Guest Photo of the Day: Theory and Practice of Wheel-Bender Cycle Parking

Jan Jakob Bornheim sent in this interesting photo from his recent travels around town. Jan Jakob says: “I noticed the following when going shopping recently (at the green grocery store at Northlands). Note that there are seven bicycles, but only three of the cycles are pushed into the rack supporting the wheel. The other four decided to actually secure their bikes against spoke-and-wheel failure induced by wheel-bender cycle stands and against theft by resting and securing the frame. No doubt a simple Sheffield stand would have seen a much higher usage rate.”

This is probably telling you something about the quality of your bike parking…

Coincidentally, this week has seen the release of new bike parking guidelines by NZ Transport Agency (disclosure: I was involved in their development). Not surprisingly, they discourage the use of “wheel bender” racks for many of the same reasons mentioned by Jan Jakob (I’d note that the slot racks in the photo above are also too closely spaced to be easily fully used).

Do you have an interesting cycling photo from around town? Send it in!

9 thoughts on “Guest Photo of the Day: Theory and Practice of Wheel-Bender Cycle Parking”

  1. The distance apart of the slot racks in the photo above would be less of an issue if it was’t fixed in place next to a wall giving access only to one side instead of both. Having space on both sides would also give people more options of how they secure their bike to it.

  2. My bikes not in that pic, but I normally park over where the green MTB is.
    They have better loops at the cinema side but way too few

    The central city spots seem to have figured this out properly

  3. This is a comment pretty much unrelated to my photo, but I like how the bike parking guidelines seem to support the theory that there actually is no place called Bielefeld in Germany.

    On a more serious note, I am curious about the Grey Street two-tier parking in Wellington. From what I can see on the photo, the top tier does not allow actually locking the bike, and while both front and back wheel slot in, there is still the possibility that a large or repeated collateral force would bend the wheels, or am I mistaken?

    The cycle parking in the bus interchange in Christchurch at least has a frame support/locking option on the top tier. (Although I overall think/agree that it is unfortunate how much money must have been spent on the cycle parking there and the Lichfield St park only to get what is correctly characterised as unacceptable/sub-optimal parking in the guide.)

    1. Hmm, but the locking point doesn’t actually support the bike in any way and will only work with either very long locks or by only locking the front wheel. I still prefer the ChCh design.

  4. I am happy to see that the guidelines consider appropriate spaces for larger (cargo) bikes. That’s a frequent problem: finding adequate space for our cargo bike…

    The ChCh bus exchange, btw, works for cargo bikes (the frames are actually pretty good) even if the space is a bit tight.

    Jan – for those readers who are less familiar with the spelling and conspiracy jokes regarding Westphalian provincial towns, here’s a helpful link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bielefeld_conspiracy . And for the hardcore social constructivists amongst us: Better check it out! It’s also a good region for cycling…

    1. I personally don’t like them. I find them overly restrictive in relation to where you can attach the lock on your bike, and they make it very difficult to lock two bikes together. I don’t understand why the wheel needs reinvention in relation to cycle racks. For normal single-tier cycle racks, it seems to me that the Sheffield lock is the easiest to use.

  5. When I see that style of wheel bender racks. I generally lift my bike over the rail so my frame is sitting on the rack. This lets me lock my frame to the rack. Often the front wheel ends up in the wheel slot but that’s not necessary.

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