Cabinet for a Brompton

Having sold my road bike earlier this year I was keen for an urban or active bicycle to ride with my daughter. No more drop bars or clip-ins. Living in a small apartment I also wanted to be able to keep a bike around. I didn’t want to invest in a bike and leave it in the dusty storage cage in the garage but also didn’t want a bike always visible in the apartment. Bromptons have always intrigued me so I pulled the trigger. Now how will I store it in the apartment so it’s not always on show?

I researched a bunch of cabinets from IKEA to Fantastic Furniture to custom builds. Many of the IKEA cabinets had the correct internal dimensions on the website product details page but when I would look closer the backing would have a joint that stuck out inhibiting the bike from fitting (yes, IVAR Metal Cabinet I’m looking at you). Also, many IKEA cabinets are supposed to be fitted with a shelf which supports the rigidity of the structure, the Brompton obviously won’t fit when there’s a shelf in the middle.

At this stage I was working on the assumption that the Brompton width was 27 cm deep as per the Brompton website as my bike was still be shipped. After multiple unsuccessful trips to IKEA I finally decided on using a kitchen wall cabinet from Bunnings. I picked the Kaboodle 800mm Wall Cabinet. In theory the cabinet dimensions should fit a Brompton. I choose the Kaboodle cabinets as they come with a solid 16mm backing which would add strength when no shelf is installed. I also bought soft close hinges, 400mm cabinet doors and IKEA EKET feet.

Kaboodle 800mm Wall Cabinet

So I’d found the perfect cabinet and loved it! However when my Brompton arrived at Omafiets (very lucky to get it during a the COVID-19 global pandemic) and when I tried to place the bike in the cabinet it didn’t fit. I’m still not sure how Brompton measure the depth to get the number published on their website, that is 270mm. The wall cabinet I bought is 300mm deep with 16mm backing. If I do the maths the cabinet depth is 284mm which in theory should fit a 270mm deep Brompton (it’s hard to actually measure the depth of the Brompton but in hindsight 350mm cabinet would have been great but they are pretty hard to find). I’d done so much research I knew there weren’t many options out there and this cabinet fitted the apartment space perfect so I was going to have to make it work.

Brompton not fitting in the cabinet.

It took a night of thinking and I wasn’t sure my approach was going to work but I had to give it a shot. The plan was to drill a hole for the folding pedal on the Brompton to sit in on the back of the cabinet (lucky I choose a solid backed cabinet). I got a cheap hole saw set from Bunnings which had a large 127mm hole bit. It worked! Drilling a hole that just fits the pedal allows the bike to fit depth wise in the cabinet. I do have to make sure I fold the bike to allow the cranks to spin into place. I could improve on this by drilling a second hole so it doesn’t have to be in the exact spot. The pedal pokes out the back of the cabinet by only a couple of mm and with the cabinet away from the wall due to skirting board it’s not going to hit the wall.

Post drilling a hole in the cabinet the Brompton fits.

In the end I am really happy with how the cabinet has turned out. The bike is right next to the apartment door, a very convenient location and is hidden out of sight in the slimmest of cabinets.