Advice on how to maintain a bike when living in a flat.

Discussion in 'General Cycling Discussions' started by Roaders, 10 Jun 2019.

  1. Roaders

    Roaders Über Member

    Hi All

    I currently live in a rented house with a garage and a garden. I am considering moving to a new build house that will have cycle storage and my own dedicated parking space.

    Does anyone have any advice on how you go about cleaning and maintaining a bike without a garden?

    The flats haven't been built yet so I can't look at the garage or the cycle storage. Obviously I will be asking questions but was hoping someone in a similar situation could give me some advice.

    At the moment I work on my bike most weekends - mostly just to clean the drive train but I do a fair bit of maintenance on the bike myself.

  2. Smudge

    Smudge Senior Member

    I used to have a flat on the third floor and i always carried my bike up the stairs into my flat. Wish i was still as fit !
    Anyway, all maintenance was done in my flat, either in the hallway or my lounge if i needed more room. I use to keep old duvet covers and just put them on carpet while working on my bike.
    Paulus and raleighnut like this.
  3. Vantage

    Vantage The dogs chew toy

    I used to live in a flat and used the balcony to wash the bike. When it was too cold, the bath and shower head were used. Maintenance was done in the kitchen or with a tarp under the bike, the livingroom.
    It's doable.
    I will say however that unless you've previously lived in a flat and know what you're in for, I'd seriously think twice. They can be absolute hell with the wrong neighbours and you might soon regret not being able to sit in your garden on nice, sunny days.
    Paulus, Roxy641 and Saluki like this.
  4. SkipdiverJohn

    SkipdiverJohn Über Member

    I wouldn't give up a house for a flat, and I wouldn't live in a new build property of any sort. Everything is nasty & flimsy and you could almost poke your finger through the partition walls in some of them. In a lot of cases the build quality is also atrocious and all sorts of really bad bodging gets hidden during the construction process, no doubt to reappear a few years down the line. And to add insult to injury, new builds are almost always grossly overpriced compared with the existing local market. So you pay more money to live in a horrible shoe box with paper-thin walls - where you can hear the neighbours using the toilet in some instances!
  5. tyred

    tyred Legendary Member

    I live in a one bedroom flat. It's true I own a lot of bikes and always have projects on the go but they reside at my parents in the dis-used coalshed.

    I do keep my bikes (I currently have my Viscount touring bike and also my Brompton here with me) in the flat and I do work at them either in the hall or the living room. I did completely strip and rebuild both a Raleigh Pioneer and a BSA Tour de France in here but it does tend to invade your living space. I can get away with it due to my permanent single status.

    As for washing, I don't do that as often as I probably should! They don't get that dirty anyway as I always use mudguards summer and winter. If you have access to an outside tap it would be easier but I do occasionally wash and the clean the thing outside with a bucket of water (I wash my car when it's raining!). Perhaps if you have a friend or family member nearby who can let you use their outdoor tap/hose.
    ChrisEyles likes this.
  6. Smudge

    Smudge Senior Member

    Always enjoy your..... 'i hate anything new or modern'...... posts.
    ChrisEyles, Roxy641, CarlP and 2 others like this.
  7. SkipdiverJohn

    SkipdiverJohn Über Member

    I don't notice you actually disagreeing with me though on new build quality. To a man, every tradesman I've ever met who has worked on mass-market new builds has said something to the effect of "no ******* way would I buy one of these places myself, they're built like shite". And they should know.
    Last edited: 11 Jun 2019
    ChrisEyles, rivers and Smudge like this.
  8. Blue Hills

    Blue Hills ^

    On a positive note, if you are a flat dweller I don't think there is any real need to wash a bike at all if you aren't a mountain biker. Muck can be wiped off with rags of varying degrees of oillyess once it has dried. I honestly can't remember when I last washed a bike. They all look pretty clean.
    tyred and DCBassman like this.
  9. IanSmithCSE

    IanSmithCSE Über Member

    Good morning,

    As it is a flat I would assume it is leasehold and some may say that I am being paranoid. :-)

    Check the lease vary carefully for terms that prohibit the storage of bicycles within the flat, if they exist and you ignore them they can be grounds for lease termination.

    It is true that it is incredibly rare for domestic leases to be forfeit for violations but it is legally possible and if the freehold owner does invoke such a clause legal bills would get terribly expensive very quickly.

    If the the flat is in a block where the lease holders also own part of the freehold then such issues may be less likely, if the flats are run by a management company then enforcing the lease terms may just be policy.

    If nobody complains then all will be fine, but one tenant with an anti-bike stance may make it an issue and the management committee/company would be obligated to act.

    You say that that the new build will have a cycle store, this makes a clause such as "Bicycles must be stored in the cycle store" quite likely, rather than or in addition to a clause that says "Bicycles, motorcycles and similar may not be stored within the property"


    Last edited: 11 Jun 2019
    Paulus and BorderReiver like this.
  10. BorderReiver

    BorderReiver Über Member

    I live in a flat with an outside storage shed for keeping bikes and other bits and pieces. Okay, mostly bikes. It lacks a water or power supply but I find for most of the year maintenance can be done outside and a portable jet wash combined with baby wipes keeps everything clean.
  11. DCBassman

    DCBassman Veteran

    I live in an old 70s style first floor flat. No storage, so bike lives under a good cover.
    I've never washed a bike, always rag wipe down and plenty of GT85. Plenty of space on the walkway outside for the service stand.
    Other bikes live in remote storage and I'm losing that soon, so down to one.
  12. Justinitus

    Justinitus Someone mention cake??

    Indeed, very important point! If you have a significant other, make sure you discuss it with them before keeping/maintaining a bike in the flat. If you’re single, turn one half of the lounge into a workshop :okay:

    Also bear in mind that if your currently on the dating scene, a flat full of disassembled bike parts is likely to put a huge dampener on the romance front if you invite your date back for coffee and nibbles - unless of course you happen to be courting a trainee Halfords mechanic... or Victoria Pendleton.. :smooch:

    I think part of this is the risk of damage to communal hallway areas from taking bikes up/down stairs etc. Quite often I see communal areas with bikes locked to the stair hand rail outside a flat - clearly an obstruction risk in the event of fire. The only way to stop this happening is to lay down covenants from the get go - so as Ian suggested, check the lease.
    Last edited: 11 Jun 2019
    Pat "5mph" and Blue Hills like this.
  13. DCBassman

    DCBassman Veteran

    Yes, I'm lucky that there's oodles of space to lock mine to railings without even the possibility of obstruction.
  14. Saluki

    Saluki I've run away with my friends to..

    ...New Tealandia
    I have a 1 bed flat. I have my 2 steel bikes in the bedroom standing on an old blanket. The 2 carbon bikes are in the cupboard space. The will fit one in forwards, one backwards. I shower them in the shower from time to time. I have a small area of outside space in front of my front door, about 12’x3’ of concrete sheltered by the balcony/walkway of the upstairs flats. I have my bike stand and have been known to shower bikes off with a rag and watering can. It’s all fine

    I have an outside shed and live in a safe area but still wouldn’t leave my bikes in there.
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