Need More Room for Your Bikes? Here’s What We Did!

If you’re like us here at California Alps Cycling then you can never have too many bikes. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you have enough space for them, right? Chalet Schwartz, aka CA Alps Cycling HQ, is a former A-frame cabin that we (as my wife likes to say) turned into a mountain home. While true — we upgraded the inside of the home substantially — we were not able to add space.

So, like some of you I suspect, we needed (and still need) to better utilize the space we did have. We had bikes in the garage, bikes in the pain cave, bikes in the office and still have bikes in the basement. Those are fat-bikes that are on loan from a friend though so we don’t have to make room for them long-term. Anyway, we were always moving bikes to get to something or make room for something, or someone(s).

So after several months (hey, we don’t move too fast here in Markleeville) of pondering the where and the how we finally googled “bike closet” and bam, tons of ideas! The one that we liked the most, and that seemed to be the best fit for our mountain home, was Elfa’s Utility Bike Rack.

We had some experience with Elfa, specifically their rack system for pantries, and were really pleased with that, and so we ordered the rack, which as Elfa describes, “includes four steel Vertical Bike Hooks featuring a cushioned, non-slip coating and four steel Accessory Hooks.”

The before…

The Demo

Out came those doors and the shelves as well as some old cable tv wires and a couple weird items, one of which was a screwdriver, sans handle, that was stuck through the wall into a stud. Still trying to figure out what that was about. Anway, it all came out. All of it!

Then the spackle went on (in?) and eventually off to Home Depot we went for the paint. Love the modern paint technology nowadays: we just brought in a jersey so the computer could match up the color that we wanted. We sure miss those good ol’ days of comparing paint chips. Not!

Spackle dry and sanding done. Then some masking and drop clothes.

The Reno

Painting time! We put on the base layer (white semi-gloss) and painted one of the shelves and the inside portion of the closet where the doors were “CA Alps blue” as we now call it. We bought some puck lights for the ceiling, too and on those went.

The install of the rack went fairly smoothly. I write “fairly” because after our measuring and stud-finding, with one small adjustment, we discovered that we installed it upside down – the bike hooks didn’t clip in like they should have. Shit! Upon further inspection we realized those two slots in the rack go up, not down. No, we didn’t get instructions. 🙁

So out came the screws (half of which have to be in studs, by the way) and off came the rack. Again. Thankfully the holes still matched up. The bike hooks and accessory hooks then snapped right in as they should have in the first place. As a bit of a finishing touch we added some decals to the shelf we painted and installed that on the back wall of the closet.


Complete with mood lighting! Dig the patriotic theme?

It’s a nice clean look certainly yet there is still some work to be done; we need to figure out the best storage options. Do we add shelves or drawers under the bikes? Between the bikes? Not sure yet. We’ll let that develop.

In the meantime…the bikes are easy to remove, just lift up and turn the wheel slightly and out they come. Not a lot of bumping and grinding. The non-slip coating works well and the bikes hooks “float” just a bit so the don’t touch the wall.

No more bikes on the floor or doing the bike shuffle any longer. Yay!

So there you have it. If you are struggling with that perfect bike storage set up let your fingers do the walking (you youngsters are going to have to google that one). You too can stop doing the bicycle shuffle and perhaps fit another bike or two in. Don’t worry, we won’t tell your other half that you’re pondering yet another cycling purchase.

Got some ideas of your own to share? Want to show off your set up? Post up a comment here or go to our FB or IG page and add your creative ideas.

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