Guest Post – How To Store Your Bike, Easy DIY Bike Racks
Our first guest post comes from Shawn Mcafee over at Texas Mountain Bike Trails. Check out his blog where he not only has great information about Texas trails but also tons of awesome tips for any mountain biker.
How are you currently storing your bikes? Are they just laid up against the side of a wall or in your garage? Or have you been searching for a bike rack to help store them only to be devastated by looking at the price tag on it. Nothing to fear, today I want to show you how to create 2 DIY bike racks. DIY means “do it yourself” and these are also cheap! Check out the video below and you’ll see exactly how I built not 1, but 2 cheap and easy bike stands. If you can’t see the video, click here to view it on the YouTube channel.
Why do you need a good bike rack or stand?
Think about it, that cherished bike that you love to ride so much spends more time hanging out waiting for you to ride it than it does actually on the trail or road. That’s not a knock against you or how much you ride, its just fact. You have to sleep, work, eat and can’t be riding your bike 24/7 even though we would all like to. Sure, you can lean it up against a wall or a piece of furniture, but that takes up awkward space and your bike could easily fall over. And in my experience, when I have to lean my bike up against something it’s often times not that convenient to get to or to work on. Wouldn’t it be better to have a dedicated space for your bike where it’s not taking up valuable space but is still convenient to get to? That’s why you need a good bike rack.
The problem with retail bike racks
So you need a rack, but now what kind? If you check out the local bike shop you will find several varieties, most range from $50 or $60 all the way up to $3-400. Personally I don’t want to spend that kind of money on a bike rack. Remember, I’m all about keeping costs down in this often times incredibly expensive sport. My favorite example of a crazy high price tag is the VeloGrip Bike rack. It is a beautiful system for hanging your bikes upright against a wall where they are easily stored out of the way. I love the idea of this rack, it has a storage shelf, it holds multiple bikes and you can even store extra wheels as well! But this VeloGrip bike rack also costs $250+. There is no way I can afford that. That’s why I set out to build my own. Sure, it’s not as pretty as the VeloGrip with their multiple color options and slick paint job but it works just as well and it costs 1/5th the price.
VeloGrip DIY Bike Rack
This bike rack was really simple to build and is great for keeping the more seldom used bikes out of the way. My wife for instance greatly prefers road riding and so her mountain bike unfortunately doesn’t get used that often. This rack keeps it out of the way and yet very neatly stored. Here’s the materials you need.
- 1 6 foot iron or lead pipe
- 3-5 Husky Hang-All straps
- 2 or 3 heavy duty shelf supports
- Heavy duty zipties
- 3-5 metal O-rings
- 3-5 metal S-hooks
- 3-5 metal caribeaners (optional)
I had to do some digging on this to find a suitable replacement for the VeloGrip brand velcro straps that wrap around the wheels. But finally I found the Husky Hang All straps available at The Home Depot for about $5 a strap. I chose the 36 inch version, which in hindsight may have been too long and I would probably recommend the 24 inch. All in all, the materials for this rack only cost me $60. Mount the heavy duty shelf supports to the wall, and make sure you mount them into a stud. Lay the iron pipe over the top of the shelf supports hooks and then slide the O-rings onto the pipe. Once the O-rings are in place use the zipties to secure the iron pipe to the shelf supports. Finish it off by hooking the Husky Hang-All straps to the S-hooks and caribeaners. Your DIY VeloGrip bike rack is ready to use! This has been a great bike rack for our family and I really like the way it allows the bikes to swivel sideways to take up less space. It does not however make it a convenient place to store a bike that I ride frequently. I inevitably still leaned my bike up against my workbench or a wall after a ride because I knew that I would be back on it the next day and didn’t want to go to the trouble of hanging it up.
PVC Bike Rack
So I got to looking online and found a few examples of PVC bike racks that looked to be very secure and convenient, made a few modifications for mountain bike tires and built it up. Click Here To Download Blueprints This is a great rack for convenient access to my daily rider and it looks terrific with the paint job. The best part is that it only cost about $10 to build, PVC is super cheap! I will admit that my 29″ tires are a little bit snug and I may make some adjustments in the future so that they better fit in this rack. My roadbike and other 26 inch mountain bike tires fit perfectly though. Here’s the materials you need to make this.
- 1 10 foot piece of PVC
- 8 90 degree PVC elbow joints
- 6 T-shaped PVC elbow joints
- A measuring tape or ruler
- A hand saw, skil saw or PVC cutters
- A sharpie
- Spray Paint (optional)
- PVC cement (optional)
Start off by cutting your PVC pipe down to the lengths you will need. Measure out each length with your ruler and mark it with you sharpie. Then take your saw or PVC cutters and cut along that mark. You will need the following lengths of PVC in order to make a bike rack for 1 bike
- 2 – 23″ lengths
- 2 – 14″ lengths
- 4 – 7″ lengths
- 3 – 2.5″ lengths
- 2 1.25″ lengths
Once you have all of your pieces cut, just adjoin them using the 90 degree elbows and T-shaped elbows. PVC is great because it’s like adult legos, just snap them together and your pretty much done! I chose to paint my rack to give it a little extra style and also chose to use PVC cement for a more permanent seal between pieces.
I’m really happy with how both of these DIY bike racks came out. They are very functional, convenient and best of all cheap to create. Certainly, these aren’t perfect by any means and especially the Velogrip knock-off could use some prettying up. I would love to hear your thoughts on how these DIY bike racks work out for you if you try them or if you have other ideas that could be just as great. Leave your thoughts in the comments below. Edit** One of our readers, Lars, mentioned in the comments that there is a similar rack to what I have built on Amazon for only $16! THAT IS NUTS! You can check it out through this link. Be aware though and read the reviews of it. According to the reviews it only fits some bikes, many 26″ MTB’s with disc brakes don’t seem to fit and I would be doubtful that a 29er would fit. But it is a great deal for road bikes or disc-less MTB’s.