Rack it up : Bike storage 101

Finding space efficient ways to store your bike, yet in an accessible manner is no joke. We moved to a new place, thats where it all started. From house to condo life – Bloody hell, where to put these bikes? how to put these bikes? Keeping a couple of bikes in a condo while being able to access them meant looking for efficient storage solutions, and with seemingly everyone making a storage rack there’s a lot of solutions out there. I needed something that was space efficient, looks decent – and perhaps something thats doesn’t require remodeling to install.

The majority of the solutions are wall mounted in some form, and there are a lot of wheel hook options, hanging your bike perpendicular to the wall. This is the least expensive way to go with many $20 and less, space efficient and medium difficulty to install. If this is the look you want and as long as you have a strong mounting surface or stud in the right place that you want to hang your bike.

 

WHEEL HOOK DESIGNS
Leonardo Da Vinci by Delta – Single Bike Storage Hook & Tray $20
A simple solution to storing a bike, it hangs by the front wheel on a well padded hook and tire guide and this design even comes with a small wall bumper for the rear wheel, so you don’t have tire marks – nice. This design relies on mounting to a solid wall or a secure stud in dry wall.

This dude above does a lot of stuff in his bedroom, including computing and looking at his bike when he wakes up. Prolly not my style, maybe yours!

Swing Up DX by Topeak $40
The Topeak Swing UP allows you to mount the bike by the front wheel and swing it to the side, a good space saving idea. A locking version is available also called the DX ($80).

 

Dali by Delta – Bike Hinge Hook & Tray $24.99
The Delta Dali does the same thing as the Topeak DX but with a slightly different look.

 

My biggest problem with this type of design is personal to the wall I was using – positioning and structure of my walls, let me explain –  the wall studs determine where you put this rack, and if your studs are not in a good position your bike could look like it’s jutting out into the middle of the room – sort of silly. The configuration of the room where I was to store my bike, didn’t have studs in the right places and made the hook style a not so good idea.

BIKE POLE SOLUTIONS
I looked at a few solutions that used a pole that spans from the floor to the ceiling hold the bikes horizontally but and holds it’s self in place using a spring and tension (think vertical certain rod). Topeak and Feedback Sports have a nice versions of this in the $200 range, it gets great reviews , holds two bikes and is very adjustable. Since the product uses compression / pressure to hold the rack in place you have to be aware of is how strong your ceiling is and what your floor type is. Carpets are not the best and thin dry wall ceilings definitely not the best, as there will be flex, the rack will loose tension and fall.

Velocolumn by Feedback sports $160

 

Dual Touch by Topeak $180

 

This lead me back to a wall mounted solution but instead of being perpendicular from the wall like in the hook rack (two wheels on the wall sticking straight out), I wanted my bikes to be parallel with the wall, (two wheels along side the wall, held by top tube)
Heading down the path there were quite a few options but two main catergories:. A mount that is screwed to the wall or a more furniture like that leans agains the wall.

 

LEAN TOO WALL RACKS
Michelangelo by Delta – Two Bike Gravity Storage Rack $80 , it leans against the wall and allows you to hold two bikes. It works on gravity and lean to keep your bikes in place. This is good in theory and I have seen them working well in practice, but for the amount of use my rack will get, loading and unloading and in the back of my mind, I don’t want to come home and find my bikes on the floor because it slipped.

 

Velocache by feedbacksports – freestanding 2 bike $170, instead of leaning against a wall this design has a 3 legged base to make a freestanding rack . It has a nice modern look, comes in black or silver and it doesn’t have to lean against a wall. The downside for me is the tripod base won’t fit super flush to a wall, it stands around 19″ away from a wall.

 

 

WALL RACKS (BIKE PARALLEL TO WALL)
The last option is racks that hold bikes parallel and are screwed to the wall.

Monet by delta -Single Bike Rack with Shelf $40
The Monet rack by Delta offers storage and a shelf for helmets or what not. The downside to me was that the bike stood 18″ off the wall and looked super industrial, maybe good for a garage but not for a condo. Too far for my liking. On the plus side, this rack folds flush to wall when not in use, a nice feature.

Delat_rackandshelf

 

Solo by Cycloc $100
Then there is also this little nifty design. It looks unique and is like a big plastic tub. Rather expensive at $100 but it does have a unique look and comes in various colours, when you want to get all pop-tastic. The anti plastic guy in me could not part with $100 for in inexpensive polypropylene bike rack that seemed bigger than it needed to be. The nice thing that they do market about this model is the use of a U lock with it. Im sure thats not unique but they are the only ones that speak to that situation.

Pablo by Delta – Two Bike Rack with Shelf $40
The Pablo rack from Delta, I liked the looks of this rack. It holds two bikes, so it sticks out from the wall pretty far, about 20″ and because it holds two bikes (max load 50lbs) it has to be very strong and has a very engineered look base plate that’s not that attractive, zoom in and see the uber mechanical look.

