Madrax Bike Racks
Bike rooms are a growing trend, and Madrax has helped many customers design their own. In this post, we'll share tips for designing a bike room that meets your needs and fits your space.
Whether you're adding a bike room to your business or multifamily housing building due to city requirements, or simply want to increase the appeal of your property, when done right, they can be much-valued spaces.
Know What Problem You're Trying to Solve
When you design an indoor bike storage space, you'll most likely be faced with one of two challenges. You’ll either:
- Need to store a specific number of bikes OR
- Maximize the number of bikes that can be parked in a defined area
When creating a bike room that accommodates a specific number of bikes you are tasked with creating a bike storage area that must comply with the number required by local ordinances, best practices, or some other guideline.
When planning out a bike room, make sure to check your local codes; many cities are adopting regulations that require minimum bicycle parking spots based on occupancy, square footage, and more.
When your goal is to maximize the number of bike parking spots in a defined area, you should use certain layouts and racks to help create a high-density bike storage space.
Bike Storage Room Dimensions
When planning out a storage space, it is important to consider the dimensions of your, as they will affect many aspects of its design.
Are you working within a fixed size or is the area flexible to accommodate the total number of bikes that will need to be parked?
When the bike storage space can be changed to facilitate the number of bikes that need to be parked, there are a wide array of options available to you as you continue with your design.
If you are working with a fixed area, your options may be more limited depending on the number of bike spaces needed. These limitations will determine the types of bike storage racks you can use and how bikes will need to be parked.
Read How to Correctly Space Bike Storage Racks for important information relating to dimensions for setbacks, height clearances, bike rack spacing, aisles and more.
Bike Room Shape
When space is limited, vertical bike storage options are the best choice. They take up less of a footprint and allow for tight areas to still have aisles.
Areas more square in shape or with greater widths allow for options such as ground-mounted racks and offer more ways to configure the bike room.
For a more comprehensive understanding of bike storage layouts, spacing recommendations and more, read the Madrax Bike Storage Guide.
Bike Room Height
The height of the room is also a consideration.
Vertical bike storage can be accommodated with ceiling heights of eight feet. If your space has higher ceilings, two-tiered bike racks are an option that make use of the additional vertical height and are good options towards maximizing the number of bike parking spots.
When evaluating your site, consider the surfaces you plan to mount bike racks to. Will you be mounting them to the ground or wall (or both?)
For ground parking, concrete is ideal because you can surface-mount the racks and anchor them into the concrete.
If you have an asphalt, wood, or other type of ground surface onto which to place your bike storage racks, consider either rail-based or wall-mounted vertical bike storage options. This is because these surfaces do not offer the same level of security as concrete.
For vertical bike storage, concrete is again the preferred mounting surface material.
To mount the rack directly to the wall, you will need to know what depth the concrete can be drilled into and if it is enough for the rack to be properly secured into the wall.
With wood or metal studs and other materials, Freestanding Vertical Racks make better options.
When evaluating your bike room, make sure to note any obstructions that may be present.
Electrical, pipes, windows, and light fixtures could interfere with placement and restrict your use of certain bike racks. Be sure to plan accordingly for those, and avoid wherever possible.
After you’ve evaluated your space and know the options and limitations, you can start reviewing bike rack solutions. Which leads us to our next tip of bike room design: Proper Bike Rack Selection.
Selecting the Best Bike Rack
Knowing what your major challenge is, and the constraints that you must work within, lets take a look at bike parking solutions. We'll start with ground-mounted bike racks.
Inverted U Bike Racks
Inverted U Bike Racks are the most common style of ground-mounted bike parking found in bike rooms. They provide the most security of any bike rack and are one of the most inexpensive.
A single U Bike Rack is designed to park two bikes.
In general, you should be able to park 4 bikes in a space of between 84- and 120-inches – depending on your spacing - using these racks.
Bike Racks on Rails
When the floor of your bike room is not made of concrete or you just want to reduce the additional work of measuring spacings required to install individual racks, bike racks on rails might be your best solution.
