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When I grow up I want to be a real bike rack

March 18, 2010
If you value your bike you want to lock it up properly. The rack style shown below, referred to in my last post as a “ground-hugger” is deficient in many ways. 

They are far from ideal and have several drawbacks over the many upright designs;

  • On most bikes you can only place the front wheel in the rack because your rear derailleur will foul the tubing
  • If your bike has disc brakes the rotor will get in the way and you don’t want to bend that
  • Bicycles with small wheels will not fit
  • Road bikes with skinny tyres flop about and don’t sit upright
  • The school bully will push over your bike and buckle the wheel (oops, repressed childhood memory – don’t know where that came from)

 

Devonport Wharf Racks

Devonport Wharf

But the killer drawback is you can’t successfully use a U-lock because it won’t reach down around the rack like a cable or chain will. Cable-locks are convenient for ducking into the shops in well populated areas but you wouldn’t want to leave your pride and joy unattended for any length of time because even the thickest cables can be quickly snipped with a sharp pair of bolt-cutters.

The taller style bike racks enable you to secure the back wheel and frame with a U-lock (sometimes called a D-lock) and for extra security you can run an additional cable through the front wheel so no one walks off with that. Remember a “quick-release” wheel is also a “quick-steal” wheel. 

This is how cycling guru Sheldon Brown recommended locking your bike before his untimely demise. If you’re after any information about servicing your bike yourself or what the various components do Sheldon’s site is a good place to start. It doesn’t look flash but it’s a mine of information.

The racks below at the Millennium Centre in Mairangi Bay are a huge improvement over the ground-huggers but because they are not tubular stainless steel your precious paint-job can easily scratch. My bike only has precious black electrical tape, but you get the idea.

Millenium Bike Parking

Millennium Centre Parking

 

Which brings us to the possibly the nicest bicycle parking in Auckland. These lustrous beauties are outside the Deloitte building on Queen Street and tick all the boxes in my book. They are durable, practical, bike-friendly and gorgeous to look at. The visitor parking sign, well that’s just the icing on the cake! 

Deloitte building bicycle racks

Thank you to Unity Finesmith at Auckland Cycle Chic for this image

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Cyclotourist permalink
    March 30, 2010 7:24 pm

    There are a lot of the “ground hugger” types ’round my cycling areas. Ours typically are little triangles bolted into concrete. Only the front tire (and a 29er or even a 28er wouldn’t fit) as the rear derailer hits the side. Solution I came up with was to park beside it and do the Sheldon lock up technique to it on the side. Works pretty good, but I have a kickstand to support the bike. Otherwise it’s not supported so well.

  2. Cyclotourist permalink
    March 30, 2010 7:25 pm

    Here’s a pic of the craptastic style they have

    • March 30, 2010 8:03 pm

      I see what you mean, but at least yours are a bit higher so you can lock the frame to it and not just the front wheel.

      I need to approach the Council as my local shopping area (Mairangi Bay) doesn’t have any bike racks at all. The cafés and bars would benefit from cyclist patronage especially.

      • Cyclotourist permalink
        April 1, 2010 12:13 pm

        Yes, the height does help. There must be some catalog they buy these in, and this is the budget model

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