For years our changing collection of bikes have been piled into the garage, some mounted on an old bracket, others just leaned up against another. But enough was enough and I finally decided to find a solution that suited my garage and our bike usage, and one that only costs a few pounds.
Ok, so this blog isn’t directly connected to audio trails, but I use my bike to explore and develop trails and I know I’m not the only one to struggle with the issue of satisfactorily storing bikes. I’m lucky that I have a garage, but for years I’ve just made do with, well, making do.
At this point it would have been useful to add a photo of how our bikes were stored, but just imagine your average garage with bikes dumped on top of each other and you’re pretty much there.
Now, one of my biggest problems is trying to choose a solution when so many options (for everything) exist on the market these days. When it comes to bikes I decided I needed something that allowed any of us (we are a family of five, which includes three teenagers) to easily access any one bike, over another. This meant no storage of one bike behind the other, or above the other. This last point more pertinent because of the (very nice) remote-controlled garage door we inherited that limits the available vertical space (even though that wall is abnormally high!). I also wanted to take up as little space out into the garage from the one wall we store our bikes as possible.
From when I last looked there were now A LOT of choices available. After spending a great deal of time browsing Google images I decided I felt the best option was to mount the bikes outward and vertically, and ideally at an angle like “the individual pages of a book”.
I was really taken by the velo hinge because it offered this option but at £25 each it felt just a little too expensive for five bikes. This is why I also ruled out the steadyrack too (which at £50ish was twice as expensive, albeit very nice). I did consider more static options like the Delta Leonardo bike rack or the Mottez bike hook and mounting them on 45º arris rails, fixed vertically (so they didn’t stick out as far into the garage), but it felt a bit clumsy and didn’t give me the flexibility of ‘pages’ where the bikes could be ‘turned’.
The bike rack solution
In the end, I went to Screwfix and bought 5 large Smith & Locke heavy duty hooks. I wasn’t 100% confident they would do the trick, especially as wheel/tyre sizes varied considerably, but for £1.79 each it was worth a punt. The result was surprisingly positive.
The first thing I noticed about these hooks is the thread is about 8-10mm and I’m not aware of, and certainly don’t have, any rawl plugs that big to be able to fix these straight into the garage wall. So, the obvious solution was to screw a piece of timber against the wall into which I could drill and then screw in the hooks, which were placed approximately 375mm (15″) apart. The 27.5″ and 29″ mtb wheels sit snuggly into these hooks and with the back wheel nestled against the wall they held firm. However, some of the other bikes have narrower wheels and when the front wheel is hung from these larger hooks the bike naturally twists. The solution was simple: twist the hook and voila, the bike stays in position, even at 45º to the wall. The solution really was as simple as that.
I’ve left writing this post for a few days in case any unexpected issues arose, but I’m pleased to report the bikes have stayed exactly where I hung them and each one is as easy to access as the other.
So with a 1.5 metre timber off cut, a few screws and a sub £9 investment I’ve been able to mount 5 bikes in the garage that can be accessed, and put back, with ease. So, before spending an unnecessary amount of money to hang your bikes in an accessible way why not give some simple hooks a shot. And then when you’ve done that why don’t you try out one of our GPS-triggered audio trails? Once you’ve pressed play and stuck some earphones in you can put your phone in your pocket and off you go.