Let’s be honest – bike storage is a pain in the @!#. If you want to clear up some garage floor space a bike lift hoists are the ideal item to use. You can install them regardless of whether you live in a little condo or a home with a garage that is filled to the brim. They work for a road bike, mountain bike, kids bikes, by using an efficient pulley system to keep your bike secure on a ceiling mounted. All in all they are a great bike storage solution.
What to watch out for when purchasing a bike lift or hoist
Secure locking mechanism
When you lift the bike you’ll let the slack out of the rope which causes a little latch to lock up on the ceiling. Obviously you’ll want this to be really secure. Some of the solutions below are a little tricky when it comes to getting that latch to auto-lock.
Most of the solutions use hooks to put on the handlebar and the seat. The problem with some of the bike lift is that they J shaped hooks that are really J shaped – only slightly bent, more like an L shape. The diminished curve makes it harder to get the bike to feel securely attached.
4 Best and Most Reliable Bike Hoists
These handy hoists will get your bicycle out of your way easily. We’ve included simple, lightweight hoists as well as a heavy-duty mechanism that can endure 50 pounds or more. This is good for everything from kids bikes to light electric dirt bikes. Below are four cherry-picked bike hoists worth your time. Check them out!”
1.) Delta Cycle El Greco Bike Hoist – Best Overall
- Space Saving Indoor Bike Storage :: Stop tripping over bikes and reclaim valuable garage storage space with the El Greco ceiling bike rack. Designed for ceilings up to 12ft high, it’s great for road, commuter and mtb bikes.
- Safe & Secure Bike Hoist :: Supporting up to 50 lbs, our bike rack garage easily and securely lifts your investment. Smart auto-lock mechanism prevents accidental release, while padded hooks protect the frame.
- Quick, Easy Access :: Utilizing a convenient pulley system, the ceiling bike rack makes it effortless to raise and lower your gear. Featuring durable nylon tensile cord rope, it securely holds heavy weight without stretching.
- No-Hassle Installation :: Designed with inline bolt holes, our bike hoist makes ceiling joist installation easy. All necessary hardware is included, and our US-based support team provides best-in-class customer service.
- A Leader in Bicycle Storage :: Over 1 million cyclists trust their bikes on our garage storage racks. Designed and engineered in the U.S., delta is the brand you can trust.
The Delta Cycle El Greco is among some of the most popular bicycle hoists today. It comes with a simple to use pulley system that permits lifting and bringing down of heavy-duty bikes easily. It has a weight limit of 50 lb and can be lifted to a height of 14ft.
Unlike numerous other similar products, this item has the benefit of simple installation. The user’s manual is useful and straightforward. To make it easier, you may use a screwdriver and a drill as an additional apparatus to help you with the installation.
You can use the Cycle El Greco for more than lifting bikes, since it can also be used for lifting ladders, kayaks, and different similar objects. It’s safe, secure, and versatile. It’s a good value for the cost. Additionally, the safety engineering system claims that there are no accidental releases.
Of the bike lifts we tested this one has the most J shaped hook for the seat part of the lift. That shape make a big difference in how confidently the lift secures the bike on the back side. For this reason alone we gave this our award foe best bike hoist.
- Auto-locking mechanism works well
- The pulley system is smooth although the rope could be better
- Durable performance
- Inexpensive but good quality
- The rope could be stronger. The nylon rope is a bit elastic so it stretches. That stretch means you won’t get the bike up to the very tippy top. For most people that’s fine but for those who really need every bit of vertical height this might be an issue.
2.) RAD Sportz Bicycle Hoist – Runner Up
- ►RUBBER COATED HOOKS - Hooks are designed with a protective rubber coating to protect your bike from scratches.
- ►EASY TO INSTALL - Mount to your ceiling joist or rafter and so easy to use. With only the minimum of tools you can have your kayak hanging in your garage in no time.
- ►ROBUST ENGINEERING - Allows you to lift heavy products, up to 100lb. Capacity. This is the bicycle hoist that all the other are trying to copy. We don't cut corners. This is the original RAD Bike hoist you've heard about.
- ►INDOOR USE - For indoor ceilings up to 12 ft. high. Once the bike is out of the way you free up so much floor space you won't know what to do with it all.
- ►SAFETY LOCKS - Safe locking mechanism prevents accidental release. No one wants to come home and find their bike has fallen to the floor.
The RAD Sportz Bicycle Hoist has everything you need in a bike hoist: easy to install, extremely secure, and fairly inexpensive. Intended for both comfort and style, it guarantees that your storage needs will be well addressed. This bike hoist highlights rubber covered hooks that keep the bicycles from scratches.
It can withstand a weight of around 100lb and you can hang it on a 12ft high roof. Additionally, it can also prevent any accidental release because of its strong solid hooks and pulleys.
The protected safe locking system of this hoist uses a nylon rope that guarantees both quality and strength. It can hold different varieties of bikes as long as it’s within the weight limit.
The hook for the seat part is not quite J shaped so it slips sometimes when the bike is being lifted. Some people have added a rope loop to the end which is an easy fix and solves the problem really well but why should you have to hack your own solution!
- Operation is really easy
- Lifetime warranty
- Solid safety locking mechanism
- The hook for the seat part is not quite J shaped so it slips sometimes when the bike is being lifted. Some people have added a rope loop to the end which is an easy fix and solves the problem really well but why should you have to hack your own solution!
3.) Wallmaster Bike Ceiling Mount Lift Hoist – Best Value
- ◆STURDY & EASY LIFT → The pulley system allows you to lift heavy bikes in your garage, up to 100lb.
- ◆SAFETY ENSURED → The design of locking mechanism prevents accidental release.
- ◆ADJUSTABLE → For use on ceilings up to 12 feet high.
