'The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because He loves what is behind him.' -G. K. Chesterton

02 October 2012

Bike Rack

Lu and I are avid bicyclists, both on and off road. We currently have bikes for both disciplines which means four bicycles to store when not in use. My garage/shop is 32 feet long but only 14 wide. Which means it can tend to be a bit crowded. Especially when one is hip deep in a complete house renovation that will take a year and a lot of tools and materials. Yes, I am a bit...disorganized. I needed to get those bikes out of the way and off my floor.

Time for a bike rack. But for anyone who knows me or has read my DIY project write ups you know I don't go for simple. Oh no. Complex and needlessly difficult are my hallmarks. So.

I decided the bikes would fit best on a wall so I started with a 4x8 sheet of Oriented Strand Board (OSB). I mounted it against a wall. This will form the base of my Bicycle Storage System. Note the adjacent shelf for bicycle paraphernalia such as tubes, helmets, etc. Later I'll get a bike vise which will go on the other side of the rack.

Ok. I wanted to hang the bikes on a hook system mounted to the OSB. I went with rebar because it's both easy to work with and very cheap. In fact the local steel shop had an 8 foot length laying around that they gave me for free. I wanted 3/8s but this is 1/2. Hey free is free.

First up, a way to mount the rebar hooks to the OSB. I cut and welded two Z hooks together. (Yes, that is my case tumbler back there. I do my case cleaning outside. See Brigid? I actually listened to your good advice. Proof that old dogs really can learn new tricks.). Please bear in mind that my welding is pretty much the same as my view on life. Bull your way through and more is better. Pretty my welds are not but I get there by sheer exuberance and stubbornness. Besides, I have a perfectly good grinder right there.

I measured how far up the OSB I needed the rack to be and drilled two 3/4 inch holes. The Z brackets fit into the holes and lock down with the weight of the bikes.

I test fitted the brackets to make sure I got it right and measured for a small nub at the bottom which will keep the bracket parallel to the OSB.

The final brackets.

And this is how they look installed. The top of the Z bracket locks in to the back of the OSB and holds everything up. Very secure.

From there I welded in a cross piece to tie the two brackets together and give me a way to mount the hooks for the bikes.

Time for the hooks. I wanted 3/8s rebar so I could bend some J hooks. I got 1/2 inch instead. And my oxygen tank is currently empty. And I have absolutely zero patience. And I love to weld. And I'm not the brightest light in the night sky. So I cut and welded up four J-ish hooks instead and then welded them to the cross bar in the mount.

Here's the finished rack mounted to the OSB. Note that the two hooks on the left face right and the two on the right face left. They're also at slightly different angles to limit bicycle entanglement when they're all mounted. I wrapped the J-hooks with black electrical tape because it works well and I'm really cheap. The hooks are at a height that Lu can easily access. She's a shortie you know. Love you sweetie :)

Time to try it out. The bike wheel hooks under the J-hook and both tires lay flat against the OSB. This is our biggest bicycle (No fat guy jokes!) so if the hooks hold it they'll hold the others easily.

It all looked good so it was time to put it to the real test. All four bikes. They go in alternating rear and front wheels in the J-hooks so everything fits neatly.

Not too bad. I'm able to fit in 4 full sized bicycles in a four foot wide space that only juts into my garage about another four feet. Some of you who are sharper eyed may notice that the top of the OSB is leaning out just a bit. That was an oversight on my part. The center two cross braces in the building framing are 4 inches while the top is 2. I later corrected it by putting two long bolts through the top of the OSB and into the top brace. The top is now straight and supported.

All in all I'm pleased with how it turned out. It may not be the most elegant design and it certainly could be done better but it works well and cost me a grand total of 8 bucks for the OSB and a couple of hours of time. The bikes are easy to mount and take down and keep them away from the main shop area.

Of course there's costs and then there's costs. Remember kids, welded stuff gets kinda hot. Best not to touch it. Or blunder stupidly into it whilst tripping over crap you've left on the floor. Not that that's what happened to me. Nope. Just saying is all.

Hey, if I didn't bleed while doing it it's not a true Six project.



Paladin said...

Awesome design, and nice how-to!. I'd hate to think of how you'd look at my workshop if you think you're disorganized :) My workshop is a reflextion of my mind - cluttered with all sorts of odd and interesting "stuff" but none of it where it's supposed to be.

The body scaring is a rite of passage for metal workers. I've got lots of scars from my days puttering around as a blacksmith.

Six said...

Thanks Paladin! Coming from a man who's DIY skills I greatly admire and respect that is a compliment I really appreciate.

Brigid said...

A most excellent project and great details. Thanks!

Six said...

Thank you Brigid!

God, Gals, Guns, Grub said...

Cool idea... now if I could just hang up the motorcycles in the barn the same way, I'd free up some floor space...

Been there with the welder... I feel your pain...

Dann in Ohio

Six said...

Thanks Dann. If you figure out how to do it please let me know. 2 motorcycles equals at least 4 bicycles!

You know, you'd think I'd get smarter about working around hurty stuff but no.

Blue said...

Ya gots ta be more careful, man :)

Nice project! :)

Six said...

You ain't kidding Blue. Lu thinks I need a keeper.

instinct said...

Keeper hell, you need a full time nurse on staff!

Me said...

Come on back and make me a motorcycle rack like that!

Six said...

Amen Instinct!

Dann in Ohio had the same idea Car Guy. We need to work on that and patent the idea. We'll get rich!!

agirlandhergun said...

Man, you are so handy!

I need to make my garage bigger cuz Jayne won't fit and winter is coming....burr.

Six said...

Aw, shucks ma'am. Thanks!

And you guys get real Winter, not that sissy stuff we get here.

Lord Cedric said...

This is a very nice idea of having a racks for many bikes.