Many people come to Prince Edward Island to cycle on the Confederation Trail. Since we are part of the Cyclist Welcome program at Beside the Trail Bed and Breakfast, it was time to replace our aging bicycle rack.
For this project, I needed
- a box of 1.5 inch screws
- a handful of 2.5 inch screws
- 6 8-foot 1x3x8 boards
- 5 8-foot 2×3 studs
total cost under $50
I wanted about 18 inches between each bike to allow room for handlebars. I measured my hybrid bike wheel hub at just under 3 inches so I wanted the gap at 3 inches to allow maximum stability. A 3-inch board is 2.5 inches so I wrote out a line:
2.5 – 3.0 – 2.5 – 12.5 - 2.5 – 3.0 – 2.5 – 12.5 - 2.5 – 3.0 – 2.5 – 12.5 - 2.5 – 3.0 – 2.5
Now I need the total length and a template to mark those lengths on 3 pieces of wood. Adding instead, we get
2.5 – 5.5 – 8 – 20.5 – 23 – 26 – 28.5 – 41 – 43.5 – 46.5 – 49 – 61.5 – 64 – 67 – 69.5
The numbers in bold represent the large gap between sections.
So now I can cut 3 of the 2×3 at exactly 69.5 inches. Then I can mark all 3 according to the template above.
The riser in the back I calculated at 27 inches. The top is cut at a 45 degree angle on the wide face. See picture below.
Now for the 1×3. The pieces across the bottom are 27 inches also. A bit of math gives me 37.5 inches for the angular pieces. Those will also be cut at 45 degrees at the bottom for an easier fit. See picture below.
A bit more math tells me that 2 27-inch pieces and one 37.5 inch piece can be cut from an 8-foot length. The 4 remaining 37.5 come in pairs in the last 2 pieces of 1×3. After cutting the long pieces, cut a 45 degree angle on one end only (the bottom).
Since you will often be attaching close to the piece ends, a strongly suggest pre-drilling to avoid splitting the wood. With 2 of the 2×3 on their side marked according to the template, attach the 8 27-inch pieces with 1.5 inch screws. On the front piece, put the screws near the inside face so as not to interfere with the angle piece that will go on top. You can just see the head of the screw in the picture above.
Assemble the riser on the outside of the bottom pieces as shown below. Referring to the previous pictures, attach your other piece of 2×3 on the angle face – here you may need a helping hand.
Next, assemble one angle piece on one end at the bottom. To square off the top, you can just line up the board flush with the top piece or use a square to make sure the angle is perfect. Repeat this procedure on the other end. Be careful when drilling pilot holes on the top end to ensure they do not strike the screws underneath. Finally, attach the other 6 pieces to complete your 4-bike rack.
You could easily extend this pattern to 5 bicycles. Any longer would require finding longer pieces of 2×3 or strategic splicing. You may notice I made the rack from economy wood since it is being used indoors. For outdoor use, your plan may be similar but might require lumber adjustments (pressure treated or good quality outdoor paint).
Regardless, if you are accustomed to working with wood, this is an easy half-day project. Enjoy