I finally have my garage. Dave, the male half of The Heathered Nest here. I gotta say, as a guy, whether we really need one or not, a garage is something that tops our "wishlist" when looking for a home. And although my wife and I have moved A LOT since first being married, we had never had a house with a garage. So when I finally got the garage, there was a brief moment of, "WOW, this is great!" But what they say is true. The more space you have, the more you'll just fill that space with junk. The garage turned into a catch all. Lawn equipment, college text books, junked up furniture, or "treasures" my wife finds by the roadside…ALL OF IT, and more, was in our garage. When we looked around and realized that the garage could have been the star of one of those episodes of “storage wars”, we finally broke. We started purging. And then it was time to organize.
One of the items we struggled with were the kids' ride on toys…bikes, scooters, etc. I found myself constantly tripping over them or kicking them out of the way…so I wanted to create a permanent home for those bikes. So I built this DIY rack out of some 2×4's, and the kids love this thing. They now have their own, personal, VIP parking spots. A claimed stake to a little parcel of land they can call their own. We’ll show you how to design and build your own bike rack. Ours was made for 3 bikes, but you can adjust yours to fit more or less. As I was building this, I figured out that there was some extra storage space created that was a built-in bonus! Keep reading to find out…
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How to Build a DIY Bike Rack
- 2×4’s…you will need seven 8’ long 2×4’s
- 2-1/2” Screws
- Tape measure
- Rafter square (or something that measures a 45 degree angle)
- Screw gun
- Chop saw or circular saw
- Kreg Jig
1. Plan, plan, plan…
Trust me, this will make everything go smoother. Lay out the bikes (we will be working with three in this tutorial) to see how much space is needed, as a whole. When I was planning, I wanted it to be easy for the kids to get their bikes in and out without the handle bars hitting each other. I found that I needed about 24” between each bike. So I sketched this out, and for the three bikes in total, I came up with an overall rack length of 58”.
2. Make space in your garage/shed/wherever this will live…
The overall size of your rack may need to be adjusted depending on the space you have to dedicate.
3. Determine the required DEPTH.
This was a trial and error process, but I came up with an overall depth of 19" (this is the outside dimension of the whole rack from front to back, including the width of the 2×4's in the frame). My sons bike has a tire diameter of 20”, so if your kids bikes have the same tire dimension, you should be fine. But if your tires are larger, you may need to increase the depth of your bike rack.
4. Build the base.
The base will be composed of 4 pieces of 2×4, 2 long (58″ each), and 2 short (12″ each). Cut these pieces using the chop saw. Once cut, lay your four pieces out on a flat surface. Then screw the four pieces together. I used the Kreg jig to make pocket holes in the 12″ pieces. We have mentioned the Kreg Jig in other posts…great tool. and I definitely recommend it. We use it a few times in this project. Once these are screwed together the overall outside frame dimensions should be 58″x19″.
5. Create pocket on base to hold tire.
Based on the width of the tire, I decided to make the pocket 3” wide. This pocket will hold the front bike tire. To make this pocket, you will need to cut an additional 4 pieces of 2×4, each 12″ long. Once cut, use the Kreg Jig to make pocket holes in each of these 12″ pieces. Then screw them into the frame. Your base is done!
Above is a shot of the BOTTOM of the completed base. Flip the base over, and we will continue by adding the upright sections.
6. Cut upright/angled sections.
The angled pieces are probably the trickiest part of this project. But don't worry…I've done all the math for you. Even broke out the Pythagorean theorem…remember that from high school? We now need to build the upright sections of the bike rack that will hold the front tires. This will be constructed of 2 angled 2×4's for each bike housing. In this scenario, we need room for three bikes, so we will be cutting 6 of these pieces. These are installed at a 45 degree angle, so use a rafter square to measure your 45 degree angle on one end of your first 2×4.
Then, cut along your mark using the chop saw.
Once you have cut the end at 45 degrees, measure 22″ on the LONG side and cut another 45 degree angle.
Now you have to cut the second piece (the rear/vertical upright). Measure 15.5″ and then cut a 45 degree angle on this board, again using the rafter square.
For this second piece you will also want to use the Kreg Jig to and put two pocket holes at the base of this board…this will allow you to easily attach it to the base.
Now you need to screw these two pieces that form the upright section together.
Set this section up on your base and screw the vertical upright to the rear of the base, as shown below.
Then screw the slanted portion of the upright to the front of the base, shown below.
Now repeat this 5 more times, for the remaining upright sections.
When all 6 uprights are attached, your structure will appear as above.
(Quick note…if your bike rack is a different depth than mine, you can't use the same measurements I used. You would need to cut the first 45 degree angle, hold this piece on the base and measure from the base up to this piece to get the length you want and then cut your second 45 degree angle…as shown in the image below).
The hardest part is complete. Now all we have to do is add a little bracing to make the structure stable. First, we add 2×4’s to the back of each of the vertical supports in the rear of the rack.
Remember, you need to add 1.5″ to the length of these supports to account for the height of the base 2×4…so these are 17″ long (15.5″ + 1.5″ = 17″).
Place one of these 17″ vertical 2×4's behind each upright angle supports, 6 in total.
Now add a 2×4, (58″ in length) on top to tie it all together.
Screw the top 2×4 in place.
Your bike rack is now complete…and your garage is one more step closer to actually being used for what it was intended…to hold a car!!
Go ahead and park those bikes!
Now for the bonus storage!! As if building this bike rack was not reward enough…wait! There's more! Many kids have these "plasma cars" and those things are a pain to store too! Just plain dumb luck, but this bike rack offers a great place to store the plasma cars with no extra modification! I simply took the plasma car and stood it up on the rear wheels, placing it in the gap between the bikes…voila…instant plasma car storage. I was pretty happy with that. Told my wife I planned it that way, too.
I hope you found this tutorial helpful! Come see us at the Nest sometime soon. We love to DIY. Here are a couple of our favorite projects, check them out!