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Thursday, August 11, 2011

One last stop around the house: The DIY bike rack

I realized when posting the French door how-to that I forgot to show my four faithful readers one corner of our house:  the bike rack!

Mr. Great Indoors and I started biking together about a year and a half ago after he had an accident running (darn ankles).  He bought a bike off Craigslist and we started riding together shortly thereafter.  It's an awesome hobby because we can spend time together but still get exercise.  And because both of us have bad knees, it's a lot kinder to our bodies than running ever was.

Unlike that Wal-Mart mountain bike you had when you were ten, road bikes need to stay inside so the components are at their peak performance on every ride.  And when we had two road bikes in the house there wasn't really a good way to store them.  They inevitably ended up leaning against whatever living room wall was closest.  So Mr. GI rigged up a vertical bike rack with a few things he had around.  A 2x4 went vertically, then three horizontal 1x2 scraps (one per bike and a third to stabilize the rack on the ground), two bike hooks per horizontal strip, and drywall screws and anchors to stabilize the rack on the wall.  And, as our agreement stands, Mr. GI built it and I painted it.  Here's a nifty diagram:

And the real thing, which (thanks to wood scraps and paint we had on hand) cost a whopping $1.57:

I didn't include any measurements because this rack was definitely customized to our space.  If you want to make something similar, just make sure you leave enough room for both bikes and factor in the angle between the wall and the rack so your handlebars have enough room.

The paint job will have to be cleaned up every once in a while since the bike grease rubs off, and that lower bike support is the easiest place for Mr. GI to do bike maintenance (the picture above is what that corner of our house looks like pretty often-- that's what I get for marrying a tinkerer).  But overall it's been one of the handiest DIYs we've ever done!  And for under two buckaroos, that's not bad.

If you were paying really close attention, you probably noticed three different bikes on that bottom rack:  the Schwinn as Mr. GI bought it (fourth photo), the Schwinn after he painted it this winter (top photo), and the Giant he found for a steal on Craigslist a few months ago (above).  The newly-painted Schwinn eventually took up residence on the man cave wall (the seat was on his new bike), and now one of our friends is borrowing it while she gets the hang of biking.

And since this has been a short post, how about a few gratuitous pictures of Chewy?  He was being such a good model this week when I took my weekly garden pictures that I couldn't  resist.  :-)


  1. I can never get over how incredibly crafty you are. Thanks for posting - I feel a manly adventure for Andy coming on =)

  2. totally LOVE this project! The hubby and I are actually avid cyclists too! We saved forever (because bikes are expensive) and picked up two mid-level Specialized road bikes. I've been part of a cycling family my whole life, but just got into myself in the list 5-ish years. BUT, the hubby has bad knees and after some convincing, he agreed to give it a go! It has been a savior to him and great for both quality time and physical health!!! I tend to share our cycling adventures on our blog when we travel too. :)

    1. Thanks, Ashley! I've got a similar story- my dad could whip my butt on a ride any day because he rides with pros on a weekly basis. It's definitely a great hobby for couples no matter what shape you're in to start with! Glad to know another cyclist/blogger. :-)

  3. We need to make this. how is attached to the wall. can see the needed gap at the bottom. Do the bikes leave marks on the wall?

    1. It is attached with drywall anchors at the top, and unsecured at the base. Obviously we don't have children (and our dog isn't big enough to cause trouble), so if either of those circumstances are the case for you, you may reconsider how to anchor the base. Yes, from time to time the bikes did leave scuffs. We kept an extra quart of matching paint to touch up when needed, but most of the time soap and water (or a Magic Eraser) would take care of any marks. Hope that helps!


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