Storage for a bicycle can be a major problem if you have a crowded garage. When you don’t have a lot of space inside your garage you aren’t left with many options.
You can leave your bike outside (which I don’t recommend). Where would be the best place to put your bike?
You could hang it on the ceiling. You might be wondering if that’s a good idea. Does hanging a bike by the wheel damage it?
Most experts believe that there is no risk of hanging your bike by its wheel. But, a few argue that hanging a bicycle on a hook by only one wheel may put a lot of pressure on the rim.
That pressure could add a slight risk of damaging the bike. The biggest concern is with bikes that have hydraulic disc brakes. When they are stored upside down, air goes to the caliper and the brakes will act squishy the next time you ride until air fills up the reservoir once again.
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Does Hanging A Bike By The Wheel Damage It?
Hanging your bike vertically by the front wheel doesn’t cause any damage to the wheel or the rim of the bike. You can get a bike hooks use a soft pads that will help cushion the rims.
Even the bike hooks that don’t have the pads are still safe to use. I don’t recommend you hang the bike by one wheel if you have hydraulic brakes. You can mess up your brakes if you do.
If you have the regular rim brakes then you don’t need to worry.
But if you are worried you can mount your bicycle from two points of contact on the frame. The horizontal mounting method works for most homeowners or renters. And it will still save you space.
Your bicycle endures more strain every time you hop on it and plant all of your weight on the bike while riding for miles (which the wheels are designed for). Hanging your bike by its wheel doesn’t any carry risk of long-term risk damage.
What Risks Come With Hanging A Bike By Its Wheel?
While shops hang the bike by the wheels all of the time some argue it is the not correct form of storage.
They complain that:
- Hanging the bike on the wheel puts too much pressure on the rim, potentially bending it or causing damage over time.
- Puts too much strain on the wheel as it supports the rest of the weight of the frame.
- Is counter-productive to hydraulic disc brakes because the air is drained when the bike is stored vertically.
As long as you have standard brakes on your bike there aren’t any risks of damage.
Why Do Riders Hang Their Bicycle On A Bike Hook?
They are good for two different reasons.
- They are resourceful because they free up space
- Keep your bike from being a safety hazard or causing damage from being knocked over.
The bike hook is coated with vinyl or another protective coating to help prevent the wheel from scratching. It’s easy to install requiring only a drill and a couple of screws.
You can hang it on a wall, from the ceiling, or another spot where the bike can hang vertically or horizontally.
When you visit a bike shop you might have noticed that they like to hang the bicycles they have for sale (especially road bikes).
Part of the reason they do this is to free up more room and sell more models in the storefront. If shops are willing to hang bikes this way it must be a safe method of storage.
Why Should You Always Store Your Bike Indoors?
Even if you are limited on space it is a very good idea to house your bike inside when you are not using it. When you keep a bicycle outside mother nature may not play nice.
You can easily stop rust from forming on your bicycle if you keep it indoors. Also, bikes that are kept outdoors are more likely to get stolen.
Types of Bicycle Mounts You Should Look For
There are a variety of ways to store a bike. The vertical hang by a bike hook is one of the most popular because of its practical space-saving ability, but not your only option.
- Kickstand: The easiest way to store a bike but not the most practical.
- Bike Hook: A common method of storage that is mounted to a ceiling or wall
- Floor Stand: Convenient way to store a bike but only if you have a lot of floor space. Also like a kickstand, does not remove the bike from the ground where it’s exposed to dirt and dust, as well as getting knocked over.
- Freestanding Rack: It’s like a coat rack for a bike. Very popular in a garage and can also store more than one bike.
- Gravity Stand: Ideal because you do not need to drill into the wall, but not the most space-saving.
What Do You Need To Consider With A Bike Mount?
There are several considerations you need to take into an account once you’ve decided where you will mount your bicycle.
- The Location: Are you placing the mount inside the home or in a storage shed or garage?
- Clearance Space: You need to decide how much space is allowable to move around the bike when it’s hanging so you don’t pose the risk of knocking into it.
- Bike Weight: The more weight the more strain it will place on a wall or ceiling where it’s mounted. Higher priced, titanium or carbon frames are far more lightweight than aluminum alloy.
- Wall Quality: What type of wall are you mounting the bike to? Is it traditional drywall or something cheap like plywood on the side of a shed? You need to be aware of its weight capabilities so the bicycle does not come crashing down.
- Wall And Floor Protection: Bikes are grease and dirt collectors so you ideally do not want to mount the bike over carpet if storing it inside a home.
- Security: If you are storing the bike in a shed or garage, you may also want to install some kind of locking device in addition to the mount to prevent theft.
Ways To Hang A Bike By A Hook?
Bike hooks are the top option if you have limited space for bike storage and want to keep your bikes off the floor and out of the elements. The hooks are very versatile and easy to install.
There are a few different ways to hang a bike by a hook:
- Vertical Hang: The bicycle is hooked on by the wheel and hangs vertically. The hook is secured on a stud in the wall or ceiling rafter.
- Horizontal Hang: A good alternative for cyclists worried about putting too much strain the rim.
- Double Hook Hang: The bike essentially is stored upside down. The weight is also evenly distributed as a hook supports each wheel, placing less strain on just one wheel.
The Bottom Line
Your bike hanging by the front wheel wont cause any damage. And it’s a great option if you want to save some space your garage.
Most bike shops have hanging bikes on display. So chances are your bike was hanging at some point in time.
Enjoy the extra room in your garage!
Are interested in learning more about how to store your bike properly? Check out my full guide on the best way to store your bikes in your garage.