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I'm planning to build a bike rack to store several bikes on the floor of my garage. Does anyone have plans for such a rack? We have a circular saw and a drill and the usual hand tools, but no router, so nothing too fancy, please! Something that can be made inexpensively from 2x4's and 1x3's would be ideal.

Edit: Hanging bikes on the walls isn't an option for me, I'm looking for floor rack designs only.

Edit2: After Gary.Ray's answer below, I came up with this: alt text

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this seems hard to answer. Do want "ideas" or actually plans? It would be good to build a wooden rack to mimic the parktools stands. Maybe a DIY site can help.. –  fady Sep 27 '10 at 19:37
    
The question asks for plans, not ideas. I edited the title to reflect that. –  Neil Fein Sep 27 '10 at 21:14
    
Companion question: How to join 2x4s without mitering? –  Neil Fein Sep 29 '10 at 19:04
    
I would add a vertical support just so the bikes don't fall over. Implicit in these designs is that what stops the bikes falling is either a third contact on the floor or the thickness of the top longitudinal supports. Either way it's a bending force on your wheel/rim. But in the first case making sure the thing is firmly attached to the floor is necessary, and my preference is to put a sheet of plywood under it (attached to it) so I don't mark the floor or have to bolt the thing down. –  Мסž Apr 20 '11 at 22:50
    
I made a similar rack using a pallet except the pallet is leaned against a wall at about 45 degrees. It's a bit tricky to get the gap sizing perfect since most spokes are wider than the tire width. Would love to see a picture of what you finally come up with! –  Rob Barreca Apr 7 at 8:32
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6 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

This link doesn't have printable plans, but a small pic and a detailed description. Basically it's a connected set of slots that sit on the floor. I've seen slot-based racks at triathlons lately.

If you are willing to expand your materials to PVC, I have built 4 racks that are variations of this plan. I think this has three advantages over wood:

  • PVC is inexpensive and light weight
  • It's easy to work with - you can leave some pieces unglued and the rack becomes collapsible
  • Like the link, I build mine to custom fit in the back of a truck - allowing it to double as a floor and truck rack.

Basically, the key concept for a floor rack is a slot approx the same width as the tire, with a little room to spare for the spokes. The slot can be horizontal like the wood plan, diagonal like the PVC plan, or vertical like the typical pipe rack found on city streets. Good luck, it sounds like a fun project.

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That's one of the more interesting ideas I've seen; I hadn't thought of this kind of rack. I could vary the width of the slots -- we've got everything from cruisers to folding bikes to road bikes. I can see doing something like this out of wood as well. –  Neil Fein Sep 30 '10 at 6:18
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Looks like it might end up being expensive, but easier to construct. The plans have 34 T joins and 9 elbows. At $2 a piece, that would come out to $86 just for the joints. It would be much cheaper to build it out of wood. –  Kibbee Apr 17 '13 at 12:50
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A quick search for "Bike Storage" on Instructables gives me somewhere in the region of a 100 results (not all of them are relevant obviously) which are listed here. You may get further with a different search.

Something like the Bike Tree might be what you're looking for:

alt text

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Based on your illustration you could find a wooden pallete that is the right size to hold the front wheels of your bikes. You can find wooden pallets in skips or building sites and if you ask nicely, they're usually free. It requires little DIY work other then a few coatings of water resistant wood dye

http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/9074/woodenpallets4.jpg

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This is extremely clever. I'd likely have to move the middle strut a bit so the wheels would clear, but if I see one of these being discarded I'll definitely snag it. –  Neil Fein Apr 23 '11 at 16:17
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I tried making a bike rack like the original poster's sketch, but wasn't satisfied with the result. The bikes aren't very stable because the rack only holds the bottom part of the wheel. It works much better to make the slots vertical instead of horizontal, so almost the full height of the wheel is supported.

I happened to have some six-foot long 2x4s and some 30-inch 2x4s. I butted them together and nailed them into a box, with the two long pieces forming the top and bottom of the rack, and the short pieces vertical. The bottom piece rests on the floor. I spaced the vertical pieces at varying distances to accommodate different widths of tires.

