Trike Storage / by Erin Wade

Riding and living with a recumbent trike is different from from the upright variety in a number of ways, and one of those is storage. There exists a cornucopia of storage options for upright, two-wheeled cycles, ranging from very simple options to mechanically complex.

My Catrike Pocket takes considerably less vertical space than an upright bike, but it’s also considerably wider. Out at the Homestead we have a fair amount of space, but useful storage area outside the house is mostly limited to our small garage.

While, as noted, there are certainly a number of fancy ways to store a bike, I’ve always been partial to the simple approach offered by a ceiling hook. If one has a crossbeam to screw a couple of these in to, hanging up a two-wheeler becomes a simple exercise of identifying a location where one hopefully will not repeatedly walk into the bike (a step I may have failed at a time or three in the past), measuring out the distance between the wheel centers, and mounting the hooks. Not fancy, but a pretty reliable system, even in our limited garage space:

bikes hanging out together

The layout of the trike complicates things. The three wheels do not run in a line, so they cannot be managed by simply putting hooks in a crossbeam. What’s more, the distance between the front wheels does not match the distance between the beams, so mounting each wheel to immediately parallel beams wasn’t an option either. And given that most of the airspace that doesn’t have people walking through it regularly is already occupied by the other bikes, having the trike hang that low wouldn't have been a great option anyway.

I considered mounting along a wall instead of in the ceiling, but the layout of the garage is such that any wall space that isn’t occupied by stuff already is unoccupied for a reason - mostly because a car has to pull up close to the wall in that space. While the trike isn’t tall, it would stick out far enough to impede that sort of use. It was going to have to be mounted above, high enough to prevent noggin-knocking, but not so high that I couldn't get it up and down (I am not a tall person).

My solution was to install 2x4’s across the top end of the cross beams - two of them running side by side, and the third set back at the rear wheel’s center. This arrangement allowed me some play for the mounting of the hooks side to side as well.

Hooks! Nothing but hooks!

This position gets the Catrike up high enough that I can walk under it without fear of hitting my head.

Hello!

Hello again

It also sets it high enough that the car can fit under it (since my bike storage needs are now spreading out into the car area of the garage).

Catrike over car

I was initially a little nervous about the fact that the trike is hanging right over the windshield of the car, but it’s been there for months now, without issue. Also, there really wasn’t much by way of other option - moving it further back, say over the roof of the car, would interfere with the travel area of the garage door.

To get the trike up on the hooks, I have to pick it up, flip it over, and then lift it above my head - a variation on a clean and jerk. I hold it by the crossbar across the top of the seat back, and the accessory mount on the boom. Fortunately the Pocket is only about 33 lbs from the factory, and probably around 35 with my bags and accessories on it, so this isn’t significantly harder than lifting the two wheelers. Lining up the three wheels with the hooks was a little more challenging at first, but that’s gotten easier with practice.

Overall it’s been a good solution. Getting it in place took a bit longer than my usual bike system - lots of measuring to make sure everything lined up before I finalized things, and of course considerably more cutting, drilling, and driving of screws. And I am now running out of ceiling space. I would need to get more creative if I were to get another trike (but that never happens, right?).