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.

Agency Chooses Bike Lockers Over Bicycle Cages

In early 2013, the Lafayette Park Commuter Team (LPCT), acknowledged a problem with their existing bicycle parking in the Lafayette Park Complex outside of downtown St. Paul, Minnesota. Users complained that the existing wooden bike lockers had deteriorated and needed to be replaced.

As the organization prepared to replace the existing wooden bike lockers, they researched bike cages, open-air cage structures with individual parking stations inside. While secured by a locking mechanism, these cages do not provide protection from the elements and still allow an open view to what bikes and gear are being stored in the cage, which became a concern. “Out-of-sight bikes seem to be less targeted,” said Harold Weigner, a former MPCA employee that was involved in the project. More importantly, the cost of the cages was beyond what their budget would allow.

After research and polling of bicycle riders, the LPCT decided, instead of bike cages, to purchase 20 of CycleSafe’s high-quality bike lockers. Secured with a high-security Abloy lock cyclinder with non duplicable keys, these units provide full protection from the outdoors, including extreme temperatures. “Bikes are designed for outdoor use, but they live longer if optimally protected from water, dust, and ultraviolet light,” noted Weigner.

Agency Chooses Bike Lockers Over Bicycle Cages

This implementation provided an increase in bicycle parking. The bike locker installation has alleviated availability issues previously plaguing staff members. “We had had a waiting list to use our bike lockers for as long as I can remember,” said Melissa Wenzel, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, LPCT member, former chair. With the increased amount of lockers available, the wait list has since dissipated. Additionally, those biking to work are now more comfortable doing so year-round, because the bikes are completely shielded from the elements.

For more information on the LPCT’s decision to purchase bike lockers, as opposed to bike cages, see the case study Agency Collaboration Selects Bicycle Lockers Over Bicycle Cages.

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.

Bike Room Layout

Bike Room Wall RackA bike room in an office building, parking garage, apartment complex or college dormitory is a great way to add secure indoor bicycle storage. The right bike room layout can ensure bike parking is easy, safe, and secure.

Bike Room Design Guidelines

Site

  • Locate the bike room near an exit and avoid stairs or narrow hallways.
  • Avoid layout obstructions such as pillars, doors, windows, utility access, and ceiling pipes.
  • Locate the bike room near a floor drain for drainage.
  • If the site is a large open space, like a parking garage or warehouse, consider building a smaller bike room, or bike lockers may be a better option.
  • Provide both horizontal and vertical bike parking for maximum space efficiency and to accommodate different styles of bikes.

Dimensions

  • The minimum recommended aisle width is 54 inches (4 feet, 6 inches). This provides enough space for one person to walk one bike.
  • To accommodate simultaneous users, the recommended minimum aisle width is 72 inches (6 feet).
  • Account for door clearance and entry and exit flows.
  • Consider extra space for parking bikes with trailers.

Security

  • Limit access to the bike room to authorized users to increase security.
  • Bike racks should enable the bike frame and wheel to be locked to the rack.
  • Ensure the bike room has adequate lighting.
  • Consider surveillance cameras for added security.

Extras

Recommended Bike Racks for Bike Rooms

WallRacks

The Bike WallRack is a simple, space saving, and economical bike storage system. Designed to free up floor space, the WallRack parks a bike vertically against a wall. Simply roll the bike up to the rack by the back wheel and set the front wheel into the rack. Lock to secure both the wheel and the frame. Bike WallRack Stands can be used to create double-sided bike parking.

Bike Room Layout, Wall Rack

 

Inverted U Racks

CycleSafe U/2 Bike Racks accommodate two bicycles per rack securing both the wheel and frame. This increased stability helps prevent colliding bikes and is safer for pedestrian traffic aisles.

Bike Room Layout, U Rack

 

Hi-Density Bike Racks

For maximum capacity, the Hi-Density Bike Rack offers cost-efficient bike parking with two-tier capacity. Simply roll the bike along the channel provided to secure the wheel and bike frame in place. Each Hi-Density Bike Rack allows double-tier parking to hold four bicycles.

Bike Room Layout, High-Density Rack

 

Bike Stalls

The CycleSafe Bike Stall can store up to eight bikes per five foot section. Bikes can be placed at 45º angles to allow for wider aisles.

Bike Room Layout, Bike Stall

 

A well-planned bike room is secure, convenient, easy to use, and an asset to any building. For help selecting the right bike racks or designing a bike room, please contact CycleSafe at 888-950-6531.

CycleSafe Introduces Quad Hi-Density Rack System

CycleSafe is pleased to introduce a new addition to our line of secure bicycle parking products: The Quad Hi-Density Bike Rack. Easy to load, simply place the bike into the innovative wheel guide and roll along the channel to secure the wheel and frame in place.

Quad Hi-Density Bike Rack SystemMinimal moving parts increase access aisles with less maintenance or liability concerns associated with moveable tray racks. This innovative hi-density bike rack requires less lifting when the wheel is placed in the top channel rather than lifting a rack and full bike.

This system provides maximum space efficiency, and allows double tier parking to hold four bicycles per module. The Quad Hi-Density Bike Rack is ideal for bike rooms, parking garages or underutilized spaces at train stations, shopping centers, college campuses and corporate facilities.

These modular units can be configured against a wall, back to back or on a 45% angle for space efficiency to allow for wider access aisles. The Quad Hi-Density Bike Rack can be combined with our CyclePort Bike Shelter systems to provide covered bike parking when placed outdoors. Bicycles can be locked with a pivot locking bar for added security.

