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5 Simple Reasons To Start Riding An E-bike

5 Simple Reasons To Start Riding An E-bike

Maybe you think they’re cheating, too heavy, or perhaps, aren’t even for ‘real’ cyclists.

E-bikes aren’t, as some would suggest, cheating. They deserve to be considered alongside other non-electric bikes and tricycles as one of the best ways to get around, exercise, and explore.

Pre-existing e-bike myths are slowly washing away with the growing tide of people discovering the benefits of going electric.

And what’s more, alongside the benefits of traditional cycling, e-bikes offer additional reasons on top of an already long list of cycling’s perks.

So here’s a simple rundown of 5 reasons why you should start riding an e-bike.

1. They’re ideal for commuting

Cycling is undoubtedly one of the best ways to travel to work. The reasons really are endless. But, that doesn’t mean it has the odd drawback.

Arriving at work drenched in sweat, not feeling fresh enough to tackle that hill, or stepping out the door and realising the headwind is likely to stop you in your tracks.

An e-bike helps solve all of these issues. The motor will take you effortlessly up most hills compared to your regular bike. Meaning you can take it easier on the commute, potentially riding to work in your best shirt knowing you’ll be ready to go.

2. You can go further and travel faster

It may seem obvious, but with the help of an electric motor you’ll be able to cover more ground in a day.

This equals longer rides and the possibility of unlocking roads normally too far from home. If you still like the challenge of riding without the motor, you can always turn it off to ‘enjoy’ a really hard climb.

Modern performance e-bikes are more than light enough to be ridden without the motor. You can instead wait until you really need it. Or just keep it on, of course.

And with the e-bike’s extra power, you’ll be able to carry more on your bike. So if you’re thinking of going touring, or want to hit that long-distance route previously out-of-reach, you can bring more snacks, clothes, or camera equipment. It’s yet another commute boosting feature, too.

3. They’re great for your health

It’s a misconception that you won’t get as fit using an e-bike. Even though you’ll be taking it slightly easier, the time you spend pedalling could in fact be even longer.

You’ll still burn the equivalent number of calories, and an e-bike will continue to build your fitness – if that’s something you’re interested in!

This is without mentioning the myriad mental health benefits, where, amongst other things, stress levels and anxiety have been shown to be positively impacted through riding a bike.

4. They represent a long-term investment

Simply put, the more you cycle to work or the shops, the more money you could be saving. Ditching the car or public transport more often means saving a few pounds on every trip you make – this quickly adds up.

The initial outlay on an e-bike can seem steep, but prices have continued to fall as technology and manufacturing have improved. E-bikes are also now available through cycle-to-work schemes, representing a great saving.

Once you’ve got the bike, they’re cheap to charge when compared to fuelling a car, and represent terrific value by mile.

Not only that, but you’ll be switching to more climate change friendly mode of transport, saving the environment as well as your wallet.

5. Let’s face it, they’re just fun

The joy of riding a bike never gets old. But riding an e-bike for the first time will bring back memories of that first time you started cycling without stabilisers.

It’s a thrill to know that you can get up more hills, go further, and still enjoy the pleasures of fast roads and winding descents.

Because while we do love the humble push bike here at Turvec, we’ve all been left cursing while cycling on relentlessly steep hills, or ploughing into 20 mph headwinds. Sometimes, an e-bike is just simply more fun.

How To Use A Two-Tier Bike Rack

Two-tier bike racks are becoming increasingly common in the UK. Borne out of the Netherlands, they’re a high-density parking rack designed to double the capacity.

The Turvec 2ParkUp version features a gas-strut to make lifting and using the rack safe and easy. If you’re using a rack without the gas-assisted strut, this guide does not apply.

Here’s how to use the 2ParkUp two-tier rack.

Step 1: Pull out the upper parking tray

how to use two-tier bike rack

Pull out the upper tier of the rack using the rubber handles. Then lower the rack. The gas strut will hold the parking tray in place.

Step 2: Place the front wheel on the rack

how to use two-tier bike rack

Next, place the front wheel of your bike onto the rack. There is no need to lift the weight of the entire bicycle, just get your front wheel on the tray.

Step 3: Push your bicycle onto the tray

how to use two-tier bike rack

With the front wheel in the channel of the rack, you can push the bike on to the rack using the momentum of the bicycle. You shouldn’t have to lift, you can push and glide the bike into place.

Make sure the front and rear wheels sit securely inside the front and rear wheel stoppers.

Step 4: Lift the upper tier back up

how to use two-tier bike rack

Using the soft-touch rubber handles, the gas strut will support the weight of the bicycle, removing the risk of the rack falling on you and making lifting easy.

Lift until the bike is horizontal, and the rack will again hold in place.

how to use two-tier bike rack

Step 5: Push the tray in to place

how to use two-tier bike rack

You can then push the rack with your bike on back to the original position.

how to use two-tier bike rack

For a video explanation on how to use the 2ParkUp Two-Tier, see below:

What Are End-of-Trip Facilities?

End-of-trip facilities are dedicated active travel facilities. They are services dedicated to those cycling, walking, or jogging to a destination, as opposed to driving a car or taking public transport.

This, at least, is the simplest definition. The reality is that End-of-Trip facilities need to be well thought-out and designed to have the desired positive benefit.

It’s all well and good increasing bike parking capacity, or providing some lockers, but how these are integrated into the building, plus the quality of facilities, is often what counts.

We’ve taken a look at some of the most common End-of-Trip facilities, including the good, the bad, and you guessed it, the ugly too.

Done right, businesses are able to encourage more of their staff to use modes of active travel, which have been shown to boost employee wellbeing and reduce environmental impact. And so continues the virtuous cycle of furthering active travel.

Poorly implemented facilities can function as a deterrent, leaving frustrated employees turning instead to their car or the bus.

What amenities are commonly included?

Cycling, walking or jogging to work creates problems not commonly encountered by driving. It becomes about more than just providing a parking space.

You’ll likely want to freshen up before that intense meeting, even if it is on Zoom. Or perhaps change in or out of your cycling and jogging gear.

End-of-Trip (EoT) facilities usually include:

  • Showers
  • Secure bike storage
  • Dedicated changing space with gender split
  • Bike Repair Stations and Pumps
  • Kit lockers
  • E-bike charging
  • Electric scooters or pool bikes
  • Folding bike lockers
  • Vanity units
  • Airing stations
  • Towel service

Cycle storage

 

pennybank chambers two tier lockers
Photo: Two-tier bike racks, showers and kit lockers

 

Bike parking is a key part of EoT facilities. Without it, employees or staff will be left chaining their bike to railings outside, or worse, opting not to cycle at all.

Including a variety of racks and stands is the best way to ensure you meet the differing needs of cargo bike users, folding bikes, tricycles, and adapted cycles.

So, using higher density racks such as vertical and two-tiered systems to maximise spaces, while still offering Sheffield stands to accommodate non-standard bikes.

The situation you want to avoid is leaving some cyclists without anywhere to securely lock their bike. What’s worse, is that some older or lower-quality bike racks can scratch or harm bicycle frames.

In the best cycle stores, the racks and stands will all be of a cyclist-friendly quality, with enough locking options for everyone.

Adding bike repair stations and pumps is another cost and space effective way to give extra services to cyclists. It also helps prevent the build up of abandoned bikes with flat tyres or mechanical problems.

Showers, kit lockers and changing rooms

Photo: Kit lockers provide valuable storage space for a change of clothes

 

A secure place to leave your bike is essential, but as mentioned above, EoT facilities can and should offer a lot more than that.

The highest specification facilities, for instance, will offer showers with private changing facilities, and a hotel-style towel service. You’ll have your own sink, hangars for your clothes – basically an extension of your home bathroom.

That level of quality, however, is relatively uncommon. More likely most modern offices will offer basic shower services, with some having a more premium feeling finish than others.

Kit lockers, unlike showers, are easier to provide. They give cyclists, runners and gym-goers a level of separation from desk and travel. You can store your activewear and accessories near your bike, before making your way up to your desk.

Going that extra mile

The idea with all these amenities is to make the lives of cyclists, runners and walkers easier and more comfortable. Landlords, property developers and property management companies recognise their high value for attracting tenants.

And for employees and staff, the better facilities get, the likelihood of cycling through the winter and rain increases. That means retaining the benefits of better employee wellbeing all year round for the business in the building.

New developments are ensuring that facilities are future proofed, hence the more recent inclusion of charging and docking stations for e-bikes and e-scooters.

Designing End-of-Trip facilities will always vary depending on space availability and the purpose of the building or business, but the plans should always focus upon the end-user, rather than box-ticking.

The Two-Tier Secret Behind Dutch Bicycle Parking Garages

Dutch bicycle parking facilities don’t mess around. At Utrecht train station, the parking garage has capacity for a staggering 12,500 bicycles.

To put that into context, Cambridge Rail Station – the UK’s largest bike cycle parking hub – has a 3,000 bike capacity.

When we say Utrecht parking ‘garage’, what we mean is a purpose built facility that can only be compared to our vast multi-storey car parks in the UK. It’s split on three levels, designed to filter natural light across the garage, and has clear wayfinding throughout.

And how are they fitting so many bikes in one place? Well, two-tier bike racks – a double stacking system designed to maximise bicycle storage.

We’re seeing more two-tier racks in the UK, so we thought we’d ask our Dutch partner’s and cycle parking specialist Klaver why they’re so popular in the Netherlands, and how they’re working for the UK too.

Cycling in the Netherlands

Firstly, however, we need to understand why there is such high demand for cycle parking.

When most people think of cycling friendly countries, the Netherlands likely tops your list. With cities like Amsterdam synonymous with relaxed city cycling, the Dutch are the envy of urban city planners.

But Dutch life hasn’t always been that way. Car ownership in the 50s and 60s meant that pre-war bicycle trips were replaced by motor journeys. Roads became congested with cars, and tragically led to more and more accidents.

During 1971, over 3,000 people were killed, including 450 children. The campaign movement which translates as “Stop the Child Murder” was launched in response.

This pressure, coupled with the 1973 oil crisis, sparked the Dutch government to invest in change. Urban planners began building an ambitious network of segregated bike lanes, with their own traffic lights and priority roundabouts.

Fast forward to today and the bicycle is an integral part of everyday life. Small children travel in child seats or cargo bikes before they can walk, and grow up to see cycling not as optional, but integral to getting around the city.

Enter: two-tier parking

rotterdam two tier dutch bicycle parking

Two-Tier Bicycle Parking at Rotterdam Station (courtesy of Klaver)

 

So what about bike parking? With thousands of journeys in The Netherlands everyday, whether that’s to train stations, shopping, or work – how are they storing them?

Klaver are a Dutch supplier of specialist bicycle parking – including two-tier racks, shelters, and lockers. You can find their solutions all over Europe, and in the UK via Turvec.

The dilemma, say Klaver, is meeting surging demand while keeping cyclists happy. In the case of Klaver – and Turvec – the direct customer is typically the train network, landlord, or property developer installing the parking. But, of course, the end-user is the cyclist.

“When it comes to priorities, there are a few differences between the two groups. Most customers prefer higher capacity, whereas cyclists prefer simplicity,” says Gerben Hofsté of Klaver.

“When it comes to two-tier parking, Dutch cyclists would never prefer these systems, especially not the upper layer of it. But to create the most bike spots, it’s a necessity.”

Especially in cities, space is at a premium. For a central train station in The Hague or Utrecht, fitting 12,000 bicycles needs a clever, efficient use of space. But you can’t just design cycle parking on that principle alone.

“The solution has to be user-friendly parking for cyclists, otherwise the facilities won’t be used, no matter how many there are,” explains Gerben.

So, what’s the answer?

“In The Netherlands we try to make two-tier parking as simple as possible. So we created the 2ParkUp system, which is both space-efficient as well as easy to use – it’s the best of both worlds,” says Gerben.

The 2ParkUp rack features gas-assisted lifting, ergonomic grips, and protective sleeves to prevent frame damage. So while still maximising storage space, the rack has been designed with usability front of mind.

It’s about more than just the racks

Having cyclist-friendly racks is one thing, but there’s much more to Dutch facilities than that.

“We don’t just focus on the bike rack, but on everything around the parking system too. It’s a big part of the solution,” says Gerben. “Together with our clients we think about creating a nice environment for cyclists. We try to influence ‘positive behaviour’ in parking facilities.”

This extends further than you might think. At Amsterdam Beursplein, natural stone and glass are used throughout the impressive underground parking facility. This mirrors the natural stone of the town square above, and creates a bright and clean environment to store your bike.

The whole system is designed without dead-end corridors and obstacles, making it a pleasant place to navigate. Natural light is designed to filter throughout, and screens show the current number of spaces available.

Could we see similar uptake for two-tiers in the UK?

There are certainly encouraging signs that the UK is beginning to catch up to The Netherlands.

Propelled further by the disruption of the coronavirus pandemic, pop-up cycle lanes have become permanent in many places, and schemes like Low Traffic Neighbourhoods are prioritising cycling and walking over car journeys.

Two-tier racks remain relatively uncommon, but even though Cambridge Train Station cycle park may pail in size compared with Utrecht, it’s part of a sign things are changing.

As cycle lanes extend commuting distances and inspire confidence in more cyclists, demand for parking will naturally increase. Meeting the required capacity with user-friendly, quality two-tier racks is likely to be a big part of that picture.

It’s worth noting that as part of every storage solution, you’ll need a variety of different racks and stands. This is to accommodate non-standard bicycles, such as tricycles, recumbent bikes, and cargo bikes.

Featured Image: Amsterdam Beursplein Bicycle Parking Garage (courtesy of Klaver)

5 Essential Tips For Gravel Riding

The line between on and off-road cycling is blurring. But has that always been the case? Mountain biking as we know it began in the 1970’s. Even 30 years before that cyclists were riding cyclocross. So, what’s gravel riding all about? Is it more of the same or a natural evolution?

For us, gravel riding means simply riding your bike and exploring unknown paths and trails, no matter the terrain. It includes road cycling, but allows you to venture off the beaten track.

While the word ‘Gravel’ may operate as a marketing catch-all term, the idea behind do-it-all bikes and exploring new routes is definitely heaps of fun.

Intrigued? Here are some essential tips to make the most out of your gravel experience.

1. Tyre volume – go big

The great thing about riding rigid bikes off road is the feedback you get. It’s exhilarating to throw a hardtail bike down good trails. While you’ll need a mountain bike for gnarlier trails, most of the UK is there for you to enjoy.

But, you’re going to need a little suspension to take this on. The best way to add some comfort? Wider tyres.

Finding the optimal width and tread for your tyres means finding the balance between rolling resistance and comfort. With a wider tyre you can run lower pressures, offering greater levels of grip – especially useful in wet conditions (all too common in the UK).

At lower pressures, however, you risk pinch flats with inner tubes. This is just one of the reasons many gravel riders have converted to tubeless.

The sealant should work for most thorns and small rocks, plus lets you ride at lower pressures without pinching the tube.

If you’re coming from the road, a good starting tyre width is 38mm. But to take on more rugged trails, you can go bigger, even up to a huge 50c.

2. Gravel bike setup

Climbing on loose gravel, mud, chalk or grass isn’t the same as tarmac. You’ve got your wider tyre to help with grip, but having smaller gear ratios is equally important.

You’ll be especially grateful for that smaller gear if you plan on embarking on any bikepacking trips. Bikepacking, incidentally, has become a big part of gravel riding. Gravel bikes often have plenty of eyelets for mounting racks and bags – ideal for camping gear.

We’ve got a full list of UK off-road bikepacking routes just here.
Alongside that smaller front chainring, and potentially dinner plater sized cassette, you can think about upgrading to a flared handlebar. This will help give you more control on descents – more akin to a mountain bike bar.

3. What should I wear?

As with all cycling clothing, there shouldn’t be any rules in our opinion. But, if you’re coming from a road cycling background, generally there’s little need to be too concerned with aerodynamics anymore.

That translates to baggier t-shirts, looser shorts, and generally leaving the small aero jerseys in your cupboard.

Bib-shorts or cycling shorts are still very, if not more, crucial for comfort, however. Always be on the lookout for a quality chamois. Some gravel specific shorts even come with pockets to allow you to wear a looser t-shirt – making up for the lack of jersey pockets.

You could choose to wear a cycling short liner underneath mountain bike shorts if that’s your preference, too.

*Fashion interlude*

If you really want to fit in with the gravel crowd, there are certainly some trendy hallmarks. Bumbags, casquettes and paisley bandanas are all fashion essentials.

The bumbag, while ticking some fashion boxes, is also a useful way of stashing any snacks or tools away.

4. Good route planning

This is arguably the most important tip on the list. Depending on your route, you could up feeling woefully under-biked on a mountain bike trail, or underwhelmed by loose tarmac bike paths.

It takes time and experience to discover the best bridleways and trails around you to explore. If you’re the adventurous type, you could just head down any path or trail you discover. You never know what you might find, but always be aware of land rights and permission along the way.

A more sure-fire way is to go out with experienced friends, or tap into online resources such as Komoot, an app which highlights popular gravel tracks.

You’ll find your average speed isn’t going to look as impressive compared to road cycling, but this is absolutely OK! We’re not concerned with going fast here, gravel has a lot more to offer than number crunching.

The real joy of a well planned gravel cycling route is discovering new trails, challenging off-road climbing, and fun technical descents. And all that comes with the right planning – and adventure.

5. Bike maintenance

Gravel specific bikes tend to focus on durability and ruggedness. Why? Because a typical lightweight road bike is really going to suffer off-road.

That, unfortunately, doesn’t mean taking less with you on a ride. Really, it’s the opposite. You’ll be on remote roads away from traffic, you won’t be seeing as many people, or petrol stations and shops.

