Cycle parking design

The following is a rough guide to some of the types of cycle parking currently available. For all these varieties aesthetics are important - the design of the equipment should fit in with the surroundings.

Bright colours are good for visibility, and using signs is a good idea too. Remember these points when considering the options:

  • It should be possible to secure both the frame and front or back wheel to the stand
  • Parked bicycles should not obstruct pedestrians, emergency exists or access.
  • Stainless steel racks in public areas should have a ‘brushed’ finish for the benefit of the partially sighted.
  • Parking stands should support the bicycle if it is accidentally knocked.
  • Parking stands should allow the user to lock their bike without being at risk from passing vehicles.

You can download the LCC’s ‘Cycle Parking Installation Design Standard’ using the links on the right, as well as a list of cycle parking suppliers.

Sheffield stands

The Sheffield stand is an inverted U shaped metal bar, and the most commonly used street cycle parking. They are cheap to install, can park two bikes one on stand and allow the user to lock both their frame and wheel or wheels to the stand.

Try to allow at least 1 metre’s distance between them to avoid overcrowding.

Because they don’t provide weather protection it’s a good idea to install the stands under shelter if possible – clear roofing is best, reducing the need for additional lighting and providing improved security.

Sheffield stands usually cost around £100 with installation, depending on number. A list of suppliers can be downloaded using the link on the right: some can supply variations on the basic Sheffield.

Two tier racks and space-saving solutions

Two tier racks are very efficient in terms of space and designs like the Jost, which permit two wheels and the frame to be locked to the stand.

Because they have moving parts they are best used in secure spaces that that are either supervised or not accessible to the general public. Instructions for use should be provided.

Bar, rails and hooks

Good for limited space and can often be useful for sheltered parking, but can be less suitable in terms of security as it’s generally only possible to lock the frame or one wheel with most locks. However these can be very affordable solutions, costing from £5 upwards.

Cycle lockers

Cycle lockers provide excellent security and weather protection. They can also be used to store cycle accessories, such as helmet, panniers and lights.

They are however significantly more expensive to install than Sheffield stands, usually costing around £500 per locker. They can be very useful in car parks. Around 2 metres of space should be provided in front of each locker to ensure easy access.

Bike sheds/compounds

These are great for workplace parking and are also becoming more frequently seen at stations for their additional security and shelter from weather. Entry controls can range from keypad to electronic card access.

Padlocks with keys issued to staff who cycle can be a cheaper alternative, but may discourage new cyclists if the procedure is not well advertised.

Butterfly racks

Butterfly racks, which grip only the front wheel, are not suitable for public areas because they provide no means of locking the frame to the stand.

They also provide little stability, meaning the bike can be knocked over. They are sometimes used inside fully secure workplaces.