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Old 10-04-10, 07:54 AM   #1
madhouse
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Facilities Manager - Requesting inputs for the best bike rack

I'm in the middle of a expansion at our manufacturing facility. We have showers available and the new employee entrance has a cement slab for parking bikes. Now I need to spec out the bike rack. I need parking for a max of 6 bikes.

Security really isn't an issue. We are is a small town in the center of Minnesota; I rarely lock my bike. I really only need something to designate where the bikes should be parked, and something to keep the opportunistic thief at bay.

If you were designing a building (and responsible for the budget) what style of bike rack would you spec out. Before I get a lot of comments on various enclosed structures... I'm lucky to be getting a place to park and a rack; there is no way in #e!! I'm going to get an enclosure.
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Old 10-04-10, 08:19 AM   #2
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A bike rack should be bolted to the ground or anchored in a way that it can't be cut or pried open. For what its worth, in my small town, no one bothers to lock up their bikes. There's no crime where I live.
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Old 10-04-10, 08:24 AM   #3
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simple upside down U shaped pipe about 36" high 40" long, maybe 1 3/4" diameter. Something to lean and lock a couple bikes against on either side. They're pretty common. Whatever kind you get DON"T get the kind for putting a single wheel into, they simply bend wheels when the bike falls over.
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Old 10-04-10, 08:29 AM   #4
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Here's a good page about bike parking. If you scroll to the bottom, there are links to manufacturers, as well as other references. In my opinion, there are three overarching guidelines:

(1) The rack should support the frame of the bike, not the wheel. It should be simple to pass a U-lock through the rack, the frame, and one wheel. There are plenty of designs out there that will accomplish this. Unfortunately, where I live the wheelbender is king (where racks exist at all).

(2) The rack should be securely mounted in the ground. Ideally, it should be embedded in concrete, but at a minimum it should be secured to concrete with tamper-proof fasteners.

(3) Simply providing a rack is not sufficient; consider siting and orientation. Bikes should not be crowded, and it should be easy to move the bike in and out of the rack, even when racks are full. If it's a rack like the Cora that allows access from both sides, make sure it's accessible from both sides by placing it perpendicular to walls or other barriers.

Wrong:



Right:

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Old 10-04-10, 08:56 AM   #5
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Interesting reading here and here.

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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 10-04-10, 09:40 AM   #6
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Yeah, the inverted U is the best IMHO. One can accommodate two bikes, one on each side and allows to run a cable/chain through both wheels and the frame easily and supports a bike in two places. So you'd need 3 (make that 4 to be future proof). The front-wheel-in racks indeed suck.

A,
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Old 10-04-10, 10:00 AM   #7
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The "wave" rack (lower left in Doohickie's post) isn't my favorite, but it's far, far superior to the other two in the "Not allowed" category. Maybe the top three should be called "Preferred", the wave and Cora could be in an "Acceptable" category, and the other two "Not allowed" should be relabeled "Melt down for scrap".
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Old 10-04-10, 10:07 AM   #8
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For a rack, I like the inverted "U" as well. I opted for bike lockers instead for the commuters at our downtown location. Commuter bikes tend to have a lot of easily-removed accessories (lights, bells/horns, pumps, packs, etc.) and having bike lockers allows them to leave all that stuff on their bikes without fear of it getting ripped off. Lockers are a much more expensive solution but, if you can fit them in the budget, they are a much more secure solution.
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Old 10-04-10, 11:30 AM   #9
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Why a maximum of 6? Those inverted Us are great as long as the bolts aren't exposed for anyone w/ a socket wrench to just take them out, but if you think you need 6, you should put in 8 or 10, and see if you can encourage more people
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Old 10-04-10, 11:54 AM   #10
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At work, we just got another 8 unit bike rack (we now have 4 bike racks). It's not bad. Bolted to the floor in a secure parking garage next to the entrance. The only problem is that the spaces are too close together. This is invariably an issue with people who ride flat bar bikes as commuters (i.e. most of our commuters). Flat bars are generally 58cm wide, versus 42cm for traditional drop bars. So when you get a bunch of flat bar bikes parked in the same rack, some spaces become unusable. Also the space for the wheels doesn't allow for tires wider than 2" which is a problem for some mountain bikes. It's also really hard to get to one's lock since the rack is bolted next to a wall. Because of this, I try to park as close to the end as possible. Fortunately, I'm often the first one in, so the rack is wide open when I arrive.
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Old 10-04-10, 11:59 AM   #11
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In my opinion, inverted U is the best and most simple option.

