Introduction: Indoor Bike Parking Rack

About: I'm into alternative energy and transportation. My background is in the business end of alt fuels, and now I'm going back to school for mechanical engineering.

Like most houses in Portland, we have a lot of bicycles, and we are always coming and going on them, often changing out bikes several times a day. Not satisfied with outdoor parking, or stacks of bicycles in the workshop, I decided to build some indoor bike parking. It allows for both front or rear wheel parking, and fits eight bikes comfortably.

In principal, this rack is just a railing. The bikes are held in place by their wheels resting against the wood, with the tires keeping them from rolling. I was concerned that this design might put too much torque on the rims, and that a triangular two-touch system would be better, but this design works great, even with road race wheels.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

This project was done with 100% scrap wood, so don't feel like you have to use good lumber for it.

For the dimensions of the structure, I worked around a particular room where I wanted the parking to go. It is generally recommended that slot-type bike parking has 24" of space between each bike, from tire to tire. I wanted eight bikes to fit into a 144" space, so I narrowed it down to 17" from tire to tire. There is some handlebar overlap, but because of the generous vertical dimensions of the assemblies, you can easily lift your handlebars over other bikes that might be in your way.

Here are some general measurements to help you to customize the bike rack for your specific needs.

Each parking assembly: two posts of 1"x2"x27" (wood)
Parking base: 2"x4" (wood)
Parking top: 2"x4" (wood)
Screws: 8x 4" wood screw per assembly

Each assembly should have a gap of 2.5" between posts for the tire. If you are a downhiller and have wider tires, give yourself a little more room. From assembly to assembly, have at least a 12" space.

To fit in a 144" room, I chose a top and a base of 124", and eight parking assemblies. For the remainder of this instructable, I will be writing specifically to my project, but hopefully you can easily retrofit the design for your own needs!

General tools:
Tape measure

Step 2: Step 1: Prep the Materials

Cut all your boards to the correct size, making sure they are clean and free of metal.

Sand the boards with 110 grit sandpaper to prep them for the staining. This first sanding will get rid of rough edges, and make the wood more receptive to being stained. Pay careful attention to getting all of the sanding dust off of your boards.

Step 3: Stain the Wood

Stain the wood with an appropriate wood stain. Follow the directions on the can and make sure to wipe off any pooled stain.

Protip: stains come in different colors. Depending on the color of your wood, choose carefully. When in doubt, go with a lighter or natural-colored stain. Or, even better, ask someone who has experience with stains (thanks Sara!).

After your first coat of stain dries, sand lightly with 220 grit paper. Again, pay special attention to getting all the sanding dust off.

Apply your second coat of stain on the wood, again making sure to wipe off any pooled stain.

Step 4: Measuring and Pilot Holes

Once your stain has dried fully (you will probably have to leave it overnight), start the construction process. Measure out where each post goes on the base and top boards, and drill some pilot holes. I chose to only put one screw in each post due to space constraints, so each pilot hole went in the dead center of the boards.

Step 5: Put It All Together

Once you have all the pilot holes drilled, start screwing the posts into the base. When everything is securely screwed into the base, align the top and screw it on. Done!

Step 6: In Use

After a week of use, this design has proven to work well. Commuters, singlespeeds, race bikes, bikes with racks, and even a polo bike all have happily parked in this rack.