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  1. #1
    Senior Member swekarl's Avatar
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    Will bikeracks ever develop?

    The traditional bikerack was designed to help the bike stand easily, and to make some order if thereís a bunch of bikes.

    But having the bike standing is not what we need bikeracks for today. Bikes are stolen and we need something to lock the bike to. The traditional bikerack only offers to lock the frontwheel to the rack, which doesnít make sense since a thief can steal the rest of the bike then.

    There is another type of bikerack that can be seen every here and there in Stockholm: Some kind of poles or elipses that rises from the earth. Kind of like artificial lampposts only 1 meter high. That makes sense: You can lock your expensive bike to them, and they make order where there would be bike chaos without them.

    This is the modern bikerack, for modern, expensive bikes and for a modern society where bikes are stolen. So why is it, that the old-school bikerack is still produced and mounted outside completely new buildings? It doesnít make sense! Itís a relic from the fifties and Iím sure itís there only because the planners never bike themselves!

    Or please give me the reasons that are somehow hidden to me.

  2. #2
    cycle-powered nathank's Avatar
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    swekarl,

    wow, one of those crazy 'think alike' deya vu moments: about 30 minutes ago i was about to post almost the same question but had to do something (i'm at work)...

    i agree. why is it that whomever orders bike racks just doesn't understand the #1 important thing: ability to lock a variety of bikes securely...

    it infuriates me when a place installs a 'new' bikerack with just slots for the front wheel... i have seen this problem in both the US and Europe...

    i guess it's most likely that the people responsible aren't cyclists and so have no idea what's needed???
    why drive when you can ride?
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  3. #3
    Donating member Richard D's Avatar
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    Towns seem to be getting better at installing the up-turned U shaped poles, but one of the local coleges just went and bought the old style for reasons best know to them...

    Richard
    Currently riding an MTB with a split personality - commuting, touring, riding for the sake of riding, on or off road :)

  4. #4
    Poky Oxymoron's Avatar
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    And those new inverted U shaped racks don't work so well when they are only 3 inches from the wall. One can't park straight in because of the tire, and can't park sideways because of the handlebars. The one I saw like that was on a side walk that was not as wide as my bike was long. Not only would my bike block pedestrians, it's back tire would hang out into parking where it would get crushed by the next car's front bumper. That would be like making a parking lot with spaces for the cars six feet long and three feet wide. Wouldn't people question the intelligence of an engineer who designed them like this whether or not he drove a car?

  5. #5
    Grounded Inkwolf's Avatar
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    Who's buying these old racks?

    People who don't bike and are looking for a 'standard' item like they remember from childhood, considering it more practical than funky-looking modern 'fad' items.

    Who's MAKING them is the big question. Obviously, as long as people buy them, they will be sold, but maybe if people contacted bike-rack manufacturers and commented on their wares, they might be more inclined to push the newer racks harder.

    Personally, my fat hybrid tires are in no danger from the rack and my cable lock is long enough to run through my wheel and frame and the rack, so I have no trouble with the old racks...incidentally, the first time I saw one of those new racks, I didn't recognize it and had to ask where the bike rack was....

  6. #6
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    The inverted U racks are the best, but they have to be positioned correctly. In my town we have some 3" away from a lamp post, some with the end 6" away from a wall, and a whole bunch between the mall main entrance and some seats, so pedestrians want to walk through them.

    The people who plan and install these things just dont know how they are used. Technical advice is freely available, the UK cycle Tourists Club has some excellent specs for cycle parking.

  7. #7
    Senior Member fofa's Avatar
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    Reminds me of a question. I would like a rack for the garage to park 4 or 5 bikes in. Currently with just the stands, we have a tendency to knock them over now and again and I am concerned that will damage them. They range from 20 to 26 inch tires, BMX, MTB and recumbent. What would any suggest for that?
    Thanks

  8. #8
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    In Downtown Toronto they have metal rings on the parking meters so you can lock 2 bikes to each meter.

  9. #9
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    People who don't bike and are looking for a 'standard' item like they remember from childhood, considering it more practical than funky-looking modern 'fad' items.

    Who's MAKING them is the big question. Obviously, as long as people buy them, they will be sold, but maybe if people contacted bike-rack manufacturers and commented on their wares, they might be more inclined to push the newer racks harder.
    As someone involved in bike rack manufacturing I can say that demand is definitely driving the production of the cheaper and unfortunately less secure "grid style" bike racks. Even though we say right out that these racks are not secure and not u-lock compatible, we still get a lot of customers that are motivated by that "bottom line".