These are racks bolted to rails at pre-defined spacing. Once assembled they can be left freestanding or anchored to the ground.
Wheel-well Secured Bike Racks
Another style of ground-mounted bike rack commonly used in bike rooms is a wheel-well secured bike rack.
These have an element that holds the front wheel, helping provide further support for the bike. These racks can also be individually mounted to the ground or on racks.
Vertical Bike Storage
Switching to vertical bike storage. By hanging a bike on a wall vertically, it reduces the footprint of the parked bike and creates more usable floor space. A vertical bike rack is a go-to choice when creating bike storage for tight spaces.
This style of bike rack is available in a couple of different designs.
Direct Mount Vertical Bike Racks
A direct mount vertical bike rack is going to give you the most flexibility in terms of placement and spacing. These are particularly useful when having to work around obstructions.
These racks are then typically staggered vertically to maximize the number of bikes that can be parked in the area. A wall width of 180" will typically park 10 bicycles. When you have the correct vertical bike rack spacing you will maximize the number of bicycles you are able to store.
With these styles of racks, it is worth noting that multiple holes will need to be drilled to install each rack.
Strut Mount Vertical Bike Racks
If you’re unable to drill into the concrete of your walls or have a room constructed of materials like wood and metal studs, a wall mount vertical bike rack system will be more advantageous.
For these bike racks, a “track” is horizontally adhered to the wall and the rack element is then secured to the track. The appeal of this vertical bike storage system, besides it requires fewer holes to be drilled, is that the spacing and staggered heights can be adjusted without further construction. The rack element just needs to be re-positioned on the track.
These do require a smooth stretch of wall to place the track. Which means they may not be useful in areas that have walls with many obstructions.
Freestanding Vertical Bike Rack
When you can’t drill holes in the wall or want to incorporate vertical bike storage in an open area without the use of a wall, look at freestanding vertical bike rack system.
This system includes vertical bike racks mounted to a support that stands on the ground.
When you’re able to place freestanding racks in the open spaces of your bike room, you get close to maximizing the number of bikes that can be parked.
They are typically the most-costly vertical bike storage option however.
Two-tiered Horizontal Bike Rack Systems
And when you absolutely must pack as many parked bikes into your space as possible, you will need a two-tiered horizontal bike storage system.
In a span of 71” you can park 6 bikes. Making it about 52% more efficient than vertical bike racks.
These are the most expensive solution and some have moveable parts requiring more maintenance than other bike racks. Two-tiered horizontal bike racks are available without the lift-assist feature which eliminates the need to maintain the moveable parts.
Not necessarily a bike rack, bike lockers are worth considering for your bike room if security is of the most importance. Fully-encasing bikes in metal box makes it much more difficult for thieves to steal the bike inside.
Bike lockers also come in horizontal and vertical storage options. Select units can be stacked and different design styles - like the pie-shaped locker - give additional flexibility in maximizing the number of lockers that can fit into an area.
Don’t Forget the Amenities
The last tip we’ll leave you with is don’t forget the amenities. Bike security is the must-have requirement of any bike room. But you can enhance the appeal of the room and satisfaction of users by including related amenities.
A public bike pump is almost a must-have with your bike room. Cyclists need to regularly fill their tires with air to maintain proper pressure or must deal with blown tubes or bent rims.
When a tube does need to be replaced, or there are other fixes that need to be made to the bicycle, having a freestanding or wall mount bike repair stand with standard bike repair tools makes it easy for cyclists to maintain their bikes and is a much-valued addition to the bike room.
Also consider adding benches. These provide an area to rest for bikers. It also makes it easier for riders to change shoes or clothes, a common practice after commuting by bike.
Getting Bike Room Design Right
Every bike room has its own set of challenges and will require a thoughtful approach to successfully implement.
If you need additional insights or help designing your bike room project, one of our Madrax reps will be happy to share their years of experience as part of consultative approach to helping you find the best solution.
- Bike Storage Guide
- Shop Bike Storage Racks
- Bike Storage Rack Spacing Dimensions
- Creating Bike Storage Online Course