Ceiling Mount Bike Lift Review
Get your bikes in the air for better storage
If you have a family like me, everyone in the family owns a bicycle. And, also if you are like me, some people own more than one bike. Yes, I admit to having a “thing” for bicycles. But then, my son has two of his own – a BMX and a Mountain bike. Don’t get rid of your bikes! Keep them all with a ceiling mount bike lift.
Whenever you have multiple bicycles, you are going to run into some storage issues. Bikes have a pretty big footprint. Leave them in the garage for easy access or banish them to the shed? Is there even any room in your garage if you have a car or two parked in there?
I was looking for a solution to my bike storage issue. My father in law has his bicycles hanging from the ceiling from some J hooks like these. The problem with hanging bikes from those is that it makes it hard for the kids to get their bikes down to ride. Then again, his ceiling is a lot shorter than the ceiling in my garage. I have 12 foot ceilings.
On to Google and I typed in “bicycle storage garage” and looked at all the different ideas there. I liked some of the wall mount solutions like these But those take up lots of precious wall space and I would still have an issue with the kids loading and unloading their bikes, especially on the upper rack.
Then I came across a picture of the ceiling mount bike lift and I thought that this could work! I have ample ceiling space in my garage and these bike hoists would get the bikes off the ground into the unused space up there.
I went to Amazon and found a 2 pack of the RAD Cycle bike lifts for just over $20 and thought that I’d take a chance on these. If I really like them, I can get a few more later (and I did! 🙂 )
Your bike lift consists of six pieces and a set of screws. The pieces are: 2 pulleys with hooks, two metal brackets with pulleys, a rope and a hanger to wind the rope on. The instructions that come with them are easy to understand. Just follow the pictures and you will get a general idea of how to hang them up.
Installing the ceiling bike lift
Before you start hanging this up on the ceiling, you are going to need some extra items! Yes, everything does not come in the kit! You definitely need a piece of 1 X 4 – this will be lag screwed into the ceiling joists and the bike lift brackets will then be screwed into the 1 X 4. Also, get some longer hex lag screws and some better wood screws. The lag screws that come with the kit are pathetically short. They will barely grab into the joist after going through your 1 X 4. The wood screws that come with the kit will work, but you will still strip out the screw, even when you pre-drill the holes – get new ones.
Take this measurement and space your brackets out on your 1 X 4 as seen in this picture. Both brackets are not the same. You have the front bracket that has the rope release/lock and the rear bracket that has only a pulley. Make sure your measurement places the brackets so that the pulley hooks will be able to properly hold the handlebar and rear of the seat. Too far and the bike will not stay on the hooks.
When you have spaced the brackets out correctly, you should mark the holes to mount the brackets and then pre-drill the holes. Don’t screw the brackets to the wood yet! Now take the board to the ceiling and mark where your lag screws will go on the board. Put the lag screws in the middle of the 1 X 4, the brackets will not interfere with the lag screw head if they are in the middle of the board.
Now that the board is attached to the ceiling, tie one end of the rope to the rear bracket as shown. The pulley is adjustable so you can set it in one of 5 settings, but leave the last hole open to tie off the rope. Go ahead and screw the bracket to the wood in your pre-drilled holes. Go ahead and attach the front bracket to the wood in the other pre-drilled holes.
You should now have two brackets attached to the ceiling with a rope hanging from the rear bracket. Take one of the pulleys with the hooks and thread the rope around it and up and over the pulley on the rear bracket. The rope will now go over to the pulley on the front bracket to be thread down and through the other pulley with hooks. Make sure the hooks are facing the right way!
Now, take the rope back up and through the release mechanism. Take the rope through the hole in the stop pivot point. Now this is hard to describe, but take the rope through the hole with the pivot point, not around it but through it. It took me a few times to get it right!
Operating the lift
Now you have two floating pulleys with hooks, one to grab the handlebars, the other to grab the rear of the seat. You can and should bend these hooks with some channel locks so that they grab the bike well. Pull the rope taught with both hooks grabbing the bike. Now you can pull the bike to the ceiling! You will have to help the rear of the bike up so that it doesn’t sag. Attach the rope wind up to the wall if you like.
To release and lower the bike, you have to pull the rope away from the bike and hold it there while releasing some rope. It takes a bit of practice, but you can get the hang of it.
There you have the complete story of my ceiling mounted bike lifts. I have 4 attached to my ceiling now. Three of them hold bicycles and one holds my Kayak! I have my 11 foot kayak suspended from the ceiling with a set of these bicycle hoists.
I am generally happy with my garage ceiling bike lifts. Once I figured out that the hardware was sketchy and that I needed some wood to mount the brackets on, I was sold on the solution. Your original $22 investment turns into about $29 to hang 2 bikes in your garage ceiling. The bikes are out of the way and are easy enough to raise and lower by yourself or a tween/teenager in your family. Caution- If you do not have your bike hooked to the pulleys properly, it will fall off on your head! I had this happen.
I strongly suggest you use some small bungee cords to secure the hooks onto your bike. Then if it lets go, the bungee will catch it and save you or your kid some pain.