Saturday, October 11, 2014
|Lots of bikes don't necessarily have to take up lots of space.|
Be forewarned, technical bike nerdery ahead. If you choose to follow the instructions, any outcome is your own risk and responsibility. Please don't attempt any construction if you are not confident in your skills.
Imagine that, one way or another, you've found yourself in a situation where you own more bikes than all your neighbors combined. Or, perhaps, you have a more culturally acceptable quantity of bikes (maybe shockingly as few a one), yet still find that you have more bikes than space for bikes. Alternately consider the not so farfetched possibility that you need to spatially justify a bike acquisition in order to maintain domestic tranquility.
In each of these cases, a better plan for bike parking could improve your life. Fortunately, a good solution is both cheap and easy, using utility hooks available at any hardware store, a few long screws, and some 2x4 or 2x6 scrap wood. You'll also need a drill, a saw, and some other common tools as needed.
|The larger type hook on the left allows passage of fatter tires more readily, has a larger diameter steel core, and has a tougher coating than the standard type hook on the right. Bigger is better.|
|Alternating bars up/bars down for orderly and efficient bike hoarding.|
The first step is to measure the length of wall where you'd like to hang your bikes. You'll need at least 20 linear inches of wall for every bike you want to hang. It may require even more space if your bikes have especially wide handlebars, which is the main determining measure. The minimum height of the wall is the length of your bike plus about 8+ inches, so as to keep the bottom tire off the floor when hung.
Next, is to measure and drill holes in the wood in which the utility hooks will be installed. In my experience, a distance between holes of approximately 18 to 20 inches works well to maximize used space while maintaining relative ease of bike removal when hanging bikes in an alternating bars up/bars down pattern. Therefore, the length of wood you'll need can be calculated as in the following example for a 3-bike rig with hooks spaced 20" apart:
- 3" (edge to first hook)
- + 20" (first hook to second hook)
- + 20" (second hook to third hook)
- + 3" (third hook to edge)
- = 46" board length
Remember, the linear length of wall you'll need is longer than the board length, to accommodate the handlebars of the outer bikes. In this example, the wall will need to be at least 60 linear inches.
|I used three 3 1/2" deck screws anchored in a wall stud to attach the 2x6 board to the wall. The more studs, the better, as they say.|
|Note the hook angled downward.|
|I installed these hooks about 18.5" apart on center, in the days before the wide bars that I now so enjoy. I'd lean more toward 20" apart if I were to rebuild.|
|Two 29ers with 750+ mm wide handlebars are a little snug on hooks 18.5" on center. I may respace the hooks to be a bit further apart.|
|Pugsley peacefully coexisting with my 30 year-old Miyata. Wide bars on both.|
|Fatties fit fine.|
|These hefty old Schwinns hang just fine.|