    We have worked with a couple cities that have some cost sharing programs set up with local businesses where the city approves certain styles of racks and then offers to pay part of the cost when businesses buy them. Might be a good place to put some pressure.

  10. #10
    BFSSFG old timer riderx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swekarl
    But having the bike standing is not what we need bikeracks for today. Bikes are stolen and we need something to lock the bike to. The traditional bikerack only offers to lock the frontwheel to the rack, which doesnít make sense since a thief can steal the rest of the bike then.
    You are locking your bike wrong. Their are two ways to effectively use these racks.
    1) instead of sliding the front wheel in the rack, lift it over the rack so the rack is between the front wheel and the frame. Now lock the front wheel to the frame (u-lock works great). On bikes that I leave anywhere for a bit of time I use a bolt on rear wheel so I don't worry about it being swiped.
    OR
    2) remove front wheel, place rear wheel in bike rack, front beside it and run lock through both wheels, the rack and the frame.
    Single Speed Outlaw
    Riding Bikes and Drinking Beer.

  11. #11
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    I think most businesses in my neighborhood would be willing to pay for a good rack IF they did not have a lot of hassles getting it done. I wish I could find a Houston company that installs good racks at a reasonable price. I would be willing to pass out their business cards in my area...but, I have not found such a business. In a world that has "dog walkers" and "cat sitters", where are the "bike rack's "R US"?

  12. #12
    I can't find my pants mirona's Avatar
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    I have no idea what you guys are talking about. Could you please post a picture of one of these "newer" racks so I can see what the fuss is about.

    It's pretty obvious that there are none around here because all I see are the slotted racks. At my school, I'm one of maybe 2 people who ride there, so we just lock them up to the rack sideways I have to ride in tomorrow and they still haven't gotten rid of the two feet of snow surrounding the rack

  13. #13
    Still Newbie way124's Avatar
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    I have some photos of racks. There are more out there, one that I can remember is a cement block with grooves to fit the front tyre with. I know a place that uses them...

    #1 is pretty common, and I don't mind them at all. I think these are the inverted-U rack people here are referring to. I usually lock it to the frame. #2 is one drawback with this type of rack, or any rack for that matter - when the numbers are high, it's hard to find a "parking spot".

    #3 is less desirable, because one can only lock the front wheel with a U-lock. You can still use a cable lock to lock your frame to it though.

    #4 is like #1, and is probably easier for the owner of the rack because no cement digging and pouring is involved - just put it there. One can lock the frame to it too.

    #5 is one of the more bizarre ones, IMO. It's nice and all functionally, two bikes on a pole, takes up a minimum amount of space and usable with parking meters, but those rings are bolted on. Last I checked, the nuts are not "sealed", and some are actually loose. The effectiveness of these racks is at least questionable. I haven't seen free standing poles yet though.

  14. #14
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    There's a really cool type of rack at the DC metro stations. You wheel your bike into it, and then there's a folding arm thing that swings through the front wheel, the back wheel, and the main triangle. You then lock the frame to the rack, and now the frame and wheels are secure.

    I wish I could find a photo of one...

    There are problems with these: many are old and rusty; the wheel-locking mechanism could probably be removed with a hacksaw fairly easily. The main problem, though, is that bike theft is RAMPANT here. I've had wheels stolen in broad daylight and two complete bikes stolen. Derailers and seat posts and handlebars get stolen all the time.
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  15. #15
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by way124
    #5 is one of the more bizarre ones, IMO. It's nice and all functionally, two bikes on a pole, takes up a minimum amount of space and usable with parking meters, but those rings are bolted on. Last I checked, the nuts are not "sealed", and some are actually loose. The effectiveness of these racks is at least questionable. I haven't seen free standing poles yet though.
    Bizarre? Could you actually put a number on your picutres? If you're talking about the o-rings. They're everywhere in Toronto. You can even see a canadian mailbox on the right of that picture.

