By Catherine Bedford, Dashel Helmets
Cyclists have a reputation for not being the most fashionable people in the world. Function is valued over appearance ─ and for good reason. Cycling is a technical sport and an energetic way to get around, so you need to stay safe, cool and comfortable while maintaining your bicycle.
However, this perception is changing. Cycling is growing rapidly in popularity as people try to take responsibility for their carbon emissions, health and impact on traffic. This style of cycling is more akin to the relaxed style we see in Scandinavia and the Netherlands, an upright posture with clothes that can take you straight from the commute to cocktail hour (if such a thing existed in these times). The coronavirus lockdown, the levels of cycling have increased by 100% on weekdays and a whopping 200% on weekends!
With cycling becoming so popular, more brands are catering to cyclists with discerning fashion tastes. For their 2019 collection, more than 45 major fashion designers used cycle shorts on the catwalk, including: Chanel, Alexander Wang, Fendi, Miu Miu, Roberto Cavalli, Vivienne Westwood, and Prada. Spookily predictive for the clothes many turned to in 2020.
Helmets have also had a makeover to help make this essential piece of safety gear a bit more chic. For example, I created Dashel helmets following a career as a design consultant for hotels and accessories, along with the industrial design team of acclaimed British design studio Barber Osgerby. Not only are the helmets slim, safe and attractive, but they even have some special coolmax pads inside which keep you cool and prevent any helmet hair!
Looking good when out cycling is great and your bicycle is usually more beloved than any item of kit. The independent urban bicycle makers like Tokyobike, Temple, Freddie Grubb and stalwarts Pashley have made bikes with looks as good as good as their function.
However, it can feel a shame to arrive at your office or home on your gorgeous bicycle, only to open an ugly, utilitarian storage rack to put your bike away. And if you’re stuck for space, living in an inner city flat, storing your bike overnight can be headache. But, just like cycling clothes and helmets, bike storage has recently had a bit of a makeover – making some options a design statement in their own right.
Here are some of my favourite, and most attractive, options when it comes to bike storage…
Customisable & Colourful from Cycloc Solo
Add a pop of colour to your room with the award winning Cycloc Solo, another British made product manufactured alongside Dashel Recycle helmet in Plymouth.
This simple yet effective storage solution gives the option to hang your bike vertically or horizontally, locking in place to secure your bike. It also has a handy storage compartment in the centre, so you can keep everything together.
Ideal for a variety of spaces from garages to hallways and even living rooms.
Minimalist & Modern from Roar Studio
For a minimalist look using natural materials and beautiful pastel colours, these wooden poles from Roar Studio are perfect. They are fairly small and discrete, fitting almost anywhere yet capable of holding up to 20kg without breaking a sweat. And despite their designer looks, these are one of the most affordable storage solutions on this list!
They are so discreet that they work particularly well for in-home storage if you don’t have access to a garage or shed.
Contemporary & Compact from Trophy Bike Racks
Most bike storage looks…well…like bike storage. But what if you want to have more fun with your storage solution?
This bull-headed bike rack from Trophy Bike Racks may cost a little more but it’s unique design serves as a stand-alone, fun piece of art whenever your bike is not in use. It’s also fairly compact, helping avoid accidental knocks, and is available in a range of colours.
Perfect if you want to turn your storage into a piece of home art – giving you something that looks great and is functional. This is definitely one for in-home use, as it would be a shame to hide it in the garage!
Weatherproof & Compact from BikeParka
Prefer to leave your bike outside but worry about the weather? BikeParka has you covered with their aptly-named bike covers. A simple and easy solution for outdoor storage, their light weight, breathable yet weatherproof bike covers are available in a choice of colours. It also packs away easily into a stuff sack and attaches to your bike so you can use it at home or at work (or anywhere else for that matter!).
But make sure you remember to lock your bike securely. The cover will protect your bike from the weather, but nor from thieves.
Strong & Secure from The Bike Shed Company
If you want to store your bike outside but are concerned about security, The Bike Shed is worth a look. The Bike Shed Company hand-builds every one of its sheds using responsibly sourced, UK-grown timber. Every bike shed also comes with a five-year guarantee for complete peace of mind.
These are perfect for the garden and are safe enough that they can be used in a front garden area if you live in a terraced house or flat and don’t have access to a more secure rear garden. And they look good too.
You shouldn’t have to choose between cycling and looking great, just as bike storage shouldn’t be ugly or clutter your home. With these bike storage options, you have a wide choice of storage solutions that will add a flash of colour and style to your home.
Some of these more attractive bike storage solutions are also finding their way into boutique hotels and design-conscious offices. For not a lot more, offices and hotels can offer their clients and staff more aesthetically pleasing, fun and secure bike storage spaces. We see this as a growth area in the coming year.
In the future, cycling will no longer be synonymous with ugly, utilitarian clothing, equipment or storage. Rather it will be seen as a chic, fashionable way to get around while looking good and playing your part to reduce emissions.
About the Author
Catherine Bedford is the founder of Dashel Helmets. Dashel offers a range of slim, ventilated, lightweight cycle helmets manufactured in the UK. With a distinctive urban feel Dashel Helmets are made from recycled and recyclable materials – ensuring that they low impact at the point of manufacture and produce very little waste at the end of life. The helmets, presented in a stylish dustbag that doubles as a handy rucksack, come in an array of classic colours. Choose from black, blue, sage green and red. Dashel helmets are £79 and available from all good cycle shops and online at https://dashel.co.uk/
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