After moving to a new apartment, we decided that we didn’t want to have to deal with bike thieves/rain/drunken idiots so we opted to keep our bikes inside. However, we were struggling to find space for all of our bikes in our tiny apartment. And to top it all off, the only space we had to work with was a weird triangle-shaped nook.
We needed a rack that would fit two bikes side by side but also something that could fit into the small nook. Because of the weird shape, it was hard finding the perfect store-bought rack. A possible solution that we found was the Steadyrack that seemed perfect. This would allow the bikes to pivot from side to side so you could swing your bikes out of the way. The only problem was that they were ~$70 a piece and we needed two of them. I was not about to pay $140 for bike racks (well maybe I was). So after researching every single option online, I finally came up with a solution that would fit the bill…hopefully.
Things you will need:
- Bike hook (we went with the Delta Leonardo Bike Rack)
- 2×4 piece of wood, cut to size
- Heavy duty 4″ door hinge
- Wood screws (4 smaller ones for each hinge and 2 long ones for the studs)
- Small nut, bolt, and washer
- Wood stain (optional)
- Sponge brushes (optional)
- Spray paint (optional)
- Metal name holders (optional)
Note: If you don’t care about the look of your bike rack, skip to step 3.
Another Note: I dont know the exact sizes of the screws I used. I had to go back and forth to the hardware store a few times to get the right sizes. Hopefully the pictures will help.
Step 1: Spray paint everything (bike hooks, hinges, nameplates, and screws). We went with a matte black finish because we wanted everything to match.
Step 2: Stain your 2×4. You can choose whichever color matches best with your decor.
Staining wood is actually quite easy. You simply brush the stain on and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping off the excess. The longer you leave it on, the darker the color will be. It also helps to go over the 2×4 with some fine grit sandpaper to smooth out any imperfections beforehand. You can also do a few coats if the color is too light for your taste.
This was the end result after drying overnight. I was quite pleased with myself.
Step 3: Drill your pilot holes. This will help guide your screws in later on.
We drilled holes on both ends of the 2×4 as well as for where the hinge would go.
Step 4: Assemble the hooks and hinges with the bolts, nuts, and washers. Notice here how the hinge is shorter than the hook. Almost all of the bike hooks out there will be longer than your hinge so you really only have two options.
Option 1: Drill another hole through the bike hook that matches up with the holes in the door hinge (recommended).
Option 2: Simply use one of the holes and pray that everything doesn’t come crashing down. We went with option 2. In hindsight, option 1 would have been much more stable but option 2 does work if tightened properly. You can also use some Gorilla glue on the back as well.
Step 6: Screw the hinges into the 2×4.
Step 7: Drill your entire setup into a stud. If you don’t want to tear a huge hole in your drywall and have your bike come crashing down on you, I highly recommend investing in a stud finder. It will save you time, heartache, and your security deposit.
Step 8: Print out some awesome looking labels. We went the His and Hers route but obviously you make whatever cheesy name you want. I did this with MS Word and some card stock. At work. For free.
Step 9: Apply the name holders (these were the stick-on type from Martha Stewart) and insert the name cards.
Step 10: Step back and admire your handiwork.
….and now for the moment of truth. Surprisingly, the bikes didn’t come crashing down! And these worked perfectly for our weird triangle-shaped nook.
This entire project did take a few days because of the staining/painting process but you could easily put this together in one night if you didn’t care about the aesthetics. All in all, the table below shows the rough price breakdown per rack. Obviously, the spray paint, stain, and name holders were extra but this is the cost for the essential items you’ll need.
So for less than half of what it costs to buy one brand new, we were able to make our own with just a handful of parts. And in our opinion, it looks way better than than the store bought ones AND we can impress all of our friends with our awesome DIY skills.
Thanks for reading and be sure to leave a comment if you have any questions!