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It is outside a safeway store, it does not even need a lock.


in the cyclist's defense, those type of bike racks--we call them "dish racks" are about worthless for locking a bike to. they work ok if you have a cable lock, but for ulock users, they have very limited usability. if you have a loaded pannier or two, then forget it.


Several of the stores I frequent have those bike racks and they are worthless. I park parallel to the rack so that it works with my u-lock.

Nate J.

The list of why these racks are worthless is endless...
1) poor bolt-together construction which allows for vandalism/theft
2) poor choice of materials susceptible to compromise
3) poor tire-pinching/wheel bending design
4) poorly sited

Well-intentioned businesses install bike racks of this type, by their choice or most often city/county development codes (which likely just specify "bike parking" but not the type of rack to use), and the end product is a facility they see used very little and they might just develop an opinion of "Why put them in? No one uses them."

Maybe someone needs to develop a "best practices" document for bike parking... or maybe one exists already...?


hal would be freaking out right now


You're absolutely right, Nate. Another reason these racks are so attractive to business owners or management companies--and one of the reasons they're horrible at being a decent bike rack--is for price. They're the least expensive rack, bike for bike, of any design.

I believe the city of Boulder has specific types of racks (Upside down U's, etc) in it's code.


Those racks are a convenient way to hold a number of bikes upright.

Assuming there is some other kind of security measure in place, that is. Locked underground bunker, snipers, moat with alligators... that kind of thing. Actually, I could use one in my bike shed.

I guess their use dates from more innocent times when one didn't need to lock a bike when leaving it in public - having a piece of metalwork to stand your bike upright was a thoughtful convenience. These days they're just a nuisance.


@ Nate J

there are several guides for cities, universities, employers, shopping centers, etc to install bicycle racks. there was one i found a few months ago that was totally awesome, but i can't find it now. just google for "bicycle parking guide" & "bicycle parking design guide".

here are some that stand out...



Do people not know how to use this rack with a U-lock???
You put the front tire over, then use a U-lock underneath between the frame downtube and your front wheel, as said, which is now on the other side of the rack

This rack works great, just need to weld the ends together in lieu of bolts


@DD: Yep that method does work but it has a few downsides: 1. If you ride with fenders, they can get in the way, 2. It's rough on the paint, 3. It can be a little awkward if your ride is loaded, 4. sometimes these are bolted down too close to some immovable object to get your front wheel back behind it.

Personally, I think the solution to dumb bike racks is simple. More street signs (that's usually what we end up chaining to anyway right). Make them fun and creative.

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