April 14, 2020

5 Things to Consider When Buying a Bike Rack for Your Home 

Generally the transition into Spring comes with more pomp and circumstance but we find ourselves in the midst of a pandemic, stuck at home, feeling our minds melt as we WFH into oblivion thanks to the Coronapocalypse. Some of us (yes, us) were left scrambling after a last minute cancellation of an epic end-of-season ski trip. To keep things in perspective.. We are healthy and safe and that’s what is important.

Some think that since the season is over you can’t keep drawing satisfaction from your snow gear. That is a fallacy. We attach memories to possessions. In fact, part of the reason that humans love possessions so much, aside from what they allow us to do, is that we are wired to attach memories to objects which in turn help us recall memories, generally strong ones. When we constantly encourage people to buy our racks it’s not only because our racks keep gear organized and safe, but to relive your best memories every day when you look at your gear displayed on our racks. Sounds like a sales pitch but it’s the truth.

More good news. We are not left without a means of attaining the adrenaline pumping, wind in your helmet and deep quad burn that we get from snow cruising. Sometimes it’s downhill, sometimes it’s on paved surfaces. It’s called biking and that very season is upon us.

So let us switch gears.. from boots and bindings to wheels and chain and commit to a season of trees and pollen and green, after all, this is a blog about bike racks.. 

Mountain Bike Rack - MTB Trail

Aside from being one of the most fun things you can do with your pants on, biking is an environmentally responsible and totally viable means of transportation (ask the Dutch). Both Road Biking and Mountain Biking are incredible workouts that engage some of the body’s largest muscle groups and play a major part in maintaining a healthy metabolism. We could write another entire blog about the health benefits of cycling (in fact we may). Suffice it to say: biking = very good for you.

Once you’ve taken up biking and lowered carbon emissions, raised your metabolism, and strengthened your bod, it’s time to put your bike somewhere safe but out of the way. Easier said than done.

While bikes are fairly light and thin, they’re awkward (thanks a lot, handlebars!). Luckily there are lots of options, depending on your living space.

A World Full of Bike Racks

In a world full of indoor bike racks and bike racks for your garage, it’s important to find the one that meets your needs. While our bikes are often the most rugged of our equipment, they still require a little TLC when not in use to ensure you’re getting the longest life from your bike. Unfortunately, leaning your bike against the garage wall or stuffing it in the closet doesn’t count as a proper bike storage. You need a bike rack that can handle the weight, fit in your space, and still look great in your home. If you’re in the market for a bike storage solution, you’ll want to consider all factors given the space you have to work with. Understanding the needs for space efficiency, strength, and design in your home will help you find the best bike rack for your bike and gear. So, here are some things to consider..

  • Where is the best place for your bike? Will this space allow you to keep your bike (and you) safe?
  • What type of space/storage restrictions does this space have?
  • What type of rack will work with your bike?
  • Will your bike meet accessibility/visibility requirements?

Now, let's get into the 5 things you need to consider when purchasing a bike wall rack...

Road Bike Storage

1. Tidy Up Clutter with a Garage Bike Rack 

For many cyclists, the garage is an obvious home for their bike since it’s the universal transition space for outdoor-indoor gear. Bikes are not always big or heavy but their design makes them difficult to store and though garages start out spacious, they too quickly become cluttered. One organization tip is to get things UP. On average, 60% of storage in your garage takes place within 34” of the ground, with another 20% within 6’ of the ground and only 20% above the 6’ mark. Getting your bike off the ground is important for your home and your sanity because a bike rack separates your bike from garage clutter and frees up low space that is needed for heavy or high-use items. 

Too often we’re left tripping over items scattered about the floor and along the wall. Let’s take a moment to appreciate this staggering fact -- of all of the homeowners with a two car garage, 1 in 4 has so much stuff in their garage that they can’t park their own cars in them!

