Reclaimed Wood and Pipe Bike Hangers





Introduction: Reclaimed Wood and Pipe Bike Hangers

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Our office was a mess of bikes. With a little bit of reclaimed wood, pipe fittings, and some scrap rubber innertube, we tidied things up nicely.

Step 1: Cutting and Finishing Your Wood

We found decent boards of scrap wood for nearly free at Building Resources, a non-profit salvage company here in San Francisco. These were cut down to the same length, and then cut little triangular pieces off the corners mostly for aesthetics. You'll see you later photos that the pipe flanges sit off-center to the left so that the bike wheels will rest on the right side of the wood. The asymmetric shape makes this look more natural.

(Note, btw, the chunk of concrete we used as a jig for quick cutting. Low tech.)

After cutting, we quickly sanded all the edges and rubbed down the surfaces with tung oil to protect it and bring out the grain a bit.

Step 2: Assemble Your Pipes

For the actual hanger part of the hangers, we used standard pipe fittings from the hardware store. These were all 1" diameter pipe, flanges, elbow joints, and end caps. Pretty straightforward. For our rack, the piece running out from the rack was about 3" and the horizontal piece that contacts the wheel was about 2.5".

Assemble the elbows but not the flanges, yet -- that bit will be done directly on the wall.

Step 3: Mount Your Boards and Pipes

Mark off the wall where you'll be hanging your racks. We used blue carpenter's tape to sketch out where the bikes would hang, leaving 18" horizontal between each bike and offsetting each one 12" vertically. This seems to work great for packing in bikes without being too much of a tangle of handlebars when you try to hang your bike.

For our concrete wall, we used a masonry bit and impact driver to drill holes and drive concrete screws to hang each piece of wood. Two at the top (one under where the flange goes, one to its right) and one at the bottom. They're rock-solid.

After the wood is attached to the wall, screw in the flanges (4 screws each), then twist in your pipe elbows. By the end, you'll be putting your back into it to get the pipe pointing the right way, but this means the bikes won't be moving them at all once they're hanging on them.

Step 4: Wrap Your Pipes to Protect Your Bike Wheels

Hanging bike rims directly on metal pipe is pretty harsh on their paint jobs. We used some busted inner tube that we had laying around. Wrap a segment around your pipe to see how long it needs to be to cover the pipe. Measure out pieces of this length and cut them with a deep angle so that it will wrap neatly.

See the photos: you get it started, overlapping by about half with each turn. On the last turn, use a finger to keep a gap open, then tuck in the end on that last turn. If you get it nice and tight and overlap enough tubing, the friction of the rubber should keep the wrapping on quite well.

Step 5: Hang Your Bikes!

Your rack is done. Take all those bike laying everywhere and hang them up. Ahhhh... so much more space to play with, now!



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21 Discussions

made it! thanks a lot!


A very neat idea, I really like it! I have wrapped things in innertube before using a different method: cut off a length of the tube, still tube-y and roll the edge back on itself, then slide the ring-tube onto the thing to be wrapped and unroll the tube (this will only work on things with a close enough diameter to the innertube, for obvious reasons)

1 reply

Good idea, and well done. Short sections of hose could be used to pad the pipes for those who don't have enough inner tube laying around.

For those with stud walls instead of concrete, these could also be attached to horizontal furring strips. Screw the furring strips to the studs, then attach to the furring strips.

3 replies

Great notes. Also, for those going into studs, those are often placed 18" apart, which we found was a good spacing for bikes anyways. So if you can line up with studs, you're also golden.

Everything around here is built with studs on either 16" or 24" spacing, so I'm going to need furring strips to get to 18" spacing.

16 inch centers are more likely at least in NYC, check a tape measure every 16 inches the number is in red, so a carpenter does not need to look hard. If you build a deck and use trex or other branded plastic planking the beams are set on 14 inch centers or the stuff sags. 16 inch is the rule even in curtain walls, (non load bearing walls used when taking a blank space and cutting it up into offices/examining rooms etc.). This applies to metal or wood stud walls.

I like these better then the cheap crap hangers they make, these cost more, but over time I think would last longer, and if need be could hold a much greater weight.

I would slip an inner tube over the elbow AFTER you wrapped it so no metal is exposed, and if some one backed into it, it would be softer on the nogging or eyeball.

Nice project enjoyed it, coulda used when the kids were smaller!

Looks like a useful project!

I'm going to guess that 16" centers (coinciding with the studs in my area) will work for most road/hybrid/commuter bikes. Any thoughts to the contrary?

Is it necessary to use the wood? Could you screw the flange into a stud in the wall?

Simple design, Great look. I am going to install 15 of these in a clients summer home on Cape Cod. Thank you for the great explanation.

1 reply

They don't, no. The bikes resist sideways movement because the front wheel contacts the pipe about 2.5" out from the wall. They tend to want to swing straight out from the wall.

Love this! Clear instructions and a well thought out project.

Looks great. Might I suggest clear coating the pipes/fittings to prevent rust. Depending on your climate, black iron pipe like that can start to rust. Using galvanized pipe and fittings would also do the trick.

very nice idea, it seems like a lot of weight bearing on one single point thou. I'm just saying....

1 reply

Thanks :)

As for the design, it's actually very common and safe for bikes. Google for bike hooks/hangers -- they all work this way. If you think about it, this is well within engineering tolerances. Bikes easily withstand thousands of hours of multi-Gs with the weight of a whole human being and their stuff sitting on top. The weight of the bike itself on the rim is negligible by comparison.