It’s a good idea to be mechanically prepared. Other than your usual multi-tool, it’s worth taking a tyre boot and a chain tool – especially if you’re going on a longer multi-day trip. It’s not uncommon to slash a tyre sidewall on a rocky downhill section, and snapped chains is something that it’s worth knowing how to fix too.

You can use our bike repair maintenance guide to give your bike a thorough check over before every big ride.

Bonus tip: Enjoy it!

More than anything, enjoy the serenity of no traffic, soak in the bridleways, rip the technical descents, and have fun!

What Exactly Is Secure Bike Storage?

What actually makes bike storage secure? Is it two-tier racks or Sheffield stands? Private access? CCTV? Guard dogs?

It’s one of the top concerns for most cyclists: keeping their bicycle safe from theft. That isn’t particularly surprising considering the value of many modern high-end bikes, coupled with the popularity of pricey e-bikes.

The question for bike storage is what constitutes the right level of security. Whether it’s including the right variety of bike racks, or housing those racks in a gated compound, through to lockers, lighting and CCTV, let’s take a closer look at secure bike storage.

Bike racks and stands

A couple of decades ago, most bicycles looked more or less the same. That’s no longer the case.

You’ll now find cargo bikes, adapted bicycles and tricycles, folding bikes, full-suspension mountain bikes, e-bikes and more on city streets and country lanes.

That means that to lock a bike securely, you’ll need the right rack or stand. For example, a disabled person won’t be able to lock their adapted bicycle in a two-tier rack or a vertical wall rack.

Different racks and stands are required for different bikes, and there is no one size fits all. Having a range of racks or stands in a cycle parking storage will mean you can cater for everyone – consider including a wider spaced Sheffield stand reserved for disabled access, for instance.

Having that mixture of parking solutions means you can still maximise capacity while giving everyone somewhere to securely lock their bike.

From there, it’s a case of locking the frame and wheels securely to the locking point. The rack in itself can’t necessarily offer more security than your lock. But, there are many ways of housing and monitoring the racks to add further protection.

Gated shelters and cycle hubs

This is where gated compounds and secure shelters come in. When cycle parking is outside, you can add gates. Our timber Cubic shelter, for example, is a modular system for either open, or closed shelters.

The advantage of internal cycle stores is granting access to employees only, or having extra doors. With an enclosed gated shelter, keypad accessibility replicates that level of security.

At train stations, outside public buildings, or at places of work, glass cycle hubs are arguably an even more attractive way of storing bikes. Personal keycard access can be given out to those with membership, and custom branding is a great way to welcome cyclists.

Lockers and hangars

For individual bikes, lockers are often the most secure way of storing a bike. Usually seen at large residential blocks, or in private gardens, they more often than not constitute home bike storage.

But while they’re unsuitable for on-street storage, or any high-density parking, they can be supplied as part of a wider cycle store. Having them for more expensive bike owners to rent gives a valuable option for some cyclists.

Street-side hangars are a clever solution for flat blocks without space for indoor bike storage. Usually council run, they give each member of the block individual key access. They could also be used for businesses with small teams, either in industrial parks or smaller towns.

CCTV and lighting

Complimenting the physical security provided by shelters, cycle stores and locks, making sure the correct additional facilities are in place will make a big difference to security.

CCTV is a deterrent for thieves, and a reassurance for cyclists. Units are often small and easy to fit to the most basic of shelters.

Lighting also has the two-fold benefit of aiding cyclists through the winter and at night, as well as another way to prevent bicycle thieves.

5 Things To Consider When Buying An E-Bike

Electric bikes – or e-bikes – have been soaring in popularity. And it’s no wonder why.

E-bikes will give you a hand up hills, help enable longer commutes, and let you cruise effortlessly past other cyclists on your Sunday ride. What’s more, they’re opening up cycling to wider age groups and demographics – increasing the amount of bikes on our streets. And they’re fun.

There are a multitude of different e-bikes out there. From folding options to full-on enduro mountain bikes. Just like regular bicycles, there are options for just about every style of riding. Manufacturers are constantly developing lighter, longer lasting batteries with increased range. Price-tags have been falling, too.

Right then, where to start? We’ve drawn out five main areas for consideration when buying an e-bike.

1. Purpose

Firstly, you need to think to yourself where and when you’ll be using the e-bike. For example, do you live in a city that will require regular lifting up and down stairs, and other general commuting demands? Or maybe you live somewhere more remote, and will be looking to take it off-road?

E-bikes are great for carrying extra loads for commuting or shopping, thanks to the motor’s help in carrying you up testing hills. Many have standard rack mounts for pannier bags. But if you want to carry more – even your children, for example, you even have the option of a dedicated cargo e-bike.

On the other hand, if it’s leisure rides that pique your interest, then range of the battery and weight may come into play when deciding on which model to choose..

Once you’ve established your needs, there are five overarching categories of e-bikes to choose from:

  • Electric road bikes
  • Electric mountain bikes
  • Electric hybrid bikes
  • Folding electric bikes
  • E-cargo bikes

E-road bikes and e-mountain bikes both lean towards the performance side of things. Both are dedicated to going out for long rides and are designed for speed. Therefore, they’re limited for rack options and in general might not be as comfortable for commuting.

Hybrids are a solid option for city riding. They’ve got suitable upright geometry to suit casual riding, and plenty of commuting features. They’re also the cheapest entry into e-bikes, with mainstream bike shops like Halfords and Evans offering them on cycle-to-work schemes.

However, they are often quite heavy, which could be a problem if you’re forced to carry the bike upstairs or onto public transport.

Folding e-bikes provide the best option for shorter city commutes, and those with limited storage options. They store easily into folding bike lockers, or in your hallway at home. Batteries in folding e-bikes are often smaller, and therefore have a reduced range.

They’ll come in heavier than standard folding bikes and would perhaps be unsuitable if you had to carry them over longer distances.

2. Battery size and power

All e-bikes use different versions of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. It’s the same technology as used in electric vehicles. They’re quick to charge with a relatively low overall weight.

There are a few different positions where the battery commonly sits on the bike. Most commonly the battery is attached to the down tube, where it can be easily accessed and removed. Sometimes it’s attached on top of a rear rack – as seen in early models of the Lime rental bike.

In more expensive models the battery is integrated into the downtube near the bottom bracket, or sometimes within the seatpost. This makes for a cleaner finish, but does come at a cost.

For battery size, a general rule is to simply look out for the best size and quality your budget allows for. The capacity will be measured in Watt hours (wh), which is important when considering the range of your e-bike.

3. Range

Most of the time you’re unlikely to have your battery run flat – if you start fully charged – on a typical journey. However, the ‘range’ of your e-bike – or total distance you can ride before running out of juice – will be important when it comes to charging.

The longer your range, the less you’ll have to charge your battery. This is where Watt hours (wh) come in to play. If you’ve got a 300w motor being fed by a 300wh battery, it would drain in one hour – at full power (on paper, at least).

In practice, there are many more variables. For one, you won’t ever have the battery operating at full power all the time. It’s more likely you’ll use different modes. Some will have eco modes to give you longer life, for instance.

On top of that, rider weight, the terrain you’re riding, and even weather can affect the range you’ll get from the battery. Here’s a handy calculator from Bosch to help estimate range.

4. Weight

To understand the impact weight may have, it’s worth thinking back to the intended use of your e-bike, plus your riding style.

If you’re a road rider looking to ride in groups, then you’ll likely be after a lighter weight bike. This is an area where despite the extra motor assistance, weight will still alter the performance and handling of the bike. Plus, if you did want to tackle some hills without the motor, you won’t be held back by weight.

More realistically, the weight of the bike will have a larger effect when you aren’t riding the e-bike. If you’ve got to cart your bike up flights of stairs, on and off busy trains, or even on to a rack on your car, the extra weight will be hard to manage day-to-day.

E-bike technology has come a long way in the past few years, and they aren’t as heavy as they used to be. With all things, it’s worth trying to visit your bike shop to have a feel of the bike and workout how light you want the bike to be.

5. Price

No longer a luxury product, e-bikes have been coming down in price. If you want an entry level commuter bike, you can now get hybrid electric bikes for around £1,000. While this may still sound steep, it’s made more palatable by e-bikes availability on cycle to work schemes.

Ultimately, the price will be dictated by how much you think you’ll use the bike, and of course, your budget. Top-end road and mountain bike models are likely to be made from carbon fibre, and other high-end materials. These may weigh less and perform better, but they’ll cost a lot more.

Check out if your employer is signed up to a cycle-to-work scheme, then get yourself down to a bike shop and see what options are available.

For more on e-bikes, see our feature on the future of e-mobility, or whether we need e-bike charging stations in our cities.

Do We Need E-Bike Charging Stations?

E-bikes aren’t just a trend, they’re here to stay. They make cycling more accessible and fun to different age groups, demographics, and well, anyone who wants some pedal assistance up a steep hill.

Currently, there is little in the way of e-bike specific infrastructure. Batteries are getting more powerful, as well as smaller, charges are lasting longer, and some batteries are removable – making charging much simpler.

One direct comparison are electric vehicle charging points, which have grown at an expanding rate over the previous decade. The UK government is even looking to make them a requirement for certain new buildings.

So is e-bike charging headed in a similar direction?

E-bike charging points within cycling facilities

While some people will be able to carry their battery to their desk or apartment, there are many more instances where you’d be grateful for a charging point in situ.

If you live in an apartment block with either a basement or externally located cycle parking store, having a charging station within those facilities is essential. The same goes for basement office cycle stores or outdoor shelters.

Including charging station provision as part of wider stores accounts for those with e-bikes, and may even encourage employees to go out and purchase an e-bike and make the switch to active travel.

Locking and security

E-bikes, even at their most affordable, are more expensive than an average bicycle. It does beg the question: are they too expensive to be kept in bike racks at all?

For electric folding bikes, lockers offer extra security. For all other e-bikes, having charging stations as a part of secure cycle stores or shelters adds extra security. Keypads or dedicated keycard access are important here.

Charging stations themselves function like a Sheffield stand in terms of locking. That means they’re accessible for cargo e-bikes if spaced correctly, and don’t require any lifting of the bike to use.

A locked compartment for removing and storing the battery means you can keep everything in one place, without having to bring your battery to your desk or apartment.

e-bike charging points colchester

The future

Beyond privately owned e-bikes, the micro-mobility is set to expand rapidly. Schemes such as Uber/Lime’s Jump bikes provide a dockless system, with swappable batteries that are replaced by the company when necessary.

However, dockless systems aren’t perfect. There are issues with cluttering pavements, and in some cases providing hazards for disabled and visually impaired pedestrians. Moreover, research is suggesting that to encourage wider microbility usage, the locations of fleets is paramount.

So could we see universal e-bike docking stations? They, in theory, have the potential to service both rental fleets as well as private e-bikes.

Take a look at our e-bike charging stations here, or read our lowdown of e-mobility for 2021 here.

How Can We Design Accessible Cycle Parking?

Cycling should be for everyone. But we’ve still got some way to go to ensure that cycle parking caters for all.

We’ve been in touch with Wheels for Wellbeing, a UK charity whose mission is to ensure that Disabled people can access the manifold benefits of cycling, and they’ve helped us outline the areas within cycle parking that need addressing.

“Accessible cycle parking is as important as accessible cycling infrastructure for Disabled cyclists,” say Wheels for Wellbeing

“If a Disabled cyclist cannot be sure that they will be able to leave their cycle somewhere secure when they reach their destination, cycling will be limited to leisure or exercise, rather than for everyday journeys.”

At Turvec, we know a thing or two about cycle parking, but we’re always looking for ways we can improve the usability of our products – making certain that cycling really is for all.

Sometimes, installations are driven more so by a previous design, or to simply fill a numbers requirement. We always look to work closely with clients to make sure we’re providing a quality, functional cycle store, and this includes removing barriers and improving our design for Disabled cyclists.

Cycle parking barriers and shortcomings

As we know, cycle parking comes in many forms, and the standards that these follow vary considerably.

So what’s working, or not working, for Disabled cyclists?

“Stacked two-tier cycle racks are suitable solely for two-wheeled standard cycles and require upper-body strength and dexterity to use,” say Wheels for Wellbeing.

Despite good quality two-tier racks which employ a gas-strut to help with lifting, these racks are unusable for a number of Disabled cyclists. But, as Wheels for Wellbeing explain, it’s not just two-tier racks.

“Many forms of enclosed cycle parking – such as hangers, lockers, or larger secure cycle shelters – require a level of mobility and physical strength that a Disabled cyclist may not have (for example, the ability to open heavy metal gates, or push a cycle round a restricted space), or be located too far from the final destination,” say the charity.

On top of this, when the right parking is indeed provided, it’s frequently unavailable for those who really need it.

“Even if the provided cycle parking is accessible (for example, a Sheffield stand with sufficient room for a tricycle), if a Disabled cyclist arrives and finds the space occupied, they are unlikely to be able to secure their cycle to a nearby lamp-post,” say Wheels for Wellbeing.

accessible cycle parking

Image credit: Trinity College Dublin

Dimensions and Spacing

All this means that proper consideration needs to go into designing cycle stores and cycle parking that can house non-standard bicycles, with the needs of Disabled people in mind.

This begins with getting the dimensions and spacing of racks and stands correct.

Typically, non-standard cycles are wider than standard bicycles. Wheels for Wellbeing state a distance of 1500mm is needed between stands to allow for dismounting. That’s wider than TfL’s recommended 1200mm spacing.

“This could be achieved by reserving the end bays in a row of Sheffield stands for non-standard cycles, provided that there are no other walls or street furniture restricting the space,” say Wheels for Wellbeing. “If using cycle hangers or lockers, wider lockers should be reserved for non-standard cycles.”

“Ideally, accessible cycle parking would provide sufficient room to allow a Disabled cyclist to enter, turn, and leave a parking bay without dismounting: most Disabled cyclists find cycling easier than walking, and may struggle to manually turn or lift their cycle.”

At Turvec, we’re looking into including branded cycle stands with integrated signage for accessible stands.

Making a cycle store accessible to all doesn’t require changing every rack or stand, instead there needs to be the right variety of parking solutions, with correct consideration put into spacing.

Access

Ease-of-access is important for all cycle parking, but most importantly for Disabled cycle parking.

“Accessible cycle parking should be placed as close to the final destination as possible, for example next to the entrance of businesses or public transport interchanges,” say Wheels for Wellbeing.

For office cycle stores, which are often located in basements, that means ensuring the right lift access or ramp access if necessary, as well as functional wayfinding with accessible cycle parking in mind.

“The entrance to any parking space should be flush with the road surface or pavement, or be ramped; similarly, the route from the cycle park to the final destination should not include steps. On street parking should be next to dropped curbs,” add Wheels for Wellbeing.

tricycle cycle accessible parking

Image credit: York Cycling Campaign

Security

Non-standard cycles can be substantially more expensive than bicycles. And crucially, Disabled cyclists are more likely to rely on their cycle to stay mobile.

“Theft of or damage to a non-standard cycle is therefore both prohibitively expensive and prevents independent mobility for the cyclist, unlike loss or damage to a standard cycle,” say Wheels for Wellbeing.

The challenge comes in making gates and compounds secure, without preventing accessibility nor requiring upper body strength to open.

One way to increase accessibility while retaining security is to look at reducing the size and weight of gates. Using smaller gates and increasing the circulation space within the shelter will reduce the need for a large opening front gate.

Further Considerations

Taking into account those core considerations – dimensions, accessibility, and security – should vastly improve cycle parking for Disabled people.

Additionally, Wheels for Wellbeing add that Disabled cycle spaces should be clearly delineated and reserved for Disabled cyclists, similar to Disabled car parking.

That will require engagement and action by the management company or employer too. More than simply design, spaces will need adding or adjusting to suit particular users if need be.

Signage used should also be in a clear, large font with a good colour contrast, and the area should be well lit. Ideally, a range of different stands would be included, to suit different cycles and their riders, say the charity.

“Accessible and inclusive cycle parking must be designed with the different dimensions of non-standard cycles and the needs of Disabled riders in mind,” say Wheels for Wellbeing.

With many thanks to Wheels for Wellbeing for talking to us, do visit their website for more information.

Featured image credit: Trinity College Dublin

Study Finds Cycling, E-bikes, Walking Help Cut CO2 Emissions

It may seem obvious, but the potential active travel – cycling, walking, or e-biking – has to decrease carbon dioxide emissions is “huge” according to a recent study.

Although widely considered the most sustainable way to travel, little research has been conducted into active transport’s concrete effects on CO2 output.

Led by the University of Oxford’s Transport Studies Unit, the report found that shifting to modes of active transport could save up to a quarter of personal carbon dioxide emissions.

Global impact

Across seven different European cities, the study tracked 2,000 people, collecting data on travel behaviours and journey purpose.

Statistical modelling was then used to show how changes in active mobility – the ‘main mode’ of daily travel – and cycling frequency impacted mobility-related carbon dioxide emissions.

The research factored in where their home or work location was, socio-economic factors, as well as whether they had access to public transport networks.

Small changes, big impact

So how much difference can a switch to active travel make?

Dr Christian Brand, from the University of Oxford, said:

“We found that those who switch just one trip per day from car driving to cycling reduce their carbon footprint by about 0.5 tonnes over a year, representing a substantial share of average per capita CO2 emissions.

“If just 10% of the population were to change travel behaviour, the emissions savings would be around 4% of lifecycle CO2 emissions from all car travel.”

Just making a small change has been shown to affect a substantial difference in emissions. If you were to swap out just one car journey a week for cycling/walking, your reduction of CO2 output might be a lot more than you’d think.

