Office and apartment buildings are having to gear up for a growing cycling community which means installing infrastructure for both the parking and maintenance of bicycles. Securabike installs and designs bicycle enclosures. While the company has a number of off-the-shelf designs, preexisting buildings often require a bespoke design. This may be because of the sheer size of the requirements or the fact that a particular layout needs to be adhered to within the building.
There are a number of important considerations for bicycle enclosures which need to be considered. The first of which is the wall or fencing structure. A number of clients typically go for a see-through mesh design as many of these enclosures are already housed in underground car parks and are typically semi secured. You can go for a non see through panel system and we've also installed architectural stainless steel mesh. Bicycle enclosures can be quite striking visually which is critical to promoting usage.
The door or multiple doors for the bicycle enclosure are also important to the cyclist to experience. Typically if within a building the access control system of the building can be incorporated. Usually the door is manually operated to enter with a key or swipe system at the electric strike door. Exit is frequently termed “free to exit” in which case the cyclist does not need to find a key to exit the enclosure. The cost of automation is not as high as one might initially think. Therefore a number of internal bike enclosures have looked at automating the doors so that cyclists are able to use all their hands to carry their helmets and bags and push their bicycles through an area without having to fiddle for keys or proximity cards within their wallets. RFID readers are also a great option as one only needs to scan or wave their wallet at the reader as opposed to having to remove it from a bag or wallet in some instances. This also speeds up entry and exit which for bicycling enclosures with hundreds of users avoids any unnecessary queing and facilitates easy entry and exit. All facets of a cyclists experience of these enclosures contribute to how the experience is perceived and later promoted within the community of a building. While there will always be a hardcore section of cyclists that will cycle in rain, hail or shine, if the intent is to promote cycling then considering the enclosures user experience is an important part in growing its patronage.
Now that the enclosure size is in effect agreed, the next consideration is to look at the layout of cycling parking within the enclosure. Securabike's experience would be for us to suggest that a mix of horizontal and vertical parking would be most typical. If your enclosure has sufficient space to ensure that all cycle parks are horizontal and have a security rail then this is ideal. Our experience is that patronage can grow and many buildings are over-subscribed for bicycle parking and therefore a design approach to ensure the maximum use of space needs to be incorporated. This invariably leads to consideration of vertical parking in which case the bicycle is stored in a vertical position. The only downside to this is that cycles may have to briefly lift the bicycle to hang the front wheel. Additionally some bicycles don't hang well due to carbon fibre wheels or mud flaps in which case a percentage of the cycle parking within a building would ideally be provided as horizontal for such bikes. Electric bikes can also be heavy so may also not be ideal for vertical storage.
One of the most important factors in considering layout and how many bikes you'll fit into an area is looking at aisle widths. It is a balance of aisle widths and the number of spots available for parking bicycles. Securabike always takes the position that most cyclists would prefer a bicycle park as opposed to missing out or making others miss out on being able to ride to work or university. In that respect, cycling is quite a congenial sport and method of transport. Also in considering aisle widths, a minimum of one meter is typically required so cyclists can pass each other in an aisle and larger aisle widths where possible are an advantage and beneficial to cyclists.
Other issues to consider around bicycle enclosures typically include lighting and amenities. By amenities I mean such equipment as lockers for clothing, shower and bathroom facilities, and even seating areas where cyclists can change their shoes. Rubber floor matting is also a common requirement for areas where the cyclists aren't pushing their bikes but are walking around on their cycling shoes which can be slippery at best. Ventilation and air conditioning is also important as many car park areas can get quite hot being underground and changing within these areas can leave cyclists just as sweaty as when they arrive.
As you can see there are a number of important considerations for bicycle enclosures. Securabike typically work with specifiers to design not only the enclosure and some of its features but also the layout of the aisles and cycle parking in general within the enclosure. We do this typically working in either CAD or DWG so the drawing approvals can be put together. We also offer all of our bicycle parking designs in both DXL and DWG file formats and have recently added Revit formats to our web site. Our bicycle parking handbook is also freely available and will answer most questions in relation to bicycle parking advice.