See our video demonstration on how easy it is to load and secure a bicycle on the Quad Hi-Density Bike Rack.

If you would like to learn more about secure bicycle parking, contact us or call 1-888-950-6531. Our team is here to assist you with quotes, specifications or additional information.

Innovative New Product Award

In 1982 CycleSafe won an award recognizing Innovation in New Product Design from The Society of the Plastics Industry. The SPI award was for the innovative construction of our reinforced plastics composite modular bicycle storage lockers that have significance in design, materials, processes, or market potential.

Bike Locker Design AwardA wide range of products showcasing the latest in design technology were honored at the 37th annual conference in Washington, D.C. including the New Product Design Competition for Plastics Parts Innovation. The CycleSafe honor was the highest national award in the SPI’s Construction category for the year. The innovative construction of our bike lockers was recognized by the SPI which is the 3rd largest U.S. manufacturing industry, with expertise in making all-composite fiberglass products.

Decades later, CycleSafe is still innovating with new bike storage products, and continuing to test and improve our award-winning bicycle locker.

Two Wheel Shelter and Security

Bicycles, pedelecs, and scooters can have the same security and protection as a garaged car thanks to the design capability and physical properties of reinforced plastics/composites. Molded from high strength sheet molding compound, this modular storage locker is built to vault-like specifications.

Space efficient and extremely durable, these bike lockers are designed in RP/C for strength, security, weather and vandal resistance by a combination of good integral ribbing design and proper material selection.

Leading from strength, CycleSafe’s compression-molded fiberglass-reinforced plastic produces a product whose lifespan is measured in decades, not years. Most of our first lockers installed in the early 80’s are still in use today, proving the construction design of our bicycle storage lockers has endured the test of time.

CycleSafe and CADdetails Offer Product Documents for Your Next Planning Project

We know you are busy and don’t have hours to waste tracking down planning documents. At CycleSafe, we are always looking for ways to make your life easier. That is why we have joined forces with CADdetails.com, a leading online resource for high quality design and planning documents. Whether you’re working on BIM objects, sketch-up models, 2-D and 3-D CAD drawings, CADetails offers CycleSafe product documents ready to drop into your project plan.

CycleSafe on CADdetailsIf you are not familiar with CADdetails, they are a leading online resource for high quality manufacturer-specific design and planning documents. CADdetails organizes and enhances building product information to simplify the design and procurement process.

CycleSafe is included as a CADdetails SpecGREEN product. CycleSafe is dedicated to reducing your carbon footprint globally through implementing environmentally sustainable manufacturing practices. We follow ISO 14000 environmental standards that require continuous improvement and reduction of waste.

CycleSafe’s products are designed and engineered for extended product life and can be reassembled or reused as site requirements demand. CycleSafe chooses materials for durability, strength and noncorrosive factors that maintain their quality standards and do not require replacement.

Have a look at our CycleSafe bicycle parking products at CADdetails. See how CADdetails and CycleSafe are working to make it easier than ever for you to include our product information into your next planning document.

New Bicycle Parking in Downtown Flint, Michigan

The Crim Fitness Foundation and members of the Safe and Active Genesee for Everyone (SAGE) coalition installed nine new CycleSafe bike racks along South Saginaw Street in downtown Flint this past November 2013.

SAGE offers downtown business owners the opportunity to have bike racks installed free of charge. Previously, bicyclists were forced to improvise parking and chain their bicycles to tree, street signs, benches, and anything else they could find. By providing bicycle parking, SAGE hopes to support active living. Available bicycle parking encourages shoppers to ride their bicycles downtown, knowing there will be safe parking available when they arrive at their destination.

For more information on new bicycle parking in Flint, see the news article: Crim Foundation, SAGE install nine bike racks on South Saginaw Street in downtown Flint.

Bicycle Lockers and Racks keep Kent Alive

The Central Gateway in Kent, Ohio is offering CycleSafe bicycle lockers to promote downtown shops and restaurants as part of an initiative to keep Kent Alive. Located near Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center and the historic Atlantic & Great Western Railway Depot, opportunities for biking play an important role with bike racks throughout the city.

Bicycle lockers provide added security with covered bicycle storage for the commuter, or committed cyclist who may also have a need to store gear. The Kent Planning Commission is committed to these initiatives with legislation to require bike parking with zoning amendments for new construction throughout the city. Local businesses are joining the initiative by placing bike racks on the streetscape to enhance storefront activity and urban vitality.

Kent, Ohio Bicycle Station

CycleSafe Introduces Extension Bike Lockers, an Innovation in Bicycle Parking

CycleSafe is pleased to introduce a new innovation in Bicycle Parking: Extension Bike Lockers.

CycleSafe has designed a variation of their ProPark bike locker to meet the needs of longer wheelbase extension bikes and recumbent bikes. Available in 3-unit locker modules to accommodate (2) extension bikes and (2) standard bikes in individual storage lockers. Bicycle parking units are modular and can be expanded in rows to accommodate additional bike capacity.

Extension Bike LockerThe extension bike lockers have one operating lockable door with the opposite door as a fixed rear panel. Each extension unit is composed of two triangular stalls combined by removing the interior side panel of the adjacent locker to create a parallelogram stall for longer bikes or multiple standard bikes. End units are triangular stalls for standard bikes.

Extension Bike Locker Features

  • Allows storage for a variety of bikes: Extension bikes, recumbent bikes
  • Modular for expansion, can be relocated as needs change
  • Existing lockers can be retrofitted to become extension bike lockers
  • Available with a variety of door lock options

Find out more about CycleSafe Extention Bike Lockers.