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 it against the side of the wall will hardly leave any space for your car. Besides, storing it as is makes it horribly 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 to happen. Keeping in mind that your cherished bike that gives you so many hours of outdoor entertainment actually 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 act as a great deterrent in giving our bikes the storage it deserve. Which is why a diy bike rack is such a great solution.
Homemade bike racks are cheap and often easy to do. For many designs you don’t need to be a do-it-yourself expert, so choose one that you feel comfortable with 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 really matter what material you use. The secret is basically to just create a slot that will support the bike’s wheel or frame sufficiently 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 that will allow 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 by far one of the most popular diy bike rack designs because it is so cheap, require the minimum amount of tools and the end result looks very professional. You can also adjust this design to fit as many bikes as you want and even extend it later on as the family grows. The basic things you will need for a PVC bike rack is 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 own 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 of the truck because they are so stable. There is even a PVC pipe design that will hold both your bike and your surfboard at the same time.
Pallet Bike Rack
Looking at a wooden pallet, you will come to discover that 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. Obviously you can still give the pallets a coat of paint if you are fond of funky colors, or simply 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 couple of bikes with this design.
Tire Bike Rack
If you have connections in the old car tire business or know about a cheap junk yard 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 in such a way to leave a slot in 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 are fond of wood work, you can always create your own 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 just 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 – simply grab a chain saw and create a slot in it that will fit your bike. If you’ve got some woodworking skills, you can even 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. There is a host of interesting homemade bike rack designs that will allow you to hang your bikes in your garage, or even in your living room. Your bike is your pride and joy, after all, 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 cross bar of your bike. This is however not a great solution for alternative-frame bikes, such as women’s and children’s bicycles.
Another ingenious design is the bike rail that 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 simply lift the front wheel of the bikes up and fasten them using the Velcro straps.
Ledge With Straps
With this hanging design you use smallish wooden planks to create a ledge on which to balance the bikes’ wheels. At the height of the bike’s top cross bar you then fasten a hang-all strap with which 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 really limited. If you want to only 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. Whenever you need to use the bike, you just release the pulley and let it slide down gently.
There are many creative solutions to create your own home made bike rack, which will save you a lot of money and maybe even allow you to recycle some unused items. Which option you choose will all depend on your individual needs, the space available at your home and your DIY skills.