Few items can clutter a garage like the family’s fleet of bicycles. Finding a place to store bikes out of the way of cars and foot traffic can be a challenge. Fortunately, there are plenty of different types of bike racks that offer excellent solutions for getting those bikes neatly stored away. These racks include floor stands, wall-mounted racks, and even pulley systems that can get a bike out of the way by suspending it from the ceiling.
This guide will examine the factors one should consider when shopping for a bike rack while reviewing some of the top models on the market.
- BEST OVERALL: Delta Cycle Leonardo Da Vinci Single Bike Rack
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: StoutMax Heavy Duty Bike Storage Hooks Set
- BEST FLOOR STAND: BIKEHAND Bicycle Floor Type Parking Rack Stand
- BEST HORIZONTAL WALL RACK: Ibera Horizontal Bicycle Bike Wall Hanger
- BEST CEILING: Wallmaster Bike Ceiling Mount Lift Hoist Hanger Rack
- BEST TENSION POLE: Sparehand Q-RAK II Floor-to-Ceiling Bike Rack
- BEST VERTICAL WALL RACK: Ultrawall Bike Storage Rack
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Bike Racks
While selecting the right type of bike rack to suit one’s garage is critical, other factors are also important to consider, including the number of bikes, material, and ease of use. Ahead, learn more about these crucial characteristics of bike racks.
- Ceiling: Ceiling bike racks use a pulley system with ropes that attach to the bike with hooks. A pull string elevates the bike so it hangs from the ceiling, freeing up floor space. These systems are nice options for garages with higher ceilings.
- Wall: Wall mount bike racks come in two styles: vertical and horizontal. Horizontal models consist of a metal bracket that mounts to the wall with arms that hold the bike horizontally by the top tube. This style of rack holds the bike close to the wall, saving space. With a vertical rack, the bike hangs vertically from the front or rear wheel. While the bike extends farther from the wall than a horizontal rack, vertical racks are the most efficient way to store many bikes.
- Floor/freestanding: Floor or freestanding racks are similar to horizontal bike racks. However, rather than mounting to the wall, they have frames and broad bases that support the entire rack. A typical freestanding rack can hold two bikes one over the other with arms that support the top bars.
- Bike stand: Bike stands most closely resemble the racks commonly seen at parks and stores. They consist of vertical metal bars that fit around the bike’s back wheel and a broad base that keeps the stand and bike or bikes upright. Floor stands hold a bike upright while sitting on the floor. While they don’t offer much in space saving, they do hold the bike securely.
- Tension poles: Tension pole bike stands consist of an adjustable aluminum or steel pole with two horizontal bike racks affixed to it one above the other. The pole is adjusted to create tension between the ceiling and floor, holding the pole in place. This model is ideal when mounting a rack to a wall or ceiling isn’t an option.
Number of Bikes
Bike racks vary in the number of bikes they can hold. Pulley systems can hold only one bike, while horizontal wall racks and tension poles can typically hold two bikes. Floor stands range from single bike options to wider racks that can hold multiple bikes. Vertical wall mount rack systems are the best option for multiple bikes, with some models capable of holding six bikes.
Racks can hold bikes of different weights and wheel sizes. Most wall-mounted systems have a weight capacity of 40 or 50 pounds per hook, while pulley systems have a weight capacity of up to 100 pounds. Floor stands that grip bikes by the front or the back wheel can typically hold bikes ranging in size from 20 inches to 29 inches.
A quality bike rack has a metal frame made from steel or aluminum. Steel-framed bike racks should have an enamel or powder coating to resist rust and corrosion that can occur by being in a space that isn’t climate controlled, such as a shed or garage. Most bike racks have rubberized coatings on the areas that come into contact with the bike to prevent the rack from damaging the bike’s finish or rims.
Ease of Use
Some bike racks can be difficult to use as they require the user to lift the bike to chest height or even above the head. Floor stand racks are the easiest to use as the user can simply roll the bike into the stand. Horizontal and vertical wall-mount racks offer better space savings than floor stands but are a bit harder to use as they require the user to lift the bike and place it on the rack. Depending on the height of the rack and the weight of the bike, mounting the bike to the rack can require a considerable amount of upper body strength. Pulley systems don’t require conventional lifting but do require some strength as the user must pull a rope to elevate the bike.
Our Top Picks
The list below narrows the field of bike racks down to some of the best by type. It includes both horizontal and vertical racks as well as pulley systems and floor stands. The racks below are made from durable steel and aluminum and will help organize the bikes in any garage.
Attractive looks, a simple concept, and its ability to easily expand to include more bikes make this option one of the best means of storing a bike. This wall-mount rack connects to the rear tire of the bike, allowing the user to hang it vertically on the wall of the garage. Welded steel construction creates plenty of support—it can hold up to 40 pounds—while a rubberized hook ensures it won’t damage bike rims.
Its undulating curves and silver finish also make it one of the more aesthetically pleasing wall-mount racks on the market. Its attractive looks and a clear tray for the lower wheel that protects the wall from tire marks makes it ideal for apartments and condos as well as garages. The rack, which holds one bike, mounts easily to the wall with the included hardware. This system is also easy to expand by simply adding more racks.
