Bike shops display and store bikes by hanging them from the wheels.

Is it Bad to Hang a Bicycle by Its Wheel?

by Elle Di Jensen

The garage is the logical place for storing your family's bikes out of the weather to keep them in top working condition, but they'll topple like dominoes if you accidentally bump into them. Not only can the bikes be damaged in this way, but they can damage other things in the garage, like the paint job on your car. Hang your bikes by their wheels to store them out of the way without damaging them.

The Vertical Hang

If you're reluctant to hang your bicycle by the wheel when storing it, take the lead from bike shops. Many of them store and display the bikes they have for sale by hanging them vertically from either the front or back tire on hooks installed in the wall. Well-known bike enthusiast and author Jim Langley recommends securing your bike hooks on a stud in the wall or installing them in a rafter to ensure sufficient support for your bike.

Hanging Upside Down

Hanging your bike upside down by both wheels is a viable option if you want to free up both floor and wall space. Hanging it by the front and back wheels will also more evenly spread out the stress of gravity if you are suspending it off the ground and don't have the support of the floor under one of the wheels.

Horizontal, Right Side Up

Just because bike shops and cycling aficionados hang their bikes by the wheels, that doesn't mean you have to follow suit if you prefer not to have your bike's weight hanging off the tires. You can also choose to hang your bike by supporting it by the frame instead of the tires. Install a pair of hooks in a wall 42 inches off the ground and 8 inches apart to support the straight section between the handlebars. Another option is to install two heavy-duty bolts 2 to 3 inches apart on the wall and hang your bike by slipping the seatpost between them so that they support the saddle. You can add extra support to this alternative by also installing a hook the proper distance from the bolts, based on your bike's dimensions, so that your handlebars can be supported as well.

The Hooks

You really can use just about any hook to hang your bike wheels from as long as the hook portion is large enough to accommodate and support your bike. The 2005 book "Cut the Clutter and Stow the Stuff" recommends using what you have on hand, from eye bolts to metal hanging-plant brackets or even wooden curtain brackets. If you'd rather use the type of hooks that professional shops and bike enthusiasts use, get the ones that are vinyl coated to prevent your frame or wheels from getting scratched when you put up or take down your bike.

About the Author

Elle Di Jensen has been a writer and editor since 1990. She began working in the fitness industry in 1987, and her experience includes editing and publishing a workout manual. She has an extended family of pets, including special needs animals. Jensen attended Idaho and Boise State Universities. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications.

Photo Credits

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