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How to Choose the Best Commercial Bike Rack for Your Apartment Complex or Public Facility


How to Choose the Best Commercial Bike Rack for Your Apartment Complex or Public Facility

Not everyone owns a car. As an owner or a manager of an apartment complex or any public facility, it is important to cater to everyone’s needs. Parking for cars is available almost everywhere – this is because the majority of people drive cars – but not every place is equipped for those who use bikes as their main mode of transportation. In order to cater to those who do use bikes, you should install commercial bike racks.

Commercial bike racks look like steel barricades but instead are used to lock and park bikes. They are divided into two different classes:

  • Class One – These are more for long-term storage; this type of bike parking is used when bikes need to be parked for many hours. They offer higher security and weather protection. This class of bike racks comes in the form of either bike lockers or indoor rooms with bike racks.
  • Class Two – This class refers to racks used for short-term parking, usually for two hours or less. The main aim of this class is to offer convenience and proximity to a location. 

As an owner or manager of an apartment complex, it would be better to install a class one commercial bike rack. This is because tenants and residents will be parking their bikes there for the majority of the time; hence, they should be offered better weather protection and higher security.

If you own or manage a public facility, such as a public pool, library, or park, it would be more suitable for you to get a commercial bike rack from class two. Visitors will only be parking their bikes for a short amount of time and need to be able to park and move their bikes quickly.

Once you have decided on the class, you need to decide on the finish and style you want. You can pick from the following finishes:

  • Galvanized – This finish is one with the best value. To achieve a galvanized finish, bike racks are dipped into an 860 degrees Fahrenheit molten zinc bath; it gives them a thin coating to protect from corrosion and has a muted gray color.
  • Powder-coated – This finish is achieved by electrostatically applying a free-flowing dry powder. This powder is heated to create a tough and protective layer on the outside. It has a high gloss appearance, is able to resist corrosion, and is available in many colors.
  • Thermoplastic coated – Bike racks coated with thermoplastic are coated with a matte polyethylene powder. It is applied in a single layer to eliminate surface scratches. This type of finish reduces corrosion and reduces the growth of microorganisms.
  • Recycled plastic – Recycled plastic is made up of at least 96% of materials that have been leftover from commercial or industrial consumption. It is produced with additives that help enhance its stability and color. This type of material does not chip, crack, or fade and is better for the environment.
  • Stainless steel – This is a low-carbon steel that contains chromium. It has a distinctive stainlessness quality and is able to resist corrosion. It can be polished to achieve a glossy mirror appearance. Being resistant to fire and heat, it is highly durable in harsh weather conditions.
  • E-Steel – This coating is a water-based resin paint. It has the ability to coat the entire rack without drips, runs, or any other imperfections. This coating has four layers: the top powder coat, the second e-Coat epoxy bath, zinc phosphate, and then the mechanical preparation.

And the following styles:

  • ‘U’ racks – These are the most commonly used bike racks. Being a simple design, you can easily place it close to destinations. Each rack can hold up to two bikes.
  • Wave or Serpentine racks – Found in both square and round models. This style is compatible with U-locks and can lock the wheel and frame for maximum security. You can order this style in loops to fit in as many bikes as you would like.
  • Bollard-style racks – This type of style is quite versatile; not only are they used for parking bikes, but also to manage traffic by creating a barrier. They can also be used to limit access to bike parking and bike trails. This type of bike rack comes in square and rounded arms.
  • Grid-style racks – These are the traditional style of bike racks. They are basic, simple, and easy to use. Unlike the other styles, they can be double-sided, allowing for a larger number of bikes to be parked. However, these are recommended for short-term parking only.
  • Innovative/Decorative racks – These are new variations of the traditional bike racks. They are made to create added interest through their aesthetic and design while offering maximum security. Examples of such racks are the Triton and Orion bike racks.

Even more important than the finish and style are the following factors:

  • Visibility – Bike racks should be placed in a public, visible location to avoid theft and vandalism; this also allows individuals to spot racks immediately. You should avoid installing them in isolated areas.
  • Spacing – Rather than trying to achieve parking for the maximum amount of bikes, you should allow for adequate space to allow customers to move and maneuver their bikes. Limit contact with cars, pedestrians, and walls. Install racks with enough surrounding space so that it can hold all the bikes it intends to.
  • Proximity – Bike racks placed far away (from the apartment complex or public facility) will not be used. People will prefer to park at those bike racks closer to their apartment or destination.
  • Weather Protection – Weather protection will depend on the class of bike rack you are installing. Structures such as covered walkways and overhangs can be used to provide extra protection.

Based on your needs, you should go over the above aspects and order a bike rack that is most suitable for your needs. The most important factor in installing such racks is your budget. The amount of money you can afford to spend will determine the type of bike rack you can purchase. This then determines the weather protection and security the parked bikes will receive.Sources: