Hung, Hunged, Hanged
Wednesday May 27th 2009, 7:42 pm
Filed under: Advice & Tips

The bicycle hook is a common device seen in bike shops everywhere around the world probably. Especially in the repair area one can find a line of bikes hanging from a wall or ceiling, this is the holding cell for repairs yet to be started and repairs waiting to be picked up. At the shop I’m at, somehow we’ve got several sections of hooks devoted to new bicycle back-stock in addition to repair hooks; I call that the fleet (but that’s a story for another time though). One valuable thing I learned from UBI was numbering the hooks, this is for easy organization of finding a repair bike quickly. (This post isn’t exactly about that though either).

It’s the repair hooks that has the most action though, and therefore, different people remove and replace bikes from the hooks. The replacing, or act of hanging the bike has always been a point of contemplation for some reason. For visual purposes: this is a line of hooks, each of which supplies a location to store a bike, vertically suspended from the wall, or ceiling, by one of the bicycle’s two wheels. The contemplative questions: Which wheel do you typically choose to hang the bike from? What is natural? What makes more sense?


I’m no fanatic about this, but yes, I do have an opinion on this subject: the rear wheel. Hanging a bike—just about any bike—by the rear wheel makes most sense to me, it provides ease of hanging and removal, and if done properly and consistently, provides uniformity to the storage area. I’ll break this down: the rear wheel’s axle in many bikes sits in dropouts (horizontal or vertical), hanging a bike whose quick release might be open or damaged by the rear wheel will not easily result in a fall—the weight of the bike will rest on the axle in the dropout, or the chain in certain situations. Hanging by the rear wheel in this case provides a couple stages of redundancy against a falling bike. 

The action of lifting and rotating a bike to hang by the rear wheel is easier as well, once the bike is lifted off the ground with the rear wheel higher than the front, the handlebars and front wheel point automatically straight down. Whereas, hoisting by the front wheel, one has to manage a heavier weight swinging from the handlebars. Every time I try it this way I feel like I’m wrestling with the bike; I say, let the weight of the bike work for you, not against. 

I’m a fan of consistency, if all the bikes in a line are hanging the same way, it looks cleaner and more organized. When done otherwise, I see more bikes hanging at cock-eyed angles; I see this furthermore, when there are two bikes hanging by their front wheels next to each other.

All this reminds me of the conversation I had with a co-worker one day on this subject. At the time I was debating the similarity of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle to the question of randomness of incidentally selecting the section of rim with the valve when hanging a bike. I’m still uncertain how applicable quantum physics is to hooking the rim at the valve, not to mention introducing spoke reflectors to the equation. Oh well, such is life in a bike shop.

2 Comments so far
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yup – I’m a back wheel hanger as well as making sure to avoid the valve and any reflectors. why would it be done otherwise?

Comment by jimmy 05.27.09 @ 10:48 pm

in my shop we alternate and hang every other one by the rear wheel, but really only because we hang about twice as many bikes in our storage as we should so in order to keep the handlebars from catching on the other bike frames we alternate.

Comment by Dusty 06.20.09 @ 3:23 pm

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