Finding a storage solution for the family’s fleet of bikes does not require an investment in an expensive bike rack. These hooks will do the job at a fraction of the cost of other bike rack systems. Simply mount the hooks to wall studs in the garage to provide storage for up to eight bikes side by side by hanging the bikes vertically from the rear wheel, or hang two hooks from the ceiling to support one bike by the top bar.
Each hook consists of heavy-duty galvanized steel and features a rubberized coating that protects the bike’s frame and wheel rims while also preventing it from slipping off. Deep threads in the hook make it easier to drive the hooks into wall studs while also making the connection between hook and wall more secure.
With a smart design that quickly and easily locks bikes in an upright position, this rack from Bike Hand is a great option for those looking to keep their bike on the floor. It features a push-in system that makes it easy to slide the bike into the stand and lock it into place. Three points of contact tightly grip the wheel, preventing the bike from flopping left or right and potentially turning the stand over.
With its ability to work with wheel sizes ranging from a 20-inch kids’ bike to a 29-inch mountain bike, this rack is also one of the more versatile floor stands on the market. When not in use, the stand also folds flat, making it easy to store or take on the road.
The angle and length of a bike’s top tube can vary dramatically, making it tricky to hang on a horizontal bike rack. Ibera solves those problems with an adjustable rack. The twin arms that hold the bike rotate up to a 45-degree angle on the mounting bracket, allowing it to hold bikes with a steeply angled top tube at a level position. The user can also adjust the arms between 8.5 inches and 15 inches wide to suit the length of the bike’s top tube. And the length of the aluminum support beam can be adjusted to suit narrow or wide handlebars.
Thick foam pads keep the bike from slipping no matter how steep the angle while also protecting the bike’s finish. With its sturdy aluminum construction, this bike rack can handle up to 40 pounds.
Sturdy and with a series of pulleys that can handle lifting heavy weight, this is one of the best pulley hanger options on the market. With its steel construction, this pulley system can capably lift bikes weighing up to 100 pounds, making it compatible with heavier e-bikes.
This pulley system will work on ceilings up to 12 feet high, clearing valuable floor space in the garage. Hooks that clip around the handlebars and seat have a rubber coating that prevents scratches. A cleat that mounts to the wall holds the pull cord, while a safe locking mechanism prevents the bike from accidentally releasing and falling to the floor. This pulley system must be mounted to ceiling joists.
Although similar to a horizontal bike wall rack, a tension pole such as this model from Sparehand offers more versatility by allowing the user to mount it virtually anywhere in the room. The Q-Rak II works in rooms with ceilings as high as 10 feet and holds two bikes with a total weight capacity of 80 pounds with two sets of steel arms.
Each rack pivots to allow it to hold the bike level regardless of the angle of the bar and rubberized coverings on the arms prevent the metal from scratching the bike frame. Since this rack uses tension to hold it in place, setup is easy with no fasteners required.
Vertical storage racks such as this model from Ultrawall provide one of the best rack designs for storing numerous bikes. This model comes with enough hooks to hang six bikes with a total weight capacity of 300 pounds.
The rack consists of a 4-foot-long steel rail that attaches to the wall with the included mounting hardware. Stout steel hooks that hold each bike vertically by the rear wheel slide along the rail, allowing the user to optimize the spacing to suit the size of the bikes. An enamel coating on the rail resists moisture and corrosion, adding durability, while a rubberized coating on each hook prevents them from damaging the rims.
FAQs About Bike Racks
If you’re wondering what the best way to store multiple bikes is or how much space a bike rack requires, read on for answers to these and other commonly asked questions about the best bike racks.
Q. What is the best way to store multiple bikes in a garage?
The best way to store multiple bikes in a garage is to use a vertical storage rack with a bar that holds multiple hooks. This style of storage rack is expandable and can hold six or more bikes.
Q. What is the correct way to hang a bicycle?
You can hang a bike by its front wheel or back wheel. Just keep in mind that hanging the bike by the front wheel can cause it to flop since the wheel can turn. Don’t hang bikes with carbon fiber rims, as the impact of dropping the bike wheel onto the hook can potentially damage the rim.
Q. How much space do you need to hang a bike?
You can hang bikes surprisingly close together when using a vertical wall rack. Position each hook so that the bike hangs high enough to clear the floor and has just enough clearance for the bike handlebars to prevent touching the handlebars or frame of the adjacent bike. To maximize space for multiple bikes, hang every other bike by its front wheel to prevent adjacent bikes’ handlebars from bumping into each other.
Q. Can I assemble a bike rack on my own?
Most bike rack assembly is fairly easy for a DIYer with basic tools. Bike rack manufacturers include easy-to-follow instructions. When mounting a bike rack to the wall or ceiling, it’s crucial to attach the rack hardware to a stud as drywall does not have the structural integrity to support the weight of the rack and bikes.
Q. How long do bike racks last?
Most bike racks are made from durable materials such as steel and aluminum and can last for many, many years.