I wanted to make (or maybe buy) a bike rack for our most-utilized cycles, for convenience.
For a bike stand for at least four bikes I decided I didn’t want to buy one as they are a bit pricey (and I’m kinda cheap), so I set out to find a few plans and see what other people have done. There are tons of plans; with racks made of everything from wood to metal pipes to plastic pipes.
I decided that, while there were many good plans and nice ideas; I’d rather just come up with my own plan and use scrap wood I had lying around from other projects instead of buying a bunch of stuff, just for fun. We’ve built a chicken house, a storage building, and many other large and small projects. We even remodeled each room of the interior of the original part of our house as well as had one construction company build an addition and elevated deck onto the house, another company build a garage, another replace the roof, and another build an entryway addition and we kept any surplus materials.
So needless to say we have a lot of extra wood that we never discarded (of course) nor re-used/re-purposed all over the years.
And I also decided not to waste spare large and long pieces of wood by cutting them all up and instead just finding spare pieces that involved a minimum of wasteful cutting, for example; sawing up a twelve-foot piece of 2×4 just to get a couple of eighteen-inch pieces of wood. This simple little project was made more interesting by creating a bit of a logic puzzle out of it.
Previously I had built and repaired a number of things using spare wood instead of wasting money on buying a bunch of new materials, some of these new materials of which would have turn been wasted in turn end up lying around unused.
One such project was an egg cart, though technically I didn’t use any of my left-over wood but re-purposed discarded pallet wood. The egg cart was indeed a ‘re-purpose/re-use’ project, which I did just to see what I could do with this already-used somewhat distressed wood. I acquired free pallets that were left for people to pick up from a local business, carefully took the wood apart (many broke) and even re-used some of the nails just for fun (re-bending them). I did have to use some long screws I had in addition to the re-used nails, and the tires were from Harbor Freight, the roofing was extra I had lying around from building a chicken house.
It’s amazingly quaint and a little crude – just the way I wanted the chicken cart to look. And quite heavy too. Just in case you plan on building something with pallet wood that’s something to keep in mind; if it is going to move you want some good wheels on it 😉
So with the bike rack I wanted to build I wanted to be able to have four bikes fit in it, but have the tire slots large enough to accommodate slightly larger (and smaller) tires as needed. So each of the four slots is customized to the particular bike that will fit that space presently and for the future. I also wanted to be able to build another bike stand that would fit beside it for our other bikes if I wanted to in the future.
One of the most important things I wanted the bike rack to be was portable, because in the Winter the bikes are safely stored away and the place where I normally have the bikes will be occupied by the snow blower. The bike rack had to either be movable or liftable enough to move out of the way, and possibly be attachable to the back of the garage for stability. As I built it I could tell that this latter requirement was not needed as the entire thing was heavy enough to stand on its own without having to be in any way attached to the garage for any stability.
I scribbled a few plans, but it was simple enough not to need me to build it out in a CAD program (like I did with our chicken house) and really it was simple enough not to need any plans all all; just a few measurements for consistency.
I started to put it together the way I thought I wanted it only to find that I didn’t quite like how it was coming out, so I changed the whole design and took the beginning stages of it apart to re-configure. I love making stuff out of recycled/re-used material sometimes, I guess going back to my childhood when my father and I built a number of things from re-purposed wood and I did the same thing on my own as I was growing up.
So the bike stand ended up being made from pieces from re-used/re-purposed wood from 70+ year old kitchen trim, pieces of an old coat rack, leftover wood from a chickenhouse and storage building I built and other projects, and when it was finished we painted it with paint from a bag of spray paint we had bought at a garage sale a few years ago. Even the screws were left over from various projects, and a few were even recovered from other things (like removed drywall).
I plan on lining the tire slots with cut strips of dish washing drying mats from a dollar store.
If you look at the photo of the finished project you’ll also see that on the floor of the garage is another repurposed/re-used item – the worn out treadmill belts from our treadmill; with any ripped or worn pieces cut out. The material makes a nice padding for the floor under the bikes.
There’s not a lot that needs to be planned out or said about how it is constructed – it’s simple enough just to look at my photos here and build something similar if you wish.
It’s about 69 inches wide (using two pieces of wood about 3 1/2 inches wide, front and back), and 29 inches deep – though I overhung the vertical pieces in the back so that they would fit between the studs at the back of the garage (which saves about 3 inches of space and helps to keep it in place). For height it is about 24 inches which seemed ideal for 700cm wheels, and the slots for the tires themselves are between 1 1/4 to 1 1/2. For a mountain bike you’d want this wider of course, but for the rode bikes with 23mm to 28mm widths and a hybrid with a 35mm wide tire these were the correct sizes that were wide enough to quickly slide the bike in without scrapping the tires and wide enough for tire changes, yet thin enough to hold the bikes securely upright.
The tires slide into the slots made by the pieces of wood at the bottom as well as the back, with an upside-down shaped slot in the piece along the back of the top. Each position has a small thin piece of wood attached diagonally (about 29 inches long) to act as a stabilizer, though really these were only needed on the outside at either end. The two vertical pieces for each tire are slanted slightly forward to give them overhang in the back and add as much bike tire coverage for stability as I could.
I put a little trim piece across the top, and (as you can see in one photo below) I added a little rounded piece of rounded wood (from an old coat rack) to help hold the bikes in place – though it’s not really needed but it looks nice.
If you have any questions, or have built your own – please post in the comments below.