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I have a dream.
My dream is… to park my car in the garage.
I know it’s not World Peace or anything like that. But to me this is a big deal. I look at my car parked on the driveway and see how it’s gradually falling to pieces under the onslaught of wind, rain, ice, snow, and the occasional glimpse of the sun and have a burning desire to keep it safely protected in the garage.
Trouble is that the garage is full of stuff and one of the things that takes up most room in the space is our family’s fleet of bikes. These are tricky to store because you want to easily take them out to use them, but when they’re packed away you want to free up some space.
It’s a tough problem so I decided to do some research recently to work out what the best methods are for storing bikes in the garage and it turns out that there are some fantastic options for hanging them in the roof space. These free up floor space but allow you to easily get access to them when you need them. I’ll take you through the alternatives in a moment and we’ll look at the Pros and Cons of each along with the features to look out for.
Ready? Let’s go!
What are the best ways of hanging bikes from the garage ceiling?
Ok, let’s look in detail at the best ceiling storage solutions for your bikes, the advantages and disadvantages of them, and what features you need to keep a sharp eye out for when you’re picking the right one for you.
Sliding storage rack
Pros – bikes take up less space than other non-sliding systems
Cons – heavier bikes might require two people to lift
How to choose sliding storage racks
When you’re researching ceiling bike storage one of the first things you’ll notice is that the hooks and racks are screwed to either the ceiling or the roof joists. This is obviously important but it does mean that you need to carefully consider where to fit the bike storage (and live with the consequences thereafter). With a sliding rack on the other hand you have quite a lot of flexibility in the storage position. Bikes can be spaced apart to easily get access at, say, the ones in the middle of the group. Or they can be pushed right back to the wall in order to increase head height at a particular place. They can even be pushed right up against wall shelving units, and then slid out of the way when you need to use the shelves.
And, not only do the racks slide, but the individual hooks also slide. This makes it much easier to hook bikes on as you can hook one wheel first (that takes the bike weight) before hooking the second wheel on.
Vertical storage hook
Pros – vertical hook system gives very compact storage, easy to fit and use
Cons – needs plenty of ceiling height
How to choose vertical storage hooks
When you don’t have much spare room on your garage ceiling then a single ceiling hook is a great option. These will allow your bikes to hang by one wheel from the ceiling and it means that you can either make best use of a small roof space or hang double the number of bikes.
You can either get a standard hook for this job but ones that lock the bike securely in place give peace-of-mind that they won’t accidentally be knocked off. The Claw from Gladiator GarageWorks is an awesome option as it has a simple push-to-lock/unlock system that you operate with the bike wheel as you lift it in.
Vertical pulley system
Pros – easy to use and can lift heavier bikes with ease
Cons – takes up more room than a sliding system
How to choose vertical pulley systems
When you’ve got heavier bikes to lift up then you need to use the magic of pulleys to lighten the load. Vertical pulley systems are excellent. Two loops of rope hang down with sturdy hooks on the ends. Attach one each to your saddle and handlebars, then simply hoist the bike up into the roof space and lock off the rope.
It’s also worthwhile considering a motorized bike lift for the garage. Bikes can be heavy and a system like this can make the job much less of a strain.
These systems work best if you store your bikes next to each other with the handlebars of one adjacent to the saddle of the next. That way you can store bikes closer together and get more of them up.
Make sure you look out for systems that have rubber coated hooks to protect your bikes and a safety locking mechanism to prevent any accidents.
Horizontal pulley system
Pros – holds bikes flat to ceiling so works with low height roof
Cons – a bigger ceiling ‘footprint’ than vertical systems
How to choose horizontal pulley systems
We’ve already taken a look at pulley systems but what if you don’t have sufficient head space to keep bikes upright in the roof area? Luckily there’s an answer for that with horizontal pulley systems. These work on very much the same principle as horizontal pulleys but the hooks attach to the sides of your bikes instead and allow them to be stored much closer to the joists or ceiling.
They take up more ‘real estate’ in your roof but can be a real bonus when that real estate is only a couple feet above your head. Also keep in mind that, as the bike approaches ground level, you’ll need to guide it around onto it’s wheels. An extra pair of hands can be useful for this although, with a little practice, you can do this whilst hoisting and lowering. A small price to pay for an innovative solution.
The first step towards the goal of parking your car in the garage is taking control of your bike storage. One of the best ways to do this is to store them in the roof space. The perfect system for this is one that allows you to easily access the bikes when you’re going out for a ride. Then, just as easily, store the bikes away when you’re back.
The dream of parking the car in the garage just got one step closer.