Cycling already mitigating factor

The study also found that for those people who were already cycling, their carbon emissions from daily travel were 84% lower than those who didn’t cycle.

But it’s not simply about adding more cycling to your lifestyle, rather the report focuses on minimising existing high-emission activities, such as car journeys.

Dr Christian Brand added, “Doing more of a good thing combined with doing less of a bad thing – and doing it now – is much more compliant with a ‘net zero’ pathway and preserving our planet’s and our own futures.

“Switching from car to active mobility is one thing to do, which would make a real difference, and we show here how good this can be in cities.”

Bike Repair Station Maintenance Guide

Whether you’re cycling to work, the shops, the post office, meeting friends, or even just out for a Sunday ride, knowing how to fix and maintain your bike is important for your bicycle, as well as your own safety.

From personal experience, you’re most likely to get a puncture when you’re not carrying a pump and tyre levers with you.

Bike repair stations have all the tools you need to fix the majority of common roadside problems, and the workstation makes fixing these issues much easier.

Plus, there’s a floor pump with both Presta and Schrader valves to save your arms from a mini-pump workout.

We’ve included a simple but effective maintenance guide that can be performed on any bike repair station.

What tools are included in a bike repair station?

  • Philips screwdriver
  • Flat screwdriver
  • Hex key set
  • Tyre levers with steel core
  • Adjustable spanner
  • Flat wrench 8x10mm and 13x15mm
  • Torx Key set (Including T25)

Using the Station

The station acts like a mechanic’s workstation – by placing the saddle of your bike between the durable rubber grips, your bike will be stable enough for you to easily navigate the bike for maintenance.

The major advantage of a workstation is it allows you to test a bike’s gears by spinning the pedals, without turning the bike upside down, or lifting the rear wheel awkwardly.

The tools are on long steel cables, so you’ll be able to get to every part of your bike with it securely in place.

Here’s a rundown of some common maintenance fixes using the M check method.

Note that if you’re unsure about any of the issues mentioned, it’s best to consult your local bike shop first. Don’t attempt to replace bearings or take apart your headset or bottom bracket unless you’ve done so previously.

The M Check Maintenance Guide

m check bike repair station

You don’t need your saddle slipping halfway through your ride, even less do you want a wheel coming loose. The M-check is a simple but thorough method that cover your bike, regardless if it’s a hybrid, mountain bike, or road bike.

It’s called an ‘M’ check thanks to the shape of an M mapping over your bike. Handy, right?
Starting with your front wheel, move up to checking the handlebars, before down to the bottom bracket, back up to the saddle, and lastly your rear wheel.

Using this method, we can identify problems, and fix them using the bike repair station.

Wheels

bike repair station wheel maintenance

Your wheel may have either a quick-release lever or some kind of thru-axle bolt. Regardless, ensure the wheel is securely in place.

By gripping the wheel, move it side to side to check the hub of the wheel isn’t moving.

With the bike on the repair station, spin the wheel to check you don’t get a grinding sound – this could mean the bearings in the hub need replacing.

If the wheel isn’t spinning freely, it could be that your disc or rim brake is rubbing. Adjust your brakes accordingly, but make sure to check the brake still works again afterwards.

Tyres

rim brake bike repair station

Firstly, check your tyres are well inflated. If your tyre has deflated over the course of a day, you could have a small or ‘slow’ puncture. If it’s gone flatter quicker, then it just means there’s something more substantial in the tyre/tube.

Go over the tyre to look for excessive wear and cracks. The tread of the tyre should be mostly intact to still provide enough safe grip. A heavily worn tyre can be dangerous on the road, so it’s best to be cautious here.

If it looks like you have a flat, then first remove the tyre using the tyre levers on the station. Next, take the inner tube and look for the puncture. If it’s not obvious, use the pump to slightly inflate the tyre, and work your way slowly around the tyre with it close to your ear or mouth so you can hear/feel the air escaping.

After you’ve found the puncture, you can either repair the hole with a puncture repair kit, or simply use a new inner tube and repair the old one later on. After the new inner tube is good to go, check your way carefully around the inside of the tyre to see if the offending thorn or piece of glass is still there.

Next, put some air in the tube so it holds its shape. Then put one edge of the tyre in the wheel, so you can put the valve of the tube through the rim, and work the tube into the tyre. From there it’s a case of fitting the other edge of the tyre in, working your way gradually around the wheel. It may take some force to fit the tyre finally, but you can always use a tyre lever to help.

Brakes

Check your brake pads for wear. Rim pads usually wear at a faster rate than disc brake pads, but both will degrade substantially quicker in winter – so be sure to check these more often.

Your rim pad should have a line to mark where you should look to replace it. For rim pads, look to ‘toe’ them in from the front. That means placing them at a slight angle to improve performance, and prevent squeaking.

If the brakes feel slack in the levers, or just too cushioned, you may need to tighten the cables for rim brakes, or if you’ve got hydraulic disc brakes, bleed the fluid.

Saddle and Seatpost

saddle bike repair station

Check your seat clamp is attached securely, and that the saddle is properly attached to the seatpost.

If your saddle needs adjusting, remove the bike from the station, and use the relevant hex key to loosen the clamp, then put your saddle to the required height, and tighten the clamp. Make sure to use a little crease on the rails of the saddle, and for the seatpost where it’s locked by the clamp.

By holding the bike’s frame steadily, you can try to move the saddle by hand. If you can, then identify whether it is the seatpost or the saddle that’s moving. Tighten the relevant bolts using the hex key set. You shouldn’t be able to move either by hand, otherwise it’s likely to slip when riding.

Bottom Bracket, Pedals, Gears

gears bike repair station

With the bicycle securely on the stand and the drive-side facing you, hold the pedal and move the cranks backwards to check the drivetrain is running smoothly.

If there is limited movement or a severe creaking, then the bottom bracket might need servicing or replacing. Similarly, move the cranks back and forward from the frame to see if there’s excess play.

If there is a clicking or rubbing noise, then your gears may need adjusting. To do this, use the torx key set to adjust your rear derailleur to it’s in line with the relative cogs on the cassette.

Do the same with the front mech and change throughout your bike’s full range of gears while spinning the pedals with your hand.

Handlebars and Headset

headset bike repair station

Firstly, check to see if there is any excess play in the headset. To do this, take the bike of the repair stand, and grip the handlebars with the front brake on, moving backwards and forwards.

If there is too much movement you’ll need to tighten the headset. Use the hex key set to tighten, but this should not be overtightened – you’ll still need a full range of steering, just without the excessive play.

Should there be grinding when you turn the bars, the headset bearings may be worn and will require replacing.

Next, go over to your stem to check all bolts are tight enough to prevent the handlebars from slipping. Tighten the 4 bolts attaching the bars to the stem individually and gradually to prevent threading the bolt.

Put your legs between the front wheel and test to see him the handlebars move. If your bike has flat handlebars, ensure the brake levers are securely in place.

Regular checks and Cleaning

The M check is a memorable and important way of thoroughly checking your bike. The more regularly you do it, the better you’ll get to know your own bike and quickly identify any problems.

Always be on the lookout for any creaking and loose parts on your commute or weekend rides. Once you’ve noticed anything, get it fixed quickly and swiftly, being sure to test everything works before heading out on your bicycle.

One of the best ways to avoid potential problems is to regularly clean your bike. It may feel like a chore, but keeping grit and dirt off your drivetrain will dramatically decrease wear.

For more information on our bike repair stations, visit this page.

8 Great Off-Road Bikepacking Routes In The UK

We’re going to have to face it, that big bikepacking trip you’ve got planned abroad is going to have to wait. Coronavirus disruption is certain to linger over 2021, stopping almost all adventures abroad.

But it’s not all bad news. In fact, it could be a blessing in disguise. The UK countryside has a vast network of bridleways, towpaths, and National Parks – all right on our doorstep.

And with the growing popularity of off-road gravel riding and covid-friendly camping, bikepacking and the UK have the potential to be a match made in heaven. We’ll think about the rain later.

Not only that, but the terrain across the UK itself is very diverse. From the open, flat roads of East Anglia to the dramatic Highlands in Scotland, there’s enough variation for radically different trips and experiences.

Choosing a bike for the trip is ultimately up to you, but the majority of these routes are suited to wider tyre gravel or all-road bikes, and many will prefer hardtail or even full suspension mountain bikes.

You could call up a friend or decide to go it alone, either way be sure to get planning now to make the most out of your trip!

Here’s a selection of eight of the best bikepacking routes in the UK for 2021 and beyond.

1. The South Downs Way

White chalk and views for miles, all drenched in years of history. The South Downs Way is traversable on either mountain bike or gravel bike, depending on your preference, and makes for one of the most accessible entries into bikepacking.

You can choose to go east to west or west to east. Either way, the South Downs Way has lots of small climbs, but isn’t too testing on the legs compared some other trips on the list.

In the rain, chalky sections can be unpredictable, but on a warm summer’s day there’s nothing better.

There are many who have completed the route in a day (some even going there and back…), but to immerse yourself in bikepacking, a solid three days should do the trick.

Distance: 164 km
Time: 2-4 days
Full route available here.

2. Peddars Way

You can start the Peddars Way by catching a train to Thetford, Norfolk. From here, the route follows an ancient Roman road towards the coast, finishing in Holme-next-the-Sea.

On the way you’ll pass castles, great wildlife, and lush farmland.

A typical gravel bike will likely suit the route just fine, but is also ideal for mountain bikes.

The linked route links to Kings Lynn after you finish the Peddars Way, the most convenient nearby train station. But you could always choose to follow the route back to Thetford, too.

Distance: 77 km
Time: 2 to 3 days, depending on your finishing point
Full route available here.

3. Yorkshire Dales 300

This is a route for the climbers among you. The Dales 300 takes in over 20,000 feet of climbing in total, across ‘only’ 300 kilometres.

Put together by bike mechanic and true local Stuart Rider, the course starts and finished in Skipton. Easily accessible by train, you’ll soon be out in the stunning Dales.

One of the many highlights is Buttertubs Pass – a great chance to test your legs on an iconic climb.

While possible on a gravel bike, with some walking here and there, you’ll be able to tackle the route more suitably on a mountain bike.

Distance: 300 km
Time: 5 days
Full route available here.

4. The Penduro

Organised by The Racing Collective, the Penduro is an event staged in the Pennines. The 2021 route is 160 km, and riders are timed in ‘enduro’ style segments along the way to make up an aggregate time.

However, it makes for a great bikepacking route too. You can take things easy on a hardtail mountain bike, or gun your way through on a gravel bike. Either way, the Pennines is a stunning place to ride your bike.

Distance: 160 km
Time: 1-3 days depending if your ‘race’ the route or travel more leisurely
Full route available here.

5. King Alfred’s Way

The King Alfred’s Way links up four existing national trails: the North Downs Way, South Downs Way, The Ridgeway and Thames Path.

It takes in some serious history along the way, including some challenging climbing and technical singletrack.

Because the route is a circuit, you can join wherever is most convenient for you, finishing where you started.

Distance: 220 miles
Time required: 2-5 days
Full route available here.

6. Trans Cambrian Way

Beginning in Knighton, a Welsh market town, the Trans Cambrian Way traverses the heart of Wales, winding its way to the Irish sea.

With forest trails and river crossings, this is an ideal three day mountain biking tour taking in remote and stunning scenery.

Due to the water crossings, it’s best to do this one over Summer. Look forward to spectacular reservoirs and the challenging Welsh terrain.

Distance: 176 km
Time: 2-4 days.
Route available here.

7. GB Duro/GB Divide

The GB Duro is another event put on by The Racing Collective, with full GPX routes recently made publicly available. This one is no walk in the park, and puts an interesting twist on the traditional Land’s End to John O’Groats.

You’ll follow testing off-road trails stretching the length of the country. The inaugural event was graced by World Tour rider Lachlan Morton – who won in an astonishing time of 111 hours.

There’s no need to try and better that frankly ridiculous time, however, and with the route available you can either choose smaller sections, or attempt the whole thing in one epic week long adventure.

Distance: 1,963 km
Time: 2-4 weeks
Full route available here.

8. The Great North Trail

Another epic, this trail begins in the Pennines and finishes on the Northern tip of Scotland.

The route takes in Kielder Forest, the Grampian Mountains, the Scottish Borders and more. Pieced together by CyclingUK in 2019, you can choose to tackle sections or bikepack your way across rugged Scotland.

Unlike some other trails on this list, the Great North Trail leans towards mountain bikes. Especially if you’re spending long consecutive days in the saddle, you’ll appreciate a full suspension bike. And for the technical downhill parts, you’ll have a blast on a mountain bike.

Just watch out for the midges!

Distance: 1,256 km
Time: 2-4 weeks
Full route available here.

How To Choose The Right Bike Storage Solution

When it comes to storing bikes, there’s certainly no shortage of different solutions. From a humble row of Sheffield stands to vast multi-story facilities, cycle parking comes in many guises. So how do you know which system is best for your project?

Well, the first thing to bear in mind is context. Context is everything. The type of cycle parking you choose will largely depend on these main factors:

  • How many parking spaces are required?
  • What’s your budget?
  • How much space do you have available?
  • Who is going to be using it, and how frequently?

For instance, if you’re building a residential block with a few hundred units, then, you guessed it, you’re going to need at least a few hundred cycle parking spaces.

Within office buildings, folding bike lockers cater for more commuting options, and kit lockers allow workers to safely store extra clothes and belongings.

For busy rail stations, you might alter your focus to quick and open access parking, with high-density solutions providing a high volume of accessible spaces.

Every project is different, and the list could go on and on with different examples – all with their own distinct challenges.

So, what are the parking options? To help understand which solution works best for each scenario, here’s a breakdown of different products, from vertical wall-racks through to two-tier systems.

Sheffield Stand

sheffield stand storage

The Sheffield stand is probably the most recognisable bike stand in the UK. It’s highly durable, has lots of locking options, and will fit almost any style and size of bike, including cargo bikes. Above all that it’s accessible and familiar.

Unsurprisingly, then, you’ll find a row of Sheffield stands in even the most high tech of modern cycle stores, and you’ll often see those spaces filled first.

It’s a versatile parking solution, and when modified into ‘toast’ racks forms the go-to temporary and quick-to-install cycle parking solution.

The Sheffield stand is widely used for on-street public parking, and is found dotted along high streets and outside supermarkets. These are areas where space isn’t usually a concern, with stands able to line up along pavements.

But for train stations, high-density office blocks, and residential cycle stores, they’re more likely used in combination with more space efficient options, such as two-tier racks.

Semi-vertical racks

semi vertical bike storage

If you’ve got a high capacity basement bike store, including semi-vertical racks is an affordable way to maximise space. Semi-vertical racks provide reasonably low cost-per-space parking, and can operate in the low ceiling heights often found in internal stores.

They have a simple, durable design without moving parts. They function well in smaller stores due to the semi-vertical design, where the depth of the unit is reduced, and so doesn’t require the same footprint as a Sheffield stand or two-tier rack.

You will need to lift the bike, and the incline of semi-verticals will reduce accessibility for very heavy e-bikes, and especially for cyclists that cannot lift their bicycle with ease.

Vertical wall-racks

vertical wall rack storage

Vertical racks go one step further than semi-vertical, hanging the bike directly on the wall. Further decreasing the depth required for parking, they are more efficient and decrease the total footprint of the bike.

However, they do require full lifting of the bike, meaning not everyone will be able to use the racks.

Placed within a high capacity store, they can add a substantial number of parking spots with little space required, and cater for sportier cyclists that in our experience favour vertical parking.

It’s worth noting that, unlike semi-vertical racks, there are a number of design differences across vertical wall-racks. To work well, the rack needs to fully support the bicycle. Some variants can have basic tubing for the support, which can compromise security if it’s thinner than the lock being used.

Lockers

folding bike locker solution

Bike lockers come in several different shapes and sizes, but this category of storage is focused on extra security. On the smaller end are folding bike lockers, moving up to larger units for multiple bikes.

Importantly, they are individually lockable, adding the highest level of security for communal bike stores, or your own back garden.

Folding bike lockers are, as you’d expect, very space efficient. A set is often included in office cycle stores and is the default method of locking and storing folding bikes. For example, in the City of London, 15% of total parking provision for folding lockers makes a good allowance.

Kit lockers are a great addition for office cycling provision, too. You can keep your kit, helmet and valuables safe within the cycle store.

Bike lockers are most commonly found in residential gardens. The high security is welcome comfort for residents, and they of course provide full weather protection too. But within larger stores, you can choose to rent out locker spaces for those with more expensive bicycles.

Vertical lockers form a reduced footprint compared to horizontal lockers, and can be used in more compact spaces. Horizontal lockers mean no lifting of the bike is required, and are more accessible.

Two-tier parking

two tier cycle parking

In the Netherlands, two-tier racks are a staple of cycle parking. If you haven’t seen a Dutch multi-story bike park, you clearly haven’t spent long enough on the internet.

They’re a very good high-capacity solution. For a lot of scenarios, they’ll be the most space-efficient, but not quite always. This is because they do require a minimum height clearance and loading space to function properly.

Compared to the Sheffield stand, it’s a much more complex design. There are, therefore, different design variants. Some include extra locking points, extra ergonomic features, and some do without the gas strut, for instance.

A common misconception is that the upper tier is dangerous or hard to use. This is sometimes the case, but that’s only with variants of the rack that lack a gas spring to assist lifting, or a lack of protection for the bicycle.

Without the gas strut and accessible locking points, the two-tier isn’t user-friendly. But with these features, even heavy e-bikes can be loaded on to the rack with relative ease.

