Our Bicycle Storage Solution

These pictures are hyperlinked to larger, more detailed photos. Just click on the images above and the larger photos will be called up.

To keep bikes from taking up valuable floor space and the likelihood of their being damaged, we have suspended the majority of our bikes from the ceiling of our garage. We also have a couple bikes located in a "bonus" room that sits over 1/3 of the garage that we've configured as our exercise room:

Depicted above is my Phase II suspended storage system. It incorporates a more robust bracing system and a lowered rear wheel hook bar that were not in the original system (See Below).

The added bracing was required to handle the additional weight of a 3rd tandem and 4th single bike. The 18" framed rear wheel brace that replaced the flush mounted brace (2x4x10) was adopted to lower the rear wheels which, in turn, allows the front ends of the bikes and tandems to be suspended an additional 18" higher than in Phase I. For reference purposes, our garage has a ceiling height of nearly 10' and 3 bays that are 20 - 24' deep.

All Bikes: Floor to rear wheel = 6'2" above my bicycle workbench

Single Bikes: Floor to front fork = 7', and floor to chain rings 6'7"

Tandems: Floor to front fork = 6'9", and floor to chain rings 6'6"

The rope and pully system is essentially unchanged in Phase II beyond the relocation of the rear pully.

The following is a detailed description, drawings and pictures of my Phase I System:

My suspension system was made from materials that are commonly found at home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowes. Each one uses:

    • 1 Bicycle Hook (use a heavy duty one for tandems)
    • 2 Awning Pulleys (use Utility Grade for tandems)
    • 3 Screw Eye Hooks
    • 2 Snap Hooks
    • 1 Steel Welded Loop
    • 1 16' piece of heavy duty braided nylon rope
    • 1 Cleat

As you can see from the photos, I've used two 2"x 2" s and 1 1" x 2" as the attachment points for my pulley system's hardware. These stips of lumber are all attached to studs and rafters using lag bolts. A simple diagram of the system is shown below.

This set up has worked well for me. With the bikes off of the floor I'm able to convert that free floor space into an in-home bicycle workshop.

 Stem Loop Detail

Stem Loop Attached to Bike 

Tandem Fully Suspended 
 Rear Wheel Hook & Pullies

 Note Heavy-duty Hook for Tandem

Note: One of the snap-hooks pulls double duty; it works as a limiter on how far the bike will swing when it is released AND it sets the height to which you pull the bike for storage. This is more important for the tandems than the single bikes.

Detail of Snap-hook & Cleat 


 A final note: I always recommend that anyone using bicycle storage hooks slip a small section (2") of auto heater hose over the hook to protect the rim from being mared by the hooks.

Invariably, if you hang a bicycle wheel from a plastic or rubber coated bicycle hook the weight of the bicycle being concentrated on the edge of the rim and the plastic or foam-coated hook will split the plastic or foam and put the anodized finish of the rim in direct contact with the metal hook.

That, in turn, will leave small little permanent marks on your rims. The heater hose is tough stuff...


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Copyright © 1998 - 2003 by Mark Phillip Livingood. All rights reserved.