Bag or box for balcony bike storage?

I’m likely relocating for a new job to a condo near the beach. The condo has a balcony that would be perfect for putting one to two road bikes on it. Security isn’t an issue, but I want to protect the bikes from the elements and the beach air. I’ve found a few options from googling, however, I’m hoping for some personal recommendations as it is always hard to tell from reviews whether the folks storing their bikes outside and using the reviewed covers are storing really nice road bikes like I will be.

Never done it myself but if security isn’t an issue and there’s nothing to crush it, I’d go with a bag that will be easier to move about and I suspect long term a bike box’s hinges will become tight.

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I’ve had:


Over a bike on a balcony for a year or two. It was fine. I wouldn’t want to be putting a bike away in a box every time. It also fits sort of over a turbo trainer. It can need a little support if super high winds are a thing where you are.


Thanks – this is the kind of thing I’m looking for.

The box works better for all the bike stuff. I rented pizza slice shaped one that worked pretty well. Plus, it doubles as a shelf/table.

If its easier to get the bike out of a box then that would be my first choice. I always try to make going for a ride a simple process. A remote controlled door would be sweet.


If someone wants your bike bad enough, they will have it. I’ve heard of thieves climbing balcony railings on shorter buildings and liberating bikes and all kinds of stuff from patios. :roll_eyes:

I’d be concerned with the salty environment, but storing indoors could encourage condensation if it’s a marked difference. Something more solid would make sense to me, but watch out for spiders, lizards, etc cohabitating in there. I was stunned to see washer/dryers on patios in Puerto Rico, but apparently it’s not a thing there somehow. I guess if you keep up on cleaning and lubing, it’s totally possible to pull it off. For me, here in the midwest, just the thought of doing it kinda freaks me out a bit. And any bike would likely be safer on your patio than in a basement storage area.


The salty environment is the main issue I’m worried about with outdoor storage. The balcony I’d be putting them on is on the second floor and isn’t visible from the street, so I think should be quite safe.

The other options I have are a locked community storage room (requires a special key that you have to pay for and is fully enclosed) I could lock them up in, my personal cage storage in the building’s garage (this would be behind two locked doors but is somewhat open to the environment due to the garage gates), or inside the condo itself (I don’t love this option).

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Do you have a parking spot? Does someone else that you can rent from? Can you store the bike in the back of the parking spot against the wall? What city / area is this? Is there a bike commuter garage?
The problem with the storage locker is that you need to open a few doors. The locked metal door is usually a way over-sprung one that will get your bike banged up just handling the bike.
If you store the bike in a locker in your unit, you can just treat it like an entryway table and keep all your bike stuff in there. It needs to be about 72in long x 20in wide X 48mm tall. You can do this ( with an Ikea cabinet (Pax IKEA Storage Planner )
I wouldn’t overthink the salt air unless you’re dipping the bike in salt water. Hose it down weekly and just replace parts as needed.

I do have a parking spot but storage in the back of the spot isn’t a good idea – the garage is shared and so that is not a secure option. No bike commuter garage, but the community storage room is a bit like that. I’ll be in the San Diego area near the beach.

You’re probably right not worrying too much about the salty/humid air. I already run through chains pretty quickly so perhaps I’ll just have to replace them even sooner.

Larger building with a proper garage door or more accessible? In any case, it’s usually not a big deal with many buildings to have one of these
You should be able to find a used industrial, restaurant, or office one for $500. Have it delivered because it’s heavy. Don’t get one that looks like it has tools in it because that will attract thieves - in fact, get one with a few holes so they can see that it’s not tools.
Is your building near one of these? SANDAG - Bike Parking

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Why not make them a feature inside?


Judging from the last Iceman I was at, ‘they’ will cruise the neighborhood and look for ‘easy hits’. Being on a second floor offers no protection to a determined thief that knows what you have and not visible to the street means they can take their time. A second floor balcony to a determined thief is no security. Anything ‘common’. or semi-public is open season. And rental insurance might cover a theft, but maybe not from a balcony, and may not for an expensive bike. You sure you have no space inside for it? If it has to be balcony, maybe get a camera to watch it but that’s not even a benefit if the local cops shrug it off.

Strange enough, one recommendation I heard was to put bikes in cars because some auto insurance will (can) cover items locked in the car. Check your policy, and space in your vehicle, it might be an option.

Also check out ‘lockpickinglawyer’ on YouTube. He’s amazing, and shames the really bad locks out there, and some are actually worse than having a lock at all because they are so easy to defeat.

Owning a nice bike can suck.

TANGENT STORY: At the uni I was at, there was a guy that had a custom Colnago with Campy Super Record, everything. He attacked the frame with spray paint that made it look hideous. Apparently a drunk frat boy/girl needed a way to get home, and swiped it. He posted an article in the uni paper (he was an editor) carping about the low moral fiber of a person to steal such a hideous bike hoping the ‘borrower’ didn’t know what they had. A week or so later, it showed back up in his front yard. Nothing missing, in great shape except for a couple scratches on the top tube. Crazy story, he really didn’t expect to get it back, and later took to locking it in his apartment after that due to the publicity and revealing that it was an expensive bike in camouflage. :disguised_face: He also graduated shortly after that.


Beautiful, but my first apartment barely had room for me! Ended up meeting the future Mrs, and moved to a spacious 2-bedroom. Yeah, there are apartments that are false advertising. More like ‘public storage closets’ for humans. :crazy_face: But the rent was cheap…

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