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Commuter cyclists often have bicycles with mud guards which some wall bike racks can't accommodate

Wall bike racks save space but choose the right rack wisely

Wall mounted bike racks are quickly becoming the  default bike parking product in new developments and retrofitted bicycle parking facilities. Why?  Increasingly people are realising that wall bike racks which park bikes on the vertical plane mean big space savings. Not only that but wall bicycle stands are easy to install and use provided you buy the right type.

Although ground mounted racks remain the universal solution because they offer bike parking for the whole spectrum of cyclists, vertical cycle racks are more space efficient because the maximum space a bicycle juts out from a wall is 1200 mm compared  to the 1800 mm envelope a bicycle will take up when parked with a ground mounted bicycle rack. This 1800 mm represents the length of a bicycle. When it’s parked against a wall the length is not so important. Instead the height of the bicycle (1200 mm) becomes the critical factor.

wall mounted commercial bike racks take up less space than ground mounted bike racks
Wall mounted bicycle racks take up less space than ground mounted bike racks but not all vertical bike stands are created equal

There are many types of vertical bike stands on the market. Differences in wall mounted bike racks abound. There are cycle racks which you wheel into, bike racks which cradle your bicycle’s wheels, bicycle racks which require some lifting and racks which offer an up and down staggering option.

But, not all wall racks have successfully resolved the key issues associated with parking bikes off walls or frames.

What are the issues to be aware of when choosing wall bike racks?

1. If this is a commercial bike parking facility bicycles need to be securely locked to the bike rack. Check that the rack offers the option to lock the wheel/s and frame to the bike rack.

2. Support: does the bike rack properly support the bicycle or does it damage the bicycle? Many wall bike racks damage spokes or wheels by placing undue pressure on weak points on the bicycle. The last thing a cyclist wants is their precious bicycle to be damaged by the bike rack they used at work.

3. Do the racks cater for the reality of commuter bicycles? Are you able to park bicycles with a variety of tyre width, attachments and mud guards in the wall racks?

Choose the right wall bicycle racks and get it right first time

Recently Bike Storage spoke with a commuter cyclist who was annoyed the vertical bike racks recently installed at his workplace did not accommodate bicycles with mud guards. His excitement about the new bike parking facility (not a Bike Storage facility) was tempered by the realisation that some cyclists couldn’t actually use the racks because the cradle supporting device of the wall bike rack did not allow enough space for the bike to fit without shearing the mud guards. (For the serious commuter cyclist mud guards are a must have accessory and are making a comeback.)

This kind of oversight can mean your bike parking infrastructure ends up disappointing cyclists who will park their bike to the nearest pole or fence, causes management embarrassment and wastes money.

Bike Storage’s checklist for wall mounted commercial bike racks:

1. Look closely at the pictures in supplier’s materials. When products promise to park lots of bicycles in very little space can you see that reflected in the photographs of the product? Or, is every second rack unused?

2. How is the bicycle being supported by the bike rack? Can a cyclist lock their bicycle to the bike rack easily? Is there allowance for mud guards? Be mindful that any bike rack which cradles wheels may not cater to the different wheel widths commonly used

3. How will the racks be fitted? Are security bolts and quality fixings used or is it simply a case of whacking the racks in as cheaply as possible? Who will be doing the installation? Check your bike rack installer’s qualifications – are they a licenced builder? Or do they have carpentry, metal fitting or another suitable and valid contractor’s licence?

4. Will the rack stand the test of time? Has it been properly manufactured with the right material and finish? Can it be recycled easily at the end of its life? consults on what makes great bicycle space. We design, supply and install cyclist centric facilities. We are the one stop shop for bicycle parking and supply standards compliant wall bike racks and systems. We are licenced builders.



About Suzanne

Suzanne Kowalski is Manager at an innovative Australian based bicycle storage company which specialises in the design, supply and installation of bike racks, bicycle cages, bike sheds and bicycle infrastructure.

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