The Hornit Clug is very possibly the world's smallest, simplest bike rack. Available in three sizes to suit most tyres, it's hard to think on how to improve it.
- Pros: Dead-simple to install and use, almost invisible
- Cons: Each size is specific to a range of tyre widths, possible issue with deflating tyres over time, price
The Clug was created via Kickstarter by a Vancouver design house, and was purchased last year by UK bike brand Hornit, which also makes other accessories such as the Hornit bike horn.
The premise of the Clug is simple: it's a clip that grips your tyre. That's it. Screw to the wall, insert bike. Done. Pull bike out, ride. Obviously something based on tyre size is going to need to accommodate a wide range of widths, so the Clug comes in three sizes: Roadie (23-32mm), Hybrid (33-42mm) and MTB (43-62mm/1.8-2.5in). I've reviewed the Roadie and Hybrid sizes.
The Clug packaging is a masterclass in design. On the side of the box is a guide to make sure you have the right size, holding up against your tyre. Removing the box from the backing card, the lid folds out to become the template for drilling holes, and once taped to your wall, to catch the dust as well – no need to find the Hoover.
In the box are the Clug, instructions, and two screws and plastic plugs, for use in masonry or plasterboard. As with any DIY, you should be aware of what you're drilling into, and depending on the size of bike and surface you could always opt for a more solid retaining mechanism such as spring toggles. Once the body of the Clug is drilled to the wall, the curvy insert snaps into place and you're done.
A Clug can accommodate pretty much all adult wheelbases – a very small person's time trial bike paired with a strapping six-plus-footer partner's extra-large 700C audax machine will be fine, as Clug states a 'working range' of up to 8ft.
Some maths: the Cervelo P3 in its smallest 45cm frame, 650C-wheeled guise has a wheelbase of 945mm. An extra-large audax frame like the Holdsworth Brevet is 1039mm – a difference of 94mm, or 3.7 inches. So if you picked your smallest and largest adult-framed bikes and then installed the Clug midway between the range of front-wheel contact points, you'd be fine.
What's wrong with a hook, you say? The problem with ceiling hooks is that they need to go into something as well, and unless they are supporting the entire weight of the bike they won't hold the wheel solidly, so bikes can swing around. With the rear wheel on the floor, the Clug is only bearing a bike load of a few hundred grams to keep it vertical/horizontal. The removal transient force approximates the weight of hanging a 7kg bike from a ceiling-mounted Clug. In other words, you can insert a 1-2kg wheel complete with tyre into a clug and it will stay put indefinitely – a good solution for storing a turbo wheel, or a spare set for different uses, like gravel riding or Sunday best.
Those of you owning bikes weighing less than 7kg are explicitly advised not to try to use the Clug like a ceiling hook. It even says so on the box.
All about the bulge
The design depends on an amount of bulge in the tyre compared to the rim – a 'lightbulb' profile – for the Clug to grip. So if you are running 23mm tyres on a 23mm rim, it possibly won't have enough rubber to hang on to.
Installed vertically, the Clug grips your front wheel – and no, you cannot invert your bike as the weight has to sit on the rear wheel. If you have a full mudguard that contacts the ground when the bike is vertical, you may have an issue there; possibly try elevating the rear tyre itself on a small wooden block.
For horizontal use, a mudguard protruding below the centreline of the wheel might cause issues – a soft flap should be fine, a plastic or metal guard would be likely to jam or bend. Maybe experiment with height to get a good-enough hold below the hard mudguard on the exposed wheel section.
Note that for horizontal use the back wheel goes in the Clug, not the front.
Once installed, the Clug can be removed easily and relocated in a minute – the insert covering the screws pops out and away you go.
I'd say the Clug is the best solution I've tried for keeping bikes in tight spaces. Other solutions often need the bike lifting vertically or sideways to get a hook or arm of some sort engaged, whereas your bike goes straight in-out of the Clug.
It can also double as a coathook, bag hook, for a rake, electrical cords... the list is pretty much endless.
