Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Just Hangin'

We have finally hung the Motobecanes up on the wall and cleared up some floor-space in my art studio. Now there are "only" four bicycles there: the Pashleys and the vintage DL-1s. It is not a large studio by any means; I have no idea how we managed to store six bicycles there. At least now these two are suspended from hooks in the bedroom.

I think the Motobecanes look rather nice here. The door on the left is a closet, and yes the positioning of my mixte makes the closet impossible to open without taking the bike down. That is okay, because it is a long-term storage closet and we only open it occasionally. There was no other place to hang the bikes in the entire apartment; the rest of our wallspace is covered with book-cases.

We used common 5" threaded, ruberised hooks that you can easily find at any bike shop. They are intended for wood, and you need to be sure that you are screwing them into wooden beams and not drywall. Also, this probably goes without saying, but this method is not intended for extremely heavy bicycles, such as Dutch bikes or English Roadsters. Our vintage roadbikes are around 30lbs each, and I would not go much beyond that weight.

We like these hooks because they are sturdy, yet unobtrusive. We did not really feel drawn to bike trees and funky wall-mounting systems, as those tend to clash with the delicate ecosystem of our dwelling's aesthetic. With these minimalist hooks, the bikes remain the focus of attention, like fine pieces of art. Incredibly imposing art.

14 comments:

  1. Just some silly comments regarding hook placement. You can use a fridge magnet to find metal nails behind your drywall which will hint where the wooden substructure is. Just hold it gently and move it around the wall until you hit the spot--I hope that's not your electrical wiring. Follow that up with diligent knocking on the wall and listening to sounds. Usually the wooden skeleton has a regular interval where beams repeat (i.e. 24" or similar). Don't do this unless you're comfortable, though, because bikes can fall and hurt someone!

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  2. You could also use wooden triangles to hang bikes at a 45* angle and save lots of space that way, but it's more difficult so we didn't bother. In retrospect, that would've made the closet door accessible.

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  3. Good points! You can also just go based on whether the wall caves in once you hang the bikes. But your method is good too
    : )

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  4. MDI-- there are also stud finding devices which use magnetism to zero in on a wall stud.

    i agree on not needing fancy wall racks. we use similar hooks in our basement, screwed into the floor joists. and we hang our 40+lb roadsters and dutch bikes on them as well (though it is a pain to lift them!) we pack 'em in close by alternating the direction of the bikes. that way the handlebars don't entangle.

    one question-- why did you choose to screw into the wall and not the ceiling?

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  5. Walls were easier given our apartment's construction. Also less lifting and no side-to-side movement as the wheels get pinched against the surface.

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  6. we are thinking of investing in similar 'hanging' system for my boyfriend road bike and fixie ; ) Vita will have to stay on the ground though... as you say too heavy for the walls but also too heavy for me to 'unhook' it lol! x

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  7. most modern buildings have wall studs every 16" on center out from any given corner; be sure to take into account the (approx.) 5/8"-3/4" of plaster/drywall when measuring. A small tap on the wall after measuring can usually help determine if the area is solid. Also, you can hammer a very small "finish" nail or brad to make certain the area of wall you will be attaching your hooks to actually is solid.

    The big caveat is that many of the older buildings in the Boston area may have been build before the implementation of standard building codes and, as a result, may have wall supports at differing intervals.

    "...my art studio"

    Ok, as another artist I am curious what type of work do you do?

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  8. my biggest concern with hanging hooks on the walls as opposed to the ceiling is that the walls are subject to more scuffing from the tires. our basement space is pretty tight, so by hanging the bikes from the ceiling, we have enough room underneath them to store boxes as well. plus, from a physics standpoint, a hook in the ceiling can hold a heavier bike than the same hook in the wall. granted, it is a few more inches of lifting, which can be cumbersome with a 40+lb bike!

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  9. Lorenza - Yes, I can't imagine unhooking my Pashley from the wall/ceiling every time I go for a ride!

    somervillain - We can't make holes in the ceiling of our apartment, and the basement is not secure. I like the idea of Roadsters hanging suspended though.

    Astroluc - I am a painter. As you said, not all buildings have the standardly placed beams. Even feeling for them can be tricky, because some walls will have layer upon layer of plaster and other stuff stuck in there and painted over.

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  10. We have an old building with tall ceilings, so with the wheels nearly at the top, the rear of the bike is at about the "doorknob" level, as you can see from pictures. I was thinking of sticking some shelves or a dresser under the bikes or yet something else ultimately to prevent cats from nesting there--you know--just in case.

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  11. More of an FYI for others since your hooks are in and the bikes are already up ;)

    Sorry, I do realize that this is not an art blog, but my curiosity has been piqued and just have a few more questions: Are you a working painter, aspiring, or just do it for the love of it? What mediums do you work in and how would you describe your style? Do you show?

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  12. Astroluc - Working painter/printmaker, and I do exhibit; though lately I've been rather overwhelmed by my dayjob. It's hard to describe a style in this pesky age of post-modernism, but I guess you could say it is "figurative". I have shown at MPG Contemp if that helps. Would rather not say more here, as I like to keep my different personae separate and I don't post my name on this blog : )

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  13. I've been meaning to hang up our bikes for months, since the beginning of Summer, really. In my head, I am already imagining a ceiling pulley system capable of supporting a pair of DL-1s... I'll need to do some thorough research of the art studio and possibly get some wall probing spy tools. :)

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  14. Please don't put or hang anything else in my art studio! If we get a house with a barn like I keep saying we should, we can have all the pulley systems you want.

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