Instructables

Bike Rack / Bike Storage for the Home or Apartment

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On a typical morning - after a bowl of oats and a cup of green tea - I head out the door and bike to work.  Well, I try to head for the door.  Usually I'll get to about spitting distance before stumbling over a Specialized or a Giant.  I'll move those to the side and get about 2 more steps.  Then i'll be in the thick of it.  To my left is the formidable fortress of Fuji's.  To my right - the towering tangle of Trek.  Dead ahead - stupendous snarl of Surly.  And underfoot - you guessed it - Univega.  After about 10 minutes of snagged up pedals, chains and spokes i've got my ride out.  whew!  Then I enjoy a peaceful ride to work.  Of course when I get home later and open the front door i'm met by a rickety roadblock of Raleigh's.   grr.  Of course we tried keeping the bikes in other places - the garage, the backyard in the summer, on the porch.  But that was just moving the problem from one department to another.  Things were getting ridiculous!  If you're like me you've got 11 bikes.  And your housemate has 6.  And your other housemate has 3.  And that girl couchsurfing is fixing up 2.  Well, luckily enough for you the 2009 Momentum Reader Survey says only 20% of you are like me (5 or more bikes).  Which is good, because if you've got 22 bikes in your house you'd best just start worshipping the golden chainring - not much else is going to save you.  But back to the other 80% of you with less than 5 bikes apiece.  You've got some hope. 

So I set about to thinking - maybe I can make some kind of storage rack for these things?  My engineering instinct kicked in.  What's the most compact way to store bikes anyway?  Probably an atomic compactor.  Oh wait, we still need to use those bikes again.  Eventually I devised a 2-level hanging rack.  It's easy to build with a minimum of tools, and stores almost twice as many bikes in the same space as a standard single-level hanging rack.  The bikes are still easy to get in and out, and this rack can work in a garage, foyer, porch, or yard.  You just need a wall or some posts.

The rack system shown is very easy and inexpensive to build, and i believe it is the most compact, tangle-free storage possible for 4 or more bikes. for 2-3 bikes its still a good rack but will use about the same space as some other options.

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This article is brought to you by MonkeyLectric and Momentum magazine.  
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ccot25 days ago
Thanks for the instructions. Super easy, and great results!
SirBikes-a-Lot made it!7 months ago

I got some reclaimed wood and mounted two 64" 2x8 planks with bike hooks spaced 14" apart in a staggered pattern. The planks were anchored into 4 studs, so it's pretty solid. Thanks for the great instructions!

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Just found this as I need a storage solution for our growing bike collection. I have an MTB and roadie, my two flatmates have roadies too. Having 4 hand vertically in my utility seems an excellent Idea. I may cut some PVC waste pipe in half and fit this to the walls where the front and rear tyres would sit to protect the wall and keep the bikes inline.
shika8051 year ago
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shika8051 year ago
The designed worked great in my little corner of my garage. I was able to fit 4 bikes in the area I had. Thanks! The only thing that I did different was I placed a foam around the hook to have extra cushioning for my wheels, I didnt want them to be scuffed or scratched. Great write up! measurements were perfect!
luckyduc1 year ago
pic....
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jshin41 year ago
Do you have any suggestions for a lockable version of this vertical bike rack? I'd like to build one on our covered porch, however theft is of a concern.
embochner1 year ago
Do the hooks penetrate the wood and go into the wall? or is just that the wood is attached to the wall, and the hook is attached to the wood?
domm_plix1 year ago
Today I built a slightly adapted version, fixing the pieces of wood vertical instead of horizontal: http://domm.plix.at/bicycle/2013_01_radaufhaengung.html
I actually managed to make this without either smashing or amputating a thumb. My bike and I both thank you.
carl.myhill2 years ago
This inspired me to sign up to instructables so I could say thanks. I built this today. Very cool instructions. The wall of my shed was quite weak and only the central stud was easy to locate. So I added a couple of supporting legs to it either end. Fantastic - very happy with the result. Thanks very much.
MiKOTRON2 years ago
I really like this instructable. The one thing that I really took from it was the magnet hanging from a string technique to find the steel "studs". When I was hanging some shelves in my house a knocked on the wall to "hear" and "feel" where the studs were. That knocking technique created lots of unwanted holes in the drywall. LOL. My wife just loved having 7 or 8 little holes in her walls. I think that your magnet technique will save my marriage. :)
rbingham2 years ago
Fully awesome. Did this in my basement last weekend, used tapcon screws to mount to brick – took about an hour and a half, and now I have 4 bikes neatly stowed for the winter in a bit of dead space in my basement beside the furnace.
Simple, brilliant, cheap.
Thanks!
AbbieX2 years ago
Built this today.....great!
I tried to buy them but couldn't. It looks cool. But how do you buy it?
nate_0093 years ago
Hi I was wondering if anyone knew if this would work if I drilled into brick and used anchors in the brick. Would the weight be pulling downwards and therefore be fine if using anchors or would the weight be pulling outwards from the wall too much?

