Garage Gator review

Garage Gator Motorized Storage System Review

11/2009 by Warren Beauchamp

Like many people, I have too much stuff and not enough places to put it. Some stuff you can put on shelves or maybe a basement, but bicycles are a different story. Bicycles normally live in the garage, with the cars and the other outside stuff. If you are like me and have acquired a large number of bicycles, the garage can get crowded. I was at the Interbike bicycle show this past September, and the Garage Gator caught my eye. It is an electric lift that will raise and lower 220 lbs of garage stuff. Because recumbent bikes can be heavy, this sounded great. Over a month later I tried to order the Garage Gator GGR220 motorized storage system from their web site. The ordering process was painless, and their representative got back to me quickly. They had an Interbike special price, which made it easier. They have another model that will lift 125 lbs, but in my opinion that is woefully inadequate for the recumbent bike crowd.  Fast forward a week or so and a heavy box arrived on my doorstep.

Everything was well packed in foam, and the parts seemed of good quality. Templates and well written instructions were included. Basically, the unit bolts to the rafters that make up the ceiling of your garage. My garage is goofy, and uses 24" spacing. Fortunately, the system was designed to be able to accommodate 16" or 24" spacing, and can be mounted either parallel to, or perpendicular to the ceiling joists.

I had a bit of a problem as the joists that I wanted to bolt to were actually 25" apart, but a couple giant U clamps solved that problem, and it all went together quickly.

The lift has a heavy duty 9 foot wide tube, to which the supplied hooks and cables are attached. It comes in 4 sections, which pop together with no tools. It seems heavy duty and well made, and appears to be powder coated. They also included a net that can hold a bunch of light and bulky items.

The lift uses an industrial style momentary switch on a large hand held with a key lockout to control the up / down motion.

One annoyance was the power cable, which was only about 1.5 feet long. I had to make a 2 ft extension cord to extend it to the garage door opener ceiling outlet.

It took a couple tries to figure out how to get the cables attached to the right parts of the recumbent bikes, but eventually I got it figured out and the system appeared to have no problem lifting the 3 recumbent bikes. This is about 140 lbs of bicycles.

To test the capacity, I added my 60 lb e-bike, for 200 lbs total.. Yikes, that's a lot of weight. No problem though, it went up and down without issues, and did not rip out of the ceiling and land in a smoldering heap on the garage floor.

Overall this appears to be a well made and well thought out unit, and I like it.  This product is also sold through several retailers. The GGR220 recumbent lift is available for about $230 on the MyGarageStore.com site and on Amazon.com. There are accessories available as well, like a lift platform.

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