I installed the Roadie clug in a small, unused space beside my workbench, too small for any other form of bike stand but just enough for a bike with cranks at a just so angle to slot into. I screwed the Hybrid Clug to the workshop doorframe, making for a very handy pace to put a bike for pre-ride fitting of lights and so on, or on return from a ride, or prior to a fettling session when there's another bike in the workstand needing removing.
The Hybrid Clug is spec'd for tyres of 32mm minimum, but when holding a road bike horizontally I found it gripped the 22mm outside-width rim just fine. The 28mm tyre wasn't touching anything, but as all it's doing is providing a tiny balancing force this wasn't an issue.
One point about a device designed to grip an inflated tyre is what happens over time as air leaks out. A trawl of t'internets turned up a couple of examples where people claimed their bikes fell out of Clugs after tyres deflated over a period of months, to which I would say – Ride Your Damn Bike More.
Obviously, if you are using a Clug to store a 'summer' or 'winter' bike (do these things still exist?) then just diarise a monthly check of tyre pressure, and berate yourself at the same time for letting a perfectly good bike sit idle (no correspondence will be entered into).
As the distant thunder of a thousand 'Why not just buy a £1 hook' emails rolls across the road.cc server farm, let's review: the Clug is designed to be small, pretty, wall-mounted, and to work with a bike vertically or horizontally. Hooks are large, ugly, and only really work screwed into ceiling beams or studs, with the rear wheel off the ground. They certainly do not work in drywall at all, or brick unless you have the correct masonry insert to hand (which would be huge, and I have never seen a hook sold with), and require a fair bit of trial and error to get the angle correct to work on a wall (I have installed a lot of hooks in my time).
Yes, £15 might appear to be a lot of cash for some grams of plastic – but that's to miss the point. You pay that much for some fermented grape juice, and it's gone after one dinner. A Clug in your life is forever, and you'll enjoy the satisfying 'clug' pushing your bike home or taking it out for a ride, thousands of times. (And Cycloc's Super Hero is £44.95!)
For those living in flats or working in offices with scarce space for bike storage, Clugs can be scattered about the place with abandon, ready for any and all bikes to store. I'd say a Clug would make for a handy bike-washing solution, if you are in an apartment situation and need an inconspicuous, low-cost and relatively theft-proof way to hold your bike vertical while washing.
If you wanted multi-bike parking outside a cafe, a simple round post in the ground with a circle of Clugs around it would hold maybe a dozen bikes, easily – certainly much smaller in footprint and cheaper than the traditional racking options, with their inherent risk of damage to rims/disc rotors due to wide tolerances and tendency for bikes to flop about.
No, the Clug won't be for everyone, for every application. That's the beauty of cycling being a very broad church – there's room for innovation and specificity all over the shop. If the Clug looks like it will meet your needs, you won't be disappointed.
Tiny, beautifully functional, space-enabling and secure in use
road.cc test report
Make and model: Hornit Clug
Size tested: 33mm-44mm
Tell us what the product is for
It's for anyone needing to store a bike, anywhere, pretty much.
WHAT IS CLUG?
The CLUG (patent pending) is the world's most minimalist and convenient bike storage. You won't believe something so small works so well, but it does! No pfaff, lifting or scraping, just a satisfying 'clug' and you're all set. It comes in three sizes: 'Roadie', 'Hybrid' and 'MTB'.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
We designed the CLUG to be a great fit with just about every bike tyre out there. We sell three versions of the Clug - one to fit standard road bike tyres between 23 and 32mm (1' - 1.25'), one to fit hybrid tyres between 33 an 42 mm (1.3' - 1.75') and one to fit big fat mountain bike tyres between 43mm and 62mm (1.8' - 2.5').
The choice of plastics and how they are built is excellent – artful, even.
It holds the bike exactly as described.
I can't imagine it ever stopping working.
This would be the only drawback in some minds; that £15 is a lot for a few grams of plastic. But that's to miss the point of the Clug.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Cannae fault it.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It's the vibe, man. Taking your bike in and out is strangely, repeatably enjoyable.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
I'm only marking the Clug down on price, because £15 is a fair amount of cash for some plastic. If it were less than a tenner, it'd be perfect.
About the tester
I usually ride: Merida Ride 5000 Disc My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo-cross, club rides, general fitness riding, mountain biking, Dutch bike pootling