Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Storing 12 Miles Per Hour

What do you do with your bikes if you live in a small place lacking sufficient storage space?

A bike takes up space, sometimes too much space, especially when you have plural, so finding a satisfactory way to keep it or them safe without filling too much living space is a good thing. I use two bikes regularly and keep them in a not-too-large (12 x 9) room along with two sets of panniers and, well— like most “serious riders”— other cycling accessories. The room also houses other stuff that comes and goes, so two bikes standing side-by-side makes the room much smaller.

After spending the usual excessive time contemplating how to resolve my bike storage problem I’d concluded that I needed something to attach to wall studs rather than a freestanding device since none of the freestanding type offered the flexibility I felt I needed. I couldn’t be sure from measurements and pictures that the arms used to hold the bikes would move freely enough to accommodate two large frame bikes, one of which is a “29er.” Issues were raised about all economical models and only devices costing in excess of $100 seemed to carry consistently good reviews. Even then, it was questionable whether both bikes would fit well or at all.

I visited my local Home Depot, which I do so with less reluctance now that Matt Kinseth drives the #20 Home Depot car. (Nothing against Joey Logano, but he was a weak replacement for Tony Stewart and after Fontana, neither #14 nor #22 did much to help themselves) The hired help at Home Depot was slightly better than useless in offering suggestions for how I could hang my bikes, but one did suggest I look in “that aisle” which was “storage solutions.” I did and found EverbiltHeavy Duty Storage Hangers (Home Depot SKU 470777) costing about $6. I bought two.

A series of fits and starts commenced when I arrived home. First, I had to find wall studs which has never been among my best home improvement skills. A borrowed “stud finder” seemed to help, though I still drilled several bottomless holes using a very thin bit before striking wood. With a suitable stud finally located and measurements taken, checked, retaken and rechecked, I attached the first hanger. The lift-over height allowing me to hang the High Sierra high enough to put the Safari below while avoiding the ceiling was 78 inches. Instead of the screws included with the hangers I used a couple of Torx head construction screws of greater length. I tried to not feel too pleased with the result, but the result looked like it would work.

Lifting the High Sierra to the ceiling was well within my physical ability, so hanging it on the newly installed hanger was easy enough AND it did not immediately crash to the floor. It hangs with the pedal well away from the wall and otherwise poses no threat to damage the damage the wall.

With the Schwinn in place it was immediately obvious that the Safari could be hung beneath the High Sierra, but there was no reason to do so. I’d already regained the Schwinn’s space, approximately six feet by two feet, and the heavier Safari rested neatly against the wall with the High Sierra suspended above. What will I do with the second hanger? I still have a Giant Boulder hindering access to the washer and dryer. Perhaps the second hanger will get it out of the way, too.

While looking for the link to the hangers at Home Depot I found a description of an interesting bicycle project on Mountain Bike Review where the author made a bench repair stand for $6.50 using the same hanger.

One of the things I did to minimize nicks, scrapers and grease related to keeping my bikes inside was to use a leftover bike shipping carton on the floor and wall. It’s not a styling success, but very successful in protecting vulnerable surfaces. I can replace and lubricate chains and clean accumulated gunk from gunk accumulating places without worrying about greasy accidents. It’s pleasing to be able to solve problems.

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