Upcycling pallets is the hipster trend that has taken the world by storm. But here’s something really useful you can make with them: a pallet bike rack!
This crazy easy DIY bike rack is also very cheap to make. You can pick up heat treated pallets for free outside many factories in urban industrial areas. Make sure to check they have the heat treated “HT” mark branded in the side. Other pallets are treated with methyl bromide, which you probably don’t want to have hanging round your home.
You can make this DIY pallet project with any width of pallet, so long as they are the standard 1.1m high. We found the common square shape is great for fitting the 3 bikes our family regularly use in our shed, but if space is tight or you need to store less bikes you could go for a thinner one. Or if you need more bikes stored, just add another pallet on the end!
To make your own pallet bike rack you will need:
- Something to attach it to – a shed with exposed batons is ideal
- A pallet (heat treated)
- Some long screws
- A crow bar
- A ruler or measuring tape
- jigsaw, handsaw or circular saw
If you can find a pallet with 8cm gaps between the slats, then you’re in luck! This is exactly the gap you need for a standard road bike tyre to fit between. If not, you will need to crowbar off all the slats, bar the two end ones, and respace them with 8cm gaps between them. The central baton across your pallet will also need to be removed from between the two slats at either end of your pallet (or whichever slats you’re planning to have your bike wheels between if you’re using a different sized pallet to the standard square size.) You can remove these with a jigsaw, handsaw or circular saw.
If you have a shed with exposed batons to attach the bike rack to you can skip this step. If you’re attaching to a flat surface you’ll need to create a frame to attach the rack to. This is basically a wooden frame around the same width and height as your pallet. Attach it to your flat surface with appropriate screws for the material you’ll be screwing into (eg. metal screws for metal, brick screws & anchors for bricks etc.) If you’re not clear on what to use, ask your local hardware store for help.
Place your pallet against the frame at a 60 degree angle. Ensure there are two batons behind each top corner of the pallet. Using two really long bolts (at least the depth of your pallet, plus a cm or two extra) bolt the pallet to the frame at each corner, coming from an angle at the side, and bolting through to the back.
You’re pallet bike rack is ready to roll (or keep your bike from rolling away, rather!)