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Thread: Can I carry my bike up and down these stairs every day?

  1. #11
    KLizotte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    Someone posted in women and bikes not to long ago with a contraption that stored a road bike flat against the ceiling. Would that be an option?

    Or, would some sort of rail in the wall work - you would hook your bike (or a load of groceries) onto something that could glide along the rail, but didn't stick out more than the bannister when not in use

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    Hanging something from the ceiling wouldn't work since I'd have to try to hang it up while standing on the stairs. That seems like a recipe for an eventual accident. Only other possibility is a hook that would allow me to hang it it vertically (to get the handlebars out of the way) but that would still require standing on the stairs. If only there was a decent size landing.

    Because of these stairs I think I'm gonna have to give this place a pass which is super disappointing because it was perfect in every other way (walking distance to Shirlington!).

    I wonder if I could convince condo option #2 if they would be willing to install a bike rail like this one for the outside stairs. They are quite wide so it wouldn't get in the way and I already know others in the building have bikes. Heck, I'd be willing to pay for it myself. I don't know why they show two rails, only one would be needed near the edge. I suppose if the railing is right up against the edge that might be a problem because of the handlebars. Will have to check it out on next visit.

    This is the one time I wish I weren't a cyclist. Accommodating my lifestyle is proving to be a challenge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KLizotte View Post
    Hanging something from the ceiling wouldn't work since I'd have to try to hang it up while standing on the stairs. That seems like a recipe for an eventual accident. Only other possibility is a hook that would allow me to hang it it vertically (to get the handlebars out of the way) but that would still require standing on the stairs. If only there was a decent size landing.

    Because of these stairs I think I'm gonna have to give this place a pass which is super disappointing because it was perfect in every other way (walking distance to Shirlington!).

    I wonder if I could convince condo option #2 if they would be willing to install a bike rail like this one for the outside stairs. They are quite wide so it wouldn't get in the way and I already know others in the building have bikes. Heck, I'd be willing to pay for it myself. I don't know why they show two rails, only one would be needed near the edge. I suppose if the railing is right up against the edge that might be a problem because of the handlebars. Will have to check it out on next visit.

    This is the one time I wish I weren't a cyclist. Accommodating my lifestyle is proving to be a challenge.
    I know you said #1 is not a consideration anymore, but I wonder how well these ceiling mounts would work in that situation:
    https://www.amazon.com/Racor-PBH-1R-.../dp/B00006JBL3

    A bike shop I worked at 20+ years ago used a bunch of these to pull bikes up to the tall ceiling for storage. It wasn't too difficult to use when starting from flat ground with a lot of room. I wonder how that changes starting from a stairway?
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Another option is to get an uber-light bike (if yours isn't already) to go with your new spiffy condo. Something sleek and 17 pounds is going to be much easier to lug up stairs than a 30 pound behemoth

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    Default Stairs and storage

    2 months ago, we sold our comfy big home in the burbs and bought a cute home inside the beltway. Now instead of rolling up into my garage with tons of space for bikes and gear, I lug my bike up and down 18 stairs between my doorstep and the street. It's been an adjustment, but it hasn't been as bad as I thought it would be. I've even learned how where to hold the bike and how to angle it so that I can carry it up/down with a loaded pannier. In fact, the worst part isn't the stairs, it's the awkward contortions I have to make when holding the storm door open while getting the bike in/out of the door. Getting back home in rainy weather sucks too but I found that some strategically placed towels help.

    Another option for bike storage inside is the Steadyrack which hangs on the wall and offers vertical bike storage. (https://www.amazon.com/Steadyrack-Cl...rds=steadyrack) They're a little pricey but we've put up 3 in our "bike room" with no problems. Getting the bike down and putting it up is super easy ... very important after I get home tired and I've already carried my bike up the stairs! Also, the racks swivel if you need to make room.

    We gave up a lot of conveniences for location and found that it's simply a matter of adapting to your new environment. When we first bought the house, we thought that we were going to HAVE to find a way to construct a path that we could use to roll our bikes up/down. Now after 2 months, it still would be nice, but not as necessary as we thought. I imagine the more time that passes, the less important that path will be. If you reconsider buying and want to "practice" carrying your bike up/down stairs, just let me know!

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    Quote Originally Posted by drevil View Post
    Another option is to get an uber-light bike (if yours isn't already) to go with your new spiffy condo. Something sleek and 17 pounds is going to be much easier to lug up stairs than a 30 pound behemoth
    Yet another option might be to actually get a 30 pound behemoth but get one that is suitable for 24/7 life outdoors. Think weather-proof and theft-proof. Preferably a pre-owned bike so it doesn't look to attractive to potential thieves... I totally get that this is not for everyone, but Dutch bikes have evolved especially for these scenario's. They are heavy but robust and (obviously) weather resistant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by drevil View Post
    I know you said #1 is not a consideration anymore, but I wonder how well these ceiling mounts would work in that situation:
    https://www.amazon.com/Racor-PBH-1R-.../dp/B00006JBL3

    A bike shop I worked at 20+ years ago used a bunch of these to pull bikes up to the tall ceiling for storage. It wasn't too difficult to use when starting from flat ground with a lot of room. I wonder how that changes starting from a stairway?
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	41SLDsMKnXL.jpg 
Views:	49 
Size:	31.3 KB 
ID:	15005

    Another option is to get an uber-light bike (if yours isn't already) to go with your new spiffy condo. Something sleek and 17 pounds is going to be much easier to lug up stairs than a 30 pound behemoth
    I did think about a "lift" system as you show but the stairwell is steep, narrow, and the door opens up within an inch of hitting the bottom step. It's even a little uncomfortable getting in and out of the door without a bike so I've had to choose between the bike and the patio and fireplace.