Pablo_rack_delta

Rosetti by Delta – Single bike mount $25 This rack’s price makes it very attractive and it sort of has a rudimentary pop style if that’s your style. Arms are adjustable to a certain extent but not as much as the Velo rack below. Things I did not like are the exposed mounting bolts, just like the other Delta racks, fine if it’s in your garage but in your living space – nope. This rack comes with a bonus hook to hang a helmet or jacket.

Delta_Rosetti

Velo Wall Rack 2d by Feedback Sports $39
The Velo rack 2d looks a sturdily engineered, it’s available in silver and black, and silver IMHO looks better. The advantage of this design is the adjustability. The steel arms can be positioned at different heights vertically (they slide up and down in the side channels in the aluminium base) which allows for sloping top tubes, and also the arms can be adjusted in length via tow bolts -meaning it can be adapted for wide or narrow handlebars. Because the arms can be adjusted in length, I liked this a lot, as it meant that I could mount my bike as close to the wall as possible. I also liked the covers on the mounting bolts and the aluminium finish instead of painted metal found on other racks.

 

HOW TO INSTALL
I chose the Feedback Sports Velo 2D Wall rack. Overall a lot of the wall mounted racks are good, it’s just the Feedback Sports design met my needed a little better. I needed, efficiency, adjustability and esthetic. now for getting it on the wall…

These steps generally apply to any wall mounted unit.

#1 – First things first. Quality mounting is a priority, you don’t want your bike to come crashing down. You need a solid surface or something to screw into, attaching to just drywall will not work, the load is too high. It needs to be on a stud and drywall. Get a good stud finder like a Zircon – they are around $15-$20 but well worth it. Follow thier instructions, Map your wall, the electrics and everything then find the studs that you are going to use to attach the rack to the wall. This is really important step. Measure twice and mark the wall well, indicating the middle of the studs, which is where you should mount. I found that I had metal studs – this means I cannot just screw into them, I have to drill holes and use toggle bolts that you will have to get from the hardware store. If you have wood studs the install will be a step simpler and you can use the mounting screws that come with the rack intended for regular wood studs.

#2 – Drill pilot holes holes, then larger holes for your toggle bolts to pass through. if mounting on a wooden stud, drill 1/8″ pilot holes.
I used 1/4 x 3″ toggle bolts, very robust and will support up to 120lbs – These require a 5/8″ hole and the toggle bolt backs onto the metal stud.

#3 – Metal studs – Ensure your holes have gone through the metal stud.  3a – mount the base plate to the wall with the toggle bolts or regular screws and snug down securely. Remember if using toggle bolts to get them the right way round, once in, the only way to go back is to unscrew and loose the toggle in the cavity, meaning you need a new bolt.

#4 –  On the Feedback Sports rack – Adjust the arms to the desired length and location. I set my bike up so the handlebars had 1/4″ from the wall. My bike has a slightly sloping top tube so the arm on the right was slightly vertically higher than arm on left. This is adjusted by the arm bolts on the side to slide up and down.

#5 Put on the endcaps, ensure bolts are snug. Don’t adjust parts of the rack with the bike on it. Always take bike off to make adjustment.

INSTALL PICS

install_01
You will also need a stud finder, appropriate size drills. Screwdriver etc.toggle_bolt
Anchor bolts shown attaching the base extrusion, black cap goes over the ends covering the bolts after installation.

arm bolts
Vertical position is adjusted  by loosening two bolts. Don’t do this with bike on.arm_adjust
Arm length adjustment, loosen bolts slide arm out as needed, then re tighten. This determines dow close the handle bars are to the wall. Here you can see the padded arm also and the way it is shaped to accommodate cables running on the top tube.mountedBy offsetting the arms to accommodate a sloping top tube

side
Handlebars are 1/4″ off the wall, still room for the pedals (about 3″) and cranks to rotate if you wanted to do a quick derailleur adjustment.I mounted the bike high so we could put furniture beneath at a later date. But you could double up on the wall mount and hold two.

FINAL IMPRESSIONS
The rack attaches to the wall very well and holds the bike solid, the main body is aluminium and the arms are pressed steel. After setup, which takes about 10 mins to adjust the arms, you are ready to go. A nice forgiving attribute about this Feedback Sports design is that you have 7.5″ of vertical adjustment in the arms after you have mounted the main body, so if you don’t quite mount it in the right vertical position, no to worry, the arms move a ton. The space efficiency is great and the rack holds the bike firm and as close to the wall as needed, it offers good range for skinny road bars to wide mountain bike bars. The aesthetic is pretty refined in this category and the hidden bolts and subtle details are nice. My bike goes on and off the rack three to four times a week and it’s easy and simple, retaining position and being very stable. This rack offers high value for money in a parallel to the wall design.

 

3 thoughts on “Rack it up : Bike storage 101

  1. I’ve got the hinge hooks but I mounted the hooks to a 2×8 and mounted the 2×8 to the wall so I didn’t have to worry about hitting studs with the plates. I get three bikes on the wall with minimal space required.

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