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A while back I got into cycling a bit, and I now have two bikes kicking around the garage. When it’s hot as hell (like now) or freezing, storing them is simple: I just installed a couple of hooks and hung ’em up and out of the way. But when it gets more temperate, I’d like to have easier access to them. Essentially, I don’t want to have to drag out a ladder in order to get them down. How do you deal with this at home?

I know it’d just be easy to sit ’em on the floor in the garage, but I really don’t like the idea of giving up that much floor and work space for something that only gets used once a week max. If I rode it to work every day, sure. But I don’t.

I dare say this is an ongoing battle for every Toolmonger: trying to keep the garage as a workshop instead of a glorified storage unit.

 

29 Responses to Questionmonger: Best Way to Hang a Bike?

  1. db says:

    Racor PBH-1R Ceiling-Mounted Bike Lift. About $15 on Amazon. I had the racks like you have, always a pain to lift and bring them down and my wife couldn’t handle her bike. The lift makes it easy.

  2. Scott Rupert says:

    I use the ceiling mounted Racor pulley system. Great use of space and its so easy my youngest girl can use it.

  3. Dave M says:

    I was going to suggest a pulley system, too…

  4. Jon G. says:

    +1 for pulley system

  5. Ben Granucci says:

    If you’ve got the height, and it appears that you do, the Racor lifts are the way to go. I use the kayak one to store my tractor cart in the shed and it works well.

  6. Sprague says:

    My bike hangs from hooks in the ceiling that loop through the wheels. I can lift my bike.

    I used a pulley system ($5 special from Menards that is one step from utter junk – but does technically work) for my wife’s bike. She can get it down on her own, but usually needs me to put it back up.

    I must say the pulley system would have been a pain to mount on the ceiling if i had not mounted it to a strip of plywood first.

    • Scott Rupert says:

      That’s exactly what I did. Well sorta. I used a 2×4 to lag bolt into the joists first. Then lag bolted the pulleys to the 2×4. Worked like a charm.

      • David says:

        Yeah; just put hooks in the ceiling for the wheels. My dad is a semi-pro cyclist and has about 5 bike he hangs from his ceiling. He’s about 5’10” and hangs them upside down. This is better than right-side up since you don’t have to grab the unstable and dirty wheels to get them down. Just use the center of the handle bars and the seat to push it up or bring it down.

        I wouldn’t do much with the car still in the garage though if you park in there; they aren’t terribly easy to carefully lower when you’re stretched out like that.

  7. Dan says:

    Depends on how many bikes you have; pulleys need less muscle strength in exchange for taking up space and needing a high enough ceiling, and a fair amount of time to raise and lower the bikes and tie off the line.

    If you have a lower ceiling, and/or less patience, and can trade off wall space for headroom space, you want something like this:

    Delta bike hook. (note: the reviews there saying “doesn’t work with mountain bikes” are out of date. The new models cheerfully take 2.5″ tires and should handle more than that if necessary).

    Note: you may be tempted to just try using a beefy screw-in hook, but those are significantly less good than the specialised hangers. I used to use big hooks screwed into an upright, but the load is in the wrong direction so they’d bend, and even very beefy ones twist out of position with regular use.

  8. BJN says:

    The best way is what works for the space you have. I hang my bikes on a sheetrocked shed wall by the front wheel. That’s the most space-efficient option for me. The pulley system’s are fine if you have the ceiling height and don’t mind the fuss. I prefer frame or wheel hooks for faster access.

  9. JP says:

    The HF Pulley lift. I use it for my bicycles as well as my Kayak.

  10. Mike says:

    I use one of the big screw hooks screwed into a rafter. Lift the bike up and hang it by the back wheel.
    I saw an article, I think on instructables, about a shop that hung a horizontal pipe that would then have the seat of the bike hooked over it. Quick and simple for storing a number of bikes.

  11. Rembret says:

    Wow, that’s a clean garage!

  12. Ben says:

    In the summer, bike season, it is really nice to have a work stand if you like to fiddle on the bike. Proabably not as good for out-of-the-way storage. the Sette Torx ST-116 looks pretty cool though.

  13. Ben says:

    Also, Toolmonger should do a feature on Park Tools! ughghgh drool..

