How to Choose a Bike Locker

Selecting the right bike locker depends on many factors. This guide will help you make the best decision when buying bike lockers for your site.

The main advantage of bicycle lockers is that they meet Class I long-term security for bike parking, defined as two hours or more and protecting the entire bicycle and accessories against theft and weather. Bike lockers provide dedicated individual access, offer the highest level of security, and encourage cycling as transportation.

Here are six topics to keep in mind when selecting a bicycle locker:

1. Security

  • Both metal and fiberglass composite bike lockers are strong and durable. Plastic bike lockers are less durable.
  • Fiberglass composite bike lockers are available with weatherproof polycarbonate panels that provide visibility into locker contents. Perforated metal lockers also provide visibility into the locker, but are not weatherproof.
  • Locking Mechanisms
    • Coin operated locks are low security, vulnerable to break-ins and require regular maintenance to collect coins. Not recommended.
    • User hasp locks are low security because the lock can be cut off. Recommended for areas of low concern of vandalism.
    • Medium-security vendor-style locks can be used at medium security sites. Chicago is a recommended brand.
    • Built-in T-handle locks are high-grade vault type locks recommended for highest security. Abloy is a recommended brand.
    • Consider keys that are not duplicable.
    • Master key systems are available for management control. Promotes regular use with a dedicated space. Requires administration.
    • Lockers can be equipped with electronic access for locker rental and dedicated use. Available with key fob, HID card, or numeric keypad, electronic access can be costly to install yet has the benefits of increasing availability and better locker management.
Fiberglass composite bike lockers with high security T-handle locks, polycarbonate windows and electronic access.

Fiberglass composite bike lockers with high security T-handle locks, polycarbonate windows and electronic access.

2. Space Planning

  • Some bike lockers have only a single door for storing one or two bikes. More space efficient lockers offer a door on each end, enabling independent access for two bikes.
  • Modular lockers can be ganged together to create space-efficient bike parking that fits your location.
  • Double-tier bike lockers can be stacked to increase the number of bicycles parked per square foot.
  • Each bike locker occupies a space of about 42” by 78”. This space requirement can be reduced by installing modular lockers side by side so they share common dividers, or by stacking the lockers.
  • Six foot aisles are recommended in front of bike locker doors.
  • Ensure the bike locker door is wide enough to fit bikes with wider handlebars, and the interior dimensions can accommodate electric bikes or larger bikes.
Two-sided bike locker showing two doors, partition, and two bikes.

Two-sided bike locker showing two doors, partition, and two bikes.

3. Materials

  • Fiberglass Composite
    • Fiberglass composite bike lockers offer 30% less weight compared to metal lockers, making shipping more economical and easier assembly and relocation.
    • Structural compression molded composite (SMC) is a closed-molded process that produces uniform parts forged with heat and pressure for increased impact strength and puncture resistance with molded ribs and bosses for highest security. Compression moldeding also reduces material waste.
    • SMC offers the strength of structural steel without the weight, has high surface hardness, and is UV and fire resistant.
    • Integral base color. No painting is necessary so color will not delaminate, chip or fade.
    • SMC is comprised of raw materials that have recycled content, and closed compression molding processes control VOC emissions, for a greener manufacturing process. SMC is a corrosion-free material that stands up to harsh environments, and will not conduct heat, cold or electricity as with metal lockers.
    • Lightweight panels allow for less assembly time and less manpower required for assembly.
    • The extended life of SMC composites gives high return on investment.
Fiberglass composite door and top panel with structural ribs for strength and security.

Fiberglass composite door and top panel with structural ribs for strength and security.

  • Ordinary Fiberglass
    • Fiber-reinforced laminate is an open-molded process with reinforced fibers sprayed into a single-side mold. Material thickness varies per unit, compromising material strength. Offers moderate security with thinner wall construction.
    • Offers some recycled content, but because the fiber-reinforced laminate manufacturing process does not control VOC emission it is not recommended for environmental standards.
Ordinary fiberglass bike lockers can become chalky, dirt will stick to them, and they can grow fungus and algae on surfaces.

Ordinary fiberglass bike lockers can become chalky, dirt will stick to them, and they can grow fungus and algae on surfaces.

  • Metal
    • Metal bike lockers are very heavy, which makes shipping expensive and relocation difficult.
    • Can offer high security because of the strength of steel.
    • On hot days, the interior of a metal bike locker can get very hot, which can harm bicycle components or accessories.
    • Metal bike lockers can have sharp edges which can be a safety concern.
    • Rather than transparent panels, many metal bike lockers come with perforations that can allow water and insect entry.
    • Powder coated steel will eventually dent, scratch, chip and rust.
    • Stainless steel resists corrosion, but is more expensive than regular steel.
Metal bike lockers can be high maintenance because of rust.

Metal bike lockers can be high maintenance because of rust.

