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What to consider when installing Cycle Racks

There’s never been a better time to encourage staff and customers to cycle to their place of work. Providing a safe, environmentally friendly alternative to driving is a great way of doing your bit for the future of the planet while simultaneously encouraging healthy behaviours in your employees, improving not only their physical but also their mental wellbeing. 

To do this, you’re going to need a cycle parking area. There are a few things to consider, though, so here’s our quick guide. 

What to think about before installation 

If cyclists don’t think your cycle parking racks are adequate, they simply won’t use it. This can lead to bikes being parked against lampposts, bins or other objects thought to offer more security, which is untidy and can be hazardous to pedestrians. 

Accessibility 

There’s really very little point in putting your cycle parking in a hidden spot, well away from the entrance to your site. The rack should be either easily seen and recognised, or signage directing people to it should be prominent. Additionally, it should be close enough to your entrance/exit points that people are encouraged to use it, without being so close as to cause a hazard. Proximity to access points is not only about convenience, but about passing traffic providing a sense of security to users. 

Usability 

There’s a range of different styles of cycle rack on the market, of varying degrees of complexity. If it is not obvious how to use the rack, without the need for instruction or training, people will be less inclined to use it at all. 

Cycle rack Spacing 

 Not leaving enough space for users to park, access and remove their bikes comfortably is a common mistake when installing racks. Riders are as careful as drivers when it comes to wanting to look after their vehicles, and handlebar or pedal clashes will put people off using your cycle racks. Another thing to consider is that cycles are not all the same size – some riders might be using child seats, panniers or even trailers, and these will also need space. A good rule of thumb is to allow a minimum of 200cm x 100cm for any two cycles sharing a rack.  

Don’t forget, if you’re installing next to a car parking space, you will need to leave room for the car doors to open without impacting the bikes. 

Strength 

A good quality cycle rack should be manufactured from steel – it is relatively easy to maintain, strong and cost effective. Galvanised and stainless steel provide a level of corrosion resistance, with galvanised being more versatile when it comes to colouring with a powder coat. The thicker the steel, the harder it is to cut through, and round tubes are easier than square to cut through quickly. 

Bear in mind that riders will use a range of locking mechanisms and, while a sturdy chain and padlock combination might be suited to use with most racks, a larger tube might not be suited to use with D- or U-style locks. 

Security 

Cyclists will typically be more inclined to use a rack that can be seen not only by members of the public, to deter opportunistic thieves, but also from within your premises so they can easily check on the bike throughout the day. 

The rack should be installed on a stable surface and anchored securely and strongly to the floor, the wall or both. 

Cycle rack

 Stability 

When a cycle is parked, it needs to be stable and not putting any stress on its wheels or frame. This means that the rack needs to be at least 80cm high (for standard adult cycles) to allow the cycle to rest upright. Two points of contact is ideal, as the bike is less likely to shift or fall over, putting strain on the cycle, the lock/chain and the rack. 

Final touches 

There are a few other things you can do to optimise the cycle parking. You can protect the cycles from bad weather by installing a roof or using an enclosure like a dedicated bike room, shed or shelter. Lighting can be beneficial if people are likely to need to park or access their bikes when it is dark. Finally, adding a security camera can be a great deterrent for thieves. 

If you have any questions, or would like further advice on cycle parking, please do not hesitate to get in touch with one of our experts who will be happy to help. In the meantime, make sure to check out our full range of cycle parking solutions. 



0121 702 1659 info@firstmats.co.uk @FirstMats Facebook