Ceiling Hooks & Bike Hangers

Storing a bike doesn’t have to be a challenge because homeowners have a few options. The most common of which is hanging bikes from hooks in the ceiling. This is a great, simple, and cheap means of bike storage. While perfect for some riders, it’s not our favorite. The problem with hooks, aside from the fact that they don’t look great, is that they often interfere with garage doors, are only reasonably practical in garages with rafters or accessible wood frame, and can be dangerous. With ceiling hooks, bikes are hung upside down from the ceiling which very often leaves handlebars are head-height or worse, eye height. In addition to difficulty faced by some riders to invert and lift bikes overhead, many riders have injured themselves by walking into bikes, catching their eyes on handlebars, or knocking bikes off of hooks onto themselves or their belongings. Bike wall racks offer a visual reminder to riders while keeping them from unfortunate collisions whilst racked.

Many one-bike cyclists prefer horizontal wall mounts. And other cyclists that have a number of bikes to store use bike stands or garage bike racks.  Regardless of which means of storage you decide to use, remember that doing it properly plays a huge role in ensuring that your bike sees prolonged life. Constantly tripping over your gear won’t keep it in top shape year round. There’s a lot that can clutter our garages, but your bike shouldn’t be one of them. If you find yourself with a cluttered garage, consider getting your bike off the floor and on the wall. Your bike should have a storage solution just like everything else, and having that bike wall rack for your garage is one smart way to combat clutter.

2. Maximize Space and Style with an Indoor Bike Wall Rack

Some cyclists don’t have a clutter problem (or garage) -- they have a space problem. Making the most of your home with the space you have is the name of the game. Not having much space makes it less than ideal when considering the best bike storage in your home. And when you have to bring your bike inside, it’s not just about being practical. Not only does it need to maximize space, it has to look good, too.

The dilemma - with limited wall space, how do we achieve bike storage nirvana while maintaining a certain standard of home decor? Many wall bike racks are highly practical, consisting of stands and hooks that can certainly handle a bike’s weight, but they often damage drywall, floors, and are an eyesore. For our friends who love cycling in the open outdoors but are looking to maximize their living space indoors, hooks and stands just simply aren’t good solutions for bike storage. 

The solution - The best bike wall mount that we can offer is one that not only maximizes space and is friendly on walls, but is also one that can enhance the look of any room while showing off your favorite ride. (If you’re not convinced that any bike wall rack could be easily installed and is safe on drywall, check out this page about Grassracks gear rack installation).

3. Look for a Bike Rack with a Shelf

When considering bike storage solutions, it is necessary to think about what to do with everything else you need for cycling. Storing your bicycle is priority 1, but what do you do with your helmet, pack, pump, spares, and tools? This is where a bike wall rack with a shelf comes in handy. One benefit of the Grassracks’ Rackcycle is the built in shelf that allows you to keep everything you need for your bike all in one place. This style of rack is often called a Bike Shelf. Buying a wall rack with a shelf can eliminate searching your trunk for your missing cleats and gear, because now you have a space-efficient bike gear storage solution. For cyclists that are always on the go, it’s so important to have that home for everything you need out there on the road, and having a bike shelf with built in hooks can do just that. If you’re looking for more bike storage ideas, take a look at our friends over here for a great best of list for bike storage solutions.

4. Find a Bike Storage Solution that Fits Your Budget

With all sports, it’s important to consider how much you’re willing to spend on equipment. Owning a bike can get expensive quickly, so keeping an eye on price to keep things in your budget is always a good idea. Bike wall racks and bike wall mounts can range anywhere from under $20 to over $400, depending on a number of factors. Obviously, the more bikes you’re planning to store, the higher the price tag will be. Also, the materials used for the wall rack will impact price too. It’s common to spend about $80 to $140, depending on material and quality.

One word of advice to people on a tight budget -- don’t forsake quality and durability in pursuit of a cheap product. A bike wall rack should be strong and able to handle your bike’s weight with ease. Buying the cheapest product on the market might not be able to meet your needs and will leave you needing a new rack within a few years. Similarly, in the case of storing your bike indoors, cheaper products may cause damage to drywall, flooring and, most importantly, your bike. If you rent an apartment or home, keep in mind how quality wall racks could impact any repairs and touch-ups needed in the future.

