We spend a lot of time talking about all the cool things our storage system can do. Folks ask us how many bikes they can store in their garage, their shed, their basement, even their living room. Being able to store a whole slew of bikes is handy, but it's only one part of the organization our mounts can bring to your bike space.
Bikes might be the biggest, most awkward item to keep safe and well-cared for, but any decent cyclist knows that the other stuff adds up quick. Multiple shoes, wheelsets, tires, spare tires and tubes, helmets, sunglasses, and that unruly bin of things you just might need down the line all need a place that's easy to get to but still conveniently out of the way. It's a tough balance, and even the best of intentions go out the window after a long cold ride, a busy day, or a last-minute search for your favorite multi-tool.
I've had a pretty comprehensive up.bike system for almost a year now, serving as a very willing and happy product tester for the guys since Day One. If anyone needed the help to get stuff organized, it's me. After moving multiple times in the past three years, all of my cycling gear had been trapped in a number of dilapidated boxes. After a long ride with Dan one day, he noticed that my garage was dominated by a number of forlorn-looking piles of old tires, tools, wheels, and random parts spilling everywhere. A few days later, he came back and installed a few different sections of Wall Rail, tossed a few Wheelie Mounts on the wall and asked me to use the stuff and give him feedback.
Over the next few months, Dan, Mike, and Rob tested the same mounts and accessories, with my subtle notes added from the viewpoint of a customer who needed some help. A lot of help, too. Slowly, they set me up with just about everything up.bike makes, and I've kept pretty careful track of what I use the most. Some of my use is seasonal; in summer, we keep our skis stored horizontally in a ski bag high up on a section of Wall Rail, and we move the Gondola to the end of the wall. Once the snow flies, they're in near constant use. The same goes for our Pumped floor pump mount; that's way low of the priority once daily outdoor rides are done for the season. However, there are a few things I always use, even if how they're used changes. For example, the Kit Keep loses its helmet all winter, instead getting a few hats and a water bottle belt strapped to it for Nordic skiing. The Hot Box gets rub-on glide wax instead of chain lube, and you'll find a nice stack of hand warmers bouncing around in there, too, which seems fitting.
These three accessories are what I use every day to get out of the house and onto my bike or skis. Like everyone, any fitness time is precious, and there's nothing quite as aggravating as losing ten minutes looking for something.
1. The Kit Keeper. This is by far my favorite accessory. As long as you're capable of dressing yourself, everything else you need goes right here. I keep my helmet, shoes, sunglasses, and three different jackets on this at all times. There's a vest, a shell, and a heavier layer there just waiting; when things come out of the dryer, I stick my head out into the garage and put them back where I got them. I never realized just how much time I wasted looking for my helmet as a result of my bad habit of wearing it inside the house. It would end up all over the place, and with a thoughtful partner trying to help out, sometimes ended up stuck in a closet or tucked under laundry in my office. No guessing and searching; all the essential things are in one spot.
2. The Hot Box. When you get home from a ride, where do you empty your pockets? For me, it's straight into the Hot Box. While it's a non-denominational storage solution (look, you can put a lot of things in a box), it's developed into my perch for tools, lights, flat kits, and spares. It's usually stocked with the stuff you'd need out on the bike, and I try to store the rest of my tools elsewhere, or it turns into too much digging. My kit changes with the length of the ride, and the type of ride. If I'm heading out for 100 miles on the road, I pack a bit differently than a gravel ride or a trail adventure. I've also got a very exciting bee allergy, and having my EPI pen right where I won't forget it (which used to happen most of the time) could literally save my life...or at least my afternoon.
3. The Shoe Rack. There is nothing I get more frustrated by after a long ride is walking in the door tired, hungry, sweaty, and ravenous for some food than to trip over a pile of sneakers. It's even more annoying when those sneakers, shoes, boots, and crocs are my own. We put a Show Rack right by the door in the garage, so once you've caught your breath in the handy-dandy folding chair, you can put your bike shoes up and out of the way. It also really helps with drying out soggy shoes and shoe covers; we just turn a fan on next to it and every single shoe gets a bit of the breeze. It's also a great way to keep white shoes looking clean, and I'm a big fan of white shoes. I've been told they make you look fast, and I'll take all the help I can get.
These mounts might save you a few minutes every ride, and while that doesn't seem like a big deal, it adds up over a long time. After living and biking out of bikes for almost two years, having a home base that's really designed for cycling has been such a luxury. It's turned into a source of pride to have the garage clean and organized. That's a lot easier when there's a place to put everything, and the guys at up.bike are always cooking up new ways to find your cycling gear home.