How to take a bike through a doorway

I see it all the time at many different places – many people are challenged by how to get a bike through a door-way and/or up an elevator. I used to see how awkwardly people would wheel their bikes in and out of the bike shop. Then I saw it at the races that we would go to – in and out of hotels, up and down elevators. The first thing many people think of just after a crash is how is their bike, so why would you want to have it get scraped just going through a hydraulic door? Do you push the bike through, then push the door a 2nd time? There is a better way, and I will show you how to do it with just 1 hand.

The surprising thing is just how easy it actually is to get you and your bike through a doorway – even a hydraulic door. I used to have the same difficulty of wheeling a bike in and out of hotel doorways with bags or luggage – when it finally clicked was when I had to get me, a duffel bag, & my bike through a door and into an elevator, allowing room for other team mates and guests as well.

What I have found has got to be the easiest way to get through a doorway with 1 hand. Just stand on the left side of the bicycle (which is the non-drive train side) and grab the bicycle by the stem with the right hand. Now raise up the front wheel so that the bicycle is vertically up and down. It may take you a couple times to get used to balancing the bike and keeping it upright, but it gets easy. Now that you have control with just the right hand, you will be able to walk up to the door and get the front wheel against the left hand side of the door, now give the door a gentle, but firm push. Now that the door has swung open, get you and the bike quickly through before it closes, which should be much easier because the bike is going through the door as you are – upright.

Here is a quick video which shows you how I do it. As always, Apollo is right on my heels when a bike is involved!

Bike through Door from Stephen Carhart on Vimeo.

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6 thoughts on “How to take a bike through a doorway”

  1. I am really impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Either way keep up the excellent quality writing, it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one today..

  2. I just found this site after my bike took a major beating just trying to get through a double set of non handicap accessible doors in my apartment complex. The 2nd set requires a key access. While I fussed with trying to get my electronic badge, the bike collapsed over the kickstand, the front door raked the frame and did a huge paint job.

    I like your idea, but what do I do when I have a 30 pound Jamas bike and am a woman with poor upper arm strength, and 2 panniers full of about 5-10 lbs of groceries? I’ve tried to make the bike vertical in the past, but always ended up with it falling over on me or losing enough strength to keep it that way past a second. Please help. Though the damage was quite great, I still want to keep my bike looking nice.

  3. Looks like I missed the spelling of the bike. It’s Jamis. Citizen 2 model. Practicing in my apartment, looks like I can get it upright w/o the grocery load, but it is still a big struggle. The front wheel wants to turn inside itself no matter what, and I still need a lot more space than the doorway will provide.

  4. Hi MI,
    With the bike being weighted and you having to having to get keys for the apartment, you may also try holding the bike upright while applying the Rear brake (Right brake is Rear). This should assist you in keeping the bike more steady while you get your keys.

    I do understand that it may still be a struggle though, and unfortunately there isn’t anything I can do about the limited space between the doors.

    Another option is to strengthen your core – a good start is push-up position (but with wide foot placement). Now raise one hand for 5 seconds, then alternate hands for 30 seconds to one minute.

    Hope this helps!

  5. I’m getting better at getting my bike in the doorway. For the 30 lb Jamis Citizen II, it seems rather than trying to get it upright, it works better if I turn the front wheel inward so the handlebars are up against the frame of the seat area. That way I can get the indoor door open enough to pull the bike in.

    I have to turn the handlebars inward when setting the bike on built in bike racks on the busses too. If I don’t, the act of lifting the bike will cause the front wheel to rotate inward regardless and make it even more unstable to grip. I still don’t like it though, because I fear in the long run this will wreck the breaks, but so far the cables on the breaks seem to be long enough to it.

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