Introduction: Freestanding Bike Rack/Bookcase

About: I love to make anything I can!

My wife and I have two road bikes, and no garage in our small city apartment, so I have been thinking about the best way to store them inside. Because we want to get our security deposit back at the end of our lease, we are cautious about putting hooks into the walls, and we don’t want our bikes just laying around. I thought the best solution would be to build some kind of freestanding bike rack. My wife had the idea to incorporate it into a bookshelf so that we would get more storage space as well. With that, the freestanding bike rack bookcase was born.

Step 1: Dimensions

To get an idea of how big the shelf would need to be, I had a friend help me hold the bikes up against a wall to see how they would fit together. I determined that my bike, which is the longer one, would require a hook about 4’8” above the ground. We rounded to 5’ for the height of the shelf. We didn’t want the bikes to scrape the wall, so we wanted to make the shelving deep enough to keep the pedals and handlebars of the rear bike from touching the wall. We estimated the bikes together take up 2’, but the front bikes handlebars can stick out, so we decided on 19” for the depth. We wanted the shelving to have a good sized footprint for stability so we decided to make the footprint 19” square.

Step 2: ​Cutting the Wood

We used one sheet of ¾” plywood, and first ripped two 19” pieces (19” by 96”).

From those we cut the following:

Sides: 19” by 59-1/4” (2X)

Top: 19” by 19”

Bottom: 19” by 17-1/2”

Shelves: 19” by 18” (3X, I had to cut one of these from a scrap piece of ¾ because we couldn’t fit it onto a sheet)

With three shelves, we divided the height of the dresser in four, and cut ¾” grooves ¼” deep into the sides where the shelves would be. We used a Dado blade to do this, but technically it could be done with a normal table saw blade and a lot of passes.

Step 3: Assembling the Shelf

We laid the dresser out dry (without glue) onto a flat surface to make sure the fit was correct. Then we glued all of the shelves in and clamped it together. While the whole shelf was still clamped, we drilled countersunk pilot holes to glue/screw on the top and the bottom (the top screws straight down into the sides, and the bottom fits between the sides)

Throughout this process, you could use a framing square to make sure the shelf is close to square. Ours wasn't initially, but we used another clamp to pull it into square.

Step 4: Bike Hooks

After the glue had time to dry, we wanted to hang the bikes onto the dresser to see how stable it would be. We clamped a sheet of plywood to the back of the shelves to simulate a wall and held the bikes up to the side. We ended up changing around the position of the bikes a couple times, so we drilled two extra holes into the side that needed to be filled with putty. We used one standard “bicycle hook” and a two-pronged hook that we found lying around my dad’s shop. My wife’s bike would rest with its handlebars in the pronged-hook, and my bikes front wheel would go in the standard hook.

Step 5: Stability Feet

We pushed on the left side of the bookcase to see how stable it would be, and it was more stable than we expected. But, to be sure it would never fall over when we were putting bikes on or off, we decided to go ahead and add triangular feet to the side of the shelf. I cut four 5” right triangles out of ¾” plywood and glued/screwed two together to make strong feet. With three screws each, I secured them into place. These small feet added a lot of stability to the dresser.

Step 6: Sand and Paint

Like any project, we still had to sand and paint the Bookshelf. We puttied the countersunk screw holes on the top, bottom, and stability feet, sanded all the edges, and put a coat of white primer. Then we painted the whole shelf gray to match the “dresser bed” we built (see my last instructable!).

Step 7: Enjoy the Storage!

Store your stuff!

Now that the project is finished, the bikes could be stored neatly wherever you put the stand! The big shelves provide lots of storage space for bike paraphernalia and other things. Overall, this project was quick, easy, and very effective. I would love to see in the comments if you come up with other clever ways to store your bikes!

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