March Bike Rack of the Month: Hoist Monster Ceiling Bike Storage

March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb.

The classic idiom seems to ring true this year. From my spot in Michigan, winter was late this year, but Old Man Winter sure made up for the missed snow days late in the season. As March warms up and spring gets a little closer, it’s time to start thinking about hitting the trails again. Let’s take a look at the March Bike Rack of the Month:

 

 

The Hoist Monster Bike Storage Rack

There are a lot of bike ceiling hoists out there, so what makes this month’s features so special? The durability and simplicity of this model really stand out.

I love ceiling hoists because they keep your garage clutter free; floor space is free so you can actually — get this — park your car in the garage.

Unfortunately, sometimes these hoists can be tricky to master and can leave your ride out of reach. But not the Hoist Monster.

Crafted from durable steel with tough vinyl hooks, this light weight hoist is designed to lift one bicycle. The easy-to-use deign works just like mini blinds — simply pull the cord to lift or lower your bike. And that’s just part of the story! You see, this hoist includes a safety feature that cinches the cord if it slips out of your hands. No worries about bikes falling and causing accidents or injuries!

This hoist works with ceilings measuring up to 14 feet high and has a weight capacity of a whopping 45 pounds!

As a bonus, all hardware and detailed instructions are included, so you can rest assured that installation is quick and simple.

Check out what people are saying about the Hoist Monster:

February Bike Rack of the Month: Gravity Bike Stand

The perfect bike rack is no joke and we here at Bike Racks Blog have seen plenty of them. Bike racks come in many different styles, shapes and levels of technical structure.

February Bike Rack of the Month: Gravity Bike Stand

There are many reasons to love February’s bike rack of the month, but the best feature of the Gravity Bike Stand is its simplicity. No bolts, screws or hardware are needed; this durable rack simply sits on the floor and rests against a wall to support up to two bicycles.

The half circle base sits at a 45 degree angle to best support the overall design. All arms are independently adjustable so they can be used to level any style bike frame.

The entire piece is constructed from long-lasting metal with a baked enamel finish.

Vertical bike stands like this one are the best of both worlds; they clear the floor of clutter like a ceiling hoist, but they keep your ride easily-accessible like a floor stand would.

Some assembly is required, but — again — no installation!

Specs:

  • Base: 26 inches wide
  • Vertical design extends only 19 inches from wall
  • Weight capacity: 130 pounds

Now that spring is scheduled to come early, it’s time to start thinking about hitting the trails again.

Happy biking! Find more bike racks at StacksandStacks.com.

 

New Year, New Ride: Best Cycling Accessories

If you’re planning to start this new year on two wheels, make sure you’re doing it right. You can update your ride without purchasing an expensive new bike. In 2016, treat yourself to the little things; get the best accessories and ride to your fullest.

Bike Accessories

  • Water Bottle: We all know hydration is key, but keeping a bottle of water within reach while you’re pedaling can be tricky. I like to use a Water Bottle Bag to keep my H2O accessible. The one I have has an adjustable strap, a clip for keys and even a front pocket to hold my cellphone and ID. I snagged it for about twenty bucks and have definitely got my money out of it.
  • Handlebar Bag: I like to go for long rides on local trails during the summer and I always end up toting around a lot of stuff. I am known to pack up a small backpack and ride with that, but it can be uncomfortable for long periods of time. I recently found a really great Handlebar Bag and now I cannot bike without it. The on-the-go organizer is designed to clip around bike handlebars, stroller handles and more. It has four zippered pockets inside that have clear front windows so you can easily find you stuff. Plus, the outside has a mesh, elastic pouch so you can keep your phone or MP3 player handy while you ride. I love this a lot — I can’t ride without my music and I’m not a fan of the arm bands most bikers opt for.
  • Bungee Cords: This one is just as much for serious riders as it is for casual riders. Bungee Cords are great to keep on you just in case; You never know what you’re going to come across on your ride when you’re far away from your car or home. Once, while on a ride by myself, my seat came lose. I grabbed a bungee cord out of my bag and wrapped it around, securing it to the frame of my bike. The spontaneous hodge-podge fix wasn’t a long term answer, but it helped me get through my ride and back to the car. Bungee cords are also great to have in case you stop somewhere along the way and end up toting goods back home. (I’m a fan of hitting the cider mill on my bike in the fall).
  • Anti-Fog: If you’re riding during the colder months, you may not have consider my last recommendation: Anti-Fog Spray. I do a lot of biking near busy roads, so I have added mirrors to both sides of my handlebars. It doesn’t happen a lot, but when it’s colder outside they have fogged up on me, which can be dangerous. As a cyclist, it is so important to know what is going on around you. While we know the rules of the road are in our favor, not every driver obeys them. One afternoon I grabbed my anti-fog spray that I use in my car and tried it out on my bike — it was life changing! No more second guessing while riding near traffic. For less than $5, there’s no reason not to pick this up. Safety first!

What are your must-have cycling accessories?

Santa’s got a brand new ride

The kiddos asked and old St. Nick delivered — a shiny new bike, that is. But depending on where you live, it’s not exactly bike riding season. So after dad gives in and lets them do a couple laps around the living room, what do you do with the new ride until the snow thaws?

Well, I’m glad you asked. There are lots of things you can do to make sure your fresh wheels are in still in new condition when the summer sun comes back.

Bicycle storageCeiling Mount Bike Lift

  1. Garage Bike Storage Systems: Whether you mount it or hoist it, there are lots of options. Most of these ceiling storage designs are great because you can keep bikes inside, safe from the winter elements, but still have access to your garage. Mom’s happy because she doesn’t have to scrap her windshield before work AND because bikes are out of little ones sight, out of mind until summer. Dual Bike Stand
  2. Bike Stands: Free standing bike stands are a great resource if you have the floor space OR if you’re hesitant about your handiness and would prefer not to hang heavy objects above your not-quite-paid-off car. You can snag one up for less than 100 bucks and easily store bikes during the off season.
  3. Wall Bike Storage: Your final option is wall-mounted holders. These are my favorite because they’re inexpensive, easy to install on your own and still clear floor space in the garage or basement without hoisting to the ceiling.

 

Cycling in the winter is still fun

Well, winter is here. Time to put away the bike and stare longingly out the window until spring arrives. Right?

Nope! Don’t let a little snow slow you down.

Here is a simple trick: If you want to keep on biking trough the winter, adding cable ties to your tires will give you traction to get through the snow and ice. Just make sure you bundle up properly — protect your feet, hands, face and wear your sunglasses — that snow is bright!

Bike trails are best in the winter. Stay away from icy roads and traffic if you can. Of course, the right bike rack will make traveling to your local bike trails a cinch. Happy cycling!

DIY Studded Snow Tires from Zip Ties

Photo courtesy greencupboards.com.

Biking towards a healthy Halloween

Halloween is a family favorite. And although every one deserves a treat now and then, this holiday of sugar and chocolate can pack on loads of extra calories. Adding family exercise like bike rides can help you have a healthy Halloween.

According to a report from Time, kids can bring home between 3,500 and 7,000 calories in their haul Halloween night. The same article says that a 100 pound child who consumed those sweets entirely would have to walk for 14.5 hours to work it off. That’s a lot!

So before you and your little ones dive into the treats, plan ahead and follow a few simple guidelines for the evening:

  • Have a healthy dinner: Halloween is a busy night for most. We’re lucky it falls on a Saturday this year, but typically we’re rushing home from work to get dinner on the table, kids in their costumes and out the door. It can be easy to get a pizza delivered or order take out during this crazy time, but try opting for a crock pot meal or maybe even left overs. Filling kids up with a healthy dinner will hopefully help keep them from eating more candy while going from house to house. Plus, it will give them the proper energy to get through the night.
  • Opt for walking: If the weather is less than desirable, it can be ease to fire up the family grocery-getter and cart kids from house to house. Try to avoid this if you can. Bundle up, wear appropriate clothing for the weather and have the family walk it out. Older kids who are allowed to go out on their own can even go old school and strap a milk crate to their bike. Stay active and easily carry a large load of candy!
  • Keep the favorites, toss the rest: There are LOTS of different kinds of candy being passed out to trick-or-treaters, and we all know how picky kids can be. If you’re looking to trim down the haul, have kids choose their favorite pieces and toss out the rest. If you don’t want to be wasteful, perhaps store it all in an airtight tub and enjoy it throughout the year. Having one or two pieces here and there is better than downing all that sugar in a week or two.
  • Earn your sweets: Just because kids stock up on candy Halloween night, doesn’t mean they should always have access to it. Use their loot to encourage good behavior. Do your chores? Get a piece of candy. Homework done? One more piece.
  • Exercise: Plan some family exercise to balance out the extra calories. Fall is the perfect time to go for family bike rides, walk through the park and more. Do what you can to keep kids active and make it a family affair. Of course, you’ll need the perfect car bike rack to get your family’s rides to the park.

Fall bike rides: prepare with a handlebar bag

Avid riders do not stop for rain and falling leaves. Fall is a great time to wind down a season of bicycling. This off season lends you the perfect opportunity to fine tune your entire process, but riding in the colder months usually means more preparation. Utilizing a handlebar bag on fall bike rides makes it so much easier to keep everything you need on hand.

When out on the trails or just your local residential streets during the colder months, it is important to keep a few things on you. Of course, you always want to make sure you have identification and a cell phone. You’ll probably also have your keys and a MP3 player. Once it gets colder, also try to keep a pair of gloves, fresh socks (in case you get wet!), hand warmers and an emergency blanket. It may seem like overload, but these supplies are easy to manage thanks to the Travel Pocket.

This bike handlebar bag is designed with two adjustable, clipping straps that fit over any style handlebars. A top handle makes it super easy to transport by hand as well. This multi-use bag is also great for strollers, wheelchairs and other devices. This bag unzips down the center to reveal two sides. Four zippered, clear compartments hold all of your bike ride necessities and then some.

