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Commercial Bike Rack Buyer's Guide

commercial bike rack buyers guide

Commercial Bike Rack Buyer's Guide

Commercial Bike Rack Buyers' Guide: What's Inside

pdf (Click here to download PDF version).   

  • Customer Trends: Bicycling is on the Rise
  • Biking Brings Business
  • Stop Bicycle Theft Before It Can Start
  • Types of Commercial Bike Racks
  • Short Term vs. Long Term Bicycle Parking
  • The Finishing Touch: Selecting the Right Finish
  • Questions to Ask for a High Quality Bike Rack
  • Bicycle Parking Installation Options
  • Location, Location, Location!
  • Custom Bike Racks Become Modern Street Art
  • Quick Bike Rack Installation Leaves a Big Impact
  • Resources

Customer Trends: Bicycling is on the Rise

America has more cyclists than ever before and the demand for commercial bike racks  is growing by necessity. With gasoline prices always fluctuating, more people are using bicycles to get around town instead. According to Statista, the number of Americans biking increased from 47 million in Spring of 2008 to 66.7 million in Spring of 2015. Whether for recreation or transportation, Americans are cycling more.

This increase is great news. It means a decrease in traffic, pollution, and parking problems, and an increase in the health and well-being of our communities. Sustainability departments in cities across the country are emphasizing the use of bicycles instead of cars. Thousands of miles of new bike lanes are added to downtown areas every year.  Civic officials are realizing its much easier to add bike infrastructure than a new stretch of roadway.

bike commuting increases demand for bike racks

The U.S. Department of Health reports that more than two-thirds of American adults are considered overweight or obese. Biking is addressing the issue head-on, as an excellent work out for improving health and losing weight. Long story short: more bikes buzzing around town means a better quality of life for everyone. Millennials are waiting longer to get their drivers’ licenses and prefer bicycles over cars. Apartment complexes are now adding more bicycling amenities to attract renters. A renewed interest in bicycling is a national and global trend that cannot be ignored. Property and facilities managers need to be aware of this growing trend among younger audiences so they can better serve the younger generation of customers.

Biking Brings Business

More bicycles on the road also increases the demand for bicycle parking. Businesses with bike racks are prepared to accommodate more and more customers who are biking instead of driving. Installing a bike rack will increase customer base over time and the business will be viewed as more bike friendly.
bike commuting

In fact, according to the study commissioned by Portland State University, consumers who bicycle tend to spend more over a month than drivers. The reason: consumers on a bike tend to visit local businesses more often. Here’s what researchers uncovered: Auto – 4.5 trips – $13.70 per trip – $61.03 per month. Bike – 7.1 trips – $10.66 per trip – $75.66 per month. Transit – 5.7 trips – $10.15 per trip – $58.16 per month. Walk – 5 trips – $11.25 per trip – $66.22 per month. Business people who place bike racks in front of their business report a significant increase in store traffic and more visibility. In addition, freeing up a car parking space for bicycle parking racks, such as a bike corral, can increase consumer access by 800%. The League of American Bicyclists is an organization that has been advocating for cyclists since 1880. As part of their Essential Elements of a Bicycle Friendly America, they urge the importance of “Creating safe and convenient places to ride and park” as their first step. Besides bike paths, lanes, and trails, “secure, convenient and readily available bike parking is also a key component” to a bike-friendly business and community. Without enough commercial bike racks installed, desperate cyclists will lock their bikes to poles, trees, railings, or fences. This results in blocked sidewalks, more bike theft, environmental damage, and potential fines to the cyclist. Quality bicycle parking can alleviate these issues, but business owners and facility managers may not be familiar with types of commercial bike racks that will be best for their facility.  A little bit of knowledge can help you pick the best bicycle parking to make your customers happy and your town a little more bicycle-friendly.

Stop Bicycle Theft Before It Can Start

bicycle theft

By providing plenty of high quality bicycle parking racks, you can help alleviate a frequent crime in the United States: bike theft. Transportation Alternatives, a bicycle advocacy group, estimates that 1 million bicycles (worth up to $350 million) are stolen every year. One reason for this incredibly high rate of theft is the lack of secure bicycle parking. Without a bike rack, cyclists may leave their bikes parked in alleyways or sidewalks. But locked, high visibility parking is much more secure than stowing a bike on its own. U-Locks Are Most Secure Cyclists widely agree that the most secure bike lock is the metal U-lock, looped through both the frame and wheel of your bicycle. For extra security, you can use a chain or cord combined with the U-lock to secure both wheels to the bike rack. Facilities managers will want to install a sturdy metal bike rack compatible with a U-lock to promote security at their location. Several racks are designed for the U-lock, including Wave bike racks or U-shaped bike racks. Wave racks are aesthetically appealing, very supportive, and can hold several bicycles. U-Racks are meant to hold up to two bicycles and are also a very sturdy steel parking solution.    

how to lock a bike properly to bicycle racks

Types of Commercial Bike Racks


Short Term vs. Long Term Bicycle Parking

bicycle parking short term vs. long term  
If you go with short term parking, keep the location convenient since many of the cyclists will only use the bike racks occasionally. Keep the bicycle parking off of sidewalks and pathways, while also clear of the road’s edge. Some cities also allow for bicycle corrals within parking spots where several cyclists can park their bikes.  

U-shaped bicycle racks

Using a U-lock to hook up to a U-shaped bike parking rack.

