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  1. #1
    Daily Rider Robert C's Avatar
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    Bicycle rack design

    As I have stated in the past, I am currently living and working in P.R. China. One of the things that I, and many other westerners, are bothered by is the lack of bicycle storage facilities. There are some covered parking areas; but, other than the poles necessary to hold the roof up, there is nothing to lock bicycles to. I and many of the other westerners are tired of having our bicycles, routinely, stolen. We, the other westerners and I, believe that one of the reasons that bicycles are so often stolen is because there is nothing to lock them to. The only bicycle locking method is free locking.

    We have asked for bicycle racks and they, the administration, point to the area on the sidewalk that has been marked for bicycle parking. There is total astonishment when we lock our bicycles to poles and trees. Bicycle racks are simply not understood.

    What I am looking for are pictures and diagrams of bicycle racks. If the diagram is detailed, including dimensions, they can pass it to a welder even if they can not grasp its use. I looked herehttp://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/univcourse/swless22.htm but this only contains general information. It assumes that the reader knows why a person would want to lock their bike to an immovable object in the first place. At this point I think I am better off with a diagram and to just say, “this is what I want.” However, I need a good diagram, pictures of it in use would also help. Can anyone link me to one?

  2. #2
    45 miles/week Eggplant Jeff's Avatar
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    All you really need is a steel loop fastened in concrete:
    http://www.bikeracks.com/html/arch.html

    That's the simplest. Other than that, anything large enough and heavy enough that you can't cut it easily / quickly. It doesn't have to be fancy.

    A description of that one would be something like "2-inch (5 cm) diameter galvanized steel pipe with a 1/8 inch (3mm) wall thickness, curved with a 180 degree bend in the center, 4 feet (1.25 meters) tall (after you've put the bend in it, so roughly 9 feet (2.5-3 meters) before bending). Then weld a 1-foot (30 cm) length of the same pipe perpendicular on each end (I.E. your "U" now has a small "T" on the end of each leg of the U). That is so after you put it in concrete, you can't simply pill it straight up.

    Now add one shovel, two bags of concrete, and presto, instant bike rack.
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  3. #3
    the bike made me do it oneredstar's Avatar
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    I myself have lived and worked in China. They know what a bike rack is. The University that I worked at had enough bike rack parking for 15,000 bikes! I understand that it is frustrating if you have nothing to lock your bike too, but I would beware of challenging the system in China. I speak from personal experience.

  4. #4
    Daily Rider Robert C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oneredstar
    I myself have lived and worked in China. They know what a bike rack is. The University that I worked at had enough bike rack parking for 15,000 bikes!
    All I can say is that it must be a regional thing. I have not seen a bike rack in this country. I was told by one of the students that there is a pipe by one of the buildings (the art building) where, if people are going to be gone a long time, they will sometimed chain thier bike. There are no others. There are also none in this town of 200,000 I have spent several days looking for one (mostly as an excuse to go riding). None seen in Kumning or Chengdu (I didn't look hard in Chengdu) and none seen in Xian, Zhengzhou, or Kaifeng.

    As far as chalanging the system, they asked us what we wanted. This is something we all agreed on but the administration seems to have no undersanding of what we want. When we showed them the bike chained to the tree they exclaimed, "oh, you want more trees."

  5. #5
    45 miles/week Eggplant Jeff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oneredstar
    They know what a bike rack is.
    You know, I almost said something like this... After all, most bike racks sold in the US are probably made in China anyway.
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  6. #6
    45 miles/week Eggplant Jeff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert C
    "oh, you want more trees."
    That's awesome! Show 'em that link I posted, whatever it was, bikeracks.com or something. In addition to that simple upside down "U", they had a bunch of other designs. The administrators ought to be able to pick something that they like the looks of, and the concepts are really pretty simple... I'd think an engineer could draw a blueprint from just looking at a picture. The dimensions don't have to be exact.
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  7. #7
    Daily Rider Robert C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eggplant Jeff
    All you really need is a steel loop fastened in concrete:
    http://www.bikeracks.com/html/arch.html

    Now add one shovel, two bags of concrete, and presto, instant bike rack.
    I may show this, but I really need something that can be bolted to existing concrete. This design would require existing concrete to be broken, a hole dug and then the concrete to be patched in an attempt to match the original concrete. I really can not see anyone going for it. Designs that use an expansion bolt only require a hole to be drilled in the concrete.

