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At work we have hooks attached to the wall so that we can hang our bikes from the front wheel. They're effectively the same as these:

Bike racks

I see heaps of people struggling to lift their bikes onto the rack, getting dirty and greasy because they're having to kind of 'hug' the bike to lift it up high enough.

I've got a neat trick for lifting my bike on to the rack which I'll post shortly, but I wanted to hear from the community if anyone has any tips or tricks.

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4 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

The trick is to use the strength in your legs plus leverage to lift the bike. It is so simple I can hang my bike up one handed.

  1. Lock both front and rear brakes
  2. Walk backwards, resulting in the bike being vertical in front of you, with you standing behind it holding the handlebars
  3. Feathering the rear brake, manoeuvre the bike in location below the hook. The seat should be just in front of your knee or lower thigh
  4. Put one knee/thigh on the seat and flex that leg at the hip, raising your knee. This lifts your bike vertically with almost no effort required.
  5. Place it on the hook and you're done!

I've shown this technique to a number of people who have been instantly impressed with how effortless it is. It feels a bit weird the first time but very quickly feels natural.

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All of this depends on your stature I suppose. Its quite different for smaller framed people than it is for someone 6'2". +1 for technique. –  Moab Aug 9 '11 at 16:24
    
Indeed. Surprising question to me, I just grab the bike in one hand at the handlebar stem and lift. I don't have hardly any upper body strength compared to most people I know, but still have no problem even with my ancient super-heavy mountain bike. I guess just being 6'2" is the trick. :-) –  Brian Knoblauch Aug 9 '11 at 17:38
    
@Brian - I still think this is good technique regardless of your height, strength or weight of the bike. It is a controlled lift and there is very little chance of the bike slipping, falling or running off track. Plus there's less chance of injury while lifting. I'm 6'3 and my commuter only weighs about 11kg but I still find it helpful. –  Mac Aug 11 '11 at 1:00
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Bungie the front wheel to the frame, so it stays straight.

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I don't usually carry a bungie, but when commuting I typically have the velcro pant straps. They can work the same way to keep the wheel and frame aligned. –  Gary.Ray Aug 10 '11 at 14:31
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In some bike shops there are bikes stored this way and very closely packed. In helping a customer choose a bike it can be necessary to lift bikes up and down onto wheel hooks with nothing scratched and no evidence of effort made (they don't want to buy a heavy bike). Space can also be limited so there is no way to have a 'run up'. There also might be a forest of bikes on the ground so you cannot move forward to support the weight of an bike 'at arms length'.

I found the best way (UK instructions) is to:

  • Stand on the left hand side of the bike
  • Hold the handlebars and apply both brakes
  • Lift and pull back the handlebars to get the bike on the back wheel.
  • Put right hand on seat
  • Lift bike up and put front wheel onto the hook
  • Whilst navigating the wheel onto the hook, stick one leg out rearwards to counter-balance the bike
  • carefully lower rear wheel onto the wall making sure no cables get snagged on neighbouring bikes

The trick with all lifting tasks is speed, to use momentum rather than brute strength. Ideally you want to do the above in an all-in-one smooth motion. Any delay and you can find your arms 'trembling' under the weight of the bike.

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Get a long chain and park it normally on the floor with the kick stand :)

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lmao___________ –  dotjoe Apr 13 '12 at 19:01
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