Installing Bike Racks: A Brief Bike Parking Guide for Perth
We’ve become used to seeing bike racks popping up all over Perth and other cities across the country. In principle, bike racks should be simple to use, place your bike on the rack, lock it, and then return later to unlock it and ride away. However, this process doesn’t always go smoothly, and even if the bike racks are well made, a poor installation job can render them ineffective.
In this bike racks guide, we look at some of the things that you need to consider when you want to install bike racks at your location.
Some Examples of Bad Bike Racks in Perth
Before we look at the ideal installation tips for bike racks, let’s look at some bad examples that you may have encountered yourself.
- Bike racks located too close to a road where vehicles can cause damage to a locked bike during parking
- A bike rack too close to a wall, so when the bike is placed on the rack it cannot be locked up properly
- A bike rack that is located far away from where you need to go
- A bike rack that located on a slope and not at right angles to an incline
- Bike racks under trees where the expensive bikes are covered in sticky tree sap and bird poop
- A bike rack located perpendicular to passing pedestrians so that bikes are knocked over in the rack
- A rack that’s far too close to a door where the bikes become trip hazards for pedestrians
- Bike racks crammed too closely together so that handlebars and pedals conflict with each other
None of these issues are related to the design or build of the bike rack, and they can all be avoided with a little thought and advanced planning. It’s a great idea to get some input from local cyclists on what they need in an ideal bike rack. They will be happy to offer you valuable advice for free, and you may learn a great deal about the cycling community.
5 Key Installation Tips for Better Bike Racks in Perth
Broadly speaking, there are five factors that need to be carefully considered before installing bike racks at your location. If you take these five factors into account when you make your plan, you will be well on your way to providing an excellent bike parking experience.
You could invest in a great quality bike rack at your location, but if it isn’t easy to find, it’s unlikely that anyone will use it. A bike rack should be located in a prominent area where possible, but if it’s in a less obvious place, there are things that you can do to boost its profile.
- Use bright colours helps to boost the visibility of the bike rack, and if you use reflective colours it will be easier to use at night.
- Also, adding signs to the location will help cyclists to find your bike rack on their first visit.
- The bike racks should be located near entrances (not too close) where there is plenty of foot traffic to deter casual bike thieves.
There should be adequate room to place the bike in the rack and room to swing the bike in and out of the bike racks. The footprint of an average road bike is approximately 150cm x 60cm, but side panniers and other attachments could alter those dimensions considerably. There needs to be enough space between the bikes to avoid pedals and handlebars clashing with each other and causing damage. For this reason, a bike parked in the rack should be placed slightly to either the front or rear of the bike next to it. The absolute minimum footprint of two bikes parked together in a bike rack would be 200cm x 100cm. But, if there is enough space, this should be increased to 200cm x 120cm for extra safety.
Once you have these distances, you can plan out how much space you might need for a certain number of parked bikes. As a rough estimate, you can park 8-12 bikes in an average car parking space.
Every list of bike parking tips includes locking the bike to well-constructed bike racks. Most modern bike racks are made from steel because it’s easy to maintain and hard to cut. The finish for the bike racks should be sympathetic to the location to avoid disputes. A bike rack made from galvanised mild steel can be powder coated and painted in a wide variety of colours.
- If you need a more corrosion resistant option, stainless steel will not rust or tarnish even in salty coastal locations.
- If square tubular steel is used, it’s harder to cut through than a more traditional round diameter tube.
- If you need extra strength, you can choose a thicker gauge of steel for your bike racks to deter thieves.
Cyclists like bike racks that they can observe from their destination in high traffic areas where theft is deterred.
- A good bike rack should be 80cm high to support the bike in an upright position without placing undue stress on the frame.
- A well-parked bike should be hard to move, and it must be able to lock to the frame with one wheel and a single U-lock.
- A bike rack tube with a diameter in excess of 5cm will be too thick for a smaller U-lock that a child might use.
- The bike rack should be secured to the surface with non-standard nuts if bicycle theft is prevalent in the area.
- Also, consider tamper-proof or surveillance devices to further deter bike thieves that may be operating in the area.
Short or Longer Term Bike Parking
If a bike is parked for less than two hours, it’s considered to be short term. This is convenient bike parking in an unsheltered spot near to local businesses.
Longer-term bike parking places more of an emphasis on security and shelter. This could be a dedicated building or area set aside inside a business, such as a bike room, a bike shelter and a locker area. Longer-term bike parking represents more of an investment, but it’s a great option if you have a business based around health and cycling or if you want to encourage your employees to cycle to work.
For a large selection of popular commercial-grade bike racks and rails, check out the products available at Image Bollards: