If you are at a loss to where else you could store your bike in your house or garage, you might want to maximize the space beneath your ceiling.
You will save on the floor space a free-standing bike storage option, then looking up for storage solutions will keep your garage or house feeling less cluttered.
What are the best options for indoor bike storage in your garage ceiling? Keep your bike out of the way but accessible at the same time by using bike hoists or bike lifts. These products are designed to make lifting the bikes from the ground a lot easier.
Below is a rundown of the products that I have used at some point and the recommendations from my cycling buddies.
Upright/vertical ceiling storage for bikes
Looking for an affordable garage ceiling storage system for your bike? Then a bike hoist may be for you.
Bike hoists are basically compound pulley systems that will do most of the heavy lifting.
You simply hook or strap your bike, and then pull the other end of the rope to raise your load.
Bike hoists are a good choice if you have high ceilings. Below are my recommended products.
What I like about RAD Bike Hoist is that it has a rope locking mechanism to prevent accidental release.
Its hooks have rubber coating so you don’t have to worry about scratching your bike.
It can carry up to 100 lbs and is recommended for ceilings up to 12 feet.
Rad Cycle Rail Bike hoist has the same rope locking and rubber coating features as the product above. But it can carry only 75 lbs which to me is still not bad since most bikes weigh less than that.
One major difference is with the rails which let you adjust the distance between the hooks. That will make it easier to install since you will eliminate the possibility of incorrectly spacing the pulleys when installing.
Also, it offers more flexibility since you can use different-sized bikes for this one.
The rail system also allows you to install it parallel or horizontal to ceiling joists.
If pulling ropes doesn’t appeal to you, don’t worry as I listed other options for you.
Kradl is somewhat like a bike hoist, without the ropes and visible pulleys. And it doesn’t run on electricity either. Its mechanism is somewhat similar to a retractable cord.
To use, you just need to attach the harness to your bike tube, pull the release cord, and then slightly press your bike down to engage the bike lift. Guide your bike as it is being pulled up. To retrieve your bike, you just need to pull it down and detach the harness.
Kradl has two models: one is designed to lift bikes up to 25 lbs, and the other can lift bikes up to 40 lbs.
It can accommodate ceiling heights up to 13 feet for the 40-lb capacity and 15 feet for the 25-lb capacity.
What I like about Kradl is the design is minimalist, unlike your typical bike hoists.
It also is easy to install since you only need two mounting screws. Just be sure to mount it on a ceiling joist.
It is called a hoist, but don’t worry, there are no ropes involved. It is originally named Bike Away Bicycle Storage Elevator, but I guess for Amazon listing purposes, the company opted to use the term hoist.
It is a single rail design that you mount vertically on the wall. The racks are vinyl-coated to protect your bike from scratches. Also, it has a self-locking feature to prevent accidents.
You need to lift your bike only a few inches from the ground to load it in the rack and then use the hand crank to raise the bike all the way to the ceiling. The hand crank is easy to rotate so storing and accessing your bike won’t be a problem.
You can use this for ceiling heights of 8 ft and above. It can carry up to two bikes as long as the total weight does not exceed 80 lbs.
For a more high tech solution for your bike storage, check out Universal Lifter.
It is a motorized hoist which is controlled using your phone via My Lifter app.
The Universal Lifter also works with kayaks, paddleboards, cargo carriers, ladders and other loads up to 100 lbs.
Horizontal Ceiling Storage for Bikes
If your garage or house has a low ceiling, I recommend using an overhead horizontal bike rack or lift instead. This stores bike flat on the ceiling so you have more vertical clearance for your garage.
Flat-bike lift is best for ceiling heights of 8 to 8.5 feet. For higher ceilings, the company also sells one with a longer arm.
Note that you have to order and install a separate bracket if you are going to attach this to the drywall.
You do have to raise your bike a little bit to be able to load it to the lift in an upright position. Then you just have to push the lift up a little bit and let the pneumatic mechanism do the actual heavy lifting.
Also, you need at least 145 cm of clearance as you raise your bike toward the ceiling or to lower it down so it is something that you must consider.
I won’t recommend it overhead of your car because you will not be able to access your bike if your car is parked. Although this can be solved by backing up your car first or purchasing an additional ball bearing rotation flange to allow you to lift your bike and then move it sideways and raise it up to the ceiling.
I think the base model is better suited to be installed somewhere you intend to use as a passageway or perhaps on your porch, or a space in your garage where you don’t plan to put a lot of things.
You can also order a helmet rack to attach to the lift for extra storage.
Zero-gravity bike rack is a bit like the flat-bike-lift, except that it attaches to the wall instead of the ceiling. The advantage of this is that it is easier to install.
Also, you need much less horizontal clearance when raising your bike compared to the flat-bike lift so you can definitely use the floor space below as storage area or other purposes. The downside is that you have to carry your bike higher from the ground to be able to load it on the rack.
Floater hoist also uses ropes and pulleys but it allows you to store your bike horizontally.
It consists of two perpendicular bars. Floater hoist must be installed on concrete ceilings (be sure to use concrete anchors) or solid wood joists.
It has three points of lift. To load your bike, lay your bike flat on the ground. Attach the straps provided, one on the seat stay, another on the seat tube, and the last one on the fork and loop the straps on the hooks. Pull the rope to lift your bike.
It has 2:1 mechanical advantage meaning you only need half the force to lift up your bike. The weight limit is 55 lbs. The maximum ceiling height recommended is 10 ft.
On the downside, it costs more compared to ordinary hoists.
To sum up
The garage ceiling is one of the overlooked spaces for bike storage because many people do not want to break their back when storing and accessing their bike.
But there are solutions out there that will help you lift your bike with less effort like bike hoists, motorized hoists, and bike lifts.
To choose the best bike storage for you, consider your existing space, your budget, and the features of each product that you are eyeing. It helps to read the existing reviews too.
Can I keep my bike outside? I would not advise leaving your bike outside for a long time because it may get damaged by the elements. Besides, there is the possibility of it getting stolen. But if you live in a safe community, and would like to store your bike outdoors, you should at least get an outdoor bike cover to protect it.
How do I store my bike in an apartment? Wall-mounted bike storage products work great for an apartment, but it may not always be possible due to some restrictions imposed by landlords. Other options you have are free-standing bike storage. You may also store it inside a closet that you hardly use or behind large furniture.