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I can’t speak for any other area, but here in North Texas cycling seems to be steadily climbing to become one of the most popular outdoor activities (hey, we love soccer now, too — anything can happen). Recently even I started to re-familiarize myself with the West’s new favorite saddle. This, of course, brings the dilemma of shop space: Vehicles and tools/storage get the floor; everything else steps aside.

Amazon is currently selling the Racor PBH-1R ceiling-mounted bike lift for $18.43, more than half off normal retail, and Prime eligible. The specs: one 48-foot rope with a locking mechanism good for ceilings up to 14 feet high, a solid steel hardware pulley system, a rope cleat, and a couple of wood screws. Installation’s up to you (make sure to drag out the stud finder for drywall) and requires only a few basic hand tools — a Phillips screwdriver, drill with 1/8″ bit, and tape measure. Racor says the system will hold up to 50 lbs., though if you ask me, that’s on the heavy side for a bike.

So, help me out here — I’m still unfamiliar with the different qualities that make a good bike lift. The reviews for the Racor at Amazon are generally positive, though a consistent complaint is the chintzy quality of the rope, which sometimes apparently comes frayed right out of the box. But for less than $20, is it worth taking the chance and just swapping in a better rope if you need to? Or should I just shell out for something like the Gear Up Deluxe Bicycle Storage Hoist [What’s This?]?

Racor PBH-1R Ceiling-Mounted Bike Lift Via Amazon [What’s This?]

 

14 Responses to Dealmonger: Racor Ceiling-Mounted Bike Lift

  1. Jerry says:

    Here we go again. HF has what appears to be the exact item. I have 2 of these I got from HF and they work great. You may decide to bend the “hooks” slightly to grip your particular bike better. HF currently has them on the web site for $6.99 (regular $14.99) These are pretty tough – I have used the pair of these (4 hooks) to lift the hardtop off my car! Not sure what the top weighs but it is at least 100 pounds.
    Oh, the HF # is 95803 and here’s the link:
    http://www.harborfreight.com/catalogsearch/result/?category=&q=bicycle+lift

  2. Mike says:

    I’ve used one of these for years from Target ($9.99 black Friday deal). It looks like it’s identical in build quality. My rope did fray a little around the end that ties to the rope cleat, but it seems strong enough still. It would be really easy to replace the rope if it did end up breaking. I hoist up my downhill bike, a full 47lbs monster without any problems at all. I did have to bend the handlebar hooks a bit, but I did it by hand. They’re only sheet metal, and pretty easy to tweak.

  3. Nik says:

    If it’s easy to install and it works for the space and your bike, it’s worth $20. Buying the hardware pieces individually would be more expensive. The important thing is how it attaches to the ceiling. In the picture there are 2 metal plates with 2 holes each for screws that are supposed to go into a ceiling joist. If the direction of those plates doesn’t line up with the joists, how is that going to work ? Drywall anchors or toggle bolts might work.

  4. Rick says:

    I picked up 4 Racor models 3 years ago at $30 each. Totally worth the price too. I placed 2 along the joists and 2 across the joists in my garage. Either way, the installation is super simple.

    I used this design concept to build my own platform hoist (the kind you can also find on storage solution websites) out of pulleys, a winch, rope, plywood and 2×4’s.

  5. Will says:

    I had one of these (or some similar device that appears identical in my memory) at our last place. It wasn’t enough better than the old rubber-coated screw hooks to bother taking it down and bringing it with us when we moved.

    http://www.acehardwaresuperstore.com/bell-bike-storage-hooks-for-hanging-bikes-either-p-65583.html?ref=42

  6. Chris says:

    $6.99, even for an HF version, is an awfully good gamble, especially since Jerry recommends them. I do recommend better and thicker rope. I have a different kind of ceiling lift and everytime I hoist it, the tiny diameter of the rope hurts my hands – even with a light weight.

    Can’t you build your own? It doesn’t look too hard, though I doubt you could find 5 pulley, two hooks, rope and 2x4s for that cheap.

  7. Jerry says:

    If you really want to build one, you will hit a small snag – the front pulley (as in the picture) on the ceiling, has a mechanism in it that when pulled one way releases the rope – pulled the other way, it “locks” the rope in position. Still, don’t depend on that mechanism to hold the bike for any period of time. Be sure to lash the end of the rope to a cleat – HF model comes with cheesy cleats. After looking in my garage, this one in the picture looks identical in every way.
    Someone mentioned that their joists might run the wrong way – nail in a 2″ X 4″ across them.

  8. TL says:

    I built one out of HF pulleys and ceiling hooks back when these were expensive and hard to find items. Only problem I have with it is that with the bike out of the way like that, it rarely gets ridden. Of course that could be a user error.

  9. Brau says:

    “Someone mentioned that their joists might run the wrong way – nail in a 2″ X 4″ across them.”

    Uhh, that’s the right solution, but may I suggest using long screws instead of nails?

  10. Dave says:

    I’ve had two of these for years. They are great and very easy to install. I’ll be buying 2 more from HF as we seem to be collecting bikes. Thanks for the link.

  11. Scott says:

    As Mentioned by everyone else this is totally worth the price, I have a couple of them and might pick up a couple more to hoist my kayak and my ladder to the ceiling.

    The only thing you have to look out for is every so often while the lift is lowered and I am out using the bike is the rope will come off the pulley system. Then I need to get out my ladder and fix it but im sure a larger rope would fix that issue.

  12. PutnamEco says:

    They are good for more than bicycles, I have a canoe hanging from mine. It works well for thos purpose, and it is quite a bunch cheaper than a canoe lift.

  13. Scott says:

    I have eight of these in my garage. They work fantastic and allow me my shop space when I need it. I’ve had them for the past 3-4 years and have loved them. Some considerations, though: 1) they may be too hard for younger kids to operate and 2) wrapping the cord up takes a long time on the provided cleft.

  14. I used two of these kits to make a suspended laundry rack in our laundry room for my wife. She loves it and I don’t have to play musical-folding-racks anymore!

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