Specifications for a Bike Rack

Specifications for a Bike Rack

Bicycle parking has become an increasing need which has caused businesses, workplaces, and parks to consider accommodations. When it comes to selecting a bike rack there are numerous considerations to be made. Style, colour and size are some of the most commonly thought of choices, but aren't the most important. While those three choices are arguably some of the most influential, there are other factors to consider beyond the style of the rack. In this article we break down everything you should consider when selecting a bike rack. 


image ©  CycleSafe

image © CycleSafe

Before selecting the bike rack, you must first determine what the level of demand is for bike parking. For instance, if you are installing bike racks at a park for individuals that want a momentary break, the demand would be much different than for someone needing to accommodate a steady stream of commuters. One area may need more parking spaces throughout the area where as a commuter area may want a lot of bike parking within a concentrated area. 

Rack Dimensions


The size of the area is undoubtedly going to affect the style of rack you choose - especially if you are trying to accommodate a large quantity of bikes in a smaller area. This is why it's essential to consider bike rack styles that fit your space - like traditional U-shaped bike racks for tight spaces, and decorative ones for parks and areas that can afford to accommodate more unique shapes.


image  Flickr

image Flickr

Since the rack will undergo daily abuse from bicycles rubbing up against it and locks being tightened around it, you want to ensure that it can withstand the continuous wear and tear. The coating you select for the bike rack will heavily influence the longevity of the rack. 

image ©  CycleSafe

image © CycleSafe

Considerate of bike accessories 


When selecting a bike rack you need to be mindful of the different styles of bikes and accessories that accompany them. The bike rack should accommodate bikes with no kickstands, with or without water bottle cages, or bikes with baskets. All of these factors will impact the ability to store bicycles side by side if they aren't accounted for prior to selection.



While it depends on the bike rack selected, typically a bike rack can be installed in a number of different ways with surface, in-ground, or wall mountings being the most common.

Surface mounting: Typically surface mounting is only done when the bike rack will be mounted on concrete. With concrete, the racks should be installed on a minimum of 4 inches thick concrete slabs and sloped to allow for drainage. 

In-ground mounting: This installation type involves planting the base of the bike rack into the ground. It is then secured by a perpendicular anchor pin, which also adds stability and security from theft or vandalism.

Mounting a bike rack on a rail is less common, however, preferred when the bike rack will be placed in an area where permanency is in question. 

Surface, ground, or rail mountings. 

Pedestrian Interference


Once you've deciphered how you want to mount the rack, the last part you need to consider is the implications of installation in relation to pedestrian disturbance. While an unoccupied bike rack takes up minimal space, you must account for spacing around the bike rack once bikes are in place. 

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