The racks can often be found as high-density parking for larger bike stores, often with other racks included to increase accessibility options.

They can be housed in shelters for outdoor use, and are commonly used at train stations, university campuses, and commercial buildings.

For smaller installations, it’s unlikely they’ll be the best option. But with large projects needing to provide a high number of bike spaces, and with the right space available, they are the best you can get.

Bike Hangars

Bike hangars are a fantastic creation to improve on-street parking. If you’ve lived in a flat without dedicated bike parking, you’ll understand the lack of options available to you.

A hangar, usually provided by the local council, can be rented by the residents of an apartment building. Each user gets their own key-access to the hangar, and they share the space together.

The hangars have a superior level of security compared to regular on-street parking, with the added benefit of weather protection. Taking the room of a car parking slot, they’re relatively space-efficient too.

Currently, the niche is for councils and residential street parking, but it’s possible for smaller offices that a hangar will provide a cost effective and secure parking option.

What’s The Future For E-mobility In 2021?

We’ve used batteries our whole lives, from phones to toothbrushes, they’re everywhere. But while the battery might be relatively old tech, only now could it be set to revolutionise the way we move.

Electric car technology is still more expensive than internal combustion engines, but e-scooter and e-bike sales have been surging as people seek socially-distanced, Covid compliant modes of transport. E-mobility is set for more rapid expansion this year.

The e-scooter market value is predicted to hit £20 billion by 2025, with a strong post-pandemic recovery forecasted. However, they still face laws, regulation, and infrastructure questions. E-bike sales took off last year too, but what’s needed to encourage people to actively ride them?

Behavioural changes

Well before we’d even heard of the coronavirus, what were primary considerations when it came to travel?

According to new data, time to destination, convenience, price, privacy and avoiding congestion all ranked higher than risk of infection. Unsurprisingly, following the Covid-19 outbreak, risk of infection is now the primary reason people choose mode of transport.

This has produced an increase in private car use, but is also producing a boom in walking, cycling, and micromobility services.

As well as stopping the spread of infection, climate change has a big part to play too. Upcoming bans on the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles have already been put in place by many countries, with many more expected to join.

The time for green, covid-compliant transport, then, seems straightforward. But it’s not without obstacles.

E-scooter rental trials

Last year, Halfords saw a surge in e-scooter sales following the pandemic. But hang on, aren’t they illegal on UK roads? Technically yes, and that’s part of the reason journeys being made on private scooters remain low.

Originally scheduled for later this year, e-scooter rental trials for UK cities were given the green light in the wake of the Coronavirus. Fleets of hire scooters could, then, be the norm in big UK cities by the end of the year, mimicking successful schemes in Paris and Lisbon.

But crucially, the majority of people using these fleets in Lisbon are tourists – not locals. So how can this be changed to encourage commuters?

Perhaps it’s convenient bay locations, better affordability, and better infrastructure extending to residential areas. The signs are certainly there that e-scooters have the popularity to succeed, but these questions will need answering.

An E-bike revolution?

e-bike e-mobility rental schemes

Now that batteries are lighter, longer-lasting, and more powerful, the benefits of e-bikes are coming to light.

They’re a quick, efficient, and accessible way to move. Removing fitness barriers and stopping you ever arriving at important meetings covered sweat, they’re well-suited to urban travel.

Last year, popular cycle to work schemes removed the £1,000 value limit on bikes and with that, introduced e-bikes to the scheme.

That move has been credited with an uptick in e-bike sales. Removing a chunk of the price tag adds to the climate and covid friendly benefits of e-bikes.

It has been touted that the fleet of Santander bikes – or Boris bikes – in London are set to go electric in 2021. But like e-scooters, there are hurdles to overcome.

Dockless bike companies have faced difficulties in the UK with abandoned and stolen bikes, plus criticism that bikes left on pavements are dangerous for the visually-impaired and other disabilities.

Last year, Uber’s Jump merged with Lime, and their e-bike fleet is currently leading the London market. How new companies manage with the dilemmas of security, battery charging and swapping, and usability will hinge on whether we’ll see hundreds of new e-bikes on our streets or not.

Better infrastructure and parking?

Despite the new technology and affordability of e-scooters and e-bikes, without the right infrastructure, they’re unlikely to reach full potential.

Recent e-scooter research concluded that parking locations need to be right to encourage use. Rather than simply increasing the volume of e-scooters in any given city, the location of parking bays is what is going to make the difference.

For e-bike storage, charging stations for privately owned bikes are likely to pop up more frequently, and finding a way to safely park dockless fleets will remain a priority.

More bikes increases the need for cyclist-friendly racks and shelters, too. For people with e-bikes, which tend to be more expensive than other models, you’ll need added protection and security.

And what about on the roads? Segregated cycle lanes have proved to be the surefire way of keeping cyclists safe from traffic. The more that are installed, the more likely new consumers are to actively use e-bikes across UK cities in a safe manner.

If E-mobility can resolve and adapt to these challenges, it has all the ingredients to change the way we move.

10 Things Beginner Road Cyclists Need To Know

Just bought your first road bike? Maybe you’ve had one for years, with no idea how to get started? Here are 10 things every beginner road cyclist should know.

1. Bring water and food

Almost all road bikes will either have a bottle cage fitted, or certainly the mounts to fit one. And they’re there for a reason – you’re going to need water! Dehydration is your worst enemy, so drinking little and often, totalling to about one full bottle per hour, will ensure you can keep pedalling for longer.

As you increase your distance, that’s when eating will really count. Just like a car needs petrol, your body needs carbohydrates to operate. You’ll notice your energy levels quickly deplete if you’re not proactively snacking on the bike. Consider taking flapjacks, energy bars, rice-cakes, or even sweets, to give a mix of different carbohydrates.

2. Get the right equipment

If there’s one thing you absolutely need to use it’s a helmet. No matter the distance or speed, get into the habit of wearing one. Most are so lightweight and comfortable, you’ll barely notice it.

Beyond that, there’s nothing you have to wear, but a good pair of cycling shorts will vastly improve your comfort. The chamois (the padded bit!) will prevent any chafing or discomfort, and the lycra will even make you slightly faster too. By the way, there’s no need for underwear.

3. Check your bike before every ride

To avoid roadside mechanical issues, make sure your bike is checked out before you go out. Pump up your tyres to the recommended pressure (this should be written on the sidewall of the tyre), check nothing is loose, and most importantly that your brakes are fully working.

Check out the M-check from Sustrans to learn more.

10 tips bike check beginner road cyclist

4. Bring a spare inner tube and multi tool

I hate to break it to you, but one day you’ll suffer the pain of a puncture on the road. If you’ve got similar luck to me, it’s going to happen at the farthest possible point from home. But don’t fear, if you have a spare inner tube, you can quickly replace the tube without faffing with puncture repair kits.

Take the punctured home, repair it there, and stick it in your saddle bag or back pocket for the next ride.

A multi-tool will mean you can tighten a wobbly seat post or headset, and fix most simple mechanical problems on your cycle, too.

5. Plan your route

For the first few rides, it’s a good idea to keep your route local and well-known to you. Keeping your proximity to home means you can turn back if you’ve bitten off more than you can chew, or you suffer any mechanical problems.

Once you’ve started to build confidence, you can plot new routes. One of the joys of cycling is finding new roads and lanes, so don’t be afraid to start experimenting. You can consider taking your bike on the train and cycling home, giving you a satisfying point-to-point ride.

6. Bring your phone with you

If you do get stuck somewhere, having your phone in your pocket means you can ring for a lift if necessary. It’s good for mapping your route if you get lost, or finding the nearest shop to buy water or snacks.

Consider bringing a little cash too, as some more remote shops might either have a minimum spend for cards, or will be cash only.

7. Clipping in

Being attached to your bicycle can be a daunting thought at first. But if you want to level-up your cycling, learning how to use clipless pedal systems will make your pedalling more efficient, adding comfort and stability too.

Once you’ve bought the right shoes and pedals, practice in your garden or your local park first. Get comfortable twisting in and out on soft ground and it will soon become second nature on the roads.

8. Take it easy

Keep your pace nice and steady at the start. Adopt a relaxed position on the bike, don’t grip the handlebars overly tightly, and keep your arms slightly bent to help absorb bumps in the road.

This will help keep your heart rate down, meaning you can stay comfortable for longer. Once you get your muscles used to cycling, and your fitness goes up, you’ll recognise how often you can push yourself, and when to take it steady.
Learning how to maximise your bike’s gears will help. As a general rule, to pedal ‘easier’ and for going up hills, stick to the smallest cog at the front, and the biggest cog on your rear cassette.

9. Discover your own style of cycling

Do you like going far? Prefer to keep it short? Maybe you prefer climbing rather than sprinting on the flat? Once you build up your mileage, you’ll find you soon develop a preferred style of riding.

It could be multi-day epics or short lunch hour spins, but to discover what’s right for you keep trying new things and slowly push yourself further and further. It’s immensely satisfying to break new barriers and see how you gradually progress.

10 tips cycling enjoy the ride

10. Enjoy the ride!

With apps like Strava, Komoot, or even Instagram and Facebook, you’re bound to follow people who regularly post 100km plus rides, at a pace that can be hard to comprehend.

Ignore that, and realise that it’s not about the numbers, it’s about how you feel on the bike. Cycling is great for body and mind, and a perfect way to explore new places and meet new people. Enjoy it!

Turvec Guide To International Cycle Parking Standards

What makes quality cycle parking? Usability? Safety? Durability?

When designed and installed correctly, cycle parking should be meeting all these criteria. And it’s cycle parking industry standards that aim to ensure that level of care and consistency.

But there isn’t a universal international cycle parking standard, instead there are national and regional standards and handbooks. How do they compare?

We’ve designed this guide to provide an overview of important standards documents. Laying out the main points of each, and comparing their similarities and differences.

The Netherlands

dutch bike parking

The Netherlands have one of the world’s best cycling reputations. Famed for their cycling infrastructure, the parking standards guide is, as you’d expect, detailed and well thought out.

FietsParKeur is the name of the most widely used cycle parking standard. Its aims are to guarantee quality, durability, and user-friendliness across bicycle parking.

In 1999, in collaboration with various manufacturers, designers, buyers, policymakers, and user representative bodies like Fietserbond (an association representing Dutch cyclists), the foundation began testing and awarding certification for cycle parking systems.

There are over 30 requirements that need to be met. No matter the system–two-tier, bike locker, or otherwise–it will need to comply with requirements including usability, preventing bicycle damage, and durability.

Bicycle parking systems are tested and certified twice a year by the independent Board of Experts. To guide this process, there is a Standard Document for Bicycle Parking Systems. It was recently developed in 2019 and is known as FietsParKeur 2.0.

The document separates the different types of bicycle parking into three categories.

  • Single layer (single-tier parking)
  • Multi layer (two-tier parking)
  • Vertical (vertical bicycle parking spaces)

All systems must meet a selection of basic requirements. Here’s a run down of the key criteria:

  • The parking system states that the minimum distance, centre-to-centre, between two parked bicycles must be no less than 375mm.
  • For systems with moving parts, such as two-tier racks, the movements must be monitored, and moved gradually. That means that if letting go of the system at any point means uncontrolled movement, consequently causing danger to the use, it won’t meet the standard.
  • The surfaces of the cycle rack must be smooth, with no rough patches from incorrect welding, again to protect the safety of the user.
  • When using the system correctly, no damage should be caused to the bicycle. For example, by sharp protruding objects or friction of parts.
  • The contact points, for example the handles, of the system must not be made of metal, but a powder coated finish is permitted.

Following these basic requirements, distinctions are made depending on the system. This includes:

  • You must be able to use the system with both hands once the bicycle is in the rack, i.e. you don’t have to use a hand to hold the bike in place.
  • There’s also data on separate groups – elderly and children – for which the maximum height and force needed to use the racks must not exceed. For example, the threshold power in newtons that an adult can operate the rack is listed as 200.
  • There are maximum loading times given, too. For short-term parking (leaving the bike no longer than an hour), it’s five seconds; for long-term parking (longer than an hour) the time is 20 seconds.
  • Racks need to withstand 15,000 movements to pass durability recommendations. If the system passes 30,000 movements, it can be considered ‘future-proof’.

Denmark

The Danish ‘Bicycle Parking Manual’ was drawn up 2010, following concern that despite a high volume of cycle lanes, cycle parking in the country wasn’t adequate.

It outlines recommendations for dimensions of public street parking, with advice on different cycle parking systems added too.

The manual provides ‘typical’ bicycle dimensions of 1800mm length, 1250mm in height, and 500-700mm width.

Therefore, a distance of 600mm between stands is suggested to meet their standard. If necessary, ‘ordinary’ bicycles may be 500mm, but suggests when at this distance there is a tendency that cyclists will just use every other stand instead. Conversely, if the gap is 700mm, then the system risks bikes being double parked within the gap.

As for aisle width, the manual suggests a 1750mm between perpendicular cycle racks.

For angled parking, the distance between two bikes of 400-500mm is listed as acceptable, with the aisle width also decreasing to 1000mm – with just one side of access.

Australia

australian cycle parking envelope

Australian Standards are guided by the AS 2890.3 (2015). It’s a 36 page document and was developed with industry leaders.

The standards contain guidance on ensuring that bike stores have suitable racks for all bicycle types and sizes, and that spacing and aisle widths are accessible.

Here’s an overview of some of the key criteria:

  • Dimensions wise, the standards set out an ‘envelope’, which is the overall footprint in which each bike must fit and not overlap. This envelope is 1800mm in length, 1200mm tall, and 500mm wide.
  • The standards separate parking systems into static and dynamic, which is unique amongst the standards documents in this guide.
  • For static racks (that’s a rack with no moving parts, in a fixed position), they must follow the previously mentioned envelope, with a point to point distance of no less than 500mm.
  • For dynamic racks (a rack where the bike is moved dynamically with the rack into position), the envelope may be reduced to 400mm. But only if there is a 300mm vertical or horizontal offset between adjacent bikes. This counts only for dynamic systems, so for example if the lower tier of a two-tier system is static, the distance can’t be reduced to 400mm.
  • Double tier bicycle parking must have a lift assist mechanism to allow ease of access to the upper tier. If the bikes aren’t staggered on the upper tier, then a 700mm envelope distance must be obeyed.
  • Within the bicycle parking system, an access aisle (the passageway) between racks has to be free of obstacles. This can, however, comprise a shared space, like a pavement or driveway. The minimum aisle width for horizontal and vertical parking is 1500mm. Multi-tier parking and bicycle lockers 2000mm.
  • Finally, there is an additional requirement in the document which states that a bike parking facility must include a minimum of 20% ground level, horizontal parking spaces. This ensures that those unable to lift bikes, or owners of non-standard bikes, have somewhere to park.

The United Kingdom

two tier bike rack required height uk

So, what about cycle parking standards in the UK? Currently, the most comprehensive standards are those set by the London Cycling Design Standards (LCDS) document.

The LCDS says cycle parking should be:

  • Fit for purpose
  • Secure
  • Well located

Parking should accommodate different types of cycle, including hand cycles, tricycles, and tandems. They also recommend an inclusive approach, with a focus on step-free access, sign-posting parking correctly, and reserving places for disabled access wherever possible.

For Sheffield stands and other tubular street parking, the LCDS suggest a bay width of 2000 mm, and a minimum of 1000mm, but recommended 1200mm spacing between stands.

For two-tier systems, TFL recommends a minimum aisle width of 2500mm (beyond the lowered frame) to allow bikes to be loaded. If there are racks either side of the aisle, this increases to 3500mm. The minimum height requirement for two-tier systems is 2600mm.

Turvec find that the 2500mm recommended loading distance is overly generous, and from experience 1800mm-2000mm is adequate.

The document adds that, for two-tier, careful consideration must be given to ensure that: the stands minimise conflict with pedestrians; there is enough ‘natural surveillance’ to ensure users are confident to lock and leave their bike; that the design means bicycles can be locked by securing at least one wheel and the frame to the system.

Summary

Each of these three standards are set out in their own way, with different areas of focus, and most crucially, distinct dimensions.

The LCDS standards are directed specifically at London and its high density street parking demands, whereas the Australian standards are more focused around cycle stores parking systems. For the FietsParKeur, the guidelines are specific on the use of materials and overall usability.

The envelope created by the Australian standards provides a simple method of calculating dimensions across different systems.

Directly comparing dimensions, the minimum centre-to-centre distance between bikes varies quite dramatically. The AS2890.3 gives 500mm, whereas the FietsParKeur document states 375mm.

When it comes to aisle width between two-tier systems, the Australian standards suggest 2000mm, compared to 2500 for the LCDS. In Denmark, this distance is reduced to just 1750mm.

Other than dimension comparisons, there is a focus on usability across all documents. Ease-of-use and safety, for both the cyclist and the bicycle, are the central concepts.

At Turvec, we’ll continue to monitor the development of new standards both in the UK and internationally.

5 Tips To Complete The Rapha Festive 500

500 kilometres. In seven days. From Christmas Eve to New Year’s Eve. It may sound extreme, but the Rapha Festive 500, now in its eleventh edition, has seen 500,00 people attempt, and 126,000 complete the holiday challenge over the years.

The Festive 500 began in the UK as a challenge on Strava, where users could collect a well-earned badge for completing the challenge. Since then, it’s grown into a much larger global event, and ultimately a celebration of cycling.

In 2020, indoor training counts towards the 500. Not everyone will be able to get out on the roads thanks to Covid-19. So instead, you can swap muddy winter roads for virtual tarmac and your turbo trainer.

If you want to finish the year on a real high and complete the challenge, here are some tips to help you on your way.

