Cycling is an amazing sport. It gives us the ability to travel. It keeps us fit and helps us make new friends who share our interests. One thing many cyclists get when they first start cycling is quite attached to their bike, which is understandable as you’re probably going on many adventures with it.
Bikes can be very fragile, and the last thing you want to do is damage your pride and joy. We often get asked if it is safe to hang a bike by the wheel. It is a little more complicated than you might think, and there are situations where you can and where you can’t. In this article, we’ll tell you what a bike hanger is, if it is safe to hang a bike on, and the considerations you will need to make.
To begin, it’s important to understand what a bike hanger is. Bike hangers come in all different shapes and sizes, but the most common type you will find is the wall-mounted hook hanger. This small plate gets screwed to the wall and has a hook coming out of the plate. The advantage of using a bike hanger like this is it holds a bike securely and also saves a huge amount of floor space while still making the bike very accessible.
Cyclists with many bikes tend to use multiple wall mounted hook hangers next to each other as a great solution for storing their collection. You will also see these on some public trains, and they are a great solution for small offices.
Hangers are very simple to use. The first thing you need to do is get it mounted to the wall properly. This will typically be two screw fittings, and they will need the correct plugs depending on what wall you are going to be screwing them to. Once mounted, you roll the bike forward in front of you, bring the front wheel in the air and hold on to the handlebars. Once resting upright, use your knee to lift the bike and insert the wheel into the hook. It’s as easy as that, but there are some things to watch out for.
1. Rest it on the rim
The first thing being your going to want to ensure that the hook is resting on the wheel of the rim of the wheel and not the spokes. If it is resting on the spokes, you might weaken one single spoke that could eventually break over time.
2. Keep the tires pumped up
The second thing you need to think about is keeping the tires pumped up. If the tire goes flat, it means you are resting the bike on a rim which is not a good idea as this can damage your wheel and warp your tire. You can also split the inner tube or force the tubeless sealant to leak everywhere.
Related: How to Deflate a Bike Tire
3. Rotate every so often
If you plan to leave a bike there for a long time, it’s good to drop the bike down and, every so often, pump the tires up, spin the front wheel, and put it back up. Although it probably will be ok, it’s important to spread the load every so often to ensure you don’t fatigue the rim or spokes.
The short answer to this question is YES, but only for certain bikes. Modern wheels are built strong enough to be able to take the weight of a standard bike. They are a great solution but have limitations for special types of bikes that we will speak about next.
1. Not all bikes fit
Certain bikes won’t actually fit in these hangers. Large bikes like fat bikes or boost mtbs will struggle to fit a tire in. We don’t recommend dropping tire pressures to make it work, as this can warp the tire.
Then you have aero road bike wheels, anything about 60mm typically will struggle to fit in the gap between the hook and the wall, and you are definitely not going to want to force this as you could break them.
Related: How Long Do Road Bike Tires Last?
2. Some bikes are too heavy
Depending on where you get your rack from, they will all have different weight restrictions. Some can hold up to 30kg, and others can only hold 18kg. Most bikes weigh less than 18kg, but an electric bike or large commute can weigh much more. You need to ensure the bike you are putting on is not too heavy. Another consideration to make is the fixings. If the fixings have not been installed well or into a wall that is fairly weak, a heavy bike could pull the whole hook off the wall.
3. Ensure the hook has its protective rubber on it
After using hooks for many years, I have found that if you use them often, the protective rubber on the hook can come off, leaving you with bare metal. Hanging a bike on this can scratch your rim and cause damage to your wheels. Check the protective rubber is there before hanging.
Hanging a bike by the front wheel is okay and shouldn’t harm your bike. Hooks are an excellent space-saving tool, and we highly recommend using them. Checking the weight limit, ensuring proper hook installation, and getting the bike down every so often to check tire pressure and spin the front wheel is something that will also help protect your bike.