Monday, June 05, 2006

My sub $40, 4 bike indoor rack

I made a bike rack a few months ago, and thought you folks might think this is interesting. Yeah, they make professional wall-mounted bike racks, they even sell them at Target. But this rack is better. Why? Because, it holds 4 bikes easily, in the space normally needed for 2 bikes, and it cost me less than $40 and only requires 2 small holes to be drilled into the wall to hold it up.

The parameters of the rack were that it 1) needed to hold 4 bikes. None of the wall mounted racks available can hold 4 bikes, usually only 2. 2) the bikes couldn’t stick out from the wall very far as the room is small. 3) no major holes going into the walls as this is an apartment and I want my deposit back. 4) I didnt want it to cost much.

This was a fairly simple project, after the idea was down on paper. And I think anyone with moderate skills could build this.

Materials required:
four 2x4’s,
two ¾” threaded rods that are 24” long and bolt hardware,
one ½” threaded rod and hardware,
2 steel plates
and some pipe insulation.

Tools needed:
¾” auger drill bit,
½” auger drill bit,
stud finder,
pliers/crescent wrench.

The basic premise is that two bikes are hung on each ¾” rod which comes out from the top of the structure. Also, the 1/2” rod is mounted on the rear beam of the rack to stop the tires from the left series of bikes to sway into the right series of bikes. I've attached a picture of the dimensions.

Here are some measurements (note: I am 6’3” and therefore my bikes are on the larger end, therefore these measurements should work for all bikes)

There are 2 height beams that are 72” tall each

There are 2 cross beams that are 66” wide each

The right threaded rod is 9” in from the right side of the structure

The left threaded rod is 12” in from the left side of the structure

The entire structure is 5 ¼ out from right wall.

Top of lower crossmember is 15.5” from the floor.

The entire unit can be placed on a wall that is at least 87” wide.

The crossmembers must be screwed onto the outside face of the beams (to allow room for the bolts on the backside of the threaded rods)

Threaded rods use 2 lock washers, 2 flat washers and one two bolts each.

The top crossmember carries all of the weight of the bikes, therefore, to minimize the amount of twist in the top crossmember, I bolted on a steel plate to the end joint of where the beam and the cross member meet.

Lastly, find the studs in your wall, and screw the unit directly into the stud----not just the sheetrock. I was only able to put 2 wood screws into the wall, but that has been fine thus far. A lot of the weight from the bikes is transferred to the floor. The wall screws are only there so that the unit stays attached to the wall (they don’t hold much weight).

Here's a picture of the lower rod holding the wheel of the left bike from hitting the right bike.

Under the structure, I’ve found that it’s a great place to store my cycling and running shoes, helmets, accessories, etc. Also, I have thought of adding a shelf above the bikes, mounted to this rack to aid in extra storage.

I have been using this for the past 3 months without any issues. In order to get 2 bikes per rod you need to put one bike’s front wheel in the rod and the other bike’s rear wheel. The picture only shows 2 bikes and 2 framesets in the rack, but it holds 4 bikes fine.

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