commercial bike racks

Write a Rock Solid Bike Rack Specification

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Madrax Bike Racks

With incomplete or vague bike parking rack specifications, you're opening yourself up to time and budget wasters – like irrelevant equal submittals or an entirely wrong bike rack being used on the project.

By including a few lines of necessary information, the intended bike rack will be immediately apparent and easily obtained. And will eliminate the unneeded back and forth of confirming details that can lead to project delays.

To write an easily-interpreted bike rack specification, there are four main items to call out:

  • The type of bike rack
  • Acceptable manufacturers
  • Materials information, and
  • Installation method

We'll review each item, starting with the type of bicycle parking rack.


Bicycle Parking Rack

In this part of the specification, write out:

  • The bike rack that is the basis of design,
  • Acceptable alternative bike racks, or
  • The general style of bike rack.

When referencing a certain bike rack, include at least a product name. If you're able to provide a model number, it will further help to specifically identify the bike rack that is to be used.


Example of calling out a bike rack using a model number

U238-IG-P: The bicycle parking rack shall be the U238-IG-P. Manufactured by Madrax, a brand of Graber Manufacturing, Inc.


Calling out a style of bike rack, like a U Bike Rack, Post & Ring, loop or Winder rack, for example, will help define your vision. But then makes it even more important that the materials information section, which we'll cover in just a moment, is well detailed.


Example of calling out a bike rack using a category

Inverted U Bike Rack: The bicycle parking rack shall be an Inverted U style of a bike rack.


The next item to include, after the type of rack, would be Acceptable Manufacturers. Make sure the manufacturer for your basis of design or any of the acceptable alternatives are written out.


Example acceptable manufacturers listing

Madrax, a division of Graber Manufacturing, Inc. 1080 Uniek Drive, Waunakee, WI 53597. Toll free phone: 800-448-7931. Local phone: 608-849-1080.



Next, you'll want to create a section for materials information. Here you will list the material details that should pertain to your bike rack.

Make sure to include:

  • The material that makes up the rack: Carbon Steel or Stainless Steel Grade 304 would be common examples.
  • Then add tube sizing, like 2 3/8 inch OD or 2 inch square.
  • Also, make sure to include any production options or features. Examples could be lean bars or grout covers.

You can either list your material choices or write them out.


Example materials list

Tube Material: Carbon Steel

Tube Size: 2 3/8" OD


Example of materials written out

Rack shall be constructed of 2 3/8” (60.4mm) diameter carbon steel tubing; and 3/8” x 3” (9.6mm x 76.2mm) carbon steel flat bar.



Another section to include as part of your bike rack specification is for finishes. First, list out the preferred finish for the bike rack. Often, it will come down to one of the following:

  • Galvanized
  • Powder coat
  • Stainless steel
  • Electro polished steel
Then make sure to include any additional details or requirements about the finishing process.

For example, with powder coat, you could include the type of powder coat and thickness of the application. Also with powder coat, you will want to write out the color that is to be used.


Examples of common bike rack finishes

Galvanized: Standard specification for zinc (hot-dip galvanized) coatings on iron and steel products.

Powder Coating: Triglycidyl isocyanurate (TGIC) powder, a polyester coating. Coating is applied so that the thickness is 3.5 to 4.5 mils. Color to be Patriot Blue.

Stainless Steel: Crafted from stainless steel and polished to a Satin #4 finish.

Electro Polished Stainless Steel: Dipped into an acid bath that removes a small layer of metal and adds a high level of shine.


Installation Method

After filling in the materials information, you'll want to identify how the bike rack is to be installed.

The most common options are either surface mounted or in-ground.

It's a good practice to also include a brief explanation of the bike rack installation method. One main reason for doing this, is there are multiple interpretations of in-ground.

Whereas, in-ground commonly refers to the legs of the bike rack being encased in concrete below the surface of the ground, some people define it as the rack being mounted to the ground or "in the ground" - which is more commonly referred to as surface mount.

In ground vs Surface Mount Bike Rack
The bike rack on the left is an example of an in-ground mount. The bike rack on the right is surface mounted. Occasionally, this is incorrectly referred to as an in-ground mount.


Writing out a short explanation will leave no doubt as to the mounting method that is to be used. Which is also important to know, because the construction of the bike rack could be different depending on the mounting method.

Surface mounted bike racks will typically have flanges on the legs that are used to anchor the rack to the surface.

In-ground bike racks, on the other hand, have longer legs to account for the depth below the surface these racks are installed.


Examples of common bike rack installation methods

Surface Mounted: Rack to be anchored to concrete surface per manufacturer recommendations.

In-ground Mounted: Legs of bike rack to be encased in concrete per manufacturer recommendations.

Rail Mounted: Bike racks to be mounted to C-channel rails per manufacturer recommendations.

Freestanding: Bike rack will stand using its own legs.


And that's what's needed to have a clear and understandable bike rack specification.

Start by calling out the type of bike rack and acceptable manufacturers, list the specific material choices of your desired bike rack along with finish, and then the installation method.

It might seem like a lot of detail to include for a bike rack, but since they are one of the last items in a construction project, they're often what holds up completion. So it's worth an extra couple of minutes to put in this additional information rather than having to wait a week or longer to get a replacement bike rack because the wrong one was ordered.


Easily build out this part of your specification.
Download the bike rack specification template.

The template is formatted and pre-populated with information that will make it quick and easy to add these details to your specification document.


Madrax can also be found in BSD SpeckLink so you can easily add our products to your specification documents.

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