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Two quick items of note: Looking for a good vertical bike stand, and Motoactv slashes price $100

Before we get onto the new Alpha watch post here in a few hours, I’ve got two quick items worthy of a separate call out.

First item of note:

First is that I’ve (well, we’ve) decided we need a vertical bike rack for our new apartment in Paris.  After carefully evaluating the space remaining, it’s clear that the best storage solution is vertical.  Straight up!

I’m turning to you to find the best vertical bike rack out there.  My requirements are as follows:

1) Must support two bikes (no exceptions)
2) Should not require being drilled into the floor or ceiling
3) It needs to be a single pole (none of those two-pole stuff)
4) It should be sturdy, and not look wonky (you decide)
5) The bikes themselves must be stored horizontal (as if sitting on a road)
6) It must be available either in a LBS in Seattle, or be available online to ship to Seattle by early next week while I’m there

Sound good?  Here’s a quick Google Image search to get your mind flowing (no, don’t give me a sidewalk bike parking pole).

image

Honestly, those requirements are pretty straight forward.  Essentially, I just can’t be using something designed for a garage, when this is going in our living room.  Make sense?

Second item of note:

The Motoactv got its ‘official’ price slashed by $100 today, bringing it down to $140, or a chunk cheaper than the FR210, Timex Run Trainer and Nike+ GPS, and only about $5 more than the Timex Global Trainer.  Interestingly, the specific SKU that had its price cut included theheart rate wrist strap.  Not bad!

IMG_5459

I expect this is for a few reasons.  Typically, tech companies usually slash prices ahead of new products.  And while I don’t have any info on new Motorola products, I’d be surprised if we didn’t see a hardware refresh this fall ahead of Christmas (they came out with new units last October/November, 2011).  Software-wise, the Motoactv has been hands down the most actively updated product out of anything out on the market today.  They’ve announced feature sets ahead of time, along with a specific date – and then they usually nail that date (or at worst, are off by just a couple days).  They’ve got firmware releases down to a science make just about everyone else look amateur (or, they simply have a project manager).

What they failed to do however on the version 1 of the Motoactv was get the hardware right.  Specifically, the waterproofing – which in my opinion has kept the device from really taking off.  Additionally, a number of folks also complain about the headphone jack placement.  On the bright side, the low battery issues have long since been resolved, and it’s in the same battery range as other devices in its price and feature class.

So would I recommend it at $140?  Well, like anything else – it’s a matter of how you use it, and what features you want out of a GPS watch.  At present, I think it’s a great product for a casual runner that may spend more time cross training with other sports, and loves music.  Not quite yet the hardcore runner product due to the waterproofing issues.  Just my two cents. (Thanks to Dan B. for the heads up!)

Update: 7/17/12 6:30PM Eastern: I reached out to Motorola for comment on this story that suggests the product is being discontinued altogether, I also asked what that meant to current owners with respect to software/firmware/site updates.  They answered back with “As always, we don’t comment on rumor, but the MOTOACTV price drop is part of a back-to-school promotion.”

In my opinion, this is pretty much PR speak for “Yes, it’s dead”.  No company would ever let a story hang that says their product is about to die, unless it’s really about to die and they don’t want to say that yet.  Otherwise, they’d answer back with something that says “The product is strong and we plan to continue updating it”.  Serious bummer.  Hopefully I’m wrong, but I don’t see it happening any other way.

Ok, back to writing my main post.

Thanks for reading all!

52 Comments

  1. link to mygearup.com

    We have had one similar to the link above for about 12 years...ours has the option to have 2 or 4 bikes and it's tension mounted. Never had an issue with it and we have used it both inside an apartment and garage. Good luck!

    Reply
  2. Hi Ray - I have a Minoura bike stand and It has been great.

    link to minourausa.com

    Stores 2 bikes on a vertical pole, with adjustable horizontal angles to hang the bikes.

    Doesnt require bolting or anything like that.

    Don't know about availability in your area etc as I'm in AUS, but I can recommend these - they are great. I have mine in my living room and I kind of like the bike 'feature' wall....

    Reply
  3. Funny about you asking for bike storage rack advice; I came here today looking to see if you had a review on bike stands, for repairs and cleaning and such. Which I was surprised I didn't find. Sorry I can't help on the storage front.

    Reply
  4. Ok so this is two poles, but its a loop so lets call it one poll bent around in a circle! I've been using it for a few years and its very sturdy and stable and holds your helmet and accessories too!

    link to amazon.com

    Reply
  5. Bill

    link to rei.com
    Always considered this for myself. Not sure how much it would be for REI to ship.

    Reply
  6. Rob

    Just faced the bike storage issue recently, with multiple bikes on our porch. It really saves room having a stand. We purchased the Topeak 2 Two Up -- it is a little expensive, but doesn't look too bad and you can buy additional attachments to hang up to 4 bikes on it. It seams fairly stable and there's plenty of adjustability. On the downside, you have to purchase the extra attachments separately.

    link to amazon.com

    Reply
  7. I looked at the Motoactv listing that you linked to on Amazon. It looks like it comes with the wrist strap but not the HR strap.

    Reply
  8. walkaboutdave

    Howdy, just a thought...but if you want to DIY something. I'm sure you can find the supplies you need in BHV (the big hardware store) and also any small bricomarches.

    All you need to supply are some old drop bars and stems...you can even customize!

    link to dornob.com

    Reply
  9. Eek, thanks Paul - good catch! Fixed.

    Reply
  10. Maybe an Ikea hack? link to ikeahackers.net :-)

    Reply
  11. The Topeak Dual Touch pole is hands down the best solution. I own one and love it. It meets all your requirements and it even ship fast. It's on Amazon

    Reply
  12. link to bikerackshops.com

    Not sure about shipping, but this one definitely doesn't belong in a garage. Good luck!

    Reply
  13. I've had the Saris BikeBunk for over a year. It had definitely done the trick and I'm constantly using it everyday (switching between my Tri and road bikes). Haven't had any issue!

    Reply
  14. The Topeak is an awesome rack. I have one in our finished basement that looks great holding our bikes! Ships super fast from Amazon and only takes about 10 minutes to set up.

    Reply
  15. I'm not sure if this was said before, but I've got the Delta Cycle Michaelangelo Bike Rack from Amazon and it's absolutely fantastic. Very minimalistic and as strong as an ox.

    link to amazon.com

    Reply
  16. I've had this Saris Bike Bunk for two years now and it's been great. Just put it together and lean against the wall, super simple and sturdy.

    link to revolutioncycles.com

    Reply
  17. Guillermo

    Hey Ray,

    I always try to help you out with your requests since you provide all of us with so much great info. I recently bought a velo cache 2 made by feedback sports.

    link to feedbacksports.com

    We liked it so much, that I ordered a second one, and two sets of expansion packs to allow each to support 4 bikes total. Each pair of arms has a weight limit of 40 lbs, and they can all adjusted individually to help with weirdly shaped bikes, or tiny small clown 650c bikes. These things are awesome, study, and I highly recommend them. Best of all, plenty of places in Seattle have these. Good luck!

    -Guillermo

    Reply
  18. This might fail the delivery requirement, but I remember seeing these racks on a gear blog ages ago and have lusted ever since. link to quarterre.com

    Reply
  19. Anonymous

    I have to put my vote in for the Thule universal stacker

    link to amazon.com

    it's also sold by some 3rd parties. The stand is solid and I can keep my heavier bike on top with no concerns of it tipping over.

    My concerns with the other poles was the pole falling over when my wife took her bike out.

    Reply
  20. Talk about good timing. My patience with the Motoactv ran out 2 weeks ago when it didn't save a completed run I did on vacation in Spain. I sold it online 4 days before this price drop. I've taken my new Garmin 610 out twice now and already like it much better. Thanks for the reviews.

    Reply
  21. Swim N Bike
    Reply
  22. Ray:

    Depending on your apartment building/how confident you are about the spaces, there are two other options:

    1) the cave associated with your apartment...but they are usually in the basement so damp and musky.

    2) some apartment buildings have a dedicated bike room, with a lock or a code. You should ask your guardienne

    although the hassle of having to bring your bike up to your apartment every time you wanna do a training session does seem to rule these out...

    Reply
  23. w

    Somehow I guess that delivery directly in France would not be too much of a problem... When in France..

    link to bike-spirit.com

    Reply
  24. w

    Also on Amazon

    link to amazon.fr

    Reply
  25. The Rose Multiflex stands either

    link to roseversand.com

    or the more expensive one are very good, we have them throughout our living rooms.

    Reply
  26. Colin Phillips

    Another vote for the Topeak stand. I have one in my finished basement, currently holding 4 bikes cleanly and compactly. It's not the cheapest stand, but it's stable, easy to set up, and does the job very well.

    Reply
  27. Theresa

    Looking forward to seeing what you pick and your impressions, I've been looking for the identical thing too recently.

    Reply
  28. Norman

    link to velogrip.com
    Know it does not fit the horizontal req but when tilted at an angle on the hooks the bikes sit closer to the wall than if mounted horizontally. Bonuses: you can build an equivalent rig with parts from any hardware store (home depot even has S-hooks) , and you can hang spare wheels, helmets, shoes, etc...

