Principles of good rack design

  • Simple design and obvious function
  • Two points of contact for stability
  • Compatible with standard locking devices
  • Located for easy access
  • Secured with tamper-proof bolts
  • Compact and attractive

* Some racks with moving parts that may work well include vertical racks that provide extra security for wheels and locker/rack combos for wheel security and gear storage.

Basic requirements for good racks include:

  • Simple and obvious in function—no moving parts*
  • Design should provide stability—two points of contact with the frame in a horizontal plane to prevent the bike from falling
  • Rack allowing frame and wheels to be locked using either standard type of locking device (U-lock or cable lock)
  • Easy access—bikes roll in without tangling with street furniture, other bikes and without lifting over rack elements
  • Low or modest cost to manufacture and install
  • Suitable for the site and able to meet demand—well-designed racks will allow for a maximum number of bikes to be stored in a small area
  • Racks permanently anchored with tamper-proof bolts
  • Racks should be compact and attractive as street furniture and coated to minimize damage

Don't choose a rack that:

  • Cannot ensure security of the bicycle
  • Assumes a specific locking device to be effective
  • May damage bike components or tangles bikes at capacity
  • Supports the bike by the wheels rather than the frame
  • Balances the bike frame on a single upright
  • Is too big or too small for the location or expected demand
  • Uses more space than needed for a given number of bikes