1. Plan your days and routes

With only seven days to work with, you’re going to have to meticulously plan which days you’re on the bike, and which days you’re ploughing through a tin of chocolates.

If you have to work, you could try extending your commute, or squeezing in smaller rides in the early morning and evening to chip away at the distance.

There are plenty of great long-distance routes in the UK, with a varied mix of on and off-road routes to explore.

2. Get your nutrition right

Stock up on on-the-bike snacks, energy gels and drinks. You’re going to need them. It can be hard in Winter to remember to keep drinking, so make sure to keep regularly taking on fluids.

Eating enough on the bike is going to determine how well your body recovers after each day. The more food you can take on, the better your body is going to feel for the next effort.

3. Wrap up!

Getting your clothing right will affect how comfortable you’re going to feel on the bike. And let’s be honest, it’s going to rain. If there’s one item worth in investing in it’s a breathable and 100% waterproof jacket.

Overshoes, gloves, head-warmers, winter base layers–you name it, you’ll need it.

4. Call on a friend

The festive period is a great chance to catch up with friends. Under coronavirus restrictions, this is looking unlikely to happen in the pub, so why not ask them to join you on a ride?

Cycling with someone you know can make the miles disappear quicker, and you’ll be able to draft in their wheel to save some watts.

5. Keep it flat

To be clear, that’s your route-planning, not your tyres. We’d advise keeping your tyres well inflated, but keeping your heart rate down. Unless you want to give yourself an even bigger aerobic challenge, it’s best to avoid the big hills.

With the Zwift and other indoor training programs at your mercy, you can choose a flat loop, put some music on, and tick off the kilometres in no time.

However you choose to complete the challenge, whether at home on your turbo or on muddy off-road trails, you’ll be able to end a questionable year on a satisfying note.

How Important Is E-Scooter Parking?

How Important Is E-Scooter Parking?

E-scooter sales in the UK have trebled this year. While still currently illegal to use on public roads, despite calls for this to be reversed, there can be no doubt they’re on the rise.

But rental schemes could be about to give the green light to e-scooters on UK roads. Trials have recently begun in several cities, with three companies given the go-ahead to roll-out their London fleets in Spring 2021.

But how central is parking to the new London scheme?

According to both a new report, and Transport for London (TfL), very. TfL have said they will hand over parking regulations to individual boroughs to help avoid clutter on pavements.

And the detailed report published by transport consultants Momentum and 6t has used Paris as a model for the viability of e-scooters in London. In Paris, rental schemes with dedicated parking have been largely successful. But can it be replicated in London?

Why e-scooter parking is central to new plans

The report focuses on the creation of a dense and robust parking network to make this work, where in Paris, between Spring 2019 and Autumn 2020, riders who completed their trips in allocated parking spots jumped from 35% to 97%.

TfL have reached the same conclusion, highlighting e-scooter parking as fundamental to the success of the rental trials. Therefore, operators will be required to fit the scooters with the requisite technology to park in designated areas or bays.

The concerns are that dockless e-scooters being parked without regulation will become safety hazards and obstructions on pavements, resulting in harm to pedestrians, especially mobility-impaired and visually impaired pedestrians.

The location of these bays is important, too. The Momentum and 6t report says that strategy will “greatly influence the end-users’ experience, and the efficiency of these services in contributing to modal shift, intermodality and social distancing in London.”

What are the suggestions of the report?

According to the report, to maximise their potential, e-scooters need to be used because they’re fast and convenient. That means ensuring they’re within reach of train stations and key high population density areas.

From an urban design perspective, the report suggests using existing car parking space for new e-scooter parking.The report points to parklets with green space and benches, which adhere to the Healthy Streets approach and can increase pedestrian footfall to the area.

To begin to replace car journeys, the exact parking locations must have a variety of origins. The report notes that in Paris, where trials have been successful, just 10% of trips are completed by car. This increases sharply in London, particularly Outer London, so parking and docking points need to cover shops and key stations to maximise use.

“Overall, the objectives of the e-scooter trials in London should be to demonstrate how e-scooters can provide relief to the public transport network in the short-term and reduce the mode share for cars (and thus air pollution and congestion) in the long-term,” the report says. “The parking strategy must be designed to facilitate the accomplishment of these ambitions.”

Cycle Parking In Build-to-Rent Developments

Build-to-Rent (BTR) developments in the Private Rental Sector (PRS) are booming. With over 150,000 new homes either complete, under construction or in planning by end of Q1 2020, that makes a 12% increase on the same period in 2019, with the BTR sector set to double in value by 2025.

Cycling is on the up, too. Post-coronavirus, cycling has become a way to get around town without using crowded public transport. Many people are either looking to complete more trips by bike, or are cycling for recreation and exercise.

So how can BTR buildings account for – and benefit from – the surge in cycling?

Why do BTR developments need cycle parking?

While there is still no national policy on required cycle parking spaces for residential buildings, the requirements are likely to grow. Savvy developers have over-provided parking spaces, planning well in advance for an anticipated uptake in cycling.

The most obvious reason for cycle storage–aside from planning requirements–is tenants won’t be storing their bicycles on their balconies, squeezing them into lifts, or carrying them through clean corridors. But beyond that, quality cycle storage is becoming desirable for tenants, and can act as a focal point for sustainability and cycling in the building.

Creating a welcoming place to store your bicycle will mean that no matter the person riding the bike, whether commuter or racer, and regardless of whether it’s an e-bike or cargo bike, you’ll feel encouraged to cycle and leave your bike in a secure, dedicated communal area.

Accommodating all bike types requires a variety of bike racks. That means sheffield stands with the required spacing for cargo bikes, specialist two-tier systems that protect more expensive e-bikes, spaces from children’s bikes, and surplus places to account for those with multiple bikes.

Custom branding, colour schemes and way-finding can turn cold, concrete stores into bright and functional spaces. Secure enclosures clad in timber fencing, or glass panels, with lighting and added CCTV, will make cycle storage an integral part of the building, rather than a necessary extra.

Building a cycling community

Build-to-Rent buildings are striving to create a strong sense of community, with examples including residents’ lounges, communal green spaces, and even free yoga sessions.

This can be extended to cycling, too. How about creating a Strava group for residents to share local bike rides? A cycle hub can act as the centrepoint, encouraging tenants to share cycling stories and maintenance tips.

For the serious cyclist, top-of-the-range bikes can cost as much as small cars. You can consider adding premium storage with personal keycard access to protect expensive bikes and add an extra level of security. For a monthly fee, they’ll know their bike is well looked after.

Separate, quick-access, and easy-to-use additional storage can be added for daily trips and regular commuters.

What are stand-out cycle storage features?

bike repair station build to rent cycle parking

A well-thought out cycle shelter with durable cycle racks should stand the test of time for future residents. A good example of this is the rapid rise in sales of e-bikes and scooters. Therefore, think about including e-bike charging points and even electric scooter docking stations.

If you’ve lived in a flat without outdoor space, you’ll know how tricky it is to wash and maintain your bike.

Repair stations and wash stations are a space and cost-efficient addition for cycle hubs. They’ll allow residents a place to look after their bike, without going to the local petrol station. These stations can be custom painted and have branding included, making them a stand out symbol that the building cares about cycling.

You can also consider hiring a bike mechanic or scheduling Dr Bike sessions to make monthly maintenance calls for a small resident fee.

Study Finds Cycle Infrastructure Encourages Cycling In Winter

Study Finds Link Between Quality Of Infrastructure And Cycling To Work In Bad Weather

In May this year, the number of people cycling in London grew faster than ever – 120% on the previous year, in fact.

Due to covid lockdown restrictions and the infection risks of public transport, cycling emerged as the optimal way to travel through the capital.

The question is, will they keep cycling through the winter?

The answer, contrary to popular belief, might not hinge on personal resilience to poor weather. Instead it may depend on the cycle lanes and networks they are travelling on.

New research from Germany has found there’s a strong correlation between the willingness to cycle in bad weather and the quality of the cycling infrastructure.

The Research

The study was conducted by the University of Münster in association with the Institute of Transport economics.

Looking at 30 German cities, they found a significant difference in the percentage of cyclists who continue to cycle through rain and bad weather.

Cities with an established cycling culture–Münster, Oldenburg, and Göttingen–saw no major drop in numbers of cyclists, whereas other cities saw much fewer cyclists than normal in adverse weather conditions.

The research paper highlights several key reasons. Younger demographics were found more likely to cycle in the rain, so were cities with an inherent ‘cycling culture’. But it was the density of cycle networks and infrastructure that was found to have the biggest impact.

Is it relevant to the UK?

The climate in Germany is similar to the UK, with broadly similar population density, too.

Cycling infrastructure, unlike the age of the population, can be directly affected by policy–‘If you build it, they will come.’

The research supports the notion that building new infrastructure can encourage cycling.

While it was relatively straightforward to encourage cycling in the UK’s first covid lockdown–with lower traffic levels and a warm summer–this research suggests that greater cycling infrastructure makes people more likely to ride in miserable conditions.

Road spray, potholes, and other downfalls of winter cycling on busy UK roads can potentially be remedied by continuing to overhaul cycle networks and further cycle lanes.

Read our full guide to commuting to work by bike here.

What Is A Cubic Cycle Shelter?

Cycle shelters provide cyclists with secure and weatherproof storage for their bikes, promote and encourage more commuters to ride to work, and minimise abandoned and stolen bicycles.

The Turvec Cubic is a cycle shelter that comes in different forms, finishes and sizes. It’s a highly customisable cycle storage option that can accommodate any number of parking spaces.

Here’s a lowdown of the Cubic, its functionality, finishes, and features.

Dimensions

The size of the Cubic is the first thing you need to consider. The height and width of the shelter will dictate what racks can be accommodated. This choice depends on a) the space you have available for the shelter, and b) the number of bike spaces you need to provide.

Generally speaking, two-tier racks increase the number of parking spaces, for example. This will require 2600mm internal clearance, resulting in a total shelter height of 3000mm.

Our standard 2400mm shelter heights, on the other hand, suit semi-vertical racks and other height-friendly cycle racks.

George, Commercial Director at Turvec: “Understanding the function of the Cubic informs our recommendation on size. A Cubic shelter with two-tier racks can provide high density parking spaces. It’s a common choice for larger shelters where maximising capacity is the main requirement.”

Gates

timber cubic clapham

Cubics can be open fronted, offering quick and easy access for public spaces. But for added security, a Cubic will require gates.

If positioned directly in front of racks, posts will be required around every 2000mm to hang the gates. This does create a break in the run of cycle parking, meaning to increase capacity the size of the Cubic may need to be increased.

“Adding gates ultimately depends on whether secure-access is a priority,” George says. “Our design team ensure the optimum layout is achieved, depending on the site constraints and number of spaces needed. A nice example of this can be seen at Abbeville Place in Clapham.”

Four different finishes

Timber Cladding

timber clad cubic feltham

Timber cladding is the most popular option for Cubic cycle shelters. Treated softwood timber is the standard. It’s sustainable, easy to work with on site and provides a good looking light timber shade finish.

Hardwood and other finishes are also available, which can provide a darker wood finish. These, however, tend to be more expensive, and if treated incorrectly will age with an off-grey colour.

“Timber cladding is a great looking option,” George says. “Last year, we installed a large 14m timber clad Cubic in Feltham, housing over 100 bikes – it’s ideally suited to that development.”

Mesh

mesh cubic cycle shelter

Mesh provides high-security cage panels which offer good ventilation and a long lifespan. The mesh can be galvanised or powder coated.

“It’s a cost-effective option for many of our clients,” George says. “Paired with a locking system, it provides a functional, secure-access cycle store. We recently completed a mesh cubic in Wokingham for the local council.”

Steel profile plate

Cubic shelters can also be enclosed with profile plate steel panels. This gives the greatest opportunity for customisation, branding and graphics. A corrugated finish is recommended to ensure maximum rigidity.

Glass panels

glass cycle shelter verizon

To create a high-specification cycle hub, a bespoke structure with glass panels offers a premium finish.

“Earlier this year, Verizon asked us for a bespoke cycle shelter for their Dublin offices,” George says. “We included kit lockers and a bike repair station, alongside our two-tier bike racks to create a state-of-the-art cycle hub.”

Roofing

sedum cycle shelter roof

The Cubic roof has powder coated steel roof sheets. These are durable and extend the lifespan of the cycle shelter.

Additionally, sedum or living roofs can be incorporated into any of our Cubic cycle shelters. A sedum roof sits behind the external flashing on the roof and requires additional structural supports to ensure the shelter can bear the weight of the system.

We use a cassette based sedum system designed to work in the standard sizes of our roof structure.

“Generally, standard cycle shelter roof sheets are made from steel or polycarbonate,” George says. “We offer powder coated steel roof sheets as standard. This provides added durability, and when paired with a sedum roof, it looks great, too.”

Drainage

Most commonly, the Turvec Cubic features a flat roof design. Integrated drainage is incorporated in the roof and leg structures, which removes the need for external guttering, providing a clean finish.

Access & Security

The Cubic can be installed with a variety of different lock types. Choosing the right one for your Cubic depends on cost and suitability to the location.

Coded padlock

cubic keypad lock

As standard we will specify a hasp and staple suitable for a coded padlock on our shelters, this is both cost-effective and easy to manage once installed.

Key turn

If the allocation and management of keys is a practical option, a locinox lock and key unit with a handle is a secure and easy to install solution.

Keypad lock

An alternative to key turn locks.

Mag locks

For RFID or electronic access mag locks can be incorporated into our shelter gates.

Watch a video of our Wokingham case study below, or find out more information about the Turvec Cubic here.

Turvec’s Guide To City Cycling

£2 billion. That’s what the UK government has pledged to revolutionise cycling and walking earlier this year. In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, cycling has emerged as the ideal way to get around.

And it’s not hard to see why. Cycling avoids busy public transport, supports physical and mental health, and minimises air pollution. You’ll save money, have fun, and often beat the bus, too.

Not surprisingly then, many people have recently started commuting to work, university, or the shops by bike. This guide serves as a starting point for transforming your commute, or offers plenty of extra tips on how to make the most out of your journey – even for the most accomplished city cyclist.

What Should I Wear?

commuting to work

Jeans? Suit? Dress? Hi-viz? Lycra?

Cycling to work or university can throw up a lot of questions for you and your wardrobe, but getting it right will make a big difference to how you feel.

Making sure you’re comfortable and safe on your bike, while still feeling fresh at your destination can all be achieved with the right choice of clothing.

As Alfred Wainwright once said, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes”.

Being comfortable on the bike, whatever the weather

Staying comfortable while riding your work depends largely upon one external factor: the weather. Here in the UK, while you can assume it’s unlikely to snow, you can certainly count on rain – even at the very height of summer.

A typical Summer’s day is the easiest season to plan for. It’s the best time of the year to cycle, and also the simplest on your wardrobe.

The key point to consider is keeping your body well ventilated. Breathable and lightweight clothing lets your skin breathe and wick away moisture.

For Spring and Autumn, you want to think about layering. The weather is likely to be more unpredictable, meaning you can quickly find yourself too hot, or too cold.

The best solution is layering. Meaning you can quickly adjust by adding or subtracting items of clothing along your way.

When Winter arrives, it’s time to think about staying warm. Wind chill is something you’ll feel sharply, so make sure you keep your extremities covered.

Wear gloves, warm socks or shoe covers, a buff, and a cap or headband to keep your ears covered. An insulated jacket will keep your core warm, and providing it’s windproof, you won’t feel those cold mornings.

That being said, it’s important to avoid overheating. You’ll still be sweating, especially towards the end of your cycle, and when sweat then cools on your body, you’ll feel cold.

A good way to combat this is a base layer. Sitting close to the skin, it will help move sweat away from your skin, keeping you dry and comfortable.

Staying dry

To stay warm and comfortable on the bike, you need to stay dry. The best way? Good waterproof clothing.

If you’re going to make one investment for your commute, it’s a good waterproof jacket.

Look out for breathability, as otherwise you risk overheating. If it’s packable, there’s no reason not to take this with you on every commute (yes, even in Summer).

Sometimes it is unavoidable that you’ll get wet. To keep your clean clothes dry, consider a waterproof backpack, or a waterproof cover. This will ensure your laptop, or other expensive electronic equipment, stays dry, even if you end up soaked through.

The value of technical materials

lycra cycling to work

If you’ve ever tried to cycle in a woollen jumper with tight jeans, you’ll know that choosing the right materials is important.

While some cyclists swear by jeans, there is a reason professional cyclists wear lycra. It’s comfortable and allows for a wide range of movement, it doesn’t flap in the wind, and it will sit close to your skin allowing it to breathe.

If lycra seems too much for you, then instead look for stretchy, comfortable materials. Instead of wearing your thickest, warmest sweatshirt, instead layer with a couple of t-shirts and looser items. This will prevent overheating.

Feeling fresh once you arrive

If your commute is anything longer than 20 minutes, then you’ll know that to avoid offending your colleagues, you’re going to need a shower.

Check to see if your office or university has showers, and if they do, work out the best time to arrive. When they’re in high demand, arriving slightly earlier will mean you still have a chance to get ready for the day ahead.

If you don’t have access to shower facilities, check to see if there’s a gym nearby where you can freshen up.

If you’re going to be showering at work, then it makes sense to bring a fresh change of clothes. It means you can dress specifically for your commute, without compromising work attire.

A top tip is to bring a week’s worth of clothes on Monday, so that throughout the week you can travel lighter on your bike.

Visibility

For a portion of the year, you’re going to be cycling in the dark. While the number one thing you need is a good pair of bike lights, you can help this further by wearing reflective clothing.

