December 26, 2022

Bike Hooks - Simple, Easy, and Cheap.. But Worth It?

The bike storage industry's best secret is a great set of hooks. You couldn’t dream up an easier project than these powerful little metal tools that are incredibly cheap, easy to install, and effective.

Compared to other forms of bicycle storage, they are also the least space-consuming option. Many more intrusive projects require a fair bit of wall or floor space, but hooks will only demand pilot holes in your walls or ceiling. 

All in all, this simple system brings a whole lot more to the table than you might expect - but the strategy is not without its limitations. While they save you some wall space, they also come with absolutely zero bells and whistles attached. You won’t get much extra value from your set-up. 

There are as many ways to store your bicycles as there are ways to plan out your garage itself, each with its own pros and cons. The end goal is always to keep your bike protected from the elements, and keep your bike away from your Honda Element. This support system is a tried and true way to get your bike tires out of the rain and off the floor without much fuss. 

So let’s take a closer look at the easiest way to get your bikes off the ground, safe and sound. Whether you're looking for a singular vertical bike hook to lift some 29ers, or trying to rig up an entire wall's worth of heavy-duty bike hooks for the garage, let this guide be your stud finder. 

First Thing’s First, What Are Bike Hooks?

It may look like a metal question mark jutting out of your wall mount, but a bike hook can act as the exclamation point that brings it all together.

Bike hooks for the garage are simple pieces of metal bent at a perfect angle to connect your bicycle to just about any capable surface. Sets of hooks that can attach easily to studs, ceilings, and wooden blocks are available right now at Home Depot and they might be the only thing on the market that can rival our Rackcycle in terms of an easy installation. 

You should always check the capabilities of your chosen brand, but most bike hooks can handle between 25-50 lbs each. Their ease and efficiency make these hooks one of the more common ways to hang up a single bike. Mountain bikes, road bikes, gravel bikes, beach cruisers, kids bikes, unicycles, pick your poison - they can hang the best of them.  

If you can imagine your garage bike storage as a closet, think of your hooks as your hangers. Not just any old hangers, either. An adjustable bicycle wall hanger that keeps gravity’s dirty hands away from your fresh drivetrain. All those clothes and bikes lying across the floor are now hung straight and out of the way. 

You save valuable floor space and eliminate wrinkles, dust, and scratches from shortening the lifespan of your bikes. Straight from the wall with no unnecessary obstruction, bike hooks are bike racks simplified.

To sum it all up: bike hooks are the most space saving bike storage solution, and all they require for installation is a minute pilot hole and a bit of elbow grease.

So… What’s The Catch?

These space-saving delicacies are an interesting bike mount category because they have great strengths and serious weaknesses. We're optimists, so we focused first on the positives; but there are real limitations to a simple set of rubber hooks.

Bike hooks are small and sleek, disqualifying them from several essential roles in garage bike storage. 

Most bike hooks cannot hang more than one bike, or even your bike and a helmet, from the same hook. You could quickly wind up with your bike in one corner and the tools you need to make it hum spread across the other three corners of the garage. 

Basically, anything that couldn't be hung from the chimney with care, you won't be able to store using a bike hook, either. Gloves, shoes, chain lube and Clif bars will all have to find their own spot. It's not always a dealbreaker, especially if you'd rather save your bike repair work to the professionals or don't have the space to tinker with your bike in storage anyways. 

Find Your Bike Hook Balance In Life

There are a few different ways to rest your rubber on bike hooks. These nifty tools can work by themselves for an incredibly simple bike storage solution either hanging from the ceiling or hooked up straight out of a wall. Other styles can come as part of a team, hooking up with a larger wall rack and locking your bike in place as part of a complete bike storage solution.  

Your bike storage hooks are here to take a wheel off the ground and hang your bike either vertically or horizontally from the wall or ceiling. Regardless of your hanging style, bike hooks are all about the details. When less is more, each component must put in a bit of extra effort. 

These hooks hang bikes using less of your wall’s surface area than any other wall mount system. Instead of your bike resting comfortably in a king-sized frame, your wheels are held by one finger, so make sure you're buying an index finger instead of a pinky. 

The Best Hooks Are A Part of A Solid Support System

When dreaming up the best possible way to store bikes, we took a nice long look at bike hooks. They’re a classic solution to the often searched unintelligible question, ‘Bike storage solution garage?’ And as we already covered, there are very few garages that couldn’t use a few pilot holes. 

But why stop with just the hooks?

We took the technology and teamed it up with a solid shelf, our proprietary mounting system, and a few padded arms to create the complete package. Our rackycle comes with two utility hooks, located just underneath two bamboo cradles (arms) that are gorgeous and incredibly strong. 

These hooks are strong enough to hold your bikes up by their front wheel like any other option, but they work best for your helmet, hydration packs, jackets and all the other bits and pieces that go along with your bike. 

It creates a complete one-stop shop that will allow you to keep everything exactly where you need it to be and get you out of your garage, stat. Daylight savings time isn’t making it any easier to squeeze a ride in after work, and you don’t want to waste time scouring the garage for your energy bars. 