thanks for your help.
If your anchors are done right it will be fine if not better then a standard wall. I would use some Liquid Nails on the anchors or Gorilla Glue to take any of the wiggles out. check youtube for the how to fasten an anchor.
SciReach3 years ago
I love this idea! Its simple. Its great engineering. Its cheap simple and is going to work great for my needs.
onrust3 years ago
peppy and cheap
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chinkeyes3 years ago
We are quite the bike riding family with 5 adult sized bikes. We built the rack in the garage and it freed up so much space! We also built ours a little higher off the ground, adding even more room beneath the bikes for storage tubs to hold helmets and other bike essentials. Thanks for this great instructable!
I just completed this in my room and absolutely love it! Thanks for the simple, yet incredibly helpful tutorial!

Just thought I'd share a few things that I discovered when putting mine together. First off, I went one inch higher (66" vs. 65") for the first row of hooks and I am happy that I did. My Surly Karate Monkey (Single-speed 29'er Mountain Bike) with a wheel-base of 1046mm (41.18") and 29"x2.3" tires just barely clears the ground (less than an inch) when hanging from the bottom row of hooks. This obviously wouldn't be an issue if I used the top row of hooks but this is where I discovered the second important thing to note.

My top row of hooks is 8.25" (20.955cm) down from the ceiling and I am UNABLE to mount the front tire of my Surly Karate Monkey (with 29"x2.3" tires) in the top row of hooks. However, my other 700c bikes (including a Cross bike with a wider 700x32c tire) appear to fit fine in the top row of hooks with such a tight ceiling clearance. I have found that if you wanted to mount a 29'er mountain bike in the top row of hooks, you'll want to shoot for AT LEAST 10.5" (26.67cm) of clearance from the ceiling to the top row of hooks.

See some more pictures of my set-up here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jonathansmith68
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dan (author)  jonathansmith683 years ago
oh, good info! it looks like your ceiling is a bit lower than mine.
d0gma3 years ago
Was wondering if the rear wheels of the bikes on the lower hooks could touch the floor if there was some sort of wheel tray (2x8 w/ routered trough) to keep the bikes in line? This would make it alot easier to store heavier bikes, kids bikes, etc.
kissiltur5 years ago
Just a quick note to thank you for this instructable - the space I have for bikes isn't good for wall hanging, but this at least inspired me to finally hang bikes from the ceiling to get them out of the way a bit.
I have been wanting to hang my bike from the ceiling for as long as I can remember and have looked into different systems but am nervous to actually do it becaue I've never actually seen it done with my own eyes. How did you do it?
TRANSLTR3 years ago
Its this kind of thing that makes Instructables my favourite web site in the world. Ever.
jslag3 years ago
Great project, thanks! Built this the other weekend in my apartment, and very happy with how it worked out.