  • Plastic
    • Plastic bike lockers are made of one resin (polythylene) and are not recommended because of their low structural quality and appearance.
    • Low cost and lightweight.
    • Plastic bike lockers are highly flammable and not recommended for public spaces.
    • Plastic is easily cut or etched into with a pen knife.
    • Typically equipped with low-quality locking systems.

 

4. Installation and Maintenance

  • Consider a bike locker design that can be either mounted to a concrete pad, or mounted on rails for easy relocation.
  • Ensure the locker is easy to assemble or relocate.
  • Bike lockers that ship ready to assemble are less expensive to ship than fully assembled lockers.
  • Metal bike lockers will require painting to deter rust.
  • Look for materials and coatings that offer graffiti or UV resistance.
  • Look for a curved roof line that will shed rainfall and not collect water and dirt.
  • Modular bike lockers allow individual components to be repaired or replaced without having to pay for a whole new locker if severe damage occurs.

 

5. Aesthetics

  • Most fiberglass composite lockers have radial edges with a contemporary design.
  • Metal bike lockers may have sharp edges or corners.
  • Look for a modular, interlocking design to avoid misalignments.
  • Look for gaps that might collect debris.
Fiberglass composite bike lockers with radial edges and contemporary design.

Fiberglass composite bike lockers with radial edges and contemporary design.

6. Options

  • Door or side panel windows so that locker contents are visible.
  • Side display panels for wayfinding, marketing, or revenue generation.
  • Storage bins for cyclists gear.
  • Coat hooks for clothing and gear.
  • Numbered ID plates for easy locker identification.
  • Conventional electrical outlet or solar charging stations for electric bikes or accessories.
  • A door check that keeps the door open while accessing the locker.
  • Consider enhancing your site with a public bike repair stand or public bike pump.
  • For efficient bike locker operations, consider bike locker support tools such as key management systems or electronic access systems for booking, payment and remote access.
Bike locker with display panel for wayfinding, marketing, or revenue generation.

Bike locker with display panel for wayfinding, marketing, or revenue generation.

Conclusion

Now that you know more about the range of possibilities in bike lockers, you know how to choose a bike locker with the best return on investment. Have a look at the full line of CycleSafe bicycle lockers to find one that suits your needs.

Innovations in Bike Parking Encourage More Cyclists

More people on bikes is a good thing, right? Well, bike advocates know that certain key pieces are particularly effective in encouraging more people to take up cycling. In addition to educational programs for cyclists and drivers alike and installing more bike lanes, secure bicycle parking is an important element to offer the cyclist peace of mind and encourage more frequent biking. Recent innovations in secure bicycle parking options are helping drive forward this movement towards healthy, sustainable communities.

CycleSafe ProPark Bike Locker at the Santa-Fe RailBicycle lockers provide the highest level of security, protecting bikes against theft and the elements while also providing a convenient place to storing cyclists’ gear. Bicycle lockers can be rented or else assigned in advance and provided on an ongoing basis, which is particularly handy for promoting regular bike commuting.

Each bike locker occupies a space of about 42″ x 78″ which can be reduced with modular stacking units. Bicycle lockers are designed to fit one or two bikes per door, with options for one sided or two sided access. Access aisles need to accommodate the cyclist and door opening; six foot aisle width is recommended. Bicycle locker material and locks are crucial to dependability, high security locks and compression molded composite (SMC) is recommended over fiberglass or metal lockers for lower maintenance and durability. CycleSafe bicycle lockers can be furnished with side display panels for wayfinding, marketing or revenue generation and storage bins for cyclist gear.

For further information on developing a bike parking program, refer to the guide Planning Bike Parking Facilities.

Bike rooms are becoming increasingly popular for indoor storage in parking garages or unused building spaces. These can include vertical bike parking for space efficiency or high density racks to maximize available space to store more bikes. For examples of bike room layouts, refer to CycleSafe’s Bike Room Layout guide for ideas.

Bike Corral in Grand Rapids, MichiganMany store owners like to see cyclists, since a whole bunch of bikes can fit in just one car space, dramatically increasing foot traffic in commercial zones. New trends in cycle parking take advantage of this, using Bike Corrals or Bike Stalls to transform sidewalks or on-street car parking into bike parking spaces. These corrals or bike stalls can be installed permanently or mounted on channel rails that allow removal during the off-season.

Bike shelters provide covered bike parking to meet the needs of on-demand, mid-level security combined with bicycle racks. Side and back panels can be specified for further protection or to include promotional graphics or wayfinding messages. Bike shelters are a good solution for short term use, can provide some weather protection and offer a higher visibility for storing and organizing bikes.

Vintage Bike RackBike racks are the most common bike parking device and many people utilize them for short-term bike parking. Naturally, there are many kinds to choose from, but for greater security when using a bike rack, chose one that secures both the bike frame and wheel . The classic U Rack is most recommended with a crossbar to eliminate the ability to force the bike to the ground and remove with a pipe cutter.

If you are selecting a bike rack for installation at your place of business, one manufactured with heavy-duty tubing (not pipe) is preferred for durability, as is one utilizing a high quality finish such as a rubberized Plastisol coating or TGIC powder coat. The classic U Rack is widely regarded as the standard for space efficiency and bicycle protection.