    But yes, I definitely like the idea of getting a lighter bike though that may require going custom due to my small stature.

  7. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guus View Post
    Yet another option might be to actually get a 30 pound behemoth but get one that is suitable for 24/7 life outdoors. Think weather-proof and theft-proof. Preferably a pre-owned bike so it doesn't look to attractive to potential thieves... I totally get that this is not for everyone, but Dutch bikes have evolved especially for these scenario's. They are heavy but robust and (obviously) weather resistant.
    Yeah, I'm pretty sure the condo association won't be pleased with my bike behmouth cluttering up the public grounds. If I do move into a more bike friendly place that I am seriously considering, I am going to start jumping up and down and asking for bike amenities (racks, bike rails on stairs, etc). I am gonna be one of "those people."

  8. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by reji View Post
    2 months ago, we sold our comfy big home in the burbs and bought a cute home inside the beltway. Now instead of rolling up into my garage with tons of space for bikes and gear, I lug my bike up and down 18 stairs between my doorstep and the street. It's been an adjustment, but it hasn't been as bad as I thought it would be. I've even learned how where to hold the bike and how to angle it so that I can carry it up/down with a loaded pannier. In fact, the worst part isn't the stairs, it's the awkward contortions I have to make when holding the storm door open while getting the bike in/out of the door. Getting back home in rainy weather sucks too but I found that some strategically placed towels help.

    Another option for bike storage inside is the Steadyrack which hangs on the wall and offers vertical bike storage. (https://www.amazon.com/Steadyrack-Cl...rds=steadyrack) They're a little pricey but we've put up 3 in our "bike room" with no problems. Getting the bike down and putting it up is super easy ... very important after I get home tired and I've already carried my bike up the stairs! Also, the racks swivel if you need to make room.

    We gave up a lot of conveniences for location and found that it's simply a matter of adapting to your new environment. When we first bought the house, we thought that we were going to HAVE to find a way to construct a path that we could use to roll our bikes up/down. Now after 2 months, it still would be nice, but not as necessary as we thought. I imagine the more time that passes, the less important that path will be. If you reconsider buying and want to "practice" carrying your bike up/down stairs, just let me know!
    Thank you so much for your super generous offer. Don't tell my landlord but in the wee hours of the morning I was in my PJs lugging my bike up and down the stairwell in my highrise apartment building. I tried with a loaded pannier (augh), with bike shoes, regular shoes, unloaded, etc. I'm sure my neighbors were seriously confused and annoyed by the noise and I had to make a mad dash to my apartment when I heard someone enter the stairwell!

    I discovered that a large turning radius is required if there are landings and that without a pannier it's not that difficult going up and down. The pannier greatly shifts the center of gravity and makes it very unwieldy. Fortunately my pannier turns into a backpack with just an unzip. I'm gonna see if I can do a trial run at the second choice condo this afternoon. Fingers crossed

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    I had a situation where I was hauling a somewhat heavy hybrid up and down a narrow stairwell for months. Honestly, the only hard part was the super tight turn at the bottom to get it into the room. The actual carrying was annoying, but not killer. I'd take my panniers off, set them to the side, and haul the bike.

    As others have commented, a major issue may be that those stairs are carpeted. After wet/muddy rides, it'll be a pain to keep them clean.

    Personally, if everything else was PERFECT and I had no better options, I'd suck it up and deal with the stairs (and likely install a rail to walk the bike up...), but it'd definitely be a major drawback. As time goes on you get older hauling a bike up and down daily may get tougher and tougher. You could maybe install a wall mounted rack on the stairs though.] I'm thinking something like this, a stair or two up so it's out of the way of the door, but not so high you risk falling down the stairs to get your bike down. https://www.cb2.com/wood-bike-storage/s309683 (they even have it mounted over a staircase in the photo, lol). It's usefulness depends on how wide the stairwell is though. Could you still pass with your bike on the wall?

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    Quote Originally Posted by drevil View Post
    ... a 30 pound behemoth
    Hey! I resemble that remark.

    This bike, with rack, fenders, kickstand and lock--all necessities for a commuter and daily-use bike--is about 30 pounds.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    You have hurt its feelings by calling it a "behemoth."

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    Quote Originally Posted by KLizotte View Post
    Hanging something from the ceiling wouldn't work since I'd have to try to hang it up while standing on the stairs. That seems like a recipe for an eventual accident. Only other possibility is a hook that would allow me to hang it it vertically (to get the handlebars out of the way) but that would still require standing on the stairs. If only there was a decent size landing.
    Could you change the front door to open outwards?

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