I happened to have a full 8' of wall space available, so rather than trim down the 2x4s, I left them at full length so that the extra space can be used to hold up our bike trailer & other stuff.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/18474854@N00/5044952824/
wilderness3 years ago
Just a point about the rims and the physics...

As far as I can tell, the weight of the bike pulling against the hook exerts its force against the inside of the rim, ie away from the hub.

Wheels are built to withstand force exerted on them from the other direction (ie towards the hub) - think of the relative load-bearing capacities of a dome and a bowl.

So the load-bearing capacity of a wheel rim on collision with a pothole edge isn't a very good indicator of its load-bearing capacity as a hanging device.

Of course, if your empirical experience is that bikes stored this way don't show signs of long-term damage, then that's a pretty good indicator that it's safe...
curiousmonk4 years ago
 Great instructable!  Built this last night and finally got the tangle of bikes off the floor.

This instructable maximizes bike-on-wall density while minimizing tangling.  If you have a bit more wall and want to maximize spacing, rather than cutting the 2x4 (which is x inches long) in half you can cut it  into two lengths where the bottom row (for three bikes) would be y inches long, where

y = (x-3)/1.5

For example:
Cut a 120" 2x4 into a 78" piece (bottom, three bikes) and a 42" piece (top, two bikes) per the equation above.  

Mount the outside bottom board bikes 3" in from the end of the 78" board.  Mount the middle bottom bike centered between them.  You get a same-row bike separation of 36".

Mount the top board centered above the bottom board.  Put the bike hooks 3" in from each end of the top board.  This gives a 36" same-row separation.

So this way you get a 36" same-row separation and an 18" adjacent-row separation.
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Pedalit5 years ago
In my garage, I simply used a stud finder to find the 18" on center studs and put hooks in them, all at the same height. I can put road bikes beside each other, right side up, but the cruisers and mtn bikes have to be alternated. Your idea is simpler if your dwelling isn't wood framed. I haven't had any wheel problems in two years, not even on the cheap 50lb. cruisers (bruisers).
evad Pedalit5 years ago
Just a bit more information than anyone probably needs: If you live in the US, the distance between studs in a wall is 16" (Not 18") on center IF the house was built after the mid to late 20's and uses "platform" or " stick" construction. My house was built in 1923, uses balloon construction, and the studs are 22" -24" on center. The spacing on timber built houses will vary with the whim of the original builder. Moral: Believe your stud finder, not your ruler.
jsf.online7 years ago
Looks almost identical to what i put in our garage four months ago. One addition, particularly for a rental property: Add some clear plastic between the bike tires and walls so as to keep the wall from getting marked up. You can get rolls of thick plastic, or use the plastic that is sold for in cheap-inceiling flourescents, either way, protect the paint and just hold it up with a couple of staples, or even between your 2x4s and the wall. Not having to paint it when you're done will be a plus.
or! take advantage of all those plastic bags under your sink and create a large 'fused plastic bag' sheet to hang on the wall, under the tires :)
Tat27 years ago
Great idea, I've hung my bikes (4 of them) exactly like this. However I just read somewhere that hanging them by the front wheel can damage the fork/headset. I just took them off and turned them around hanging them from the rear wheel.
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Not a problem. Many a bike shop do there displays like this. It saves a lot of space. You have to remember that static forces are easy to deal with. The dynamic forces are far more challenging. Every time you double your speed you increase the force exerted by 4 times. And then there are the lateral and compressive forces to deal with. So the last thing to worry about is the headset being strained.
Definitely a "why didn't I think of this?" idea. I used to have 23 bikes (for 2 people) hung in similar double row, but I didn't have as structured as nice. Thanx for the Instructable
arwendraugh7 years ago
Awesome...you fixed my big space problem
Thanks
hollasch7 years ago
I've always wondered if suspending bikes this way can detrue the wheels. Should I be concerned about this for my kids bikes or my mountain bike?
dan (author)  hollasch7 years ago
we have not had any problem (and i know a lot of bikes beyond the ones here being hung this way), although see the note about putting some rubber around the hook.
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