There have been lots of the wavy racks being installed around campus and the apartment complex here and I hate them.
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Old 10-04-10, 12:00 PM   #12
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Here is some advice on the correct spacing of inverted U (or Sheffield) racks.
They are often placed too high or low, too close together, too close to a lamp-post or wall. You need sufficient room at each end for a large wheel to stick out. If the ground is not level, then they are best placed along the contours to prevent bikes rolling when locking up.

The location should avoid any natural pedestrian route, fire exit route etc.

The stainless steel ones are better than rough galvanized steel.
Fancy designs generally work less well.
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Old 10-04-10, 12:15 PM   #13
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We have bike racks in our building and they're the type where you just sort of slide the front of your tire between two vertical bars. I hate them, because they're just begging to have some tool trip over your bike and wreck your wheelset. I alwas lock up against the ends of the rack to avoid this.
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Old 10-04-10, 12:35 PM   #14
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this:



upside-down U with room on each side. can hold 4 bikes on each "U" if needed
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Old 10-04-10, 04:24 PM   #15
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The ones I hate (which seem to be popular with municipalities as they generate revenue albeit probably meager) are the ones with a little billboard for advertising on the top. It blocks you from getting your bike all the way in there and people usually just end up locking on the ends, leaving all the slots in the middle empty.

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Old 10-04-10, 05:14 PM   #16
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while the inverted U is popular, I've found This type to be the best. It's much easier to lock to, and the design makes it very intuitive. The U can be misused in a number of ways, but the second you put your bike in to one of those, you know how to lock it safely and securely.
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Old 10-04-10, 05:19 PM   #17
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Staples rule, but a possibly-cheaper alternative is the coil-type rack, which I haven't seen mentioned so far. We have these at my work and they're serviceable. The main problem with the racks with a solid bar going along horizontally between bikes is they seem to assume no on uses drop bars. Real pain to deal with.
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Old 10-04-10, 06:20 PM   #18
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Consider a Saris Stadium Rack - suggest the 8 bike unit.
These racks are well built, long lasting and easy to use.
Also suggest you talk with whom ever does snow removal to make sure the rack is located in a spot that minimally interferes with snow plowing, blowing or shoveling.
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Old 10-04-10, 06:57 PM   #19
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If you end up looking for wall hanging storage, the bike rooms at my work have the Saris Locking Bike Trac, and they are quite nice.
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Old 10-04-10, 07:25 PM   #20
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I appreciate all of the replies. I'm also a fan of the inverted U (sheffield). I just know that I can sometimes be very opinionated and thought I should get more of a consensus on this. I ride a recumbent and most other racks don't work for a recumbent. I've been using the picnic table outside my office. That's not entirely true... I haven't been using anything because I haven't commuted in over 2 months! That's a whole other thread.
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Old 10-04-10, 07:29 PM   #21
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The other reason for putting this up for the forum to review is it gave me an excuse to surf the forum while at work!
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Old 10-04-10, 07:55 PM   #22
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the apt bldg i work at has some racks that are a tall tube with smaller steel loops that stick out on each side. I like it because the steel loop that sticks out fits right inbetween the front triangle on my bike. I use pinhead skewers so I have no need to run chain through both my wheels, I just lock my frame up.
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Old 10-05-10, 09:50 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by cappuccino911 View Post
the apt bldg i work at has some racks that are a tall tube with smaller steel loops that stick out on each side.
We have those all over our downtown. We had a lot of trouble getting people to realize they are bike racks. After months of seeing bikes chained to trees, sign posts and light posts right next to the racks, I ordered a bunch of bicycle stickers and stuck them on all the racks. It has helped but many people still chain to other stuff.
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Old 10-05-10, 10:27 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madhouse View Post
The other reason for putting this up for the forum to review is it gave me an excuse to surf the forum while at work!
Well played, sir. Now get back to work!
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 10-05-10, 12:17 PM   #25
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I'm OK with the left-most rack in Mr. Doohickie's NOT ALLOWED list. The "allowed" bunch are good to. Keep space for bikes to point from miltiple sides if at all possible.
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