The Netherlands is known for its bicycle-friendly culture as well as the skinny houses found in the capital, Amsterdam – the result of a taxes in the 16th century being based (among other things) on the width of a house. Therefore, we weren't too surprised to find that this space-saving parking device for bicycles harks from the land of tulips, clogs and windmills. Called Wheelylift, it was devised by Dutch designer Jules Sypkens for the spatially-challenged cycling contingent the world over.
The electricity-free, mechanical Wheelylift allows the cyclist to hang a bicycle from the wall, even in very narrow spaces. If your bike is too heavy, worry not. The “automatic rollable moment construction” makes the process effortless. The user lifts the front wheel slightly to place it on the Wheelylift hook while a click indicates the lifting mechanism is ready to go. To push the bike up, the user only needs to guide it from the handlebars and under the saddle. The job is finished once the rear wheel fits in the wheel slot.
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One great feature is that the bicycle can be rotated against the wall, either to the left or right, which should please roommates arriving home with their shopping bags and finding the bike neatly stowed away in the entrance hall. It could even make for a nice décor piece.
Some space is needed, of course, and a minimum ceiling height of 2.1 m (6.8 ft) is required. The Wheelylift should be installed at 61 cm (2 ft) from the ground. If more than one unit is installed, the makers recommend heights should vary, for example, one at 61 cm and another at 71 cm (2.33 ft). This will ensure the space required between them is only 30 cm (11.8 in). Otherwise, if placed at the same height, they would need 40 cm (1.31 ft) between them.
To remove the bike from the Wheelylift, the user once again holds the bike by the handlebars and under the saddle and simply pulls it away from the wall. The arm of the Wheelylift will bring the bike down to the floor in a smooth, flowing motion. There will be a click once the lifting arm has completed its descent. The lifting mechanism will then be tensioned again to become ready for the next parking.
The device comes in two models. Type 1224 is for bikes up to 24 kg (53 lb), while type 1835 is for bikes that weigh up to 35 kg (77 lb), such as electric bikes. It’s made of electrogalvanized steel (with bonded zinc to protect against corrosion) and features a pin at the side to secure the rod and prevent it from going up if there is no bike in it.
The company's website shows some possibilities of combining Wheelift and public green spots, offering another parking option for the increasing number of bicycles circulating in the world's urban areas. It also promises all materials and processes involved in the manufacturing are sustainable and socially responsible.
Wheelylift's promotional video can be viewed below.