Simple Housewares 5 Bike Floor Parking
This budget-friendly garage storage system is simple and easy to use for even the youngest kids.
BEST FOR: Young families who want kids 3+ to have easy access to loading and unloading their bikes by themselves.
CAPACITY: 12" wheels and larger, 5 bikes total
Pros & Cons
- No bike lifting required, our 2-year-old uses it
- Works great with all size bikes
- Small footprint
- Affordable solution
- Not made of strong material - bends easily
- Won't hold 5 large bikes - works best with a combo of small & large bikes
- Does not anchor to floor
Call it “old school” but this method of bike storage has stood the test of time for a reason. It’s so simple! Young kids don’t need mom or dad to lift their bike off ceiling or wall hooks. Say goodby to bikes in a tangled heap on the garage floor. My kids can take their bikes out of the garage and put them away all without my help!
Before we got the Simple Housewares 5 Bike Floor Parking our garage was a nightmare. I’m too short to hang the bikes from the ceiling, especially because all the kids’ bikes are so small. I would have to get a ladder or step stool to get them off the hooks. Hanging the hooks on the walls also wasn’t an option for us. So all the bikes just rested in a heap with pedals stuck in spokes and handlebars tangled in the brake cables.
Now that we have the floor parking, my garage looks more organized than my house! It also takes up a very small footprint in the garage, which leaves us more room for all the other stuff that ends up in there.
How it Works
There are lots of awesome bike storage systems out there. Unfortunately, very few are compatible with 20″ bikes or smaller. If you have a lot of little kids like I do, at least a few of your bikes are going to be 20″ or less (all of ours are). This 5 Bike Floor Parking system can easily accommodate those smaller bikes and the best part is that I do not have to spend all the extra time getting the bikes out or putting them away – that is now the kids’ responsibility!
There are two different ways you can actually use the rack – loading your bikes in by the back wheel or the front wheel. There are pros and cons to both methods, and what’s right for your family and your bikes will be up to you.
Loading by the Back Wheel
Loading in by the back wheel keeps the bikes more stable because the rear wheel is stationary, which is one of the main reasons you’ll see them loaded this way at a bike shop. It’s also because loading in by the rear wheel doesn’t result in any primary frame contact.
The rear cog and/or derailleur may come into contact with the rack arm, but in all our years of using floor parking racks, we’ve never had a bike damaged this way. This method is generally preferred by bike professionals, however, it’s a little trickier for young kids to manage because they have to back their bike into the rack.
Loading by the Front Wheel
In our experience, loading the bikes in by the front wheel makes using the rack a bit easier for young kids, especially those 4 and under. For our family with four kids ages 6 and under, we’ve found this the more practical solution. While it’s not as ideal for protecting your bikes from potential damage, it’s a lot better than the bikes lying in a heap on the floor!
With the front wheel in the arms of the rack, the front fork (and for smaller bikes, the frame) come into regular contact with the rack. If this makes you hesitate, you could easily wrap the rack frame in handlebar tape which would protect the frame from potential scratching.
When loading the bike in by the front wheel, the bikes aren’t as stable, so it’s a bit more likely that the bikes could get knocked over and damaged.
Easy for Kids to Use
Which method you prefer really comes down to how old your kids are and how easy you need it to be to get those bikes loaded. Check out this video that shows how our young family does it.
Capacity and Fit
The rest of this review focuses on how our family uses the rack and also its recommended use by the manufacturer, which is loading in by the front wheel.
Simple Housewares states that this bike is good for holding up to 5 bikes. Don’t confuse this with being able always to hold 5 bikes. The size of the bikes makes the capacity vary.
If your bikes are all about the same height this system isn’t going to work very well. Instead of being piled on the garage floor they are going to be tangled standing up. The rack isn’t wide enough to spaciously accommodate larger bikes; handlebars of bikes will overlap, pedals will get stuck on each other, pulling one bike out will cause another to fall over.
However, it can easily accommodate a combination of five smaller and larger bikes. Alternating small between tall works great. Our bikes are all different sizes so we park ours largest to smallest. Works great, looks great!
The rack is also adjustable. You can build it to have as many or as few compartments as you’d like. A lot of consumers have bought multiple racks and combined to them to have more compartments. So theoretically you could build as many compartments as you need for your bikes. However, they don’t sell additional compartments separately, so you’d end up with lots of end pieces that aren’t being used.
It claims that it can hold a kid’s bike as small as 12″ – which it can, but not properly or without some work arounds. The 16″ and 20″ bikes do not have tall enough wheels to allow them to properly roll in the rack. As a result, the front forks rest against the wheel holder to hold the bike upright.
The 14″ and 12″ bikes have the same problem, but because their tires are even smaller, they fall over very easily and end up on the floor. For our 14″ and 12″ bikes we actually lift them up and place the bike frame in the wheel well where the wheel would normally rest. The good news is – this is still something the kiddos can do by themselves. (My 2-year-old does need a little help sometimes – so I make the three year old do it!)
So while it isn’t a perfect solution for these small bikes, it is definitely a good solution. It’s possible that the rack contact could cause some minor damage to frames or forks but for us it definitely keeps them in better condition than what resembles a life-size version of a disentanglement puzzle on your garage floor.
The wheel well has 3″ of space for your tire to fit. The product description says that the width can stretch from 2.5″ to 3.5″. The actual measurements according to my tape measure are 3″to 4″.
It doesn’t technically stretch, but the wheel well splays to a sort of “V” position. However, the base of the wheel holder will always be 3″. Double check the width of your tires before purchasing this product as some mountain bikes, fat bikes, and beach cruisers will not fit.
Made from a fine powder coated steel, it’s not the same heavy duty steel that you may be familiar with for public bike racks (at parks, in front of schools and buildings, etc.). It’s also very light (10 lbs.) and doesn’t anchor to the floor in any way, so when you load bikes it does shift around a bit if it is empty. When there is another bike in it, it stays put as you load others.
I anticipate that this product will have about a two-year life expectancy. It isn’t made from high quality materials and I doubt it will last until the kids go to high school.
But for such a low price, I wouldn’t mind purchasing it every couple of years until our kids’ bikes are large enough to be compatible with a higher quality system that they can use. While certainly not the best rack out there, the Simple Housewares rack combines kid-friendliness with affordability to makes it a solid solution for young families.
If you like floor parking for your family of bikes, but are interested in something that will stand the test of time, take a look at this floor parking with more heavy duty steel.
While this isn’t the fanciest bike storage system or the highest quality, the Simple Housewares 5 Bike Floor Parking is the only one we’ve found that enables every kid in our family from 2-years-old to 6, (as well the adults) to have quick access to their bikes. If you have a young family and want your kids to be responsible for keeping their own bikes organized in the garage, Simple Housewares 5 Bike Floor Parking is a solid, budget-friendly option.