[BCHI] New/different bike racks

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Library Installation

Library Installation

From: Robert Kastigar <R-Kastigar@NEIU.EDU>
Subject: [BCHI] New/different bike racks
Date: July 4, 2014 at 8:41:33 AM CDT
Reply-To: Bike Chicago List <BIKE-CHI@LISTSERV.UIC.EDU>

The Public Building Commission of the city of Chicago is installing a different type of bike rack in some public locations.  Specifically, at the Albany Park Public library, now under construction and due to open in the fall of 2014.

http://www.forms-surfaces.com/capitol-bike-rack   Very complete specification are available.

Is anyone familiar with this type of bike rack?  Has anyone seen them anyplace else?  Has anyone use them to lock up their bikes?  Are there any locations where they’re already located?

Maybe I’m wrong, but they don’t look too practical to me.


Capitol Bike Racks shown with Aluminum Texture powdercoat

Capitol Bike Rack Overview

The Capitol Bike Rack’s clean, bold lines are perfect for cityscapes and contemporary architectural settings.

  • Solid cast aluminum construction
  • Durable powder coat finish
  • Varied configuration options for creating multiple locking points
  • Surface mount with embedded anchors
  • High recycled content; fully recyclable
  • Select configurations available for QuickShip


Brompton Soft Travel Bag (with wheels)

Brompton Soft Travel Bag (with wheels)

The photos from the company show these racks positioned in a way that leaves plenty of room to situate rear wheel. The Library’s installation seems to be too close to a raised bench-like structure to allow this. Once again the most important thing to do when installing either racks or restructuring streets (i.e. Milwaukee Avenue) will be in getting input from people who will actually use these new ‘improvements‘. That seldom happens.

For what it is worth the inverted U-type racks are ugly. What is worse is that bicyclists are loathe to understand how to use them at all. At least with these newer designs you are forced to position your bike close to the stanchion so that the direction of the bike is as desired. But I can also anticipate that folks trying to use these newer ones will assume that the long narrow slit is for their front or rear wheel insertion. That of course will leave the bikes free for easy theft.

Bike thieves by the way are a necessary evil in any society. They are hard task masters when it comes to learning to securely lock your bike. But what I can never seem to understand is the reluctant (and in some cases antipathy) to use Brompton Folding Bikes? Why leave your bike locked up outside your classroom or a library? What not shove it into a back pack or towable case to carry indoors?

Having it wait for you indoors means it is not rusting outdoors or being ‘liberated‘.

Response From A User:

From: “William S. Godfrey” <wgodfrey@GMAIL.COM>
Subject: Re: [BCHI] New/different bike racks
Date: July 4, 2014 at 9:11:26 AM CDT
Reply-To: Bike Chicago List <BIKE-CHI@LISTSERV.UIC.EDU>

There are 4 or so of these on Lincoln in front of the Old Town School of Folk Music new building. You can see them on Google Street view.

I’ve used them more times than I can remember specifically. I think they’re great, a u lock easily fits through the post, around my frame and through my wheel. I personally like them better because the piece you are locking to is relatively thing (3/4″ or so) meaning that I have more lock length to get my frame and/or wheel. Each post an handle two bikes, one on each side.

The only downside to the racks that I can think of is that you can’t use two locks to lock both wheels to the rack. You can still lock your second wheel to jut your frame though, which is only slightly less secure.