Apartment balcony bicycle hoist

A crazy project to hoist your bike and and down from your third floor apartment balcony at MAKE Magazine.

Hoist to help apartment dwellers move bikes from multistory apartment balocony

If you live in an apartment, you know that lugging your bike up the staircase is no fun. Back in MAKE Volume 11, Virginia-based maker Matthew Russell shared instructions for making his simple swiveling balcony hoist with us. For about $50 (or less, depending on what you have laying around the workshop), build the hoist and wrangle the staircase no more.

My apartment entry is on a second floor and I know the hassle of lugging bikes up and down narrow stairs, but I’m pretty sure my apartment manager’s head would explode if he saw something like this, not to mention how my neighbors below me would react. I’m not sure if Grace Hopper’s advice to seek forgiveness instead of permission would work here. Still, this hoist is a good solution for a common problem.

The intent is for hauling more than just bikes — though MAKE cautions makers to “never hoist people or animals.”

MAKE Magazine: Swiveling Balcony Hoist.

REMINDER: TODAY is the LAST DAY to enter to win the Mark Cavendish book contest.


  1. Yeah, it sure would come in handy for those who live in the upper floors of apartments….but you're totally right about the landlord situation and the people living below. I've seen a lot of apartment residents do some crazy stuff, but never seen this one yet.


  2. It sounds like either a 2 person job or a giant paininthebuttinski. Ride up, run up stairs, go to the back balcony, lower the hoist, run downstairs, mount hoist to bicycle, run upstairs, hoist bike up to apartment. No thanks.

  3. …why stop w/ the bikes…you could do this w/ the kids & the groceries too…

    …just sayin'…

  4. =v= Seems to me that the tricky part is not having your bike stolen in the interim, when you run upstairs to do the hoist.

    Inspired by the overhanging hoists in Amsterdam, I wanted something like this when I moved into a 4th-floor apartment in Brooklyn, but in less than a month I got used to running up stairs with the bike over my shoulder. Then I moved to a 6th-floor apartment and got used to that. It gets easy over time.

  5. in less than a month I got used to running up stairs with the bike over my shoulder

    And you turn ultra buff as well! 🙂

    Overhanging hoists in Amsterdam? Tell me more.

  6. Maybe rig up an electric garage door opening to this thing, then. Click the remote to bring the hoist down, hook up the bike or cargo, and click again to hoist it up.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.