cave” — that stores bikes in an elaborate underground system. Riders feed their bike into a mechanized rut that sends it down into a designated spot, retrieving the bike later with a simple swipe of a card. One “cycle tree” in Tokyo, considered the world’s largest, holds some 6,500 bikes.
A truer bike tree can be found in Geneva, where riders can watch their bike raised high above the hands of thieves while remaining protected from the elements. In that same anti-theft vein, German designers have created a bike lock with inline wheels and a small motor that enables riders to power their bikes high up a street pole. Seoul, Korea, is working toward a system of bike hangers that cling to the site of residential buildings; riders can park for just $15 a year, though they have to pedal to retrieve their bike. A slightly less advanced version of this concept has been implemented already by some riders in the East Village…
Those who don’t mind cramming their bikes into their apartments have a growing number of options as well. These range from basic wooden wall mounts to simple, cheap wall hooks to stylish, colorful hanging nodes to elegant bike storage furniture that, in the words of Freshome, “unite cycling culture with interior design.” A Times slideshow from a few years back showcases some other space-saving solutions. These include a wall device that lifts bikes off the ground with a hydraulic spring, a freestanding rack made of oak, an incredibly compact and sleek wall hook, and a similar structure that, while bulkier, provides space for helmets and other equipment.
Many city dwellers, conscious of their limited apartment space, are now looking for bike storage devices that serve a double purpose. Knife & Saw recently introduced a hanging bike shelf that also acts as a small bookshelf. Less costly variations are starting to appear as well. Those with a balcony might consider a bike-shelf-birdhouse combination that holds a helmet as easily as it holds a helmetshrike. The most innovative, though perhaps also the least comfortable, design goes to Store Muu Design Studio, which conceived a sort of hybrid bike-desk, wherein the bike seat doubles as the office chair.
Some fascinating pictures to look at. You can even find out a little more about what happened to the foldable bicycle.