- ◆ANTI-SCRATCH RUBBER HOOK → Rubber-coated hooks prevent bikes from being scratched or slipping.
- ◆SPACE SAVING → Free up so much floor space by lifting the bikes in your overhead ceiling.
This bicycle hoist is designed to give you a high-cost experience in a budget-friendly package. Installation is extremely easy and it has a uniquely designed hook that prevents any accidental slippage. The metal hook is additionally coated with rubber to forestall scratch.
The bicycle hanger holds up to 100lb and is sufficiently able to carry even the heavier bicycles on ceilings up to 12 ft high. The design is convenient that you can place in and remove your bicycle at whatever point required. The holders are durable and sturdy so you can use them safely for a long time.
- Scratch Proof rubber hook
- Practical design and easy to install
- Hardware provided is good quality
- Rope is light
4.) Bike Lane Products Bicycle Hoist – Best Budget Pick
- Hooks feature a rubber coating to protect your bicycle from scratches.
- Engineered to lift heavy bikes up to 100 lb capacity.
- For Ceilings up to 12ft.
- Bike Lane Products are durable and easy to use
- Safety engineered locking mechanism prevents accidental release.
The bike lane bicycle hoist is profoundly cost-effective when compared with a traditional bike rack. This heavy-duty hanger is an ideal solution for hanging exceptionally heavy items, including bikes, power hardware, furniture, and tools as it can hold up to 100 lb capacity. Additionally, it can carry bicycles on ceilings up to 12 ft.
There are many things I like about this budget-friendly bike hoist. For one, it has a unique, rubber coated hook design that provides easy-on and off storage. Installation is simple and straightforward. Best of all, the hanger is made out of solid steel, making it safe and durable.
- Other household items can be hung too
- Constructed with rubber coated hooks which prevents bike from scratches
- Lifetime warranty
- Screws and hardware included could be better
Wrapping up our bike hoist review
There are numerous other bike storage solutions you can pick from to make more space by lifting your bike vertically, but a pulley system is a good ceiling mounted bike storage solution in cases where you don’t have enough wall space for a wall mounted bike rack. This is the easiest way to access your bike at whatever point is required.
Bike hoist mounting location
Consider where you are going to mount the bike lift so you can get your bike down with minimal effort. Try to avoid a place where when you lower the bike it comes down on top of other things. In other words empty floor space would be ideal. It’s kind of ironic since one of the appeals of a bike lift is to gain floor space. You can always mount the bike lift over a car or other item that is easily movable.
Bike lift draw backs
On the downside, ceiling-mounted hoists are too challenging for younger kids to safely operate. Storing bikes can take several minutes to complete, which certainly isn’t a long time, but it does take considerably more time and effort than a simple bike stand.
They all have rubber coating on the hooks so damage to your bikes is not really an issue.
All bike hoist solutions need to be installed. They all work pretty much the same way. You’ll need to mount two brackets on the ceiling and make sure they are screwed into to ceiling joists. If your joists are not in places where you want to mount the bike lift, you’ll have to first screw a long piece of wood into the ceiling joists and them screw the mounting hardware for the pulley system into the wood. It’s always a good idea to drill a pilot hole first. Once you’ve got the two ceiling mounts secured… thread the rope through the pulleys, then attach the hooks onto the the ends of the rope. The last stem is to get the rope cleat attached to the wall. The rope cleat is used to secure the excess rope left after the bike has been lifted to the ceiling. The rope cleat doesn’t really hold the weight of the bike, but it does give a back up safety measure in case the licking mechanism fails. The rope cleat also give you a place to anchor the rope so it isn’t dangling in an annoying spot. The other benefit of the wall cleat is it can prevents accidental release since the rope is out of the way.
Weight is not really a concern
Even if you’ve got beastly mountain bikes, huge wheeled beach cruisers, even huger wheeled fat bikes, a kids bike or light road bike, all of the solutions tested are capable of holding heavy bikes.
Ease of Access
This is more about your garage situation than the bike lift itself. Ideally you’ll have floor space under the bike so when you lower it you can easily get that bike to the ground. Not everyone will have such floor space so make sure you consider the exact spot where you’ll place your bike lift.
All of the bike lifts are in the $20 range so they are fairly affordable. Given this we didn’t really see price as a major concern.
Obviously you’ll want a safe locking mechanism. The good news is all of the bike lifts we included above do have a safe locking mechanism so it’s not a big differentiating factor. Actually the rope is more of a concern than the locking mechanism itself. The locking mechanism “bites” on to the rope in order to lock the rope which might fray the rope over time. Time will be the judge but we didn’t experience any significant fraying.
First off, many reviewers commented on concerns with the rope fraying. The rope included with most systems is nearly identical, but the small hole through which the ropes travel to activate the locking mechanism is slightly different. The holes are the same in size, but the thicker coating on some of the Racor bike lift system provides a smoother metal edge for the rope to travel over. With a thinner coating, the edge of the hole on the Delta hoist is rougher and more likely to damage the rope with time. Frankly, it is not a huge concern but something to keep an eye on. We still prefer the Delta Bike Lift because of the larger hook which is a larger safety concern anyway.
All of the bike lift solutions came with a stron pulley mechanism. Most appeared to be nearly identical in their shape and size. The Racor came with slightly larger mounting wings which made mounting easier that some of the other bike hoist.
When purchasing a bike hoist, it’s recommended to base your purchase on the quality and weight of your bicycle. You should also consider the space where you want to hang your bicycle to ensure that the hoist fits well. In case you’re searching for a safe and hassle-free mechanism to store your bike, the Delta Cycle El Greco Bike Hoist for Garage Lift Space Storage Kayak (RS2200) ceiling hoist easily tops the list. It’s budget-friendly, simple to install and it’s durable.