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Bike Storage: Building an Asgard Bike Storage Unit

We set about getting this clever bike locker ready to go..

There’s only one thing that can dampen the excitement of that ‘new bike day’ feeling – and that’s figuring out where you’re going to store it. If you own a couple of bicycles, working out where to put them can actually become quite tricky – even more so when you happen to cohabit with one or more other cyclists with an equal bike count.

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Enter: Asgard. The master bicycle storage unit creators offer a wide range of options – with units fit for anywhere between one and eight or more bikes. The metal lockers come in a range of ‘safety levels’, and are largely distinguished by size and weight, and of course price. Once you go to six bikes or more with the ‘Centurion’ (£999, reduced from £1,050) you get a dead bolt system, and a pick and drill resistant lock which has been approved by UK locksmiths, insurance companies and police.

We tested the four bike version (£450, reduced from £550), slightly lower down the scale, but still with a shrouded twin lock system, reinforced double door and of course the assurance of tough metal over wood. The metal used is a galvanised steel – which is weather proofed to prevent rust, and features ventilation to guard against condensation causing damage to bikes over time.

The four bike shed itself weighs 18 stone, making it a pretty sturdy unit. You can pay to have it installed, but we decided to put the hard work in ourselves – just to see how hard to could be. Turns out, not so tricky.

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The number one concern, and actually the reason we decided to test the four bike unit and not a larger one, was finding a flat surface. We live in a hilly part of the country, and though our garden is pretty sizeable, it mainly goes upwards. We do have a patio space, but it’s far from new and shiny, or flat.

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Andy from Asgard told me “you absolutely need a flat surface” – so we bought a selection of paving stones and set about creating one. This did take a little bit of fixing with smaller stones, much as you would prop up a wonky table leg. Not the most structurally sound approach, but a good test of the Asgard’s structure no doubt.

Flat surface secured, we began the build at approximately 2.30pm.

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Building is absolutely not a one person job. Each panel needs to be held whilst the second person screws in the supplied metal bolts, it genuinely would be impossible to do this alone.

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Tools required were:

  • Power screwdriver – you could do it with a handheld one if you wanted to be there all night
  • Manual screwdriver – for the doors
  • Socket ratchet
  • Molegrips – not mentioned in the instructions, we’ll come to this later
  • Spacers to hold the doors up whilst they’re fitted (these are supplied as are all bolts)

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We started by laying the base, and fixing the side walls. Thoughtfully, each panel arrives clearly labelled when dropped off by Asgard’s delivery van and it’s obvious which part goes where. Our not 100 per cent flat base meant fitting one of the walls was a tiny bit more difficult – proof that you do need something pretty pan flat for a seamless build.

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With a base and three walls up, next was the front panels – again pretty simple. Fitting the doors was a little more delicate, and involved quite a bit of ChuckleVision style ‘to-me-to-you’ to ensure they were absolutely straight. The spacers certainly helped with this process, despite our initial expectation we wouldn’t need them.

Once fitted, the door opens wide to provide ease of access, making moving bikes around an easy enough process.

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So far so good – but the next element became a little more difficult. The roof of the unit is fitted via hinges secured with a nut and bolt. To fit these, builder number one needs to slot the bolts through the holes, whilst builder number two sits inside the darkened box, with the door closed (it all feels a bit buried alive…) to attach the nuts.

Extra tool requirement: torch
Extra tool requirement: torch

Simple enough – save for the fact that the bolts are completely smooth on the outside – though this makes them difficult to attack for potential thieves it also made gripping them from the outside quite a challenge. With TWC inside the box, and Mr TWC outside the box, it all got a bit fraught as the inside mechanic aimlessly twisted the nuts around a rotating bolt.

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The day was, however, saved – with the use of a pair of molegrips to secure the nut whilst the entrapped TWC tightened the bolt with a ratchet from a small socket set from the inside. The result: four sets of perfectly fitted hinges, and a working lid.

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Next up for fitting was probably our favourite feature – gas strut springs, just like those you’d find on your car boot to ensure that the door doesn’t shut without warning and trap your hands. These simply clipped on, and the door handle was equally simple.

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Safe houses for the padlocks were next up. These ensure that the locks are hard to reach, and weather protected. The padlocks themselves are made from hardened steel with a chrome plated shackle – and provide protection against hacksaw, cropping, picking and drill attacks – so you can be sure they’re pretty safe.

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The padlock is hidden under the hood of the Asgard shield, it can take a little jiggling to get the two halfs to connect. However, this takes a minute or so and the added protection is well worth it.

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By time of completion, the clock was just nudging 6pm – this is a job you need to set an afternoon aside for, and ideally start early to allow enough time to finish before the best of the sunlight has run away!

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The result, however? Fantastic. As promised, four bikes fit easily (a 29er option is available for those with big rigs), along with a pair of wheels, and there is also space for hooks and shelves if you wish to pack a bit more into your space.

The bikes are free standing. You could use bike stands if you wanted them to be completely separate from each other – though this might cut your space down by one bike. However, with care, the bikes seem comfortable and scratches are easy to avoid with gentle TLC when removing and replacing them, made easier by the dual openings and wide doors.

build

As outdoor bike storage goes, the Asgaurd unit is incredibly well designed and constructed – all of it in the UK. Aside from the odd hiccup, building was pretty simple, and proved to be a well spent three hours.

The hefty steel shed is enough to give a rider reasonable peace of mind that their beloved bicycles are safely stowed and protected from corrosion. Admittedly, the bikes are still outside, so we’ll be keeping our most prized machines indoors – but with the even higher security ratings of the bigger units that wouldn’t be the case further up the scale. Without a doubt, this steel box is head and shoulders above any wooden shed. 

Interested? Check out the Asgard units here. 

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