• Stop wheelbender bike racks

    by  • May 6, 2012 • Bike Parking • 2 Comments


    It is time for bike parking manufacturers to wake up, and STOP selling racks that can easily damage bicycles, even rendering them un-ridable by simply tipping them over. Most folks who buy these racks are non-cyclists who are fulfilling a requirement for bike parking, and lack the experience to know better. Saris, whose rack is pictured above looking all wonderful, is a well respected company out of Madison Wisconsin. They are a major supplier throughout the U.S., yet even they keep selling this epic failure.

    This, according to “Listening to Bike Lanes: Moving Beyond the Feud”“Grid-style bike parking, also known as “grid” or schoolyard racks, are the kind famous for the bicycle domino effect. You stick your front wheel between vertical rods, you start to walk away, the wheel slips, you hear a clatter as each bike falls against the next, and, thanks to those vertical rods, some of the bikes’ wheels aren’t as well aligned as they were before. You try to ride off, and come to find the wheel is bent and stopping against the brake pads.”

    Enough with the wheelbender racks, already. We need to choose designs that provide at least 2 touch points on the frame of the bicycle. Cities in Delaware – especially our bike share mode leader, Newark – should be stipulating this requirement in their bike parking ordinances.

    Above:  The scene at Ivy Hill Apartments in Newark. It’s common knowledge not to use the rack in the way it was intended, as these bicyclists clearly demonstrate.

    Above:  A wheelbender installed at the brand new WaWa in Newark, as required under the city’s 70+ car parking space ordinance. Note the bike parked to the side, locked to the end bar.

    The clear alternative above is from Vintage Metals out of Milford, Delaware. Bikes are locked safe and secure against 2 touch points to the frame, and stand no chance of falling over if locked securely through the frame and cross member.

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    2 Responses to Stop wheelbender bike racks

    1. Steven Hardiman
      June 18, 2012 at 10:35 am

      Oh please, if you’re going to point fingers, point them at inconsiderate riders or riders too stupid to know how to fasten their bikes to your “epic failure” bike racks. These racks work perfectly well when used properly. The picture at Ivy Hill Apartments show just how stupid some riders are by making things worse for us riders who DO use them properly and without mishap. Stop being a tard and get over yourself. There are other considerations besides how ‘you’ think racks should be – cost, using the available space effectively and efficiently, etc. Grow up and start being a positive influence for good riders for a change.

    2. Frank Warnock
      June 18, 2012 at 10:54 am

      You are very misinformed. This is not only my opinion. This is what we hear from the riding public. This is the opinion of WILMAPCO, the Newark Bicycle Committee, as well and the City’s Planning Dept, which is considering writing it into the ordinances to ban these racks because they damage bicycles. Same can be said for the “Wave” racks. Unless a rack has at least 2 support points, it is high risk to park a bike in it, hence the fact few do.

      Before launching personal attacks, you should come to a meeting, volunteer, get involved, and learn a thing or two. I rarely, if ever publish something without the backing of consensus, and this most certainly has it.

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