Very simple bike rack

This rack (barely) stands up by itself, but becomes stable when you have at least one bike inserted into each side of the rack.

enter image description here

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If you don't mind punching some holes into the wall, the style my roomy and I have in our living room is very space efficient, and quite cheap.

alt text

It is basically a 2x4 screwed to the wall, with hooks placed into it at a 45 degree angle. Because we both ride year-round, we put plastic don to save the walls, but being in the garage this may not be necessary. The plastic does make a good white-board, however (garage decorations!). Basically the wheel at the top is in contact with both the hook and the wall, and the bottom wheel is touching the wall. Alternating hanging the bikes by the front and rear wheel means you can put the hooks closer together, and put more in the same space. It is a very strong design, with ~8 drywall screws holding it to the wall. Strong enough to hold a Big Dummy (though the rear end of the Big Dummy does sit on the carpet), a Pugsley, and 3 other bikes.

The size of hooks may vary. For example, I have a large one for my Pugsley:

alt text

The plastic we used is also very cheap. I think it was ~15$ for 100 feet of the stuff. We plan to replace the plastic once it gets dirty, and I estimate the sheet we have will last 4-5 years. We also used patches of duck-tape where the tires hit the plastic in order to prevent the tires from wearing through too quickly (especially important for the bikes with studded tires).

The most expensive part of the build was the hooks, the most expensive of which were ~15$ (going from memory).

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Is it weird to say I'm jealous of your living room? –  Brock Boland Sep 27 '10 at 18:04
    
A bit weird, yes. –  Jack M. Sep 27 '10 at 20:58
    
how wide is your spacing between hooks? Just curious since I have a similar setup and have been fighting them being too close or too far. –  Benzo Apr 22 '13 at 12:07
    
I believe they sit around 18" apart. However, they also flip from front wheel up to front wheel down. This helps the bars from impacting. –  Jack M. Apr 23 '13 at 14:56
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My first bike rack design (see my other answer to this question) was easy to make and held a lot of bikes. It was also free-standing, which is a necessity for those with no available wall space.

Still, there were two problems. First, it took a lot of floor space in my garage, 6 feet by 11 feet. Second, there wasn't a good way to use the air space above the bikes. Therefore, I built Bike Rack 2.0. The basic idea was to design a free-standing frame upon which to hang the bikes vertically from hooks. A roof would provide space for boxes of bike parts, wide enough for two copier-paper boxes to fit across the top yet not be so tall that the boxes hit the roll-up garage door. It had to be easy to make by a not-very-skilled carpenter like me.

My free standing bike rack

Besides the above concerns, this design was driven by the available materials. I happened to have some old fence posts, approximately 3.5" square. Four of them were 6 feet long after I cut off (most of) the rotten, termite-infested parts that were underground. The other two were pressure-treated lumber, approximately 8 feet long. I also had a number of 2x4s of varying lengths.

Conveniently, I determined that I could hang each of my bikes from a hook screwed into a beam 6 feet off the ground without the bottom tire touching the floor. If you ride larger than 56-cm or have a long wheelbase bike, you may need to make your bike rack a few inches taller than mine.

The bikes hang on hooks screwed into the bottom of each of two parallel horizontal beams. They hang at an angle, with some overlap. 36-inches of separation between the horizontal beams allowed the bikes to hang without bumping, but since your mileage may vary I encourage you to make your own measurements.

List of materials:

Frame:

  • four 6-foot fence posts, approximately 3.5" square
  • two 8-foot fence posts
  • four 6-inch x 1/4-inch bolts, the cheapest available, about 50 cents each at Home Depot
  • eight washers, two for each bolt,
  • four nuts, one for each of the bolts
  • twelve bike hooks (78 cents each from Home Depot, where they are described as Crown Bolt 25 lb. Screw-In Bicycle Hook). Note that these hooks are rated for 25 pounds. If your bikes weigh more than this, you should use a different hook. I hung my 50-pound English 3-speed from one of these hooks, but who knows if this is safe? These other bike hooks are rated for 40 pounds, but they cost more than double the price.

Bracing:

  • two 6-foot 2x4s
  • six 3-foot 2x4s
  • two 6-foot 2x2s
  • nails

Top deck:

  • several 3-foot x 1/2-inch planks

Tools:

  • Drill
  • 3/4" spade drill bit
  • 1/4" drill bit
  • 7/8" drill bit
  • 1/2" chisel
  • Saw
  • Socket wrench
  • Hammer
  • Tape measure
  • Square

enter image description here

Step 1: Make two large frame members, out of the fence posts. The 8-foot long post sits horizontally on top of two vertical 6-foot posts. Join them using draw bolt joints, as pictured here:

enter image description here

Begin by using the spade drill bit to drill a horizontal 3/4" hole a little more than half way through each vertical 6-foot beam, centered 2 3/4 inches from the end of the post. Use the chisel to square off the side of the hole that will receive the lower washer.

enter image description here

Now drill a vertical 1/4" hole through the top beam and the end of the vertical beam. The hole needs to end up intersecting the horizontal 3/4" hole in the vertical beam. Having the horizontal hole already in place gives you a target to aim for when you make this vertical hole. Using a long drill bit makes it easier to aim.

Counterbore the hole in the top beam. Insert the bolt with a washer. On the other end add another washer and nut.

enter image description here

It was challenging to get the lower nut onto the end of the bolt, inside the horizontal hole. To do this I wrapped some tape around the end of the screwdriver, sticky side out. I used this to position the nut at the end of the bolt, while I tightened with the socket wrench. When I discovered that the horizontal hole was too small to get a wrench on the end, I jammed the screwdriver between the nut and the edge of the hole and managed to keep the nut from turning while I tightened the bolt.

Step 1 was by far the most time-consuming for me. An experienced wood worker with better tools might find this easy, but it took half of my construction time (1 of 2 days) to figure out how to do this and bolt the fenceposts together.

Step 2: Nail the two pieces together using 36-inch 2x4s. To hold them in place during assembly, I leaned one of them against the wall, and tied the other one to a ladder using some old inner-tubes.

The result resembles a long, narrow table 6 feet tall. I put one 2x4 at floor level, another 2x4 in the middle, and a third 2x4 on top of each end of the horizontal beam. The lower 2x4s go on the inside; if the long diagonal went on the inside it would create more interference with the bike that hangs next to it.

Step 3: Nail a diagonal 6-foot 2x4 cross brace across each of the narrow ends. This increases the stiffness of the frame by a surprisingly (to me, anyway) large amount.

Step 4: Nail a horizontal 2x2 at floor level to connect each of the legs for stiffness in the long dimension. Originally I used 2x4s here, but they interfered with a couple of my very long wheelbase bikes. The 2x2s provide just enough clearance for these bikes.

enter image description here

Step 5: Attach the hooks to the bottom of one horizontal beam. I put the first one 5 inches away from the end, and then spaced them 10 inches apart. This was wide enough for me to hang my bikes without bumping, as long as I alternated one with the front wheel up and the next with the front wheel down.

Step 6: Attach the hooks to the bottom of the other horizontal beam. Place these hooks so the bikes on this side hang between the bikes hanging on the other beam. For me, the first hook went 10 inches away from the end, with the remainder spaced 10 inches apart. A 7/32" drill bit makes the right sized hole for the hooks to go in snugly.

Step 7: Add the planks to the top. I just laid them on top, where by accident they fit snugly between the two 2x4s that are nailed across the top beams. If the planks move around when I'm getting boxes down from there, I'll glue them in place.

Because I used lumber on hand, the cost of materials was about $12 (mostly for the hooks). Then I spent $18 more for some spray to treat the termite-infested end of the fencepost; if I did it over again I'd probably ask my neighbors to see if any of them had an old fencepost that was pest-free.

Oh, and though I forgot to mention it earlier, you should wear safety glasses before pounding on things and maybe a dust mask or respirator if you're going to drill pressure-treated lumber or spray bug killer.

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