Cycling is on the rise in urban areas of the United States. Since the early 1990s, ridership in New York City is up nearly 400 percent; in Portland, Oregon 300 percent; and in Boston about 120 percent. (See References 1, 2 and 3) The trend reflects Americans’ desire for physical fitness as well as concern for the environment. Biking to work or school is a great cardiovascular workout, and it reduces the number of cars on the road, cutting down on air pollution and traffic. Properly storing your bike when it’s not in use is an important part of keeping it in top working condition -- and one space-saving method, especially suited to apartment dwellers, is hanging it from ceiling hooks.
Items you will need:
- Measuring tape
- Stud finder or hammer
- Electric drill or screwdriver
- Hand wrench or pliers (optional)
- One or two C-shape bicycle hooks with screw-in ends
Measure the distance between the two wheels of your bicycle as it stands upright at the points where it touches the ground. If you want to mount only one hook, skip to Step 2.
Set the stepladder under the ceiling area where you plan to mount the bike. Using a stud finder, locate a stud -- a rafter or beam supporting the ceiling from opposite side -- in the area. Alternately, gently rap on the ceiling with a hammer until you hear a solid, not hollow, thump; that sound indicates the presence of a stud.
Mark the spot with the pencil. If you choose to mount two hooks, locate another stud at a distance equaling the bike wheels’ measurement you determined in Step 1. Note the second spot with the pencil.
Drill a pilot hole at each pencil mark using the electric drill or screwdriver and a screw that is the same width as the bicycle hook’s screw end. Then remove the screw from each hole.
Insert the end of the bike hook into the pilot hole and twist into place tightly. Use a wrench or pliers for leverage if necessary. Make sure the “C” of the hook is turned in the right direction for hanging the bike. If you’re installing two hooks, repeat this step with the second hook.
Hang the bike by one wheel or by two wheels, depending on the number of hooks you’ve installed. Flip the bike upside down, so the wheels face up, then carefully lift the bike to hang it from the hooks.
- The amount of weight that each hook can bear is marked on its package. Purchase the sturdiest hardware for your needs.
- Leave enough width between the hooks and the nearest wall to accommodate the bike’s handlebars and pedals. Measure the width of handlebars and divide by two to determine the minimum clearance needed between the hook and the closest wall.
Kat Long is a journalist based in New York City. Since 2001, her articles have appeared in U.S.newspapers and magazines, including the "Village Voice" and "The Advocate," as well as online media. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing and history.
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