Last updated on November 17, 2020
With the acquisition of a fat bike I needed a way to store it standing up in the garage but my favorite rack, Feedback Sports’ RAKK, won’t work with a tire this wide. So, I set out to build my own. The result is what’s seen above, a collapsable stand which holds the rear tire at the bottom in a channel and at the top/sides to keep it from tipping over.
There are some other PVC rack designs floating around online, most similar to this one from Bogley Outdoor Community, but they all seem to have derailleur or brake rotor interference issues to one degree or another; see this photo for one example. By building an L-shaped stand I was able to completely avoid this.
The rack also has a lip extending off the back of it which serves two purposes. First it keeps the rack from tipping backward when pushing the bike into it, and second, by jutting out just a bit further than the rear tire, it keeps the stand just far enough from the wall that the rear tire doesn’t touch. Thus the bike can be inserted into the rack by pushing the whole assembly against the wall (without holding it), and it keeps the rack from inadvertently being unusably close to a wall. This latter point is a problem with the Feedback Sports RAKK, as if it’s sitting too close to the wall the bike cannot push the spring loaded arm backward and the rack must be slid away from the wall before a bike can be inserted; a bit of a hassle when the rack is set close to others in a small garage.
Total parts cost for this project was US$13.08 (after 6% Michigan sales tax), purchased at Lowes, not including incidental supplies or tools:
1″ Schedule 40 PVC Pipe:
· 1x 10′ Pipe
· 4x End Caps
· 2x 90° Elbows
· 8x Tee
Presuming a 7/8″ inset in each fitting the 10′ piece of pipe is then cut into the following size segments:
· 10x 4.25″
· 2x 24″
· 2x 11.25″
· 2x 1.25″
If your pipe fittings have something other than a 7/8″ inset or if your tire size is a fair bit different from mine you’ll want to adjust these lengths as necessary to ensure that you’ve got the appropriate distances between support pieces. The spacing that I found to work for my Salsa Mukluk 2 with a Surly Rolling Darryl rim and either an Endomorph or Larry tire has a base rectangle with inside dimensions of 4.25″ x 11.25″ and an upright with a 4.25″ x 24″ opening. Bikes with narrower (or wider) rims or tires may require this opening to be adjusted.
I did all of my cutting with a hacksaw or bandsaw, depending on which was more convenient. Once all pieces are cut the ends need to be deburred and slightly beveled with a file or razor blade. Before assembly I also scrubbed the colored labeling off with some acetone and paper towel, but this isn’t a necessary step. If doing so caution must be taken as the acetone dissolves / etches the PVC, so one should be careful not to damage the surface or let it pool. It is also extremely volatile and flammable and thus any cleaning of this sort should be performed outdoors.
Assembly proceeds as pictured here, with all items cemented in place except for the where the upright meets the base. Parts were liberally coated with PVC cement (no primer, as this doesn’t need to hold water), and before this could set the parts were tapped into place with a dead blow hammer, measured with a ruler to ensure appropriate gaps, and aligned by pressing the parts against a flat surface. I found it was easiest to assemble the short cross pieces first, then fit the longer pieces, then the legs, and finally the end caps.
The resulting stand works out very nicely, solidly holding the bike by either the front or rear wheel. This integrates well with the row of RAKK-supported bikes in the garage, and now I don’t have to lean by bike against a hose holder, garbage can, or wall. I’m quite happy with how it came out.