  16. #16
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Page 2:

    Several palces on Hilton Head Island, SC, have a 4"x4" sticking about 2' above the ground with a 1" hole drilled in it to run a chain or cable through. You're SOL with a U-lock.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  17. #17
    Alien lifeform
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oxymoron
    And those new inverted U shaped racks don't work so well when they are only 3 inches from the wall. One can't park straight in because of the tire, and can't park sideways because of the handlebars. The one I saw like that was on a side walk that was not as wide as my bike was long. Not only would my bike block pedestrians, it's back tire would hang out into parking where it would get crushed by the next car's front bumper. That would be like making a parking lot with spaces for the cars six feet long and three feet wide. Wouldn't people question the intelligence of an engineer who designed them like this whether or not he drove a car?
    The rack outside my local REI store is like that. I couldn't believe it. The store is brand new, and the rack is so close to the wall the bike must be parked parallel to the rack. You'd think a relatively upscale sports equipment store like REI would know how to install a bike rack.....

  18. #18
    Still Newbie way124's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator
    Bizarre? Could you actually put a number on your picutres? If you're talking about the o-rings. They're everywhere in Toronto. You can even see a canadian mailbox on the right of that picture.
    Pictures don't have numbers but I went from top to bottom, left to right. Yes, that pic was actually shot in Toronto. It's not bizarre in looks, it's bizarre in finding them anywhere at all because of my doubts of them working, especially when labels on them caution users to lock their bikes on the posts, not the ring. One can probably unscrew the ring and slide the lock out of the naked pole, that what I'm wondering.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    The U racks can be about as good as they get. If I had a business, customers would bring their bikes into teh store, and bike lockers would be there for employees.

  20. #20
    Senior Member swekarl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by riderx
    You are locking your bike wrong. Their are two ways to effectively use these racks.
    1) instead of sliding the front wheel in the rack, lift it over the rack so the rack is between the front wheel and the frame. Now lock the front wheel to the frame (u-lock works great). On bikes that I leave anywhere for a bit of time I use a bolt on rear wheel so I don't worry about it being swiped.
    OR
    2) remove front wheel, place rear wheel in bike rack, front beside it and run lock through both wheels, the rack and the frame.
    I referred to how it's intended that you lock your bike in that kind of bikerack. I would never lock my bike like that. I prefer lampposts.

  21. #21
    Has opinion, will express
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    "I would do this. I would do that. I hate this. I hate that."

    The cyclists' creed. Bashing all sorts of solutions into everyone's brain, but waiting for someone else to do it.

    If you ain't happy, either shut up...

    ... or get hold of the person responsible for the facility. Find out who his boss is. Play the political game. Lobby. EVER HEARD OF LOBBY?

    You know, you lot would be better off p!ssing off the end of a pier into a roaring headwind, because what you say here is worth diddly squat. The only people who count are (from the top):

    The politicians

    The politicians' spin doctors (ie, those who want the politician to look good for re-election).

    The politicians' sycophants (those who maketh the clothes for the emperor).

    The public servants who MIGHT have an influence because ultimately they really do know what's going on (as opposed to all of the above).

    The public servants who couldn't care less, but are waiting to retire and don't want to stir up anything, so do as they are told.

    The public servant who's a real @rse and makes things impossible for everyone because of their personal ambition, but will collapse when told what to do from above.

    You... who gets nowhere because you haven't identified the decision-maker.

    Stop ya whingeing, and get into finding out who can make that decision!!!!

  22. #22
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    We have lots of those #5s. I call them the "hitching post" style. They either have a post or in Santa Barbara, they'll even use a sandstone post with two rings. Looks very Santa Barbara "authentic".

    Those, in my opinion, are the easiest to use, especially with my crazy-shaped bike that doesn't fit in any other bike rack I've tried (unless I can get the outside edge maybe.)

    My next favorite is the W-shaped post. But again I have to get the outside edge.
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  23. #23
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan
    "I would do this. I would do that. I hate this. I hate that."

    The cyclists' creed. Bashing all sorts of solutions into everyone's brain, but waiting for someone else to do it.

    If you ain't happy, either shut up...
    Look where your posting, ADVOCACY AND SAFETY. Do you know what a forum is? Please look up the definition on a dictionary perhaps.

    Heed your own advice. if you ain't happy, SHUT UP.

  24. #24
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    That's because most all bike racks are still designed by people who don't ride bikes.
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  25. #25
    Track Rat gotambushed's Avatar
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    the city of pittsburgh just put in 130 of these,

    they work quite nicely,
    most racks here on campus are of the bolted down, overhead triangle type, as posted earlier by way124
    they work well, and i can get my chain through both wheels and the frame easily.


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