Delta Vertical Wall Mount Bike Rack - from Lee Valley Tools

It's been a while since my last post - this spring has been exceptionally busy with the basement insulation project, basement floor slab crack repairs and concrete floor painting, the variable speed pool pump motor upgrade, and the 2" pool plumbing upgrade. I still have to write about the pool projects, but first I wanted to show some photos from my bike rack upgrade in the garage.

The completed installation - adult bikes mounted vertically on the wall - kids bikes parked underneath. Very space efficient, and easy for the kids.
The new house had a series of hooks on the ceiling - 10' off the floor, and over the railing next to the stairs to the basement. To lift a bike up or down from a hook, you would have to get close to the railing, and stretch to get the front or rear wheel on or off the hook on the ceiling - a real task. The bicycles would pivot on the hooks, and bang into each other - pretty frustrating at times. I wanted a solution that would keep the bikes off the floor - we need all the floor space to park 2 cars at times, and help keep the space neat.

The previous storage rack - bikes would swing around, handlebars would hook, not ideal.
I did a bit of research into vertical wall mount bike racks - there are some interesting designs - then I found these at Lee Valley Tools. The great thing about Lee Valley Tools - reasonable prices ($21 each), quick and inexpensive shipping (frequent free shipping promotions) and quick delivery. So - I ordered six and they arrived in 2 days.

Delta Cycles Vertical Bike Rack with Tire Tray
If you look at other vendors - sometimes they will sell the rack and the tire tray separately - the Lee Valley Tools packaging includes both for one price.

Mounting the racks was simple - I found my wall studs were spaced 16" - and decided to lay out all four racks for the adult bikes - 2 road bikes, 2 mountain bikes - on 16" centers with staggered heights so the handlebars wouldn't interfere with each other. 

First bike installed. I used a Laser Level to get the top and bottom trays vertically aligned. 
Here's a photo of all 4 bikes installed - 16" centers. This turned out to be perfect spacing. 12" spacing would not have been enough (although it might have worked if you need a very tight installation).

4 bikes - 16" centers
The bike hooks are solid, support the bikes well. I'm careful when installing the bikes on the hooks to let the weight down slowly on the hook, to make sure I don't over stress the wheel rim. The upper rack installs with two 1 1/2" screws provided with the kit. These screws are a bit too short if you're installing on a stud wall with drywall - you'll need longer hardware for a solid installation.

The supplied hardware is too short for drywalled walls - these screws are only suitable for mounting directly to wood studs.
Delta Bike Rack
And here's a photo of the bottom tray. The bottom tray mounts with self adhesive tape - no screws required although screw holes are provided.

Note the vintage green Michelin Wildgripper Sprint S tires - Kevlar beads, super light, and now getting very old and brittle. Time for new tires.....
In summary - good quality racks, very good price, simple installation, clean look when storing bikes - very satisfied with this system.


Basement Concrete Floor Paint - Single Part Epoxy Paint

Our 25 year old house has (had) a concrete floor in the basement utility room that was a bit more than rough. A spiderweb of hairline cracks, and some surface abrasion / weakness caused by lack of maintenance and efflorescence in certain places. It looked like the concrete had been painted at one time, but it was very difficult to tell.

The completed floor paint job.

Concrete prepared for painting - all cracks filled with Sika Epoxy Crack Fill
With the basement insulation project, where all the perimeter walls had to be cleared so that the drywall could be removed, and spray polyurethane foam insulation applied - it was the perfect time to paint the perimeter of the concrete floor. Prior to paint, I repaired all the floor cracks with Sika Crack Fix - from hairline cracks to the largest cracks which measured approximately 4mm wide at their widest. 15 tubes of Sika Crack Fix - $300 worth of epoxy - and all the cracks were filled and the floor ready to paint.

Cracks repaired that run into floor sump
For a concrete floor paint job, I highly recommend that you have a belt sander - it's perfect for smoothing out any surface roughness, high spots on epoxy crack fill, and buffing out any surface imprefections due to efflorescence. Since I just need a belt sander for this project, I bought an inexpensive Skil 3 x 18" belt sander - the 6A 7510 with pressure control. It's a nice tool, and was perfect for this job.

For paint - I decided to go with a simple single part epoxy. I did not want to get into two part epoxies requiring mixing of part A and part B - since I wouldn't have any heavy loads or vehicles on the floor. I also wanted a brand name product with a good reputation, commonly available at local building stores - so that I could restock easily, and hopefully procure the same product for touchups every couple of years.

I settled on the Kilz single part epoxy concrete floor paint - reasonably priced and with good online reviews, from a good manufacturer.

Kilz Concrete and Garage Floor Paint
I had several spots with efflorescence - a white crystalline staining in several spots on the floor - particularly around 3 or 4 concrete columns supporting the garage elevated slab. I chose to simply wash the efflorescence with the concrete wash product recommended by the paint instructions - KILZ Concrete & Masonry Cleaner & Degreaser.

Following the first coat of paint, I found that any places I had raised epoxy repairs, and I hadn't sanded the epoxy - I didn't get a particularly good bond of the paint to the epoxy. So for some spots, I went back and sanded down the epoxy crack fills with the belt sander, which also roughened the epoxy and improved adhesion of the paint.

Sanding down Epoxy crack repairs flush with the concrete
I also found that where I had heavy efflorescence stains, and I only cleaned with the KILZ Concrete & Masonry Cleaner & Degreaser, the paint puffed up as it dried, and gave very poor adhesion. So it was clear - I had to do a better job dealing with the efflorescence prior to painting.

Halo of efflorescence around concrete column - led to poor adhesion.
At the spots where I had poor adhesion - I used the belt sander to take the paint back down to the concrete, and physically remove any efflorescence from the surface. Then I used the recommended concrete etching product - KILZ Concrete & Masonry Cleaner & Etcher. This product was aggressive on the efflorescence, and soaked into the porous surface of the concrete - bubbling and hissing whereever it encountered the efflorescence. I then cleaned with rinse water, and let dry for 24 hours. When I went back to inspect the concrete - the concrete was perfectly clean, dry and natural coloured, except in a few spots where there was some new white efflorescence on the surface of the concrete - much less than before. So at these spots - I did a second treatment with the KILZ Concrete & Masonry Cleaner & Etcher, and waited another 24 hours. Following the second treatment, I had no further efflorescence on the surface of the concrete.

Efflorscence repair - sand down the paint, remove the efflorescence with Concrete Etch, and repair weak surfaces with a thin layer of Sika Epoxy Crack Fix
So - I then applied a second coat of paint - and so far - it seems to have beat the efflorescence, no puffiness or lack of adhesion in the paint, and better bonding of the paint to the epoxy crack fix.

Finally - I had spots of the concrete floor where there were small sections - up to a foot long by 6 inches wide - where the surface of the concrete had started crumbling slightly, leaving a rough surface. At these spots, I used Sika Crack Fix applied across the surface, spread out with a putty knife, and sanded flat with the belt sander once cured. This protected the concrete surface, and gave a nice smooth surface for the paint to adhere to.

Rough surface repair with Sika Epoxy Crack Fix - levels chips 
The final product look much much cleaner, and neat. A huge improvement. A bit of an investment in time and effort, but I think it should pay off when it comes time to sell the house.

Final floor repair