You don’t need a full hi-viz jacket, but look for small reflective strips, whether on the back of your cycling shoes, helmet, rucksack, or jacket.

Wearing a helmet is a must in the UK. While in the Netherlands you might not see anyone commuting with a helmet, in the UK we’ve still got some catching up to do to make our infrastructure safer. So, look for a lightweight and well ventilated helmet that you’ll barely notice you’re wearing.

Panniers or Backpack?

There are different ways of carrying your laptop and other essentials. A backpack offers the simplest way. Most people already have one, and it offers a quick way to get your things off the bike. Adding a rain cover, which often come in high visibility finishes, means you can keep your electronics dry.

Panniers provide a second option. Attached to a rear, or front, rack on your bike, they mean you’re able to carry more than a backpack. Plus, it means you won’t get a sweaty back. Panniers do alter the handling of your bike, and it’s always best to try and keep the load weight similar on both sides to balance the bike.

Planning Your Route

cycle route planning

The last thing you want on your commute is to find yourself on a dual carriageway with lorries rattling past, or stuck winding through endless traffic.

Planning your commute properly, practicing it in your spare time, and taking it nice and slow the first time you try are the best ways to avoid this. Before you know it, you’ll be wishing your commute was even longer.

Use a route planning app

The best route to cycle to work isn’t always the most direct. It’s important to consider quieter roads, away from traffic. Plus, the shortest distance could end up being riddled with traffic lights, busy sections of traffic, or potholed roads.

Google maps is a solid place to start, but many cycle specific route planning apps, such as Ride with GPS and Komoot, will plot routes using common cycle routes. For example, Komoot is crowd-sourced, choosing the routes suggested by fellow cyclists.

Once you’ve got it planned, it’s worth checking out the route in your spare time. That way, you don’t have to worry about getting to work on time, and you can make sure it’s a comfortable route for you.

Find the cycle lanes

Cycle lanes are thankfully becoming increasingly common in the UK. It’s by far the best way to get around the city, as you’ll be with other cyclists, away from the traffic.

In London, the relatively new Westminster cycle lane is completely separated from car traffic, and since its installation has seen a rapid rise in cycle commuters.

So, look out for cycle lanes – it’s often worth travelling the long way round to find them.

Keep experimenting with your route

While you might think you’ve found the greatest route to your office, there are always more options to explore.

If you’ve got time, try new roads to see if there’s something you might’ve missed. Plus, it’s fun to mix it up – you’ll never know what you’ll find.

Looking out for cars, pedestrians, and cyclists

cycle lane commuting

Navigating traffic, bus lanes, pedestrians, and even other cyclists can seem intimidating. There’s a lot going on in rush hour. But, with the right know-how and experience, it becomes second nature.

Do I need to follow the Highway Code?

In short, yes. Even though the Highway Code is a mixture of ‘musts’ and ‘shoulds’, there is no good reason why cyclists should not obey it.

The rules for cyclists in the Highway Code suggest you should wear a helmet, light-coloured or fluorescent clothing, and reflective clothing in the dark.

You must have front and rear lights, and the code suggests to not use a flashing front light in street-lit areas – instead use a steady light.

Don’t cycle on the pavement

There is a misconception that cycling on the pavement is safer than the road. This definitely isn’t the case.

The Highway Code states that cyclists must not cycle on the pavement, under any circumstances.

Don’t jump red lights

You might think it’s commonplace for cyclists to run red lights, but it’s against the law. The Highway Code states that you MUST obey all traffic signs and traffic light signals.

Even if the cyclist ahead of you runs the red, you should sit and wait. It is often the case that you’ll be alongside them waiting at the next junction, anyway. There’s nothing to gain.

You can read the full Highway Code for cyclists here.

Look after your fellow cyclists

With the recent rise in cycle lanes, as well as commuters use them, you’ll often find yourself in a pack of other cyclists.

When in that group, remain patient and don’t unnecessarily overtake. Make sure you use hand signals to let cyclists know if you’re turning – hand signals aren’t just to let cars know when you’re indicating, they’re useful for cyclists too.

How do I look after my bike?

rim brakes commuter bike

After a few months of commuting by bike everyday, you’ll notice your weekly mileage rapidly increase. You might be getting fitter, but your bike may be struggling to keep up.

You don’t need to be a professional mechanic to do the basic tasks, but it is recommended that you consult your local bike shop for the more substantial work.

Cleaning your bike

The easiest way to prevent wear and tear is to clean your bike regularly. You can perform a quick clean in just 5 minutes, and more infrequently a deep clean.

Cleaning your bike will get rid of any dirt that could end up getting into your bearings and wearing the drivetrain of the bike.

It doesn’t take expensive bike cleaner, all you’ll need is a bucket of warm soapy water and some degreaser.

Check tyre pressures regularly

Every time you leave home or the office, make sure to check your tyre pressure.

If it’s raining, you should take some air out of your tyres. At lower pressures you’ll create a bigger surface area for the tyre, giving you more grip.

Use lubricant

Regularly apply lubricant to your chain to keep your bike running smoothly, and prevent the chain from rusting.

In the winter, as it gets wetter, you can use wet lubricant to make sure less dust and dirt is attracted to the chain. In the Summer, dry lube is preferred by many riders, but find out which works best for the conditions you’re riding in most frequently

Make sure your brakes are working properly

You should regularly check your brakes to check for general wear. It may sound obvious, but brakes are essential to keeping you safe on the road.

Brake pads don’t last forever, and after a good few months of riding everyday you’ll notice the brake pad starting to wear down. If you leave it too long you’ll start to hear a squealing sound as the braking surface of the pad disappears completely.

For both rim brake calliper pads and disc brake rotor pads, you should be visually inspecting them for wear as regularly as possible. Other tell tale signs that they need replacing are if you’re not stopping as quickly as you normally would, or if there is a lot of play in the brake lever.

Brake pads wear a lot faster in Winter with the extra grit and dirt, and disc brake pads are likely to last a lot longer than rim brake pads.

How to securely store and lock your bike

locking bike commute

It’s all well and good cycling to and from work, or to the shops, but only if you have somewhere to safely store your bike.

Cycle parking spots are turning up in more places, and you’ll probably know the key ones for you.

But what’s the best way to lock and store your bike?

Locking your bike safely

Unfortunately bike theft isn’t uncommon, especially in major cities. There are, however, ways to prevent it happening.

A good place to start is making sure you lock both wheels, as well as the frame itself. You can use a cable extender to thread through your wheels. This is especially relevant if you’ve got quick release wheels which are easily removed.

If you can carry two locks, use two. U-locks are the most common lock type as they offer more security, with their rigid design. With double the locks, you’ll make it that much harder for thieves to steal your bike.

Some more expensive lock options offer you a bike theft guarantee, too.

Additionally, make sure to remove any lights, bike bags, or other easy stolen accessories from your bike when you lock it.

Where should I lock my bike?

two tier bike racks commuting

Many commuters are lucky enough to have secure cycle storage facilities at their office or university buildings. If yours does, then make sure it’s got proper key access before you leave it there without a lock.

Even so, using your lock in a secure facility will give you added protection.

If you’re locking your bike publicly – either going to the shops, or for your job – look for busier places with plenty of footfall.

Making sure it’s well-lit and in sight of CCTV will not only detract thieves, but will provide camera footage and witnesses if it is stolen.

Insurance

If you’ve got a more expensive bike, then insurance will put your mind at ease when it comes to locking your bike on the street.

There’s plenty of bike specific insurance out there for expensive bikes, but your home insurance should cover you for your everyday bike.

panniers cycling to work

Enjoy the ride!

Above all, commuting by bike is enjoyable. Give yourself time, enjoy the freedom, and the benefits are endless.

6 Great Long-Distance Cycle Routes In The UK

A long-distance cycle route used to be about 100 miles. Yes, I hear you, that still is a long way, but for a growing number of cyclists nowadays that’s light work.

That’s because long-distance rides are becoming increasingly popular. Audax routes such as London-Edinburgh-London and Paris-Brest-Paris are receiving more and more applications each year.

It’s clear why: Multi-day rides offer a whole lot more than just a bike ride. There’s the sense of adventure, the personal challenge, and the variety of scenery (and weather) you’ll experience along the way.

Some cyclists choose to tour at a leisurely pace, staying at hotels or B&Bs, while on the other hand bikepacking is the new kid on the block.

Bikepacking involves taking a sleeping system (that means a tent, or sometimes just a bivvy bag), a stove, and just about everything else you need to survive with you strapped on your bike. You’ll see the sun-rise, often ride through the dark, and experience plenty of rain, but the pay-off is worth it.

So if you’re planning your next solo adventure, or trying to convince a group of friends to join you, we’ve got six of the greatest routes in the UK to get you started.

Do of course be aware to thoroughly research routes before attempting, and note that the mileage totals are estimates.

1. Sea to Sea (C2C)

The coast to coast is one of the UK’s most popular and well-worn long-distance routes.

Starting at the Cumbrian coast, the route crosses the Lake District, followed by the Pennines. The final stretch is on County Durham’s railway paths, winding towards the coast in Tyneside.

And if you wondered, C2C doesn’t actually stand for coast to coast, instead it’s just ‘sea’ said out loud. Despite this, it is known by many as the coast to coast route.

Distance: 136 miles, with 79 of those completely free from traffic
Time required: 1 day

2. The North Coast 500

The North Coast 500 is a relatively new route at just 5 years old, and was put together to showcase Scotland’s stunning northern Highlands. Yet in that short time it’s risen to the top of many global road trip lists, and there’s a reason why.

You start and finish at Inverness Castle, which has already exceptional views. From there, you’ll wind through the regions of Wester Ross, Sutherland, Caithness, Easter Ross and the Black Isle.

Expect plenty of climbing, inclement Scottish weather, midges, but most importantly exceptional scenery and the trip of a lifetime.

Distance: Just over 500 miles
Time required: 1 week+

3. King Alfred’s Way

Just recently launched by Cycling UK, the King Alfred’s Way connects four of England’s existing national trails: the North Downs Way, South Downs Way, Ridgeway and Thames Path.

Certain sections along the way have been upgraded to accommodate cyclists, with the route using existing byways, bridleways and quiet country roads.

The route is largely off-road, and you’ll need more than a road bike. Many use mountain bikes, but this route is sure to be tackled by many gravel bikes with bikepacking set-ups.

Cycling UK have provided a full GPX route and plenty of information to follow online.

Distance: 220 miles
Time required: Typically 2-3, or more days

4. Lôn Las Cymru

Wales is home to both Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons, a must-see for any traveller. And it’s the Lôn Las Cymru that goes through both.

From Cardiff to Holyhead, you’ll travel through some of the most scenic parts of Wales. It’s not easy, with mountainous countryside meaning plenty of climbing, but this one is definitely worth your time.

Distance: 250 miles
Time required: 4+ days

5. Great Western Way

The Great Western Way follows a route along the canals, rivers and vales from Bristol to London. Thanks to the canals it’s an almost pan-flat route, and therefore ideally suited for a more leisurely tour and entry level long-distance ride taking you to the heart of the capital.

The inspiration for the route is the engineering of Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Accordingly, you’ll take in the Clifton Suspension Bridge, the historic SS Great Britain and beautiful Temple Meads station along the way.

Distance: 136 miles
Time required: 12 hours

6. The West Country Way

Again starting in Bristol, the West Country Way travels to Cornwall, not London. The route takes in the Mendip Hills and Glastonbury, before taking you to the North Devon coast, and plunging into Exmoor National Park.

Next up is the Tarka Trail, a 30 mile section of traffic free disused railway lines. Finally, you’ll tackle the North Coast of Cornwall. With dramatic cliffs and breathtaking views, you’ll finally arrive in Padstow, a quaint fishing village famously known for its Rick Stein fish and chips.

The route is largely on public roads, but with traffic-free sections like the Tarka Trail, too.

Distance: 250 miles
Time required: 5+ days

Why Do Commercial Offices Need Bike Repair Stations?

Why Do Commercial Offices Need Bike Repair Stations?

Taking a hot shower, using dry rooms, secure bike storage, bike repair stations – cycling to work is a better experience with the right facilities in place.

And as an increasing number of people start catching on to cycle commuting, the demand for high quality office cycling amenities is going up.

Cycling provision is a simple solution to keep people riding to work. Bike repair stations allow cyclists to service their bikes, and are a cost effective way to stop abandoned bikes filling bike storage facilities.

Andy Weaver is Head of Operations at Bruntwood Works, one of the largest property providers in the UK, and over the last few years has been installing bike repair stations in Bruntwood’s new offices across the Greater Manchester area.

He told us why bike repair stations are important for his office buildings and clients.

Sustainability

For Andy, the motivation to improve facilities for cyclists was influenced by two main factors.

“There’s a big driver for our businesses around sustainability,” he says. “Last year we made a commitment to be net zero carbon by 2030.”

Bruntwood Works became the first commercial property developers to make that pledge. For them, increasing cycling provision is a cost-effective and simple way to offset the carbon footprint.

Encouraging cycling to work

“We work closely with the local council to really try and encourage cycling in our buildings,” Andy says. “We’ve made a full overhaul of the important provisions to cyclists, like showers, drying rooms, and bike storage.”

Research commissioned by the British Council for Offices (BCO) found that 38% of office workers surveyed said they would consider commuting to work by bike if their office provided better cycling facilities.

Crucially, the research suggests that the focus needs to be directed towards quality facilities, rather than just simply increasing the quantity.

“We wanted to offer as much as we could to encourage people to cycle,” Andy says. “That’s why we wanted to add the bike repair stations. They’re a great example of quality provision for cyclists.”

A growing expectation?

So, is demand growing from cyclists themselves for these facilities?

“It is definitely becoming more of an expectation. A lot of our businesses are looking for offices with facilities for cycling.

“All amenities are really important, but cycling provision is right up there with cafes, gyms, and other sought after features,” Andy says.

They’re cost-effective

And while bike repair stations offer a lot for cyclists using them, there are long-term benefits to be had as well.

Abandoned bikes with flat tyres, broken drivetrains, or all manner of simple mechanical problems are often found lying to waste in cycle storage facilities.

Having easy-to-access repair stations means cyclists are less likely to leave their bikes if they can’t fix a mechanical issue.

Successful Bike Repair Station trials

Andy first purchased a Turvec Bike Repair Station three years ago, and trialled them in a couple of new office buildings.

“They were really well received by our customers. The feedback after that trial was great, and so we’ve kept installing them.

“We wanted something that will last and help the reputation of our brand in the long-term,” Andy says.

Since that trial, Bruntwood Works have installed a further 16 bike repair stations in their office buildings.

Custom branding and colours

The Turvec bike repair station can be custom branded, making them a visual statement that the office are keeping people cycling to work.

“They look aesthetically good and the fact that we could brand the stations was great, too,” he says.

For the cycle commuter, the bright colours and matching branding send a clear message that the office cares about keeping bikes moving.

Find out more about our Bike Repair Stations here.

Cycle To Work Scheme | Our Experience

Our Experience With The Cycle To Work Scheme

The Cycle to Work Scheme is a government initiative launched in 1999 to get more people riding a bike to work.

For many people it represents a great way to save anywhere from 25-42% on a new bike, depending on your tax contribution. Put simply, it works through ‘salary sacrifice’, whereby you spread the cost of a new bike over a 12 – 48 month period.

Here at Turvec we’re signed up to the cycle to work scheme, with three of us successfully riding new bikes in the last couple of years. Here’s how it works, and our experience with the scheme.

How does it actually work?

The idea is that your employer buys the new bike, and you ‘hire’ it back from them by sacrificing a portion of your salary. The actual saving comes from not paying tax or national insurance contributions off the monthly fee – it comes from your gross, not net, salary.

To use the scheme, your employer needs to be signed up to one of the providers, but note that it’s not available for those self-employed. However, if you’re technically employed by your own limited company, then you can sign up for the scheme.

Tito, our operations manager, used the cyclescheme to buy his bike in 2019:

“The first thing I did was find my nearest bike shop. I asked if they did the cycle to work scheme, they did, and were very used to customers using it. We set a budget and they helped choose the right bike for me, from there it was a case of doing the relevant paperwork – it was very straightforward.”

How much could you save?

Because the payments are exempt from tax, that’s where your saving percentage is calculated. For example, if you sit in the 42% tax bracket, that’s how much you could save on the bike.

For a basic rate tax payer, i.e. someone earning £25,000 per year, you’ll save 32%. The monthly cost of the bike is subtracted from your gross salary, meaning you save on the tax for those contributions throughout the hire period. Note that the monthly payments don’t allow you to push your salary below the minimum wage.

No matter how much the saving, the scheme still functions at its base as an interest free loan.

“It wasn’t just the saving through the scheme, you end up saving on the cost of public transport costs, which really add up. Plus, it’s the quickest way to get around town,” Tito adds.

There are handy calculators available to calculate your savings based on your salary and the cost of the bike like this one here.

Do you actually own the bike?

Even though you’re legally ‘hiring’ the bike, the bike is, to all intents and purposes, yours.

The government guidelines state that “at least 50% of the cycle’s use must be for ‘qualifying journeys’, i.e. commuting”, but in reality, no one is going to be stopping you going out on a weekend ride.

Once the hire period comes to an end, you have to nominally ‘buy’ the now depreciated bike back off your employer. This fee is calculated by the length of the hire period and the original value of the bike. In reality though, employers rarely charge the full nominal amount.

“Even though you’re technically hiring the bike, it feels as good as yours. Once the one year hire period was over, you get three different options. I chose the most cost effective, paying a small deposit that means in three years’ time I’ll be in full ownership,” Tito says.

Is there a limit on what you can spend?

