Sunday, July 10, 2011

The $8 Bike Rack - How to Secure Your Bicycle on the Cheap

Challenge: find a secure way to lock up our bikes on the cheap.  Since Courtney and I moved into the smallest house ever, we can no longer keep our bikes inside.  We think they make a pretty tempting treat just hanging out in plain view, so we decided to invest in a rack.  Unfortunately, a good rack is very expensive, and a cheap rack is not worth the price tag unless you have additional layers of security (e.g. bikes are already inside a garage).  So we decided to hit up our local go to "DIY on the cheap" shop, Bring Recycling.  After some deliberation and a lot of poking around, here is what we came up  with:

1 staircase handrail
2 concrete masonry units
1 mess of bailing wire

Total price tag: $4

After a quick trip to the local hardware store, we also picked up a bag of Quikrete, $4.  I think you can see where I am going with this.  We combined these simple ingredients in a pan coated with butter, put it in our easy bake oven for 15 minutes, and this is what came out:

Seriously, though, it was almost that easy.  As you can see, we used some cardboard boxes left over from the move to create little forms around the CMUs, put the handrail in the CMU and stuffed the bailing wire in around it (so you can't just take a sledge to it), poured in the Quikrete and let it set.  The result is heavy as heck and can't be defeated without some tools and some time (but even the best racks can be defeated with the right tools and some time). 

So there you have it, instant bike rack, $8 and about 2 hours total labor (plus 24 hour cure time).  It is not the most secure solution ever, but it will deter the average thief pretty effectively.


  1. We love seeing BRING inventory transformed!

  2. Well I love BRING! Wait till you see what we (eventually) do with some of that wood slab you guys were carrying for a while.

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