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Basic Bike Rack


The video attached to this web page is mostly about a review of some cordless tools, and as part of that it includes a section showing construction of this bike rack. It is not a detailed build video. I'm including it here since it is connected to this project, and I think that the build video will help illustrate the process.


Ten years ago I built this simple bike rack, to help organize my kid's bikes in the garage. It served us well for a while, but as the kids grew, so did their bikes, and I discovered that this design did not work for larger bikes. Anything with wheels more than 20 inches diameter would tend to fall over in this rack.

I then designed this simple L-shaped rack. This one works much better for adult-sized bikes. You can park the bike either frontwards or backwards in the rack -- the rack does not interfere with the chain or derailleur when it is parked backwards.

This rack is built from basic construction lumber: mostly 2x6 and 2x3 lumber, as well as some small bits of plywood to help with attaching it to the wall.

A set of basic plans can be found at the bottom of this web page.

After building a rack for my own bike, I then built a two-spot rack for my older sons. This has served us for the past four years, but it is now time to expand it to a four-spot bike rack, as my younger kids are also growing up to needing larger bikes.

Cutting the pieces out of 2x6 construction lumber.

... and knocking off the corners. This step is not critical, but it looks nicer and takes away a potentially annoying corner! I was trying out a new circular saw, otherwise I would probabl prefer to make all these cuts on a miter saw.

Lining up all the base pieces to cut out a notch at the front. A piece of 2x3 is fitted into the notch. This piece does a number of important jobs. First, it joins together the two base pieces at the front. Second, this provides a "stop" to prevent the bike wheel from rolling out of the rack once parked. Third, if you are making just ONE rack, then you would make this wider, to provide some support against side-to-side tipping.

I am building a four bike unit, which will be tied together with a piece of half-inch plywood underneath, so I do not need these crosspieces to be extra wide.

Fitting in the 2x3 crosspiece. See the next section for an important note on the size of this!

(Next two photos also)

Laying out the pieces and putting them together.

The width of the skinny board at the back is important. For a hybrid style bike or a road bike, this needs to be 1-1/2" wide. For a mountain bike, with fatter tires, this should be 2" wide. The size of the 2x3 crosspiece at the front (in the previous section) also depends on this, so that the gap is the same.

The skinny back board also helps connect the bottom pieces to the vertical pieces and tie them all together.

Here I drilled angled holes through the lower front edge of the vertical boards, and then screwed in some 3" screws. This ties them to the bottom boards.

Note that I'm not using glue at all on this project. It's all just put together with screws. First, that's all that's needed. Second, It's quicker and simpler. And finally, and most important, this allows you to take it apart in the future and make changes.

In particular if you swap from a mountain bike to a road bike, or vice versa, this will allow you to remove the skinny back board and change the width of the bike rack to accommodate a bike with different thickness tires.

My garage is a bit crowded, so I added some 45-degree angled blocks to the back of my rack sections. This converts my rack from straight parking, to angled parking, which takes up less width in my garage. If you have a larger garage, then by all means skip this step.

A skinny piece of plywood (six inches wide) is attached to the back of the bike rack sections. This is later used to attach the bikes to the wall.

I spaced my bike rack sections approximately 25" apart on center. You could go as close as 23" on center, but the bikes do tend to get crowded together. It depends also on how big your bikes are, and how wide are their handlebars. (The plans below show 23" spacing which is what I used when I first built the adult-sized rack in 2012. I changed it to 25" when I rebuilt it now to hold four bikes.)

Here is a peek at the plans that shows how the angled block is attached to the back of the bike rack section. it also shows how the rack is attached to the plywood which runs along the wall. (The plywood is coloured white in the sketch.)


I then lay the rack down and added a piece of half-inch plywood across the bottom of the rack. As you can see it is not a perfect fit, but it works. The purpose of this piece of plywood is to tie together the four bottom rack sections. It maintains the spacing, and keeps the rack from twisting. Also, because the bottom twelve inches of my wall is poured concrete, there are no easy ways to fasten the rack to the wall near the base. So this helps hold it all together.

And here is the finished rack, full of bikes.

I screwed the rack to the wall along the top, through that piece of skinny plywood.

Here are some basic plans that you can use if you want to build your own bike rack based on my design.


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See Also:

Basic Kids Bike Rack

Bare Bones Bike Repair Stand

Quick and Simple Bike Rack

DIY Bike Cargo Trailer