Originally, the scheme had a £1000 limit on the bike you could buy, but this was recently scrapped, meaning there is now no limit (so long as your employer’s scheme allows you to). That means you can go for higher end options, and increase the total percentage you save.

E-bikes and mountain bikes are available on the scheme too, and it also covers equipment like helmets and clothing. Alongside the bike, Tito picked up a helmet, lock, and lights.

“I left the bike shop with everything I needed to start cycling to work,” Tito said.

Where can I buy my bike?

The vast majority of UK bike shops are signed up to one, or more, of the government backed schemes. Their websites will list the shops you can buy from, simply enter your postcode and find your local shop.

Some direct to consumer brands are available too, like German manufacturer Canyon, and UK based Ribble Cycles.

Liam, our designer, recently used the scheme to buy a new mountain bike from Ribble.

“I decided on the bike, then put the value into cyclescheme, and it worked out at a £400 saving. Once I’d got the cyclescheme quote from the shop, it was approved by both Turvec and cyclescheme, and I was given a unique code to enter into the Ribble basket.

“Now it’s just a case of waiting for the bike to be built and delivered to me.”

Why The Rapha x Palace Cycling Jersey Sold Out In Minutes

Why did Rapha x Palace Skateboards cycling jersey sell out in only a few minutes?

In Soho, London, Rapha and Palace’s flagship stores are separated by just a few hundred metres. Yet brandwise, they’re poles apart. Rapha, founded by Simon Mottram in 2004, make premium cycling clothing that’s traditionally found on wealthy investment bankers, professional cyclists, and middle-aged men across the world. 

Palace, on the other hand, are a skateboard brand appealing to an altogether younger demographic. They’ve had previous success with big brand collaborations in the sporting world, too. Players at Wimbledon 2018 wore Adidas x Palace, and there was also a Palace designed Juventus kit in 2019, also with Adidas. But their move into cycling was surprising, to say the least.

So, with pieces already listed on eBay for £600, how did their collection sell out in just minutes?

Why have Rapha and Palace collaborated?

Since 2019, Rapha have made and sponsored the team kit for professional world tour team EF Pro Cycling. The jersey is a bold pink/blue tye-dye combination – already the most striking in the peloton – but a problem for the upcoming Giro d’Italia.

One of cycling’s three major grand tours alongside the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España, the Giro’s race leader wears the Maglia Rosa – a bright pink jersey. So to circumnavigate that colour clash, they turned to Palace to design a new jersey.

And they certainly didn’t hold back. Part disco ball, part psychedelic screensaver, the jersey features Palace’s signature triangle logo on the back, and the cartoon Palace duck on the front. If that wasn’t enough going on, there are two unidentified faces on the sleeves. Holding the reveal, bar a last minute teaser video, right up to the team presentation at the Giro, the teams at both Rapha and Palace deserve credit for keeping such a loud project so quiet. 

The Reaction

Social media channels immediately lit up, and before you knew it, from the BBC to GQ, through to Complex and Highsnobiety, media outlets were quick to report the story. The collection split popular opinion like marmite, with some lauding the creativity, others disgusted.

One notably offended party was cycling’s governing body, the UCI, who were quick to hand out a $4000 fine to EF Pro Cycling. According to the UCI, it was due to the kits being registered late, but team boss Jonathan Vaughters insisted this wasn’t the case, suggesting it was indeed down to those ‘crazy ducks’.

But no matter where you stand on the garish, or genius, design, there’s one thing for certain – everyone is talking about it. And for young Palace fans over the world, they were soon discovering who Rapha are, what the Giro d’Italia is, and maybe heading to eBay to buy a new racing bike. In fact, eBay is probably the only place they’d be able to get their hands on the new kit. Selling out in minutes on Rapha and Palace’s site, many items have been re-listed for more than five times the original retail value.

What does it mean for the cycling industry?

The Rapha x Palace jersey isn’t the first outlandish cycling jersey – just ask Mario Cipollini – but it is the first to involve a skateboard company, a company distinctly outside of the exclusive bubble of professional cycling. Alongside recent instances of Kardashians in cycling shorts, it further adds to lycra’s current weight in the world of fashion, too. No longer just for middle aged men, cycling apparel could now be considered ‘cool’.

And while the marketing exposure is no doubt good news for Rapha, it is also a reflection of cycling’s wider, and still rapidly growing, appeal. For many years distinctly European, in recent years the sport has become more mainstream in countries like the US, Australia, and particularly the UK.

Here’s hoping that with more fans of cycling, and more cyclists on the roads, cycling infrastructure will benefit, too. Perhaps Rapha and Palace aren’t so far apart after all.

Find out about tips for beginner road cyclists here, or read about 6 great long-distance cycle routes in the UK.

Our Team Has Grown!

Turvec are growing. We’re designing, planning and installing more cyclist-focused bicycle racks, shelters and repair stations in the UK than ever before. So, we’ve made two recent additions to our team.

Here’s the lowdown on our new colleagues:

Chris Duthie – Lead Project Manager

With over 5 years of experience in the delivery of construction projects both in his native New Zealand, and here in the UK, Chris is a valuable addition to our team. As our Lead Project Manager, Chris is the main point of contact for clients on all major Turvec projects. In his spare time, Chris regularly plays basketball, and can be found riding his fixie around London.

Jonathan Oldaker – Marketing Manager

With extensive content marketing experience, Jon is our new Marketing Manager. Visiting and testing our new installations, Jon ensures and then showcases Turvec’s product quality. Jon is also our point of contact for marketing opportunities and growth. A keen cyclist and racing fan, you’ll catch Jon out on his road bike whenever possible.

Onboarding during Covid-19

Onboarding new team members remotely isn’t straightforward, but we’ve adapted like everyone else, and it’s been great to see the extra faces on our daily calls. Once it’s safe to do so, we can’t wait to get together as a team. But meanwhile, you’ll still catch us from our kitchens and living rooms.

Despite the challenges of home working, we’ve been able to keep on delivering projects for our clients, with no drop in quality. Strengthening our team means we can continue to deliver more and more projects, and keep on raising the bar for bicycle storage in the UK.

Cyclist visibility and the Highway Code

On the face of it, wearing ‘hi vis’ clothing seems like sound judgement for cyclists. Although the Highway Code advises cyclists to wear hi vis clothing, it is not a legal requirement. In the event of an accident, however, you could still be held liable in court if your outfit was not conspicuous.

The Highway Code and the law

The Code was a provision of the first road traffic legislation introduced in 1930. With a focus on road safety, the Code has remained on the bestseller list since its introduction.

The Code is a mixture of law and advice. Where the Code cites a law, it will explicitly state that a cyclist ‘must’ or ‘must not’ observe a given rule. The specific legislation that the rule relates to will also be referenced.

If the rule is advisory but not legally enforceable, then it is written in less prescriptive terms, such as “you should …” or “… not compulsory but can make your journey safer.”

Cyclist visibility and the Code.

Cyclist clothing is addressed by Rule 59 of the Code. Rule 59 is advice, not law. In respect of clothing, the rule states that cyclists:

“Should wear light-coloured or fluorescent clothing which helps other road users to see you in daylight and poor light… [and] reflective clothing and/or accessories (belt, arm or ankle bands) in the dark.”

Visibility at night is addressed by Rule 60. Rule 60 is law, and mandates the use of lighting and reflectors. Rule 60 does not address clothing.

At first glance it would appear that you can wear whatever clothing you want, without there being any legal implications.

However, there are differences in the way that criminal and civil law work in practice. Although you won’t be stopped by the police for wearing dark clothes, you could still be found liable for an accident if your clothing was not deemed suitably conspicuous.

If I didn’t break the law, how can I be held liable?

If you break a law you could be fined up to £2,500 in the case of dangerous cycling. The Code includes information about cycling penalties here.

According to the Road Traffic Act 1988, however:

“A failure on the part of a person to observe a provision of the Highway Code shall not of itself render that person liable to criminal proceedings of any kind but any such failure may… be relied upon by any party to the proceedings as tending to establish or negative any liability which is in question in those proceedings.”

This means that although you won’t be prosecuted for breaking an advisory rule, the breach can still be used in a civil case to establish your liability for an incident.

Liability as a claimant

If you were knocked off your bike by a driver pulling out in front of you in the daytime, the driver’s liability for the accident might seem obvious. However, most roads are a shade of grey/black. If you were wearing a black outfit, the driver could argue that you were hard to see.

Similarly, if the accident occurred at twilight or in the reduced light of a tunnel, a court might reason that you were not very visible.

This defence, known as ‘contributory negligence’, effectively apportions some of the blame on to the cyclist. As such, the level of compensation the cyclist receives would be reduced in line with the apportionment of blame.

If you were to make a cycling injury claim against a driver, for example, a breach of Rule 59 could be used as a defence by the defendant.

Liability as a defendant

If your actions as a cyclist resulted in another road user being injured, you could find yourself in court as a defendant.

If you collided with a pedestrian stepping into your path, the pedestrian could argue that you were hard to see based on your outfit. In this example, you might be held liable, or partially liable, for the pedestrian’s injuries. This scenario may be covered under your house insurance, or membership of various cycling associations, but if not you might have to pay compensation to the pedestrian from your own pocket.

So I should always wear hi vis clothing?

Not necessarily. What matters is the contrast you make with your background. A study carried out in 2010 concluded that there was a 90% increase in the recognisability of cyclists in hi vis clothing when compared with dark or black outfits.

It is worth mentioning that in the experiment, cyclists also wore ankle and knee reflectors. Drivers identified the cyclists’ ‘biomotion’, commenting on the fact that they could see the cyclist’s legs were moving.

Weather is also an important factor. Some hi vis yellow material can actually be harder to see in the fog. The fluorescent properties of hi vis material only work when there’s sufficient natural light.

The reflective strips found on hi vis clothing will reflect the light from a car’s headlamp back at the source. However, some reflective materials diffuse light in all directions. You may think your hi vis vest is making you stand out, when in fact it is acting as camouflage.

The trick is getting the right combination of colours and equipment, to make sure that you stand out from the background during your ride.

Legal representation

If you are injured in a cycling accident and another road user was to blame, you might consider making a claim for compensation. Most people contact a solicitor offering no win, no fee representation.

A legal claim for compensation can be complex. Some cases can take years to conclude. As the solicitor won’t get paid if they lose, they probably won’t be interested in your case unless they believe they have a better than 50% chance of winning.

If doubt exists over your visibility to the other road user, your case would be more marginal. You may have difficulty finding a solicitor to represent you. Self-financing a claim is rare as both the cost and risk of losing would be prohibitive for most.

You could be knocked off your bike and injured whilst fully complying with the law, and still find yourself unable to get legal representation.

In summary

Hi vis clothing is divisive and many cyclists dispute its efficacy. Rule 59 of the Highway Code may only be guidance, but to ignore the underlying point is risky.

It’s obvious that being less visible on the road increases the risk of accident and injury. However, many cyclists are unaware that, should an accident occur, being less visible could also deny you legal representation.

Whether or not you choose to wear high vis, the new generation of LED lights are highly visible in the day. It’s hard to see any downside to taking this extra precautionary step.

Chris Salmon

Chris Salmon is a co-founder and Director of Quittance Legal Services and a keen cyclist. Chris is a regular commentator in the legal press.

Larger cycle parking space dimensions

Larger, adapted and cargo bicycles are growing in popularity across the UK, the Turvec team tested a number of electric cargo bikes at the Modeshift Conference in Leicester in November last year. As outlined within our cycle parking guide, it is important to ensure cycle parking provides options for all bike types and sizes, various cycle parking requirements are requesting growing provision of spaces to be classified as suitable for larger or accessible cycles. 

A non-standard or larger bicycle can generally be secured using a Sheffield stand positioned with the correct spacing as outlined below. Turvec recommends specifying a suitable Sheffield stand with central tapping bar to accommodate locking lower to the ground if required. Stands that are longer than the usual 750mm and increased to around 900mm are more accessible to larger bicycle designs. A larger bicycle could be classified as any of the below:

Cargo bike – 850-900mm x 2000-2200mm. 

Cargo or freight bicycles are designed to transport goods or passengers. The storage is incorporated within the bicycle itself, usually in front of the rider. 

Recumbent bike – 750mm x 2000-2200mm.

A recumbent bike positions a rider in a laid-back position, spreading a rider’s weight over a larger area. 

Hand cycle – 750mm x 1650-1800mm. 

This is a bicycle that is powered by a cyclist’s arms rather than legs.

Bicycle with trailer – 850mm x 2500mm.

This is space for a standard bicycle that carries a trailer, either for passengers or freight. 

Tandem bikes – 750mm x 2500mm.

A tandem bike is where one cyclist rides behind another. 

Side-by-side tandem – 1000mm x 1800mm. 

This is a bicycle where one cyclist rides sitting next to the other on a single bicycle/trike.

See our cycle parking guide for further details on standard bicycle sizes and required dimensions. 

Turvec COVID-19 Statement 24.03.20

Our main priority at Turvec is the health and wellbeing of our staff, customers, supply chain and stakeholders. 

We are fortunately set-up in a way which allows us to work from home with no limitations on our day-to-day activities. Our office based staff have been working remotely since Tuesday 10th of March. 

Our site teams are complying with our social distancing policy and the evolving UK Government Guidelines. The situation is reviewed daily.

We are closely monitoring our supply chain and stock levels for any upcoming disruptions, this situation is being reviewed on a daily basis. 

Our goal is to open clear and frequent lines of communication with our clients if a project is likely to be impacted by any disruption.

If you have any further questions do not hesitate to contact us on info@turvec.com or 0800 246 5484.

We Have Moved!

At the start of January 2020 we moved from our old home on Cannon Street to 20 Farringdon Street. After nearly 3 years in 33 Cannon Street we outgrew our space and look forward to exploring our new location. For reference our new address for all meetings and post is:

Turvec Solutions, 3rd Floor,

20 Farringdon Street,

London, EC4A 4BL

Shard Place Cycle Parking

Shard Place is a 26 storey residential tower being constructed next to The Shard. Constructed by MACE the building will comprise of 176 units with 212 Turvec 2ParkUp two-tier bike spaces with gas-lifting, we are additionally installing accessible parking in the form of conventional Sheffield stands. Turvec are delivering this project in 2020.

 

 

Where Will Londoners Park Their New E-Bikes?

In June of this year, Michael Ellis, Cycling Minister, announced that the government was introducing a new incentive to help cyclists with a “green commute initiative“. This initiative has seen the government refresh its cycle to work scheme – the effort will now include e-bikes, which is excellent news for the peddling commuter. As part of the scheme update, the original £1,000 cap has been removed to allow commuters to purchase a new bicycle and accessories more comfortably.

The growth of e-cycles is not to be underestimated with 70,000 models being sold int the UK last year. We covered the increase in electric bikes earlier in the year with some notable factors being that a survey of 2,000 commuters (undertaken by Evans Cycles) estimated that by switching from public transport to e-bikes, travellers could save over £7,500 across five years.

Micheal Ellis stated that “making sure that bikes are easily available is crucial to helping more people make the switch to greener modes of transport. Ensuring people of all abilities and fitness levels can cycle together is a vital part of this.

“I want everyone to feel empowered to make cycling a part of their everyday lives, and our refreshed guidance provides many incentives to help people do this.”

The government is set to invest around £2 billion on active travel as part of their new Cycling and walking investment strategy. This doubles their spending per head in comparison to their last spending review.

The initiative is excellent as it looks to continue to reduce pollution and increase activity in the daily commuter’s life, at least within the inner boroughs of London. It is very true that cycling the commute to work will:

  • help reach fitness goals
  • allow commuters to arrive at work feeling more energised and ready for the day
  • save money on fuel, parking and other commuting costs.

All this is well and good, but only if there is ample secure space for commuters to lock and leave their bike; making sure a new bike does not become the victim of theft will be a real concern for new and existing green commuters.

Cycle security is hugely important and not to be neglected. While introducing new incentives to get more of us on a “green commute”, is excellent, the fear of cycle theft is ever-present. Laura Laker, writing for The Guardian, recently pointed out how 96,210 bikes were reported as stolen across the UK in 2018. Of those, a mere 3% are recovered. TfL says that every year, 20,000 bikes are reported stolen (in London). You can find their tips to avoid bicycle theft on their website. And, 25 per cent of people who currently cycle, and 22 per cent of those who don’t are put off cycling in London for fear of cycle theft. The same report tells us that more than half of Londoners are deterred by lack of cycle parking.

James Brown, MD of national cycle database BikeRegister, which is used by all UK Police Forces to check for stolen bikes, said:

“With their higher price tag, e-bikes are a particularly attractive option to thieves, who steal the whole bike or unsecured parts and accessories. What we can offer as a deterrent to e-bike theft is bike registration and marking. Registering on BikeRegister is free and means you could be reunited with your bike in the event of it being stolen. It does not, however, help make your bike a hard target to thieves. To reduce the chances of becoming a victim of cycle theft, we also recommend using one of our marking kits to further safeguard properly against theft. A marked bike is a proven deterrent to thieves and makes it much more difficult to sell on. Ultimately, it’s been far too easy for bike thieves for a very long time, and we need to push for e-bike retailers to introduce Point of Sale bike marking to protect more bike owners from the outset.”

As suggested by James, in this case, the best offence is a good defence – whether that be increased parking or a marked cycle – preferably both. As a cycle security and storage expert, of course, we are biased, but what initiatives are there to include the uptake of further cycle storage in London?

What Cycle Security is There in Place?

