How Can I Hang 6 Bikes in a Small Area?

Huzzah!  New question in the inbox!  Here’s the question, interrupted by my occasional editorial comment:

You don’t have to answer this on your blog, but I was wondering if you might have some bike storage advice (if so, email or blog post would be great). [Ed- Ok, I’ll try, but I know a lot more about riding bikes than storing them.]
My boyfriend and I live in a house with no garage and very little yard. There are currently six bikes inside the house. [Ed- no problem with that.] A couple are in the basement, and the rest are leaned against walls here and there (kept on the main floor for easy access to outside).
What do you suggest for storing up to 6 bikes so as to minimize clutter? [Ed- Please don’t refer to bikes as “clutter.”] Eventually they will be stored in a mud room currently in use as a bedroom. Until then, I’m interested in hanging them. There is some extra space in the entry (behind the front door, out of the way) that might work, but I don’t know if it’s a good idea to hang 6 bikes in a small area, or how to go about it?

Good Question! There are hundreds of bike hangers out there, and there’s not always a lot to make one any better than the others.  It all comes down to personal preference, I think.  One thing that might make this tricky for you is that you’re looking for a temporary fix, so anything that’s particularly costly may be out of the budget.

If space is tight, you’re definitely going to get the most bang for your buck by hanging the bikes vertically rather than horizontally.  This means they’ll be sticking out of the wall about 3 feet, but the overall footprint will be reduced.  I recommend you skip any bike hangers that involve some sort of rope & pulley system.

I recommend the following style [not necessarily this brand] of wall-mounted bike rack:

The nice thing about this style is that it allows you to hang the racks as close together as you want to fit them on your available wall space.  You can also stagger the height to keep handlebars from banging into each other.  The downside to this type of rack is that if your wheels are dirty, you’ll inevitably scuff the walls.  If you hang a slush-covered bike on one of these things, all the slush is going to run right down the wall.  So look out for that.  Maybe you can figure out how to use a tarp or something to save the walls.

If there’s only two of you and 6 bikes, I’m guessing that at least a couple of your bikes don’t get used too frequently.  I’m also kind of a fan of racks that allow you to mount the bike to the wall like it was a painting or something.  Take this, for example:

Maybe you can hang your least frequently used bikes on the wall over the fireplace or couch or something.  That would at least let you reclaim the floor space underneath.  Plus, it’s totally badass to have a bike mounted on your wall. I’ve seen some racks like this that also have a built-in bookshelf.

Anyway, good luck.  Let me know what you come up with.

Got any more questions???  Ask Me Anything!!!

10 thoughts on “How Can I Hang 6 Bikes in a Small Area?”

  1. Lol, in the future I will try to avoid using clutter and bike in the same sentence. 🙂

    Thanks for the tips! I like the hook and tray idea. I know you said brand doesn't matter, but what are some brands?

  2. I'll second Reuben's recommendation. I've used this exact type of rack in a small apartment before. I found that I could get them closest together by mounting the racks at the same height, but then flipping every other bike (hanging by front wheel vs. back wheel), so the handlebars stagger.

    I bought mine at Home Depot, but it was about five years ago; a quick search says it still carries this type of hook.

    Two pro-tips: (1) make sure you drill into a stud, wall anchors are not a suitable alternative here unless you use a really big one (but they usually require a HUGE hole in the wall). (2) to avoid paint sticking to the back of the hook and ripping off when you remove it, cut out a piece of parchment or wax paper the size of the back-plate and put it between the wall and the back-plate when you mount the hook.

    I never tried the tarp idea, but I'd suggest putting something up where the lower tire hits the wall — even if the bikes are not wet, they will mark the wall up pretty badly.

  3. We use the type of wall rack first pictured for our bikes. They work well! My only suggestion is to get one with the tire tray (as pictured). Ours were a SUPER good deal, but didn't come with them. Our wall is scuffed up now. Thank goodness we're renting! 🙂

  4. The is a “bike tree” that hangs six bikes in a very compact area. A 30″ square area to be exact. Adjustable height. It’s on casters so it can roll around if you need to move it out of the way. Only 50bucks. It would cost me about fifteen bucks a piece to buy wall mounts. I don’t have the wall space to hang them either. Hope this helps someone.

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