    I can see this being adapted to have a flat plate on the ends of the downtubes and then bolted in place. However, that would use a lot of bolts, and bolts are expensive. Think in terms of very inexpensive labor but very expensive materials.

    I am thinking of asking that a steel cable be welded to the a couple of poles and then people can attach a lock to the cable. Remember, what you are defending aginst is a couple of guys driving up in a truck and throwing all the free locked bikes in the back and working on the locks later.

  8. #8
    45 miles/week Eggplant Jeff's Avatar
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    If you looked at that link, those actually were what you described, not what I described. They have a plate at the bottom with bolt holes in it (looks like 3 or 4 bolts per downtube). I didn't know what kinda area you were installing them in.

    If you go with a steel cable, try to get it like 1" diameter. 1/2" or less can be cut quickly and easily with a pair of cable cutters (hand tool).

    [edit] How inexpensive is the labor? How about hiring bicycle guards? That uses no materials
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  9. #9
    -=Barry=- The Human Car's Avatar
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  10. #10
    Scott n4zou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert C
    I may show this, but I really need something that can be bolted to existing concrete. This design would require existing concrete to be broken, a hole dug and then the concrete to be patched in an attempt to match the original concrete. I really can not see anyone going for it. Designs that use an expansion bolt only require a hole to be drilled in the concrete.

    I can see this being adapted to have a flat plate on the ends of the downtubes and then bolted in place. However, that would use a lot of bolts, and bolts are expensive. Think in terms of very inexpensive labor but very expensive materials.

    I am thinking of asking that a steel cable be welded to the a couple of poles and then people can attach a lock to the cable. Remember, what you are defending aginst is a couple of guys driving up in a truck and throwing all the free locked bikes in the back and working on the locks later.
    Drill a hole in the concrete large enough to drive in a peace of rebar matching the position of each end of the bike rack that will be contacting the cement. Fill the hole with grout or cement and drive in the rebar allowing enough of the rebar above the cement to provide a suitable length to be welded to the bike rack. After the grout or cement is dry weld the bike rack to the rebar. No one will be able to pull the bike rack out of the cement. Rebar is cheap and required lengths can be salvaged from construction sites.
    Last edited by n4zou; 04-22-07 at 10:05 AM.

  11. #11
    Daily Rider Robert C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eggplant Jeff

    How inexpensive is the labor? How about hiring bicycle guards? That uses no materials

    Most of the larger stores have this very thing. There is a large area set aside, somtimes defined by paint lines on the sidewalk and sometimes with a rope around the area with a single opening. There will be a person on duty there to stop anyone from leaving with an unlocked bike. At the building I teach in there is also a guard shack (both guard post and home for the guard and his family) next to where we can park (One of my students almost got arrested when I told him that he could borrow my bike once. It never occured to me that the guards would be all over him; however, he was seen on campus on my bike and the police were waiting for him as he walked through a gate[bikes are forbidden from riding through gates, you must have a motor to ride through a gate, just another subtule method of discouraging bicycle use]. I had to borrow another bike and hurry down to keep him out of jail) .


    The thefts occur near our block of flats. They are owned by the university but are not technically part of the university

  12. #12
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    I've never like bike racks and found they attract the worse element. I actually avoid bike racks at all costs and lock my bike as far from them as possible. You have to learn to hide the bike but this might be very difficult to do in China. I would also look at getting a folding bike and bag so you can avoid this problem for good.

    It's very difficult to get a bike rack built because they are often considered blight and unattractive by the locals.

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