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Bike Racks

Bike Racks

I completed (for now) work on the garage bike rack last night. The design was almost as simple as possible:

  1. Attach an 8' x 3' sheet of plywood to the wall of my garage.
  2. Attach two hooks to the plywood.
  3. Put a shelf above the hooks for stuff like shoes, helmet, etc.

In completing this project, I learned a few things.

In no particular order:

  • The wall in my garage is 7' 11'' high, not 8'.
  • Studs are generally spaced at 16''. Be suspicious of other numbers, no matter how solid (or otherwise) the wall sounds when you knock on it.
  • 4'' full-thread screws are too much for my power drill/screwdriver to drive.
  • And they're overkill.
  • And the heads will totally strip.
  • 3'' half-thread T25 "star drive" (AKA "torx") screws are fine.
  • But they'll still need pilot holes.
  • Pilot holes make everything easier.

And I realized my design was totally not simple enough.

  • There's no point putting a shelf above the bikes. You can't reach it because the bikes stick out too far.
  • There's no point using a giant sheet of plywood. It just makes the whole project harder, with no payoff. It would have been better to use a 2' x 3' section of plywood to mount the hooks, and another to protect the wall against the back tires.
  • Since I'd planned to put a shelf above the bikes (which was dumb, see above), I was focused on putting the hooks as low to the ground as possible. I should have put the hooks as high as possible, so that I could stash storage bins, etc. under the bikes.

In short, I think Rich Dillen's setup is basically perfect. (His is free-standing to boot.)

That said, having that giant sheet of plywood makes it easy to move the hooks wherever I want. So I might just do that.

For now, I'm calling it done and moving on. (Maybe. If I don't decide to raise those hooks.)

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