Figuring out how to store your bike(s) at home can be a great pain in the butt. Many garages are so tiny that simply leaning them against the side of the wall will hardly leave any space for your car. Besides, storing it as is makes it unstable and dangerous to your car’s finish or any other precious belongings should it topple over.
Add the rest of the family’s bikes to the picture, and you have a domino-effect disaster waiting. Keeping in mind that the cherished bike that gives you so many hours of outdoor entertainment spends more time waiting for you than on being on the road, it is only fair that it should have a decent place to “sleep.” Unfortunately, for many of us, the high price tag connected to purchasing a bike rack is a great deterrent to giving our bikes the storage they deserve. This is why a DIY bike rack is such a great solution.
Homemade bike racks are cheap and often easy to do. You don’t need to be a do-it-yourself expert for many designs, so choose one that you feel comfortable trying out. And set a weekend aside for this project to ensure you finish it, as the last thing you want is to have materials and tools lying around, taking up even more space.
Standing DIY Bike Racks
To create a standing homemade bike rack, it doesn’t matter what material you use. The secret is creating a slot that will sufficiently support the bike’s wheel or frame to prevent it from toppling over. If your bike doesn’t have a built-in lock, you may also want to look at a solution allowing you to chain the bike to the rack. Here are some standing DIY bike rack ideas:
PVC Pipe Bike Rack
The PVC pipe bike rack is one of the most popular diy bike rack designs because it is so cheap, requires the minimum amount of tools, and looks very professional. You can adjust this design to fit as many bikes as you want and extend it later on as the family grows. The basic things you will need for a PVC bike rack are a bunch of pipes, enough elbow joints to cover all the corners you are planning, and a saw to cut the pipes to different required lengths (you can even have this done at the hardware store if you don’t have the tools).
Using PVC pipes, it is easy to create your design, from a basic, slanted design to a triangular shape that can fit bikes from both sides. People with pickup trucks also often install these racks on the back because they are so stable. There is even a PVC pipe design that will hold both your bike and your surfboard simultaneously.
Pallet Bike Rack
Looking at a wooden pallet, you will discover it already makes a great bike rack. All you need is to have two of them, one positioned at an angle against the wall, with the other on the floor. Find a way to attach the two securely, and voila! You are done. You can still give the pallets a coat of paint if you like funky colors or do a wooden gloss finish to provide some extra weatherproofing, but these are all cosmetics. The crux of the matter is that pallets already have slots, allowing you to store a few bikes with this design.
Tire Bike Rack
If you have connections in the old car tire business or know about a cheap junkyard around the corner, old car tires make for a great outdoor bike rack. All you need to do is dig holes and plant the tires in the soil, leaving half of the tire sticking out. Position them so as to leave a slot between two tires for every bike you want to store. Tires are already weatherproof and will require no maintenance, plus they are cheap to come by and convenient.
Wooden Bike Rack
If you like woodwork, you can always create your wooden bike rack. Opt for a design similar to the popular PVC pipe racks to accommodate more than one bike, or create a beautiful work of art in the shape of a file holder that will fit the bike’s wheel if you want to store one or two bikes indoors. If you have a thick, old heavy tree stump lying around, this also makes for a great bike rack – grab a chainsaw and create a slot that will fit your bike. If you have some woodworking skills, you can create a wall-mounted wooden rack.
If space is an issue, hanging your bike might be a better solution than creating a bike rack where it is standing up. Many interesting homemade bike rack designs will allow you to hang your bikes in your garage or living room. Your bike is your pride and joy, and displaying it prominently in your house will turn it into a great conversation piece.
A very simple solution is to bolt two hooks onto the wall that can hold the crossbar of your bike. This is, however, not a great solution for alternative-frame bikes, such as women’s, children’s, bicycles, and e-bikes.
Another ingenious design is the bike rail which can be likened to a clothing rail, where you hang bikes by their front wheels. Simply install a rail that can take some weight and purchase some Husky Hang-all straps to hang from the rail. When you get home from a bike ride, you lift the front wheel of the bikes and fasten them using Velcro straps.
Ledge With Straps
With this hanging design, you use smallish wooden planks to create a ledge to balance the bikes’ wheels. At the height of the bike’s top cross bar, you fasten a hang-all strap to keep the bike in place against the wall. Using this system, you can hang up to three bikes atop one another, depending on the height of your wall.
This is not exactly a homemade bike rack, but still a great DIY storage solution if your space is limited. If you want only to store one or two bikes and want them completely out of the way, you can use a pulley system to pull up against the ceiling. You release the pulley and let it slide down gently whenever you need to use the bike.
There are many creative solutions to create your homemade bike rack, which will save you a lot of money and maybe even allow you to recycle some unused items. Which option you choose depends on your individual needs, the space available at your home, and your DIY skills.
I love the outdoors and I'm fortunate enough to be able to spend most of my free time exploring it with my mountain-bike. In my spare time, I write reviews and guides for Rackmaven.