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Finding and choosing the best way to store your family bikes in the garage can be a major struggle. We all know that storing bikes indoors is the best way to make sure that they last longer and are in good condition, but the reality is that they take up SO MUCH SPACE!
This summer, our bike has become completely overrun with bikes and bike gear, to the point that we couldn’t even fit one car in our garage. Bikes are in constant use in our home, so having a good place to store them and keep all our bikes and gear organized was incredibly important to us. We also have LOTS of bikes in our home, so finding a good storage solution for lots of bikes was important for us (we have a family of 7 and have 13 bikes currently).
Criteria for the best garage bikes racks for families
There were several factors that we decided were important in choosing the best bicycle racks for families.
First and foremost, all of the bike storage racks that we tested and recommended had to be able to be used by kids WITHOUT parent help. We know that if a parent has to help a kid get their bike down or put it away multiple times a day, the likelihood of it being put away correctly is pretty small.
Second, it had to be relatively compact. In our family, and most families with kids, garage storage space is somewhat limited and so space needs to be considered when choosing a family bike storage rack for the garage. We needed to be able to fit a large number of bikes and still have room for other things as well.
Options we considered when choosing the best garage bike racks for families:
Floor Bicycle Rack Stand
We have used a homemade wooden bike floor rack for years and it was an okay solution. However, as our kids have gotten bigger, so have their bikes and it was getting more and more difficult to fit all of the bikes in the rack well. We absolutely LOVE bicycle floor racks for younger kids and smaller bikes.
Horizontal Wall Bicycle Racks
We love the idea of horizontal wall racks, especially since they’re super compact, but they take up a pretty good amount of wall space in the garage. For a family with kids, you could easily fill up all your wall space in the garage with bikes. Additionally, horizontal mounted bike storage can be a little bit challenging for kids to lift their bikes onto. If we were to go that route, we would get this bike rack. Sadly, we know that for most families,horizontal wall racks aren’t the best solution.
Ceiling Bike Racks For Kids Bikes
Ceiling bike racks are the best way to keep bikes out of the way and keep your garage clear. They’re incredible for off-season bike storage, but are difficult to get bikes up and down. If you use your bikes regularly, or have young kids, they’re not the best option since they always require parent assistance. Our goal is to make biking easier, and ceiling bike racks generally don’t simplify the process of getting out on bikes.
Best Floor Garage Bike Racks For Kids
Bike floor stands are stands that sit on the floor of the garage and the wheel can simply be rolled into. They’re one of the cheapest garage bike racks and are great for younger kids bikes since they’re very easy to park bikes in.
Delta Cycles Adjustable Bike Floor Stand: best floor garage bike storage solution
Bike Sizes: Tire widths up to 5” and wheel sizes 16” and larger
Capacity: 1 bike
Our all time favorite bike storage rack stand for kids is the Delta Cycles Adjustable Floor Stand bike rack. Unlike most other floor stands for bikes, the width of this bike rack is adjustable so you can fit a fat tire bike, or a road bike in this garage bike rack.
We love both Guardian and Woom bikes for kids, but they both have narrower tires and often don’t fit well in a traditional bike rack. This bike rack for kids can be adjusted to fit their tires perfectly, so this is our favorite bike rack for kids. The Delta Cycles rack can only fit 1 bike, and it doesn’t do well with tires under 16” (we tried it with a 12” bike and the tires were too small, but it may fit a mid size 14” tire bike).
Bike Sizes: Tire widths up to 2.5”, 12” wheels and up
Capacity: 2 or 5 bikes
Floor bike stands are incredibly simple and the perfect bike storage solution for younger kids. This bike stand for garages by Simple Housewares is a great place to store lots of bike without having a spend a fortune. We love that this stand bike rack can work well for little bikes (even balance bikes fit), and also can accommodate mom and dads bikes as well.
This floor bike rack stand works great for a variety of bike sizes since it can be adjusted so that you can put bikes in from each side of the rack (this is a perfect solution for putting kids bikes on one side and larger adult bikes on the other side). If you want a cheap bike floor rack, this is a fantastic option.
Best Vertical Bicycle Storage Racks For Families
We absolutely LOVE vertical bike storage for family bikes. It’s an easy way to take up less space in the garage, but unlike ceiling bike racks, also allows easy access to the bikes.
Both of our favorite vertical bike racks listed below are great options for storing lots of bikes and since they both swing, you can get more bikes into a smaller space. This allows you to have the bike racks closer together but because they pivot and swing, it makes it really easy to move them around to get the bikes in and out without hitting another bike.
We tested them out with our kids and noticed that smaller kids have a more difficult time getting their bikes into a vertical bike rack (at least on their own), so a floor bike stand may be a better option for them. Our 5 year old struggled to get his bike vertical and into the rack, whereas his 8 year old brother had no problems with it. I would say that age 6-7 is probably the age when most kids can get their bike into a vertical bike rack on their own
Bike Sizes: Tire widths up to 2.1” for the Classic Rack and options for 2.1”-2.8” for the Mountain Bike Rack, or up to 5” for the fat bike rack. 20” wheels and up
Capacity: 1 bike, but can easily put several in a row
The SteadyRack bicycle rack is one of the best vertical bike racks on the market. We love that this wall bike rack can be folded up when not in use and that the bike in the rack can swing far to the side to rest against the wall. This wall mount bike hanger rack was super easy to install and took us less than 10 minutes total.
We found that our bikes fit into the bike hanger basket easily without any contact with the frame or brakes, and that the bikes felt secure at all times. Possibly our favorite feature of this rack is that since it’s designed just for one bike, you can customize the location and height of the rack for different bikes. This means that a kid on a 20” bike can have a much lower and easier to load SteadyRack, and Dad with a 29” large bike can have a higher up rack to fit his larger bike. This is easily the most customizable bike rack for families.
