Indoor Bike Parking Rack




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.



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    18 Discussions

    calorie, your design is simple and elegant. thank you. my goodness, jamestb13, if you have no need or a bike rack move on. I don't think anyone should have to defend their lifestyle, living arrangements or the number of bikes they have just for sharing a great idea.

    Great Idea! This would make my life far easier, I want to try it once I clean my space up a bit.

    The second set of photos did the trick- for some reason I was having trouble seeing what was making the bike stand stay standing- I think now that it is the other bikes themselves. This is brilliant, because that makes the bike rack very easy to move out of the way if you need the room. The rack itself can just lean against the wall. Thanks for a great instructable!

    1 reply

    Glad to hear it! My original plans called for stabilizing legs on the stand, but when I built up a proof-of-concept, I realized that it was actually pretty stable on its own. The larger the piece of wood you use for the base of the stand, the sturdier it will be. The bikes mainly exert a side-to-side pressure on the stand, and don't get inserted far into it, so there is no danger of tipping.

    Very nice looking- I admire the use of all the scrap wood. It stained up much nicer than I thought it would. Would you consider posting a photo of just one or two bikes on the rack? I a having trouble visualizing the finished product, and we desperately need something like this. Thanks!

    1 reply

    Let me know if the second set of photos on Step 5 and Step 6 are enough to give you an idea of what the finished product looks like - if not, I'll post some more!

    Great idea, clear instructions, good pictures and enough of them. I like how you reclaimed the wood, too. Portland sounds a lot more bike-friendly than a lot of places. We all have a lot to learn from your city. Thanks for posting this.

    It would be very helpful if there were an uncluttered picture of the completed rack so we could see the finished product and get an idea what we were striving for. It looks like a great project though.

    1 reply

    it's practically a triathlon's transition bike rack!! cool

    To explain bike-polo to the uninitiated...

    Must be a lot of hard work. Whoever stay in there, hope they start using it

    That will be a downside, especially in the winter. I'll probably get a heavy-duty rug to put underneath it to soak up any mud. At least with this design it is the floor getting dirty and not the walls!

    bike polo yeah! nice instructable. I just wish my appartment was big enough.