    Reply
  29. link to pinterest.com

    Pallets!!!!!!

    This is what I did with my bikes/gear. This cost me about $20.00 and is pretty cool looking. drilled into the wall support beams with 4 inch wood screws. heres another example
    link to pinterest.com

    Reply
  30. Wil

    I have two of these, they are great.

    link to amazon.com

    Reply
  31. Anonymous

    wiggle.co.uk will deliver to Frqance as well:

    link to wiggle.co.uk

    link to wiggle.co.uk

    Reply
  32. Henrik mentioned this earlier, the Ikea bike hack is an excellent option.

    link to ikeahackers.net

    I made this a couple of years ago, it looks good, easy to make, and cost about $50.

    Reply
  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

    Reply
  34. Been using this one for years, no drilling required and it looks better than the metal ones on the market.
    link to amazon.com

    Reply
  35. Chu

    Park Tool double arm repair stand.

    Get something that's multifunctional, especially for bike repair/maintenance.

    Reply
  36. link to kylethewilson.wordpress.com

    Re-purpose road bike handles!

    This sort of drifts from what you were looking for, but this is a beautiful solution for living room storage and it looks "cyclistey".

    Reply
  37. How about using two bike handlebars? You can buy a bracket to drill into the wall, and think of that bracket as a bike stem, and put handlebars in it.

    Lifehacker had a post about doing this a few weeks ago. Seems like an elegant and not unattractive solution.

    Reply
  38. Anonymous

    I have a generic similar to the Racor linked by Wil. It was cheap, but I had to shim one side of the base with cardboard to get it to stand straight. I also added weather stripping and packing material to prevent scratches.

    Reply
  39. Anonymous

    I have been using the Feedback Sports stand and been happy with it. It´s available from Aspire and REI has it too.

    link to aspirevelotech.com

    Reply
  40. I've got this one:
    link to cozywinters.com

    Though we got it at the local Target. Target.com no longer has them listed but my wife swears the stores still carry them. The website above has them for $100, we paid about $50 each for them. I've been pretty happy with them (we have two).

    Reply
  41. Anonymous

    What about the SteadyRack?

    Reply
  42. Reply
  43. This doesn't fit exactly with what you are referring to, but I think the Girl and you might like these.

    link to etsy.com

    Reply
  44. I've got the one Noel posted. $50 from a Target in Sacramento 5 years ago.

    Here it is on Target's site:
    link to target.com

    Says its not sold in stores, but they've been wrong before ;)

    Reply
  45. As a bonus to whatever you choose, I think bikes on the wall make GREAT art! I wish of wish we could hang ours in the house.... :)

    Sarah
    http://www.thinfluenced.com

    Reply
  46. Thanks all! I'm loving all the suggestions, especially the more creative/artsy ones. I hadn't even considered that angle, but currently the one where you use two old bike handlebars is completely awesome!

    Keep them coming!

    Oh, and yes, anything that can ship straight to France cheaply is certainly game!

    Reply
  47. Anonymous

    Motoactv: This product was due to launch into Australia June/July this year.

    At the last moment Google/Motorola Mobility pulled the pin, and it has now been put on an indefinite hold. (read as won't be hitting Australian shores)

    Reply
  48. Update: 7/17/12 6:30PM Eastern: I reached out to Motorola for comment on this story that suggests the product is being discontinued altogether"

    Urm Where does the article say or suggest the Motoactv is being "discontinued" ?  The article states! "MotoACTV Officially Discounted", and says no such thing about it being discontinued.

    Reply
  49. The changed the title of the original article, and the content. Initially, the article title said "Discontinued", and then later in the body there was an extra line or two about it being canned.

    But, that's all somewhat irrelevent - because anytime a company declines to comment that a product is being axed, specifically declines to say "Nope, all is good", then you know - all is not good. :(

    Reply
  50. Here's a (stale) copy of the original article which was replicated to other sites: link to droiddog.com

    Ironically, I think it may have just been the original author misreading the press release, but it's Motorola's response that was far more telling.

    Reply
  51. Okay thanks for that information. I'd like to know where the original author obtained his information. I know there are a lot of complaints about the device on the Motoactv forum, but I've had mine for over 6 months and I love it. I hope you're wrong!

    Reply
  52. Sarah

    Hi Ray -

    Along the lines of price drops - can you tell me when Garmin reduced the price of the 310xt? I know you probably mention it somewhere and I can't find it. Just curious if I paid above retail at a local store. Last I had checked it was $349 without HR strap. I called Garmin support and, oddly, they couldn't answer this question.

    Reply

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