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.