  14. Jerry says:

    Hmmm…went tp Racor and looked at their lift – it looks exactly like the ones I have mounted in my garage. Got both pair at HF a couple years back. The good? They are pretty strong, pretty inexpensive and they do work. The bad? The included “rope” seems to be far too small for the pulleys so jumps off rather easily and regularly. When raising or lowering a bike, it does not remain level so you have to pull or push at one wheel to keep it level. The hooks are pretty weak which is good since you will need to bend them a little for a solid fit on the bike.

  15. Pruitt says:

    It still involves lifting, but I have hooks on the wall to easily mount the bike RACK by hanging it upside down. Then I hang the bike on the arms and kill two birds with one stone. Rack and bikes are off the floor and out of the way.

  16. Fong says:

    Around here, among condos and townhouses, there’s this horizontal soffit that goes across the middle of the garage. It’s at the right hight to screw some hooks into the side and hang the bike upside down by the wheels. The screws are parallel to the floor & loaded in shear. I’ve been using them regularly for 4 years with no problems. It hangs on the side of the garage door which is normally dead space anyway as anything thicker than a bike would hit the door when rolled up.

    http://www.amazon.com/Racor-Ladder-26204-Utility-Storage/dp/B0026KNIG0

    I had considered pulleys but it seemed overly complex for my space.

  17. Paul D. says:

    I took the Park Tool basic course a few years ago at one of the better shops in town. They had all of their bikes in storage hanging from the inexpensive vinyl hooks. Pretty much every type of bike available, including some very high end stuff because the owner had part of his collection in there.

    Cheap and simple appeals to me, plus they take up very little space. When I lived in an apartment I used to have a bracket that held the front wheel and folded against the wall when not being used, but really didn’t work any better than a hook.

  18. tavis says:

    I mounted a rubbermaid fasttrack rail and use their vertical bike hooks:
    http://www.rubbermaid.com/Category/Pages/ProductDetail.aspx?Prod_ID=RP091292
    I can fit 5 bikes on the wall in the width of a single car garage.
    When you use that rack that holds the top tube, put a toe strap around the downtube and front wheel to keep the wheel out of the way.

  19. Fong says:

    A quick note about that double arm hanger you have in the photo: I have that same one over my trash bins. It’s only long enough to hold a road bike. Mountain bike bars push the frame too far from the wall. Just an FYI.

  20. Sprague says:

    I ran across this blog post some time ago. Pretty neat way to hang a bike – sort of treating it as art:

    http://knifeandsaw.wordpress.com/bike-shelf/

    This idea could be handy too:

    http://www.bikerumor.com/2010/05/11/the-j-hickey-bike-stand-lets-your-lazy-bicycle-hang-around-anywhere/

  21. Rich says:

    I always thought the Dero Track Rack would be good for my larger family:

    http://www.dero.com/products/track_rack/track_rack.html

    …but it’s certainly overkill for one or two bikes.

  22. Art says:

    For my son’s old very heavy steel MTB (at least 70lbs+) I installed the pulley type system. That works well enough though I swear I have the guide rope threaded wrong since it’s a PITA to get back down (it’s the safety mechanizm that’s causing the issue). For both my lighter road and MTB bikes (under 30lbs) I just use those screw in vinyl ‘J’ hooks right into the ceiling. I have one style of those single hook wall bracket things and I used it for two different bikes. The heavy MT got moved to the pulley system and kids dirt bike was ok with it but they seemed too wobbly for use with an expensive bike.

  23. Slow Joe Crow says:

    How about sacrificing some wall/floor area for one of the Delta racks that leans against the wall and stacks two bikes?
    I just park everything on floor stands and use ceiling hooks for my spare wheels, but my wife prefers to park in the driveway so our garage is only for two wheeled vehicles.

  24. Miss Francine says:

    I have two bikes. I commute back and fourth from work. I use hooks and hang them from the rafters. Its a good workout lifting them on and off the hooks. If you know what I mean.

  25. Brad Justinen says:

    i use hooks and hang them by the front wheel from the rafters.

  26. B Wright says:

    One word of caution on hanging bikes upside down. If you have a mountain bike or cyclocross bike with hydraulic disc brakes and/or a suspension system, DO NOT store your bike upside down. The ability to stop a moving bike may be overrated at times, but it’s still good to know it can happen in a pinch. 😉

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