SteadyRack garage bike racks come in a few different sizes, and we found that most of our kids bikes fit best in the classic bike rack size, but all our mountain bikes needed the bigger basket of the mountain bike SteadyRack. 2.1” is the split for those racks, and we have a couple bikes that are a little above or below that and they both fit well into either rack. The SteadyRack also comes with a bracket for a lower tire, but since we installed it in our shed and not into the garage drywall, we opted not to use that feature since our walls are thinner.
Bike Sizes: Tires up to 3” and Wheel sizes 24” and up
Capacity: 4 bikes
The VelociRAX Tilt and Pivot bike storage rack is new to the market, and just like the VelociRAX hitch bike rack, we absolutely LOVE IT! It can unassembled (normal for such a large rack) and it took my teens about 45 minutes to set it up. The entire rack is super sturdy and well made. Just as with their hitch mount bike rack, the tire baskets of the Tilt and Pivot bike storage rack are designed to only have contact with the tires and not the rest of the bike, for protection. It was really easy for all of our kids who were age 8 and up to put their own bikes into the bike rack and to also swing the bikes around once loaded to shift their position.
Since we’re a family of 7, we got 2 Tilt and Pivot Racks and mounted one at a higher height for our 27.5” and 29” bikes and another at a lower height for the smaller bikes. Having 2 racks was the perfect solution for our large family. The one downside to this rack is that it was difficult for our younger kids to get their bikes into the higher rack on their own, so it might not be the best option for a combination of bigger and smaller bikes (if you want your kids to load them independently). This may not be a problem depending on your bike sizes, but there’s a big difference in a 29” Large bike and a kids 24” bike, so we recommend taking that into consideration.
This bike rack is designed to fit up to 4 bikes and can easily be adjusted to have the bikes closer together or farther apart depending on your preference. The tire baskets on this garage wall bike rack can be put closer together than on the SteadyRack, making this the most compact garage wall bike rack we’ve found. In fact, we found that we even had enough space to fit 5 bike baskets on the rack, so we’d love to see the option to purchase an additional tire basket on their site. The Velicorax Tilt and Pivot rack also comes with a bracket for a lower tire, but since we installed it in our shed and not into the garage drywall, we opted not to use that feature since our walls are thinner.
The VelociRAX Tilt and Pivot bike rack costs only $260 and fits 4 bikes, putting the per bike rack price at $65, making this a great deal!
Other Wall Mount Vertical Bicycle Storage Options
We tried other garage vertical bike storage options, but were not really that impressed with any of them. Many of them had a common design that looks like this.
While most of these types of bicycle racks for garages are very inexpensive, they also have potential to damage your bike wheels. Almost every time we used one, our kids caught their tire rim or their spokes in the hook, and we quickly saw that there was big potential for bike wheel damage. If you’re an adult loading and unloading bikes on a rack like this, you can probably do it carefully enough not to damage your bike, but we don’t recommend them for kids bikes.
While we didn’t try this wall bike hanger out, but it looks much better than the traditional hook wall hanger options, and is one that’s worth considering buying!
Ceiling Bicycle Storage
Ceiling bike storage can be incredibly tempting to use, especially since it takes advantage of the least utilized section of the garage – the top! We’ve used several ceiling mount bike racks over the years, and really only recommend them for winter bike storage (if you live somewhere that it snows and you don’t ride much), or for extra bikes (we have a couple of bikes that don’t fit any of our kids at the moment, but that were worth saving for younger siblings). We DO NOT recommend ceiling bike storage for everyday storage unless you don’t have another option . Ceiling bike storage is difficult to access, and depending on your ceiling height, often requires 2 people to do properly.
This is the most economical ceiling bike storage solution and also surprisingly effective. We hang bikes up with our bike ceiling hooks regularly, and since they’re not moving around much, we’ve never had any problems with wheel or spoke damage. We love that you can easily pick them up at your hardware store or online and install within minutes. The downside? Bike ceiling hooks are mounted super close to the top of your ceiling, so you’ll often need a ladder and an extra set of hands to get bikes down.
Bike Ceiling Garage Lift
I see a lot of people online recommending ceiling bike lifts, but we’ve had nothing but headaches from them. Most of them are difficult to attach without a separate person holding the hooks in place, and don’t feel super secure attaching to the back of the seat. They also pose a safety hazard since they can easily be undone by a child by unwinding the ropes on the wall hook, causing the bikes to come crashing down.
If you do choose to use a garage ceiling bike lift, the Garage Gator is the best option. It has a secure hook system to secure bikes to the bar, can hold up to 8 bikes, and has a motor to raise and lower the bikes safely. If you’re stretched for space, using the Garage Gator motorized bike lift is the best option to keep bikes completely off of your garage floor.
Our Family’s Perfect Garage Storage Solution
Our family is currently using a combination of several different brands and styles of garage bike racks. We have a small garage and with our ever growing bike collection, we store our bikes in our outdoor gear and bike shed.
For all four of our adult sized bikes for the parents and teens, we use the Velicorax Tilt and Pivot bike rack garage storage system. We will likely add a 5th tire bracket to that from our other set of Tilt and Pivot racks soon, since we have one more bike that’s in regular rotation.
For our kids bikes that are 24” and 26” we are using SteadyRack bike racks that are each adjusted to fit their bike perfectly, so it’s easier for them to get their bike in on their own.
For our 5-year-old who rides a 20” bike, we have a Delta floor bike stand since it holds his bike very securely and is easy for him to access and put away on his own. We also have our rarely used bikes on ceiling garage hooks.