Thursday, August 21, 2014

Bicycle Riders, Mount Up!

I've recently been working on a project to improve bicycle parking and storage at some university residential facilities. Commonly found around the campus are variations on the "comb-style" bike rack. You're probably familiar with these because most elementary schools, churches, grocery stores and businesses have these as their standard bike rack.

Comb-Style Bike Rack

After doing some research, I started to consider some wall-mounted bike racks. The project area was covered, but was tight on space. The project called for a better organization and use of space so that the bikes could be more accessible. Additionally, the space was covered, so it was really important to take the time to do this improvement project right. Covered bike parking at residential places is a hot commodity - no one likes to leave their bike outside exposed to the sun, wind and rain if they don't have to.

There are all different kinds of wall-mounted bike racks to consider - modular racks, single racks, hook racks. I started searching online. To meet the needs of the project, the racks had to be something that could be mounted into a cement or brick wall, provide a secure place to lock the frame of the bike to the rack, be cost effective and look nice. There were a couple different models I considered.

Wall Mount Option #1 Cycle Safe:  The Cycle Safe Wallrack model was a contender. It could be mounted into the wall and provided a place to lock the bike.

Cycle Safe Wallrack

However, the installation of several fixtures left too much room for potential error (placing them too low to the ground or too high so that they couldn't be reached by a user or too close together to handle bars would entangle), so it was crossed off the list. I also felt that for the needs of this project, there needed to be more to the fixture to address the issue of security. (Though this might be the perfect thing for your garage!)

Wall Mount Option #2  Vertical Wall Mount:  Upbeat had a model that was also interesting. Though the name was a bit of a mouthful, the Bicycle Locking Vertical Wall Mount Rack, the locking mechanism seemed to be a bit better than the Cycle Safe model. The fixture also seemed a bit more robust and had me feeling better about my concerns with security. This was better, but since these came in individual units, too, I kept digging.

Wall Mount Option #3  Dero Ultra Space Saver:  The Dero company makes the Ultra Space Saver model that looked promising. It comes as a modular unit of 8, has predetermined spacing (16" standard between racks), and is great for mounting into the cement or brick wall. These were also recommended to me by someone who works within another university setting. Hearing that there was known success regarding use, security and durability over time with this model also helped. The company also makes the bike repair stations on the campus, and we've been satisfied with the quality of the components.

So, after a call to the company to get more details and answer a few questions, the Ultra Space Saver ended up being the winner. Here's a photo of the area before the rack....

Hmmm....we can do better.

and after.

                              Much improved!*

What a difference the wall-mounted rack makes! The photo was taken several weeks after the racks were installed. The fixture was intuitive enough that the students learned how to use it on their own! Success! It felt really good to see the positive response to the organization, use and accessibility improvements. I have continued to occasionally check in on this space to see how it's being used, and I have nothing but good things to report! (*Please ignore that white space on the photo. I don't know where that came from.)

Have you seen any bike parking wins? Have ideas how to address some bike parking fails? Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!


  1. Innovative! We could use more of these efficient bicycle racks around campus!

  2. Glad you liked them. Hopefully there is continued interest.