Does Hanging A Bike By The Wheel Damage It?

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.

Does Hanging A Bike By The Wheel Damage It

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.

Why Do Riders Hang Their Bicycle On A Bike Hook?

Bike hooks are good for two different reasons.

  1. They are resourceful because they free up space
  2. 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. The hook is also easy to install requiring only a drill and a couple of screws. The hook can hang on a wall, ceiling rafter, 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. 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.

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.

These include:

  • 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.

Types of Bicycle Mounts

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.

  1. Kickstand: The easiest way to store a bike but not the most practical.
  2. Bike hook: A common method of storage that is mounted to a ceiling or wall
  3. 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.
  4. Freestanding rack: It’s like a coat rack for a bike. Very popular in a garage and can also store more than one bike.
  5. Gravity stand: Ideal because you do not need to drill into the wall, but not the most space-saving.

wayts to hang a bike

Ways To Hang A Bike By A Hook?

Bike hooks are the top option for riders with limited space and want to keep their 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Horizontal Hang: A good alternative for cyclists worried about putting too much strain the rim.
  3. 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.

What Risks Are Associated With Hanging A Bike By Its Wheel?

While shops hang their bikes by the wheel 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.

Does Hanging A Bike By The Wheel Damage It?

The worry about having too much strain on the wheel or rim is easily avoidable by mounting the bicycle from two points of contact on the frame. The horizontal mounting method works for most homeowners or renters.

The alternative is to store the bike vertically and hang it off one wheel. I don’t recommend this method if you have hydraulic disc brakes. For bikes with only standard rim brakes, there is little to no risk of damage and is completely safe.

Your bicycle endures more strain every time you hop on it and plant all of your weight on the bike while riding for miles. Hanging it by the wheel does not pose a significant long-term risk of damage.

Additional Info

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.

Your comments are welcome!

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