TCI Friday

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A few years ago, I bought a cheap bike rack for my basement. The walls down there are cinder block, and they don’t want hooks installed. The ceiling joists would work but hanging bikes can have deleterious effects on hydraulic disc brake performance. I was never one for the teetering pile of bikes leaned against each other, because spokes and derailleurs and I’m just not that kind of slob.

So, after looking at all manner of high-priced solutions, I opted for a cheap and cheerful little bent aluminum unit that has wheel space for 5 bikes. I think it was $35. I tried to confirm this by redoing the original search for “home bike rack” but I got a bushel of Amazon crap and the usual suspects like Home Depot and Walmart.

I can hear you thinking that 5 bikes worth is not enough, and you’d be right, but what I find is that I can slot in 5, and then thread 4 more in between those. I put the less-used family bikes at the back and high-use personal ones in the front and I’m good-to-go. A pair of rim brake bikes get hung above the rack, and we end up with a densely packed but stable and reliable storage unit.

It’s not perfect, and it’s not pretty, but it’s the basement. It’s secure against theft, easy on rust, and not in the way off all the other domestic nonsense my family gets up to.

I’m not dissatisfied with out setup, but I wish the ceiling down there were high enough to give me two tiers. I’m sure there’s a better way than our current approach. I’d love to have my own bike barn, but alas, we don’t have the space for any kind of barn.

This week’s TCI Friday wonders how you store your bikes? What products or approaches seem to work best? I am trying hard to keep our family bike inventory under 10, but you know how that goes.

This post and others are brought to you by the sympathetic souls at Shimano North America.

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  1. mattdwyerva says

    I have a 10×15 shed with a translucent roof that works ok but in at a point where I need to get rid of some stuff I don’t need so I can buy more stuff I don’t need.

    I hang the bikes and googling says hanging might be fine if you pump the brakes before riding off, but what do I know. Can we ask Shimano?

  2. papogi says

    I fit bikes in ways that works best for the particular location. I have one hanging in the basement from a single hook. I have one hanging in the garage from two hooks – one for each wheel. I have another hanging in the garage with two hooks in the same way, but I added an eye hook to the ceiling and some rope and a carabiner to hold the bike up, almost flat to the ceiling, so I can have plenty of headroom in that part of the garage. Of course, I don’t ride that bike very often. The constantly-used bikes get some floor space. It’s a challenge brainstorming new ways and places to store bikes.

  3. tcfrog says

    I am fortunate to have enough space that I could lean bikes against walls if I wanted to, but that’s a bit too messy for me. To combat the clutter, in my basement I have one of those tension racks goes from floor to ceiling and holds two bikes, and a 3-bike metal floor rack. In addition, I have 2 fold-down bike holders in my garage that get used in the summer, and 5 hooks on the garage ceiling that hold rarely-used bikes. In the summer, the metal floor rack moves to the garage, and bikes get moved around between storage spots as needed.

  4. tommilani says

    Five of our bikes are hanging; two are on the floor. What are the “deleterious effects” of hanging bikes with hydraulic disk brakes? Serious question. I’ve been hanging my gravel bike with GRX 810, but it’s easy enough to switch with one of the rim brake bikes.

    1. eborling says

      The deleterious effect can be a movement of air in the system from a place where it is OK to a place you don’t want it, resulting in absent or squishy brakes.

  5. eborling says

    Very timely. I just moved and about to build out the storage and workspace in my new garage. It is a 3-car with 11′ ceilings, so I do feel blessed. Have not yet decided how I am going to go about it, but I think hanging them vertically with a storage shelf above will be the route.

    At my old house, I have a 12x 20 shed that houses (and still does as it is now a rental) the bikes and pieces of bikes that see rare use. At some point they will come up to the new house, once I have shed space there too. For the bikes often ridden, I just hung them vertically by hooks in the ceiling or high on the wall.

    Regarding vertical hanging and hydraulic brakes, I have found (with both shimano and sram) no deleterious effects provided the brake levers don’t get squeezed while the bike hangs. If it does happen, usually by a friend fiddling while having a beer in the garage, pulling the wheel and spreading the pads seems to work as a sort of back-bleeding if repeated squeezes of the lever doesn’t do the trick.

  6. Jeff vdD says

    Hanging. Most are hydraulic. No ill effects in 5+ years.

  7. KTB says

    I hang mine by front or rear rim via sliding hooks on a ceiling mounted track I made for under $200. The track is about 8’ long so I can slide them well apart to pull out the one I want but when nested together I can store 5 bikes in less than 4’.

    1. eborling says

      I have recently seen this system and it looks really cool. Thanks for reminding me of it before I get started!

    2. KTB says

      Glad to jog your memory Eborling. For the track I used a length of standard sized Superstrut from Home Depot. For the trolleys just google Channel Trolley and lots of choices pop up. For the hooks I used the Park Tool #470.

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