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I admit, I hate locking my to a public rack

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I admit, I hate locking my to a public rack

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Old 02-02-12, 06:55 PM
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djork
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I admit, I hate locking my to a public rack

and prefer locking it to a sign post or some other post that is in a more visible place, is safe for my bike, and is not obstructive to pedestrians or cars. But today I was doing some shopping by bike and saw an empty rack that looks like a big upside down U. I said okay, I'll lock my bike there. I came out to see another bike locked to it too and my thought was I hope it's not accidently locked to my bike and also how am I supposed to get to my bike? I had to carefully access my locks through the person's bike. Since I care about my bike and considerate of other's property, I was very careful not to so much as bump his bike. I did have to stick my hand through his front spokes to access my U-lock. This is a main reason why I don't like locking my bike to a public rack. I don't want to come out and see my bike bumped or hard to unlock because another bike is locked next to it.

I know it's just a bike, but come on, even with a car, no one wants to come out and see that someone had parked so close to you that you can't even get in or sometimes back out.
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Old 02-02-12, 07:05 PM
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We have one of those at work, and the capacity is really limited to 2 bikes (one for each leg of the U). Locking more than 2 is technically possible, but it's difficult for the reasons you described.

It's never a problem for me, as I'm the only one among the few hundred people in my building who ever uses it. Yes, that's both convenient and sad at the same time....
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Old 02-02-12, 07:16 PM
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Forgot to mention that the U rack was positioned next to the building in such a way that it is parallel to the wall and two bikes are forced to park alongside it, thus each bike taking up two legs of the rack, one bike close to the wall and the other away. So it puts the bike very close together. Hard to describe.
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Old 02-02-12, 07:58 PM
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Now I got it. It was probably installed by someone who had no idea how it was supposed to be used. Funny thing, when the rack was installed at my building, the manager tried to explain to me how three bikes could be locked to it. He would have been right if cyclists were dumb enough to lock their bikes by the front wheels only.
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Old 02-02-12, 08:02 PM
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My work also has those upside U bikes racks. We have tonnes of them all bunched together. In theory there's enough to hold hundreds but in reality the pedals and handlebars get in the way and actually prevent that from happening. Also the U's are attached to a steel beam on the ground so they're also impossible to clear of snow in the winter (and as such they don't get cleared either).

Here's the culprit:
(http://www.equiparc.com/en-5911.html)
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Old 02-02-12, 08:52 PM
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Wow, terrible track DJ Shaun.

From the opening post, I was imagining a rack like this:



Was that the kind you were talking about, djork? I like those, personally. Can lean your bike against it, so the frame is supported at two points of the rack. And ones like the one above, which are wide enough, let you lock your front and back wheels to the rack.
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Old 02-02-12, 09:10 PM
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Erg79, yep. They're ideal for one bike, but not always two. Sometimes people aren't smart and don't face their bike opposite the other bike that's already parked so that the handlebars don't get in the way. The one I used today was situated next to a building so that I couldn't simply go to my side to unlock but rather had to carefully stick my hands through another person's bike to unlock mine I don't know why I didn't place my bike away from the wall instead. I remember someone posting here that someone had accidentally or intentionally locked his bike when he (assuming a male) was locking up his bike up. That has always been a fear of mine, coming out to see my bike locked by someone else's lock.

Last edited by djork; 02-02-12 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 02-03-12, 03:04 AM
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Be glad if you never have to lock up next to a cruiser and there is not anything else around. The bars and seat were large and wide enough to prevent me from putting my bike close enough to the rack no matter how I positioned it. Even if I only had the back wheel and seat stay against the rack, such that the front pointed away from the other leg, I couldn't get my bike closer than about 3 or 4 inches of the rack.
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Old 02-03-12, 03:45 AM
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Pet peeve about racks: When they're installed so close to a building that you really have no room to lock anything but your front wheel to the thing. With quick release levers, they might as well just be bike-stealing stations when they're like that.
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Old 02-03-12, 03:59 AM
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Originally Posted by djork View Post
and prefer locking it to a sign post or some other post that is in a more visible place, is safe for my bike, and is not obstructive to pedestrians or cars. But today I was doing some shopping by bike and saw an empty rack that looks like a big upside down U. I said okay, I'll lock my bike there. I came out to see another bike locked to it too and my thought was I hope it's not accidently locked to my bike and also how am I supposed to get to my bike? I had to carefully access my locks through the person's bike. Since I care about my bike and considerate of other's property, I was very careful not to so much as bump his bike. I did have to stick my hand through his front spokes to access my U-lock. This is a main reason why I don't like locking my bike to a public rack. I don't want to come out and see my bike bumped or hard to unlock because another bike is locked next to it.

I know it's just a bike, but come on, even with a car, no one wants to come out and see that someone had parked so close to you that you can't even get in or sometimes back out.
Uh, if you're describing what I think you're describing then yes, they're designed to have one bike locked on one side and another bike locked on the other side. Not two bikes on the same side but one per leg. They are again if I'm not mistaken designed so as to support a bike at both wheels. Which is a problem with the "wave" style bike racks. They really do not support a bike.

I've lost count of the times that I've had to fight my bike to keep it from falling over after I've done my grocery shopping and have loaded not only my trailer but my pannier bags as well. Whereas if they used those inverted U bicycle racks my bike would have been supported at both ends.

And yes, care is needed to make sure that the second bike doesn't accidentally lock the first bike as well.
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Old 02-03-12, 04:03 AM
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Originally Posted by erg79 View Post
Wow, terrible track DJ Shaun.

From the opening post, I was imagining a rack like this:



Was that the kind you were talking about, djork? I like those, personally. Can lean your bike against it, so the frame is supported at two points of the rack. And ones like the one above, which are wide enough, let you lock your front and back wheels to the rack.
That's the type that I was thinking of as well. At my local library they have what I refer to as being an inverted exclamation point. Which can also hold two bikes one per side.

And uh, wouldn't the simplest/easiest way of locking two bikes up to one would be to have them so that each bike is facing in the opposite direction?
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Old 02-03-12, 07:06 AM
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Thief's trick: Lock their old ratbike to the rack with the lock going around your frame *as well*. Come back at night with van and bolt cutters to take both bikes home.

I know you're not saying this happened here, but if someone does lock their bike to yours then you must sort it out as soon as possible. Leaving their bike unlocked serves them right regardless of whether they are a thief, or just dumb.
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Old 02-03-12, 07:27 AM
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The more you ride for commuting or utility, the less you worry about incidental scratches.
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Old 02-03-12, 08:14 AM
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I like a nice looking bike, but my commuter is a tool and not an art object. I'd like to just have a bike rack to use!! Anybody locks to my bike is in deep crap! I WILL cut the lock - and won't even hesitate. Stupid is as stupid does, to quote Forest's momma!
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Old 02-03-12, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy View Post
And uh, wouldn't the simplest/easiest way of locking two bikes up to one would be to have them so that each bike is facing in the opposite direction?
You could do that, but most everything I've read about inverted u-racks indicates that the bike should be locked to it like in the photo, so both wheels and the frame could be secured to the rack.
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