Gravityschmavity

November 23, 2009 at 3:50 pm 3 comments

If you are like me you have a weird growth live in an apartment and own more bicycles than you are able to store gracefully.  I would say that I have enough extra space in my place to comfortably store one bicycle.  I own three, which as any mathematician out there could tell you means I have two bicycles that have been clumsily getting on my last nerve for some time.  One of the extra bikes has been in my bedroom, standing in front of a bookshelf between my bed and bathroom.  Apparently, I love kicking it in the middle of the night, because I seem to do that every time I get up to pee.  The other bike is in my living/dining room space, which I’ve decided is a barbaric and horrible way to live.  Grownups shouldn’t have to keep bicycles in their living/dining room space.

Luckily, the other day when I was in a hardware store, buying hardwarey stuff, I stumbled across one of those gravity bicycle stands that I’ve read about, and as it was reasonably priced, decided to take it home with me.  Just so you know, the whole point of this post is to give me an excuse to post a picture of how I carried a three foot tall box in my bicycle basket:

How awesome is that?

I swear, nothing seems to make me happier lately than when I successfully carry big clumsy crap in my bicycle basket.  Those Xtracycle people think they’re such hot shit.  I can carry big clumsy stuff too.  See?  SEE?!  Two miles, baby.  The top of that box rested about an inch below my chin, and was shockingly stable.  Although I gave myself a little extra braking space, I was able to corner normally and ride at a normal speed.

Now, this isn’t a product review per se, so I’m not going to mention the product in a googlable manner.  I really don’t know and don’t care if this product is better or worse than any other gravity stands on the market.  Those other stands weren’t available at my local hardware store.  Whatever brand this is took about 50 seconds to assemble and lean up against the only available spot in my apartment, the bookshelf in my bedroom between my bed and bathroom, flush enough so that I shouldn’t be kicking it in the middle of the night anymore, and clearing the other bike out of my living space.

How uncluttered is that?

I’m not really sure if this is a practical solution for everybody else.  I have A LOT of furniture for my apartment, and don’t have a square foot of space to put this anywhere else.  The bookshelf is mounted into the wall itself, so it’s sturdy.  It’s also dirt cheap pine so I didn’t mind mounting the gravity stand onto it.  All my other bookshelves are hardwood or teak, and there was no way in heck that I was going to drill this stand into one of those.  This is just the storage solution that worked best for me.

Although, I did come across one issue in the mounting process, so if you found this post by googling “mounting gravity stand” learn from my mistake.  If you look at the above picture, right next to the crank arm to the top bicycle, you’ll see a seam in the tubing between the top and the bottom part of the stand.  Being a stand supported by gravity, as the name obviously implies, these two parts are not bracketed together.  If you plan to bolt the top part into the wall (or bookshelf) bear in mind that the weight of the bottom bike is going to compress the bottom part of the stand by a couple of millimeters, causing the wall mounted part of the stand to not be supported by gravity at all:

D'oh!

Feck.

So, before you mount the top part of the stand into the wall, actually weigh down the bottom portion with the bike first.  Otherwise, whatever you mount the top portion to is going to carry 100% of the weight of the top bike.  Since we’re only talking about a couple of millimeters at most, drilling a new pilot hole into the mounted surface isn’t an option.  Luckily in my case, the top portion is very stably mounted and capable of carrying the weight, so now I just have to decide whether I can live with my mistake or drill a new hole into  top portion of the stand.  Oh well.  You win some and you lose some.  At least now I won’t be kicking bicycles in the middle of the night anymore.

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Entry filed under: Bicycle Storage, Bicycles, Uncategorized, Utility.

Over the Rail Yard and through the Hoods… Nice Short Video

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Giffe  |  November 25, 2009 at 1:56 am

    Impressive cargo hauling! Is that the biggest thing you’ve transported in the basket so far? I’ve been daydreaming about having the Wald 157 on my bike for several months now. But I’m kind of apprehensive about getting it, especially since my local bike shops don’t carry it.

    Reply
  • 2. dukiebiddle  |  November 25, 2009 at 9:03 am

    The most I’ve carried was over 100lbs in books about 2 miles to a book donation center, which I did the day in installed the basket. I would not recommend doing that, though. Since my bike doesn’t have the proper trail ratios I had almost 0% control and had to ride on the sidewalk, as the bike would occasionally opt to veer five feet to the left or right. Besides, my front wheel axle isn’t designed to handle that kind of weight. Suffice to say, the Wald 157 and its struts are sturdy enough to carry any load a standard axle and 36 spoke wheel can handle. I try to limit my loads to 50 – maybe 60 lbs if I’m pushing it. 40lbs is a breeze.

    I love my 157 and found it to be a complete game changer to my transportation bicycling. With that said, I’m also glad I have another bike with a much smaller basket for quick trips around the neighborhood. The 157 is clumsy and feels burdensome when you’re riding a couple blocks to pick up carryout. One of its biggest strengths is convenience for commuting type riding. You don’t have to load and unload panniers. You just toss in whatever bag carries all your stuff, no matter how big. No more weight on your back. I does severely limit lane splitting in heavy traffic, being 2 feet wide, but I’ve decided that that has just made me into a more courteous rider.

    Another option is a CETMA or a porteur rack. Both are even stronger than the 157, but again, since the 157 can handle as much as a normal hub and 36 spoke wheel you have to consider whether the fancier racks are overkill. Also CETMA and porteur racks range in price between $110 and $300 or more. They’re less clumsy, and more practical for bigger stuff that won’t fit into the 157’s basket, but you can’t just toss in stuff like you can with the 157. You have to put a lot of care and consideration into how you are going to strap your cargo down.

    Reply
  • 3. dukiebiddle  |  November 25, 2009 at 9:06 am

    Also, your LBS can special order it. It’s in that big special order catalog sitting next to their cash register. It’ll cost you around $45 or so.

    Reply

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dukiebiddle

I'm not actually a neo-Marxist or a dog lover and I hate clowns, despite what the blog title and this avatar might lead you to believe. Wof.

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