5. Consider an Eco-Friendly Wall Rack for Your Bike

Lasty, as responsible consumers, it’s important to ensure that every purchase decision we make is minimizing negative impact on the environment. There are already so many advantages of owning a bike for the environment like no emissions, no need for parking (minimizing the need for paving lots and parking garages), and promoting fitness. Your gear and storage should follow suit. Due to the materials used in the manufacturing process, some wall racks leave a tremendous carbon footprint. Material like plastics, metals, fiberglass, rubber, and certain synthetic coatings are harsher on the environment than natural resources like wood and bamboo. Although not often the first consideration, it is important to consider how eco-friendly anything is that we spend our money on.

It’s safe to say that in a world with hundreds of millions of bikes and an incredible amount of unique homes, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to bike storage. What works perfectly for one person probably won’t work exactly for the next. The key is to understand you and your home’s needs so that you can find exactly what you’re looking for. Whether it’s a bike wall mount, bike wall rack, wall hanger, hook, or stand, it’s important to pick a solution that works for you and your bike.

After many years of riding and keeping up with road and mountain bikes, we’ve made the highest quality bike rack on & for the planet, meeting all criteria that we’ve mentioned in this article. After all, we’d be remiss not to share our own bike rack with you..

The Grassracks Rackcycle

Functionality - The most important criterion.

  • Strength -  Our Rackcycle is constructed from super strong Bamboo (3 ply) or Birch plywood (9 ply). While we rate our bike rack at 60 lbs., it should be noted that it has successfully held a 215 lb. man so, coupled with our 2-point Mounting Bar system, whether you have a road bike or mountain bike, the Rackcycle will support your bike with ease.
  • Ease of Installation - Most bicycle storage on the market relies on flimsy material and weak attachment points to support your bike, while we utilize our proprietary Mounting Bar System. This makes use of an incredibly strong Mounting Bar supported by 2 thick spacers and a triangular cradle design that rests on the wall to offset extra weight.
  • Designed to fit all bikes - We are often asked if our Rackcycle fits all styles of bikes from road and mountain, men’s and women’s, etc. and our answer is “Yes!”. As long as you have ample wall space to fit a bike and a top tube that allows the cradle to enter, your bike will more than likely be perfectly fine. What does that mean for women’s bikes or bikes with an angled top tube? Just that the bike will sit with the back wheel slightly higher than the front. If you have some crazy geometry going on with your bike and are unsure, email us a picture of your bike and we’ll be happy to see if it is compatible with our Rackcycle.
  • Unobtrusive - Our cradles catch a bike’s top tube 11” from the wall which is perfect for most road bikes to sit straight and accommodates wider mountain bike handlebars by slightly angling the tire in a way that minimizes its distance from the wall. The beauty of our solution for bike storage is that it doesn’t invade your home but rather keeps it close to the wall. Where wheel-in/wheel-out bike racks have your bike coming 3 feet out from the wall, our rack takes up only as much space as your handlebars.

Aesthetic - Something that looks great in your home and protects your bike is the end goal. We designed a sleek, stylish rack with two beautiful material options (bamboo and birch). Our bamboo boasts a gorgeous grain and naturally amber coloration while our birch has a subtle grain and a light color, making it ideal for a DIY stain/paint/finish with a color of your choice that suits your home.

Sustainability - A pillar of our company. We refuse to make products at the expense of the environment so we’ve eliminated plastics, designed our entire line to all but eliminate waste material, and used some of the best carbon sequestering plants as material options. Our hardware bags are compostable, our finish is made from Whey Protein, and all of our scrap material is repurposed. If you rely on the environment for biking, your first thought should be protecting it with your actions and your purchases.

We hope you’ve found this article informative and hope that you have a little more guidance on storing and organizing your gear. While we’d love to add you to our Grassracks family, we realize that not all homes are right for our products. However, we feel strongly that if you need to store your bike on a wall, we are the best option. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us, we’re happy to help! 

We ask that wherever you buy or whoever you buy from, do your homework. Not just with a bike rack but always. Make sure you know who you are supporting with your money and that they are in line with your beliefs about good business and the environment. There are many incredible brands doing incredible things but, unfortunately, many more that seek profits at the expense of people, their hard work, and the environment. The time for that has ended. It’s time for all consumers to be educated and start to make a change starting with their wallets.

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