Travel Pocket Features

  • Great for use as an overnight bag, emergency kit, and so much more.
  • Inside features four storage compartments with clear windows.
  • Transport to and from the car using top and end carrying handles.
  • Durable nylon construction is shock and weather resistant.
  • Buckle system allows you to attach the organizer inside the car.
  • Can attach to any handle bar measuring 1/4 to 4 inches in diameter.
  • Keep several pockets pre-packed for emergency situations.
  • Tubular shape makes it easy to store and transport.
  • Made in USA.

Bike storage solutions for the coming colder months

It is inevitable. The colder months are creeping in here in Michigan.

And while fall doesn’t officially begin for another ten days, the cool crisp wind of autumn is already blowing through my open bedroom window every night.

This colder weather is the beginning of lots of things, but what it mostly means to us here on the Bike Rack Blog is — you guessed it — winter storage. We have lots of great options for storing your two-wheel transportation for the winter. Whether you’re looking to keep your family’s bikes accessible, or want them completely out of the way to make space for other items, we have you covered.

Here are just a few bike storage solutions:

Motorized bike storage system
Don’t break a sweat getting your bike up and down in the garage thanks to this awesome motorized lift. The flip of a switch hoists up to 125 pounds to the top of your garage ceiling. This lift not only makes it simple to store bikes without lifting much weight, it makes it super easy to keep your ride accessible for those year-long committed riders.

Hoist bike lift
This hoist lift works in a similar way to reduce the need to manually lift the weight of your bike. This storage piece is designed to store a single bike and hoist it up with the pull of a cord, similar to the way the blinds on your windows work. Pull the rope to lift and lock the bike in place and loosen the rope to lower it again. This storage piece is super safe and designed to cinch at the top so it will not fall if you let go.

Classic wall mount
If you want to go simple, consider a classic wall mount. This inexpensive and easy to install holder is perfect for any size garage. Clear up floor space so you can keep cars tucked in the garage all winter long by using this storage piece that is designed to hang one bicycle vertically. The top hook and rail holds the front tire in place while the bottom plate protects walls from the back tire.

 Find these products and more like them at StacksandStacks.com.

Back to basics with car bike racks

Photo courtesy UtahOutside.com.

The weather is starting to cool down here in Southeastern Michigan. Long summer days are growing dark earlier and a crisp wind circles through the nights. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to pack away the bikes just yet.

Enjoy the last weeks of summer by hitting the trails on your bike. Hitch up one of these useful bike racks and get out into the world!

Car bike racks

If you’re working with a hitch, this four bike rack is perfect. Small and easy to manage, this Trailer Hitch Bike Carrier is ideal for family rides. This rack attaches to a two inch hitch on the back of your truck, SUV, car or van. The durable steel frame with powder coated finish supports up to four standard sized bicycles or up to 120 pounds. Tilt it to the side to access your trunk or cargo area.

Another great addition for truckers is the Bedrack 4-Bike Rack. This handy design is meant to secure up to four bicycles in the bed of any pickup truck. The rack extends from 54.5 inches to 72.5 inches, depending on spacer. Packed with a cable to secure inside the truck bed, this rack is ready to hit the road.

If you’re looking for something lighter, consider the Car Trunk Bike Rack. This alternative system is designed to hold up to three bicycles or a combined weight of 90 pounds. Rubber grips prevent scratches and scuffs on paint or glass. The weather resistant steel construction is perfect biking in any season.

Any of these quality car bike racks are sure to keep you connected to the outdoors and on two wheels.

Find these products and more like them at StacksandStacks.com.

Car Mounted Bike Rack Lets You Get Away

The weather has finally started to show signs of improving! That means that maybe you will have a chance this month to get out and get some rides in. I know I have been pretty cooped up trying to cope with this winter vortex that has us all huddling indoors. Maybe you want to go on a trip and go on a destination ride – in that case be sure you have the proper car mounted bike rack to get your bicycle from point A to point B safely and securely.

One great choice for your next bicycling adventure is the Four Bike Car Bike Rack. This car mounted bike rack is a good choice for those of you that want to go on an adventure with the entire family or with a group of friends.

Car Mounted Bike Rack

What makes this car mounted bike rack so excellent is the durable construction that goes along with soft vinyl padding. That keeps the paint job on your car and your bicycles safe from scratching and other damage. The bike rack folds up nice and compact, which makes it really easy to store when not in use.

I am so happy that I can finally get out and go for a ride and really enjoy my surroundings. I tried to go on a few local rides during the worst of the winter storms, and let me tell you that those trips were a bit of a disaster. I was sliding around on the icy sidewalks, trying to avoid reckless drivers and eventually falling into an icy puddle. That put a terrible end to an already frustrating bicycle ride.

But now I am getting ready to drive out to the countryside and take in the beauty of the warm spring day. Hopefully there is enough time for the grass to have turned green and the lowers to have bloomed!