If long term parking is for you, focus on security. From indoor onsite parking to bike shelters and lockers, to bicycle valet, select a bike parking solution that will keep bicycles safe for long periods of time. Secure, long term parking encourages people to ride bicycles since the risk of theft and vandalism is lower. The Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP) points out that cyclists who typically park in long-term parking are employees, residents, transit users, and others who park for long periods of time. If the location is not easily visible, include signage to guide cyclists. Before installing the long term bicycle parking solution, check your city’s zoning laws to ensure they follow local requirements.

bike lockers commercial bike racks

Bike lockers are proving to be the ultimate in commercial bike racks and a major draw for bicyclists.

Finishing Touches: Selecting the Right Coatings

bike rack coatings

Questions to Ask to Determine a High Quality Bike Parking Rack

veer bike rack

A bicyclist locks a bike to a "veer" bicycle parking rack

Not all bike racks are created equal. If you want your rack to last for years to come, it’s essential to ask the following questions:

  1. Where was this bicycle parking rack manufactured?There’s nothing quite like American manufacturing. Not only does it add trillions to the national economy, it also greatly impacts the quality of the bike rack that you purchase.                      
  2. What kind of finish does it have?

If you select a finish with poor durability, then you’ll find yourself replacing or maintaining the bike rack more than you would like. Stainless steel is the highest quality finish.

  1. Does it secure the bicycle in two places and allow for U-Locks?

The most secure bicycle racks are compatible with locking in two places, such as the wheel and the frame of the bike. These also work with U-Locks to properly lock a bicycle in the most secure way possible.

  1. What type of steel is used?

Check the material type when shopping for a bicycle parking rack. Thick or heavy-gauge steel secures bicycles better.edited some

  1. Is the bicycle rack intuitive and accommodating?Cyclists need to recognize the bicycle rack as bicycle parking and easily understand how to secure their bicycle to it. Parking also needs to accommodate the wide variety of bicycles and accessories in your community, including kids’ bikes and larger adult bikes.

Bicycle Parking Rack Installation Options

You selected your outdoor bike rack and now it’s time for installation, but which type of installation will work best for your facility? [caption id="attachment_2890" align="aligncenter" width="762"]wave bike rack installation
Wave bike rack installation instructions (installation guides vary by type of commercial bike rack)

Location, Location, Location!

Location is everything when it comes to bicycle parking. Where you install your bike rack has to be safe and convenient for cyclists. Carefully select a location that is:

  • Easily visible and well-lit at night
  • Close to entrances and pedestrian areas
  • Lacking bicycle parking racks
  • Follows local city ordinances

You will need to research your city’s guidelines on commercial bike rack placement. Generally, you’ll want to install the rack on a wide sidewalk and maintain a 6-foot clearance for pedestrian traffic. This keeps the rack a safe distance from the road while also keeping the path clear for pedestrians. The APBP recommends that if bike racks are adjacent to street parking, install the stalls between parking spots to avoid collision with opening car doors. bike rack clearance

bike rack clearance

Custom Bike Racks Used As Sidewalk Art

custom bike racks

Street art adds to the vibe of any community, but street art that’s also functional is even more impressive. That’s where custom bike rack parking comes in. You see, bicycle parking doesn’t have to be an eyesore on your business. Instead, it can communicate your colors, mission, or brand to your entire customer base, while also serving as an incredibly useful form of parking for cyclists. Custom bike racks can be created in the shape of any image that you imagine. It’s a fantastic way to create “sidewalk art” that can actually attract bicyclists and tourists to downtown area. Many towns use this inexpensive strategy to reinforce their unique brand. When it comes to bike parking, custom bicycle racks are sure to bring attention and customers to your facility. They add a unique flair that helps you stand out from the crowd, while also serving a functional purpose.

Custom Penny Farthing bike rack

Custom Penny Farthing bike rack

Bike Rack Installations Leave a Big Impact

Bicycling is a growing trend that’s not showing any signs of slowing down. By taking simple steps to install high quality, steel commercial bike racks, you can accommodate customers while having a positive impact on your community and the environment. In short, outdoor bicycle racks positively impact:

bike racks helps businesses
Your business
bike racks helps customers
Your customers
bike racks help the environment
Your environment


APBP Essentials of Bike Parking: EssentialsofBikeParking_FINA.pdf League of American Bicyclists: http://www.bikeleague.org/content/5-es BicycleParkingRacks.com: WaveStyleRack_Information_v25.pdf Outside Online:  "Who Pinched My Ride?"  

About the Park and Facilities Catalog

The Park and Facilities Catalog is headquartered in Boca Raton, Fla. The company is a national manufacturer and provider of commercial bike racks. Our selection includes custom bike racks, wave bike racks, U-shaped bike racks, grid bike racks, architectural bicycle parking racks, double-decker bike racks, wall mounted bike racks, low-profile bike racks, bike lockers and bike storage. Our products are available in a large array of colors and protective coatings. Also with our ParkExpress program, we have bicycle racks in stock that can ship in just 3 days. Free Bike Room and Space Layouts - if you are an architect, planner or builder creating a bike room or outdoor bicycle parking area, The Park and Facilities Catalog provides free layouts to help you maximize the number of bicycles you can add to that space. Since 2001, we have supplied top quality bike racks to parks, schools, universities, restaurants, stores, malls, shopping centers, multi-family communities across the United States. The company is also a distributor of additional site furnishings such as park benches, picnic tables, trash receptacles, aluminum bleachers and hundreds of other items. CALL US TODAY AT 1-800-695-3503 for a free catalog of commercial bike racks or visit our website: https://www.theparkcatalog.com/bike-racks

bicyclists love adequate bicycle parking racks