Introduction: Rolling Six Pack Bike Rack
I have been thinking lately that I didn't want to clutter up the garage floor with all my bike projects like last year. I have two bays and my side has all bikes and bike related stuff to build my bikes. In the past I just remove my wifes car for the summer to her dislike. I got away with it but I felt pretty bad on rainy days she couldn't get out in her nice dry space. I have looked guilt in the face and have surrendered.
I hang about 20 bikes on the side wall but this rack is for the ones on the floor or some of them. Things working the way they do I'm looking to make another but to work this out right now with store bought stuff to get the bugs worked out and to make it easier for others to make theirs.
It really doesn't take but a few hours if you have everything ready. There is no need to stress out over this build, it's pretty basic in the build. Sizes can change to suit yourself but this is a good starting place to get yours up and running.
Step 1: Safety and Tools and Some Fasteners
Safety is a must, pretty much standard stuff. I once saw an Instructable here with a picture of a guy drilling a flower pot while it was in his lap. One slip and.......you get the picture. Keep body parts where they're meant to be. Wear safety glasses, things may wack you in the eye. If you ignore this it may not be so funny. Well maybe to other people but not you.
The tools are pretty basic.
A circular saw with a good blade so you won't be fighting with it.
A cordless Screw Gun is nice but a variable speed drill is OK.
A hammer for any nails.
Screws and or nails of the proper length.
Construction glue is optional.
Step 2: Bought Parts
From HD I bought:
six 2x4's eight feet long
cheap bike hooks (12)
a pair of 3" caster wheels
a pair of 3" swivelling with brakes
some plywood for braces
I'm not liking paying this much. The wheels can be had at Harbor Freight for less. The 2x4's could have been reclaimed wood.
Step 3: Measurements
Here is a cut list.
The sides are cut this length to allow for the length of your bikes, the bike hooks, and the extra space below the hanging bike.
The Hook Bar and the Bottom Bar are this length for reasons of spacing. At 13'' the handle bars don't touch that much. I load the bikes from both sides, alternating the bikes. You can space yours hooks closer together if you want to make the rack shorter or to add more bikes to it.
The Top Bar is 3" longer than the Hook Bar. What ever you choose for your hook spacing remember that the Top Bar will be 3" longer than the Hook Bar.
The Bottoms are the feet of the rack and their length seems to make the rack stable. You could make them shorter if you like.
Step 4: Setting the Sides on the Bottom Feet
I nailed the sides to the bottom feet centered to the length and at the edge. You could use glue, I didn't.
Step 5: Plywood Braces on Sides and Bottom Feet
I didn't buy my plywood because I had some. You can get some free from a construction job dumpster or before it goes in the dumpster. As a house carpenter for over 40 years let me give you some tips.
Don't go tromping on site and think you are going to get what you want. There are many dangers and laws that are in play here. They are also busy trying to make a living and your first contact might be some helper who can't help you. It's best to scope out the site and figure who the boss is and approach him at the end of the day when everyone is leaving. He may be in a rush to get to the lumber yard and may not be ready for a chat. Most times he'll get out of his truck and get what you need but other times he may say the site is closed for the night and to see him tomorrow. I would. Ask if he has any discarded window cut outs that would fit your needs. Polite goes a long way here.
Or you can buy some handy panels from the lumberyard. Half inch ply works well.
Cut the plywood to dimensions shown or near their size and attatch them to the sides and bottom feet as shown in the picture.
Step 6: Setting Up the Bottom Bar
With a little more plywood attatch them to the bottom bar. I cut into them to notch around the 2x4's on the sides. I made sure that when I put this against the sides the 2x4's would be tight, the plywood gusset don't have to interfere.
When you get both ends screwed or nailed attatch the Bottom Bar to the Sides and Feet as the picture shows.
Step 7: Setting Up the Hook Bar
The Top Bar is 3" longer than the Hook Bar and the second picture shows why. Also the Top Bar is flush to the one side of the Hook Bar so that another plywood gusset can be put on.
These two are nailed or screwed and glued if you choose to use glue. At this time the Top Bar will extend an inch and a half over each end.
Now is a good time it put the bike hooks in, spacing them as determined before. These were 13". You may want to drill a small pilot hole to ease the screwing in but don't over do the pilot hole.
UPDATE MARCH 5 2011:
I have changed the spacing on my rack to 10.11 inches per hook without changing the length of the hook bar. This is very close to 10-1/8" per hook. Start at one end and make a mark at 5". From the first mark start to space them at 10-1/8" all the way to the end where you will get about a 5". You hang the bikes the same by hanging bikes every other hook on one side and filling in the spaces on the other side. I have a few custom bikes that have high rise bars or beach cruiser bars. These bikes had to be moved around in a combination of trial and error till they all hung without touching one another.
There are 9 bikes now where there once was 6 bikes. This and the fact that some of the bikes are 30 to 50 years old weigh quite alot. There is a slight sag in the top bar and hook bar which is normal for the weight. I don't have a concern for this now because it should be able to handle the weight. If it shows a sign of faliure I can always put another 2X4 along side of the hook bar an make a doubler out of the pair by nailing or screwing together and into the top bar.
Step 8: Setting the Top Bar
This requires extra hands unless you want to have it land on your head. I used my wife, remember her, the lady who wanted her garage space back? She was such a sport, I love that girl.
I nailed Top Bar but you can screw yours on.
Next I attatched small plywood gussets to the top and bottom corners, four in all.
After this you can tip it over, one side at a time, and attatch the wheels. One end gets the straight rolling wheels and the other side gets the locking swivel wheels.
Step 9: The Final Product
That's it place your bikes in the rack with the front tires up. Three bikes on one side and three on the other side. You can hang them upside down if need be. When you want to move the bike rack you just grab the end with the swivel wheels and steer it all around.
I hope this works out for you. Enjoy.