Bike utility hooks can store your bike well on your own, and as a part of a solid support system, (aka The Rackcycle) they can help create a complete bike storage solution. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Bike Racks

There is much more to love about our Rackcycle, but you're here because you're already a little curious about bike hooks. Maybe you were checking out the bamboo and got hooked, or maybe this is day three of a searching binge looking to learn everything you can about the best simple bike storage racks.

No matter what brought you here, we're committed to talk about everything a heavy-duty bike hook can bring to single bike storage. Let's ask a few questions that may come up when deciding if they are right for you. 

Do All Bike Hooks Require A Drill?

Not all bike hooks require a drill, but they probably should. Bike’s aren’t cheap, and the risk is just too high to justify taking shortcuts. 

We advocate caution before trying to support bike storage racks entirely with bike hooks that don't require a drill or any sort of permanent installation into your wall. We can't beat physics, and we sure as hell don't stand a chance to beat gravity. 

That means I would not trust a simple ‘S’ hook to get the job done. This style is almost two hooks in one, with one end grabbing onto a beam or exposed plank, and the other hooking your bike.

While you might get away with it for a while, wind, bumps or structural failure are far more likely to affect your bike rack without the additional support of a solid guide hole locking everything into place. 

Hooks without a drill might function as part of an entire support system better than trying to hold your bike on its own. For example, if you team up with a quality freestanding bike rack or a ceiling rack, and you only want a tertiary hook to keep things from swinging, you can probably get away with an S-hook as a stabilizer.

When referring to the entire category, however, it's safe to say a drill is implied as a part of every secure installation process.  

How Far Apart Should Bike Hooks Be?

Bike Hooks are strongest when mounted directly into studs but also at a distance that can either comfortably hold your bike’s top tube or the center of each wheel (if hanging it upside down from the ceiling). A stud is a thin timber support that usually runs the height of your walls every 16 inches. Unlike in high school gym class where studs are your friends (or your dodgeball nightmare), wall studs can lift much heavier weights than a piece of drywall and installing directly into a stud means a stronger setup without the need to use a drywall anchor. 

The best bike wall mount in the business knows that the studs are the secret to getting some serious strength to hold your bicycle but often means that it will no longer be an adjustable bicycle wall hanger. Many bike hangers will build their products to stretch out so the stress points are aligned with those very studs themselves. 

So, if you decide to hold your bicycle by the top tube, bike racks should be 16 inches apart, but of course, loads of variables will affect that number. It all depends on what particular style of bike hooks you invest in, how many bikes you need to store, and how much space you've got to store them all. 

How Do You Mount Bike Hooks? 

These bike mounts screw easily into any available ceiling or wall space in your garage. You can choose your own adventure and decide whether you’d like a vertical or horizontal technique, but you'll have the most success if you map out your wall space before you get your heart set on a style.

All you’ll need for installation is an electric drill and a bit that is about 2/3rds the diameter of your bike hook. Pre-drilling is always important and helpful for an accurate installation but don’t go bigger than 66% of your hook size when drilling to make sure that there’s enough material for the teeth to grab onto and your rack is locked into place. 

With a pilot hole successfully drilled into your wallspace, you can screw in your hooks by hand. Make sure you use all your strength to get your storage system really locked into place.  

Can All Bike Tires Be Hooked? 

As long as you lock things into place on a properly studded section of free wall space and have educated yourself on the carrying capacity of your chosen set of hooks, you can hang whatever you want underneath that limit. 

There is one catch! While your bike hooks will be able to support 25-50 lbs of just about anything that hangs on, there is a lot of weight resting on a small surface area, so it would behoove you to consider the durability of the materials you are hanging. 

Any aluminum, titanium, or steel bike tire frame can grab onto any style of hook and hang there all winter long, but Carbon frames are a bit more delicate. You can probably get away with hanging a carbon frame on even the cheapest bike hooks, but most carbon bike frames are well over $3,000, so I’m not flirting with probably, I’d want a guarantee. 

While bike hooks are cheap, decently strong, and easy to install, they’re generally best for hanging your bike from the ceiling and that can be great. However, if you are looking to store your bike horizontally on the wall, they can fall short. When designing our Rackcycle (and most of our other products), we’ve found that there’s always a need for more gear storage like bags, jackets, helmets, keys, water bottles, etc. which bike hooks simply don’t offer. So, if you’re sporting carbon bike rims, I would look towards a complete system with padded arms made from the strongest natural materials on the planet that doesn’t put all of the stress on the rim and, instead, the top tube. Maybe with a bike shelf above it and a few utility hooks below that creates more storage out of the same space. And I’d find a bike rack with a triangular design that invites multiple points of contact for good measure. 

There are many different types of bike racks out there. While we believe very strongly that we have designed the best bike rack on the market in terms of style, function, and strength; ultimately, the choice is yours and depends heavily on the geometry of your bike and your home. So, take a minute to check out our Rackcycle and see what works best for you! Happy riding!