About Bike hangers and cycle racks
Choosing the Best Bike Hanger or Cycle Rack
Looking for a compact bike storage solution? If you’re confused by all the options, then the information below should help you choose the best bike hanger or cycle rack for your needs.
What’s in a Name?
Bike hangers are sometimes known as bike hanging systems. It’s also common to find them labelled as cycle hangers, and these two terms are interchangeable. Just to add to the possible confusion, they can also be known as bike or cycle racks – although there is a subtle distinction here. (Racks usually include a fuller framework to support the bike, while hangers typically have a more minimal design.)
You shouldn’t confuse these products with car-mounted racks – which are used for transporting, not storing, bikes. There’s also a distinction between hangers/racks and cycle stands. (Stands simply provide a fixed point of support, while racks and hangers actually hold the bike in place, offering a more convenient and secure form of storage.)
How Do I Choose a Bike Rack?
It pays to start by identifying your needs. Asking yourself a few quick questions before ordering can help define the best bike hanger/rack for you:
- Will the bike hanger/rack be placed singly – perhaps in a domestic environment? Or will it be one among many in a cycle compound – perhaps at a public or commercial site?
- Have you considered vertical bike storage, to help make the best of limited space?
- Do you require outdoor or indoor bike storage?
- Do you need a secure bike rack, or is the storage location itself sufficiently secure?
- Are you obliged to comply with planning or security requirements?
It’s also worth thinking about which additional services you require, before choosing a supplier:
- Are you happy to buy a cycle hanger and install it yourself, or would you prefer to use a professional installation service?
- Will you require a design service in order to achieve the optimal bike storage configuration?
Answering these questions will put you well on the way to choosing the best cycle hanger (or rack) for your individual circumstances.
Vertical Bike Storage
Short on space? Vertical bike storage is the ideal solution to this all-too-common problem. Choosing a product such as a wall-mounted cycle hanger means that your bike will only extend a little way into the available space. Another option is a semi-vertical bike rack.
Two-tier bike racks allow for the storage of one bike directly above another. Gas-assisted models make operation easier and more convenient. This solution can work well for families with more than one bike. It also works equally well in bike storage compounds, where achieving maximum capacity is key.
Galvanised Steel Bike Racks
When most people buy a bike rack, they expect it to last; choosing a high-quality product featuring robust build quality and durable materials will help ensure it does.
Galvanised steel bike racks or hangers are a popular choice for outdoor use. Steel is strong and durable, but, in its ‘natural’ state, it’s also prone to rusting. Galvanised steel features an outer coating of a rust-resistant metal, which overcomes this problem. Powder coated painted steel can also be rust resistant, although galvanised products are usually viewed as optimal for outdoor use.
Secure Bike Hangers
Both bike racks and wall-mounted bike hangers can provide secure bike storage. Some feature integral points for fitting U locks, while the most secure bike racks include multi-point locking systems. Even if the product doesn’t feature an integral locking system, a cable lock can usually be fitted between the bike and the frame of the bike rack or hanger.
There’s sometimes a trade-off between security and convenience here. If your bike is stored outside, you should always fit a bike lock. If you choose indoor bike storage, then whether you lock the bike to the cycle hanger or rack will depend on how much you value security vs. convenience. Ask yourself: Can you afford to lose your bike? Does your insurer require that it be secured with a bike lock? How secure is the room, garage or shed where it’s being stored?
As part of the push towards a low-carbon society, the government has issued guidelines defining the kind of cycle storage that should be provided as part of new developments. Planners also sometimes require developers to conform to Secured by Design standards.
In addition to the links above, you can learn more about both of these initiatives on our cycle shelters page.
Bike Hanger Installation
Sometimes, choosing who to buy a bike hanger from can be just as important as choosing the best bike hanger itself. That’s because not all suppliers offer bike hanger installation services. Many hangers and racks are straightforward enough for a moderately competent ‘DIYer’ to install independently, but a professional installation provides peace of mind. It should also ensure compliance with the standards we looked at above.
Our optional installation service is available nationwide. We also offer a design service, whereby we’ll plan a bespoke bike rack or hanger configuration to ensure the most efficient use of space.
Choosing the best bike hanger isn’t always easy. Hopefully, this bike hanger buying guide has helped, but if you’re still confused, then reach out and chat with us online, or contact us and we’ll get back to you.