Cycling Toward Sustainability

Since its founding in 1980 as a response to the energy crisis of the 70s, CycleSafe has led the way towards sustainable communities promoting active transportation. A leader in promoting green business practices and re-thinking urban transportation systems, the company encourages cycling as an alternative or additional mode of transportation. “Bicycling as a form of enhancing communities with active modes of transit has been identified as the top priority worldwide for conserving natural resources,” states company founder, Richard Hartger.

ProPark Bike Locker with Display PanelAs the bicycle locker pioneer, CycleSafe offers the most secure, versatile, and cost-effective lockers on the market. CycleSafe bike lockers provide cyclists with peace of mind knowing their bicycle and gear is safe and weather protected. This assurance, in turn, helps increase the use of cycling as a form of fitness and transportation. For communities, more bicycles mean fewer cars, reducing congestion and improving air quality.

CycleSafe products are engineered and manufactured with materials and finishes that follow ISO 9001 for quality assurance and ISO 14001 for environmental standards. In addition, the company researches environmentally sustainable manufacturing processes and produces all its products in the United States.

Its expanded product line includes decorative bicycle racks and bicycle shelters to meet the demands of active commuters, community cyclists, and community planners. “Our products are designed to achieve the goals of transport and urban planners, satisfy the aesthetic desires of architects and the functional needs of the cyclist and facility planner,” Hartger says.

As the leading manufacturer of bicycle parking products in the industry, CycleSafe will continue to innovate and develop new products that enhance the image of cycling and encourage more users to promote healthy, active communities.

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Grand Rapids, Mich. (November 6, 2011)

Contact: Susan Hartger, V.P. CycleSafe, Inc.
Contact CycleSafe
(888) 950-6531

Progress for Alternative Transportation Continues in New Mexico

New Mexico—Rio Metro Regional Transit has installed CycleSafe Bicycle Lockers at Rail Runner Express stations connecting communities from Santa Fe to Albuquerque/Belen. A collaborative effort between NMDOT and the Mid Regional Council of Governments has included counties, towns, Native American tribes and Pueblos to promote alternative transportation along this 101 mile corridor to become more bicycle friendly.

Bike Locker at Rail TransitAs part of a Federal Travel Demand Management Grant to promote alternative transportation in the workplace, Rio Metro is working with major employers to create incentives and awareness to reduce carbon emissions and the use of single occupant vehicles. More than 30 years ago, CycleSafe earned the first patent for bicycle storage and has installed bicycle lockers in communities worldwide. Rio Metro reviewed many bicycle locker systems and selected CycleSafe for durability, reputation and management assistance. Installing secure bicycle parking at transit stations and workplaces encourages cycling as a mode of transportation promoting healthy, sustainable communities.

For more information contact CycleSafe or visit railrunner.com.

Secure Bike Lockers Contribute to Baltimore’s “Smart Growth” Initiatives

When Governor Parris Glendening set out to double the Baltimore region’s transit ridership by 2020, the Mass Transit Administration developed a Baltimore Region Rail System Plan in order to realize that goal. The plan called for 63 miles of new rail lines and 70 new stations, more than doubling the region’s rail system to 106 miles and 125 stations over the next 20 to 40 years.

Baltimore Rail System PlanAs part of the “smart growth” initiatives begun by Governor Glendening, 250 CycleSafe secure bike lockers were purchased and installed throughout the city including at seven Baltimore Metro Stations, four light rail stations, and 10 MARC stations. Manufactured using corrosion resistant, high-strength, molded materials that provide the engineering properties of structural steel and equipped with patented, high-security locks, CycleSafe bike lockers provide protection from theft, vandalism, and inclement weather. This gives peace of mind to cyclists and administrators alike.

“The addition of secure bike parking always helps to encourage the use of alternative transportation, and the Baltimore area is no exception,” said Richard Hartger, CycleSafe President. “Studies have concluded that the area from which a station draws its riders may increase by about 15 times its current amount if secure bike parking is available.”

CycleSafe earned the first patent for secure bicycle parking and installed its first secure bike lockers in 1980 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where they continue to contribute to healthy lifestyles.

Bike Lockers Help Promote Alternative Transportation in St. Paul, Minnesota

In 1985, when St. Paul, Minnesota first decided to improve its transit system and promote the use of alternative transportation, its Metro Commuter Services installed 55 CycleSafe bike lockers at several park-and-ride lots. These lockers, with storage bins, keep bikes and cyclists’ gear safe, secure, and protected from inclement weather. As reported in American City & County magazine’s “Lockers let bicyclists commute worry-free“, the initial lockers were so well-received that, in 2001, 120 additional CycleSafe bike lockers were installed throughout the city at places such as government buildings, Metro State University and the city’s museum. The most recent installation of bike lockers was paid for with Federal Aid Preservation Funds to promote active, healthy lifestyles while preserving air quality and energy conservation.