The Chainlink

Ideas for easily lifting bike onto vertical wall rack/bracket?

My building's bike storage room uses vertical storage wall racks (the kind with a bracket for the front wheel), but the bracket is well over my head & I have physical issues (bad back & neck, fibromyalgia & frequent pinched nerves in my arms) which make it impossible for me to hoist my bike (older Schwinn cruiser) up there & my building manager has issued me a warning for not putting it up. I got a note from my Dr saying to make accommodations, but in case the manager refuses to let me store it on the floor, I'm wondering if anyone knows of some kind of lift/hoist/pulley which would allow me to get it up on the rack with much less effort? I looked online & see a lot of hoists for ceiling storage, but I don't know if that's an option in my building. Here's a pic of the rack; my spot is where the black Trek w/yellow lettering is (my old bike). Thanks :)

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Dang. I've been seriously trying to think of something. I hope the doctors note works, but the bldg mgmt could always come back with fire code. And I cannot see them allowing a ramp or pulley system. Are you seeing a physical therapist for the fibromyalgia? There is a shorter person who parks his cruiser here that also has the vertical bracket. He squats down grabs the fork with one hand and the seat tube directly parallel to his placement on the fork. He then stands up so the weight of the bike is taken only by his legs. Once the bike is up, he rolls the wheel up (on the wall) besides the hook then moves it laterally over. So, two caveats: I've never seen him take the bike off the hook and two, his squat form is perfect with heels totally planted. Maybe your physical therapist can "plot"(?) a similar plan if the mgmt won't let you park otherwise. Hopefully they will have another space and let you use it.

I don't have a good solution to make it easier for you to hang your bike. However, if the building manager does not relent, federal American Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements cover you. ADA requires that equal accommodations be provided for those with disabilities.  

With this specific case, the height of the hook is not within ADA standards. ADA Section 4.2.5 states: If the clear floor space only allows forward approach to an object, the maximum high forward reach allowed shall be 48 in. The hook should be lowered to 48" or some other accommodations need to be made. 



If a space or a feature is required to be accessible (as this case should be) it must be accessible by wheelchair. Thus the most stringent reach requirements are in play.

How busy is the bike room?

If I saw a nice note explaining the situation I would hang if it in the morning the bike or take it down at the end of the day.  A couple of cookies every now and then would probably be more than fair. Doesn't solve all your problems but might help while you figure things out.

And a small ramp might work, the back wheel doesn't look too far off the ground and if you can get the bike on it's back wheel you might be able to roll it up and down.

I store my bikes in a some what similar fashion, suspended from a hook. Keeping the rear wheel on the ground, lift the front of the bike by the handle bars until the front wheel is vertically above the rear wheel. At this point my seat is in front of my knee. I then pull back on the handle bars while pushing forward and up with my knee to get the front tire in the hook. It took me a little bit of practice but now I can do it with little effort.

Like Paul said, this might be a problem that can be solved with human engineering and designing a proper lifting technique that works for you and your physical limitations.

Lifting a bicycle can be made significantly easier by using a technique that allows you to control the CG of the bike and to find proper handholds so that when the mass of the bike is elevated it doesn't take a lot of power or strength.  

One easy way to get a bike vertical is to apply the back brake and to simply pull back on the handlebars until the front wheel is directly above the rear, pivoting backwards over the locked rear wheel.   If one first uses a bungie-cord to secure the front wheel to the frame downtube it can not twist around on you (or spin) while you are raising the bike.  

At this point you have hoisted the CG of the bike upwards by a significant amount so that the next step will not require a very large distance to reach the hook.  If one continues to hold the rear brake fast with the offhand the strong hand/arm can grab the lower portion of the frame downtube or the seat tube and simply raise the bike up, with the off-hand balancing it so that it doesn't tilt while raising it.

Lifting a bike can be done with brute force, or it can be done with finesse by using physics in your favor instead of fighting against it.  Gripping the bike in the proper place so that you can hold it without needing to balance it with most of your effort takes a lot of the work out of it.

Knowing where to grab the bike is most of the battle.  


Thanks for the comments/suggestions, everyone. Unfortunately, none work for me. (I tried the suggested holding/lifting methods but just can't do it. I haven't heard anything from management since providing the doctor's note...hopefully that'll handle it, but doubtful as another resident who uses a wheelchair was denied even leaving a folding, portable ramp in any public area of the building (even folded & completely out of the way, in an area no one uses). Thanks anyway :) But if anyone has any other ideas, please share.


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