TfL has been working on a Cycling Infrastructure Database that is accessible via the London Datastore. At the time of writing this article, the database has been available to the public for three months, and it sheds light on the following figures:

  • As of 2018, there were 145,449 cycle parking spaces on London streets. These were across 23,691 locations.
  • Inner London has a significantly higher proportion of these spaces.
  • There are 21,000 cycle hire spaces across 785 docking stations for those who wish to pay for their parking.
  • Residential cycle parking has increased to over 7,000 spaces in around 1,200 cycle hangers.

However, with 730,000 bicycle journeys being made in London per day, in 2016, it’s hard to believe that there is anywhere near enough the cycle storage available for these commuters in 2019. If we added up every form of available parking reported by the above figures supplied by TfL, there were still four times the number of commuters in 2016 than there are available spaces in 2019. TfL does point out that the figures do not account for other cycle parking such as workplaces, educational institutions or residential buildings. Yet, the London Travel Demand Survey revealed that over three million people own at least one bicycle in the city.

These figures show that there is a lot of work to do for TfL to ensure these journeys all begin and end in ample security, so what work are they doing?

Cyclist Safety Appears to Be Important

Newly implemented segregated lanes, as well as well-designed cycle junctions, have helped get more Londoners on their bikes. Statistics from TfL show that new routes have attracted new cyclists. In recent years the government has done plenty of good work in introducing new Cycle Superways and Quietways to London’s roads. Yet, in the same 2018 report, it was noted that “cycle parking remains a problem and needs to be addressed… cycle parking at train stations is particularly important.” From this perspective, it seems clear that the majority of the government’s efforts, at least for 2018, was going into cycle routes and connectivity. This is all well and good, but, having their cycle or e-cycle there at the end of the working, school or leisure filled day, should be just as crucial as ensuring that the commuter has somewhere safe to ride it.

What Is Being Done to Ensure our Cycle’s Safety?

In delivering the Mayor’s latest transport strategy effectively, 80 per cent of all trips (within London) are to be made by foot, cycle or public transport by 2041. An ambitious target that certainly will need to have safety and security at the heart of it; which the strategy comments on. TfL estimates that a further 36,000 on-street cycle parking spaces are required with a further increase of 12,000 spaces by 2025.

To achieve this, the government plans to tackle six main areas:

  • transport hubs
  • town centres
  • residential areas
  • educational institutions
  • workplaces
  • community destinations

There are existing resources that will help commuters find somewhere to lock their bike or e-bike securely, like Urban Cycle Parking’s map. TfL also lists cycling hubs that exist in Finsbury Park and the City of London, however, the list does seem sparse.

The Future of Transport Hub Cycle Parking 

The goal here for TfL is to provide a parking benchmark for all stations outside of zone 1. This comprises of a minimum of twenty cycle parking spaces within the fifty meters of the station.

They will have to work alongside various institutions to get this in motion; governing bodies such as boroughs, TOCs, Network Rail and Santander Cycles.

These plans also outline the need to consider cycle storage in the building of any new stations.

The Future of Town Centre Cycle Parking 

The plans outline working closely with boroughs here to provide more visitor parking for cyclists. Also, it is proposed that by reallocating car parking spaces to cycle parking, it will also aid London’s lack of road space.

The Future of Residential Area Cycle Parking 

Within the first year of this plan being release, TfL have forecasted the provision of 1,400 new residential cycle parking spaces. Moving beyond this, it proposes working further with boroughs to accelerate future delivery.

The Future of Educational Institution Cycle Parking 

If a school was part of the TfL’s school travel programme (STARS), new cycle parking is being planned for 80 institutions within the first year.

For university campuses and colleges, it’s a little sparser. There are plans to work with local boroughs to install more cycle parking, with sight to implementing this for two universities within the first year.

The Future of Workplace Cycle Parking 

For workplaces, the plans talk of providing support for London employers to enable them to further invest in cycle parking. The proposals talk about “making it simple and cost-efficient”, but don’t specifically talk about projected costs or grants.

It also, like with the above transport hubs, talks of having new project plans include cycle storage, such as two-tier bike racks, during their conception phase.

The Future of Community Destination Cycle Parking  

For sports facilities, community centres, hospitals, surgeries, places of worship, libraries, museums and galleries, it’s a similar story. Plans outline working with boroughs to deliver further parking. To do this, it proposes engaging with major stakeholders such as NHS and Royal Parks to improve these facilities.

Is All of This Enough? 

To say that cycle security and storage is not being thought about would not be accurate. It does seem apparent though, that with new initiatives such as this, the e-bike being added to the Cycle to Work Scheme, the figures just do not seem to add up. The 48,000 extra spaces by 2024, does not seem to be anywhere near enough spaces to meet with the governments green commuting targets.

LCC echoes these thoughts in their article where they note that the Mayor has a target of doubling cycle trips by 2026 from 720,000 to 1.5m and there is no way that the extra spaces allocated will be enough.

It seems clear that for commuters to feel that their new e-bike or existing cycle will be safely locked and secured, there needs to be some more thought put into the figure of spaces provided.

 

Brentford Community Stadium

Turvec have been contracted to install the external cycle parking at Brentford Community Stadium. We have designed WaveUp shelters to accommodate 186 2ParkUp two-tier spaces in the public realm. Located at Kew Bridge station the development includes 910 apartments and a new 17,500 seater stadium for Brentford Football Club.

Which Political Parties Are Backing Cyclists?

With December’s election looming, there has been plenty for politicians to consider within their campaigns and their manifestos. For us, the election pledges around cycling and cyclists, unsurprisingly, are very important. And, while the environment and pollution are increasingly becoming an uncompromising concern for both the public and parties, cycling is a surefire way of reducing pollution and as an effect, increase the happiness and fitness in its uptakers.

With transport – especially in London – participating in high pollution rates, and a higher share in omissions than any other sector, cycling as a healthy alternative must be considered. With this in mind, it is unsurprising that we have seen political parties rally around the idea – some a little more fresh to the concept than others. If you are a voter who is concerned about which party is going to benefit cyclists the most, then we have got a rundown of each of the main parties and their pledges. If you are looking for something more locally based, why not try CyclingUK’s candidate pledge checker? It gives you a way of asking your local candidates to stand up for cyclists. 

Below, you’ll find a summary of each party’s pledges.

Conservatives

The Conservatives are pledging:

  • £350mil cycling infrastructure pledge over five years (£70mil per year)
  • To enforce “tough new design standards” for infrastructure
  • To offer Bikeability training for every primary school child
  • To work towards low-traffic “healthy neighbourhoods”
  • To introduce separated bike lanes on main roads
  • To incentivise GPs to prescribe cycling and bicycles, and £2bn towards the pothole fund.

Labour

Labour are pledging:

  • £7.2bn per year investment
  • 3,100 miles of cycleways to be delivered within their first term
  • To provide safe cycling and walking routes to 10,000 primary schools
  • £200 e-bike grants to be made available with hints towards funding support for an “e-bike valley” industrial development
  • To double Bikeability funding to cover all primary school children, secondary school children and adults
  • To back and contribute towards the 2025 biking and walking strategy, and
  • To incentivise GPs to prescribe cycling and bicycles.

Green Party

The Green Party are pledging:

  • £2.5bn a year pledged to cycling and walking over ten years – that would consist of £2bn towards infrastructure and £.5bn for other related measures such as cycle training
  • To work towards the goal of having half of all local (five-mile) trips to be made either by foot or by bike within a decade
  • To provide an “expert body for governance and advice” will support local authority to deliver funds to only high-quality cycle infrastructure
  • To incentivise low traffic neighbourhoods
    commitment to new housing to be served by quality walking, cycling and public transport routes
  • To introduce car-free national park access and car-free city centres.

Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats are pledging:

  • 10 per cent of the transport budget to go towards cycling and walking by the end of five years
  • To give more power to local authorities to make decisions
  • To develop a national strategy to promote cycling and walking
  • The creation of dedicated “safe-cycle” lanes, and to encourage cycling and walking.

Brexit Party

The Brexit Party have not yet released any official pledge towards cycling and walking.

If you’re looking for a more comprehensive rundown of each party’s offering with analysis, Laura Laker discusses each party’s pledge in her article: which party’s general election pledges are best for cyclists?

Considerations for voters

Each party is offering something different, and while some have very expansive and detailed plans in regards to cycling and walking, the budget proposed may be a little too hopeful. There is no doubt, the higher the available budget put towards the sector, the better the results have to potential to be. Still, considering the last government fell short of their targets by two-thirds, due to lack of funding, we should not get too carried away.

Another thing to consider is the lack of experience that, in the vast majority of cases, local authorities have when it comes to quality cycle infrastructure. Cycle security such as cycling hubs and two-tier bike racks, or perhaps an increasing demand for electric bike charging stations will undoubtedly rise should policy lead more people to take to the streets on their bicycles. Currently, they are ill-equipped to deal with increased demand, and would more than likely struggle to get started, even if they were handed a higher budget; they need experts. Policies that revolve around getting experts into local authority are welcomed, but finding the personnel and the budget for this has been something past governments have fallen short of. 

Investing in cycling and walking will lead to innovation

If there is one thing we are confident of, it is that by investing more into greener transport, such as cycling and walking, innovation will be a by-product. We should stop seeing electric cars as the only solution to our transport and pollution issues, and start looking at better – manual – ways of travel. Not only will this go to reduce congestion further, but it will reduce the accident, injury and fatality rate on our roads (especially within cities).

With investment also going into making cycling more accessible to everyone, with more investment moving towards e-bikes and adult cycling training – we should see an uplift in easy ways to travel without filling up with petrol each time. If these parties are to stick to their pledges and follow through with their proposed budgets, the future of walking and cycling could really be revolutionised, and fascinating.

What are the Main Dos and Don’ts of City Cycling?

If you live in the city and want to start cycling, you may be weighing the rewards against the risks. Of course, there is a risk of injury any time you cycle, but city cycling often gets a bad reputation, what with the higher number of cars, lorries and pedestrians to deal with.

However, cycling in London is actually statistically very safe, as long as you follow the rules. So, with that being said, what are the main dos and don’ts of city cycling?

Know where you can and can’t cycle 

Knowing where you can and can’t cycle in the city is one of the main ways of reducing the risks of collisions.

Pavements are for pedestrians only, unless they’re marked for use by cyclists.

If you do happen to be cycling on the pavement and have a collision with a pedestrian, you will always be liable (even if it was the pedestrian’s fault) because you shouldn’t have been riding on the pavement in the first place. This is also a reason why all cyclists should have cycle insurance, especially if you’re going to be cycling in the city regularly.

In London especially, the creation of many new cycle lanes means there are often designated routes for cyclists to utilise.

If you’re riding in a segregated lane shared by cyclists and pedestrians, ensure you stick to the side intended for cyclists. Also, remember to be considerate of other lane users, especially older adults, disabled people and young children.

Be vigilant when it comes to other vehicles

Although most motorists are accommodating of cyclists, it’s still vital that you keep your wits about you when it comes to other vehicles.

Just like when you’re driving, signalling clearly and correctly is the best way to warn other road users of your intentions.

Learning the necessary hand signals (arm extended right for turning right and left for turning left) is an excellent way to ensure both your own and other motorists’ safety.

Always leave extra space for lorries and parked cars, and take care when passing lorries on the left-hand side. Due to their larger blind spot, they may not be able to see you, so you should always assume that they can’t, to be on the safe side.

Also, remember to take your time when crossing tramway tracks. You should also always come off and push your bike at level crossings if a ‘cyclist dismount’ sign is displayed.

Get the right gear 

Even if you’re cycling on your commute, that isn’t an excuse to not be wearing the right gear. If it’s wintertime, make sure you wear bright, reflective clothing and invest in lights for your bike. If you’re wearing dark clothes and have no lights, then there is no way other road users will be able to see you.

And finally, just as your parents used to tell you: always, always wear a helmet. It could save your life if you’re ever involved in an accident.

All in all, if you keep your wits about you and follow the basic safety rules of inner-city cycling, you won’t be able to go far wrong. Your safety is essential, but once you have reached your destination, so is your cycle’s. Make sure you lock up at a secure bike rack and leave your bike knowing it will be there when you get back. If you’re looking for any help or guidance, finding the right storage solution for you, get in touch today.

Battalion Court Cycle Shelters

Turvec are commencing works manufacturing and installing a bespoke cantilever cycle shelter and secure cycle enclosure for 114 bike spaces. A mix of accessible Sheffield stands, semi-vertical racks and gas-lifting 2ParkUp two-tier bike racks are being installed in the space. Battalion Court is a low rise development of new build apartments in Woolwich east London, and the project will be delivered in December 2019.

Cardiff Lane Dublin Contract Award

Turvec are delivering a 450 bicycle facility with a mix of the 2ParkUp two-tier rack and accessible Sheffield stands within a secure cycle enclosure at Cardiff lane in the Dublin docklands area. Cardiff Lane is a significant city centre site of 17,000min Dublin 2, it is the largest cycle parking project we have completed in Ireland to date and our second largest international project after 11 Wellesley in Toronto. 

What are the Rules When it Comes to Taking Bikes on Trains?

Thousands of trains run every day across the UK, connecting towns, cities, and cycle routes. Because of this, travelling by train is a popular choice for many cyclists. Whether you’re heading out on an all-day mountain bike ride, or you want to choose a greener way to commute this summer, there are a few rules that you should bear in mind before you take your bike on the train.

1. There are no additional charges for bikes

As long as you have a valid ticket for your journey, you can take your bike on the train with you at no extra cost. Great news for commuters! It can mean a cheaper way to travel to work. Many of the UK’s busiest stations also have bike parking facilities that allow you to lock up your bike ready for your return home securely.

2. You may have to reserve your bike space

All UK trains only have a certain amount of space dedicated to holding bikes, so you may need to reserve an area dependent on where and when you’re travelling. With most train lines, you can reserve a space when you book your tickets online. Call their helpline or visit the ticket office at your departing station.

3. There can be restrictions during peak times

During busy peak times – weekday mornings (07:00–10:00) and weekday evenings (16:00–19:00), regular bikes are not permitted on services to and from London. There are also Monday–Friday restrictions in place for taking your bike on rail services to and from Cardiff (during the hours of 07.30–09.30 and 16:00–18:00).

4. Consider purchasing a fully-folding bicycle

If you’re hoping to use the popular train-and-bike combination to get to work, it might be worth considering the purchase of a fully-folding bicycle. These commuter-friendly bikes are exempt from the restrictions mentioned above, as they are compact enough to be placed in the luggage rack, which is essential to make space on busy services. They’re also more comfortable to carry than standard bikes, which is useful considering that no cycling is permitted in UK stations.

5. Always check your journey in advance

It’s still a good idea to double-check your train’s status because only the fully-folding bikes mentioned above are permitted on rail replacement bus services. If you’re travelling in and around London, you can quickly check the status of your train and the location of engineering work using the TFL website. Many other train providers offer similar services on their websites, so be sure to double-check before you head out.

All in all, taking your bike on the train with you is a cost-effective and environmentally-friendly way to travel. Just be sure to bear the rules listed above in mind to ensure your journey is as smooth as possible.

Cycling To Work Tips

As working from home rules start to ease, and more of us are making our way back to the office, you might choose to hop on the cycle – it’s warm enough!

If it’s been a while since you put the pedal to the metal, or you’re trying it out for the first time, here’s some guidance to get you safely on your way.

If you’re considering a cool and breezy cycle into work as opposed to stifling public transport or a stuffy, boring car-ride, we can’t blame you.

Cycling your morning commute offers more predictable travel times and a breath of fresh air, not to mention the fact that it’s an eco-friendly alternative to motor vehicles.

And it can also help your waistline! Burning those few extra calories before you’ve even started your working day is a great way to ensure you get your recommended minutes of daily exercise.

According to Better Health, the health benefits of regular cycling include:

  • increased cardiovascular fitness
  • increased muscle strength and flexibility
  • improved joint mobility
  • decreased stress levels
  • improved posture and coordination
  • strengthened bones
  • decreased body fat levels
  • prevention or management of disease
  • reduced anxiety and depression.

But, for all the benefits of cycling to work, there are some things to keep on top of. Namely, safety, hydration and sweat! So here are some tips on how to keep you getting on your cycle day after day.

 

Our top tips for cycling to work

1. Plan ahead

It’s a good idea to plan your route so you can include as many quiet, shaded streets as possible. Cycling amongst the traffic can not only be intimidating but will also make you feel warmer due to the vast number of fumes being emitted from each vehicle as you pass.

Luckily, there are lots of route-plotting apps available to help you with this, so experiment with the different options to find which one is right for you.

If your commute is particularly lengthy or you don’t feel comfortable cycling on busy main roads, you might decide to ride part of the way. At a stopping point, you could leave your bike in a bike locker or attached to a bike rack before walking, driving, or using public transport for the rest of the journey.

This way, you’re still enjoying the great outdoors on your way into work, and you’ll also have peace of mind knowing that your bike is ready and waiting for your return home.

Just make sure you plan by devising a route beforehand and checking your local area for available bike storage.

2. Stay hydrated

Staying hydrated is a crucial part of ensuring you don’t overheat or get to work feeling ill or dizzy after your morning commute.

Make sure you carry a bottle of water with you at all times and remember to keep sipping it at regular intervals throughout the ride. It’s also important that, once you’re in work, you keep drinking water throughout the day to replace any fluids you have lost as a result of sweating during your active commute.

3. Stay safe

Don’t make your way to work in a rush, weaving through traffic and putting yourself in dangerous situations. As we’ll reiterate in the next section, leave yourself ample time.

By leaving extra time for your journey, you won’t need to rush (and likely sweat more) or put yourself in danger. Also, you give yourself time to stop for a morning coffee, or in the unfortunate incident of puncture, you have time to stop and repair.

Wear a helmet. There are no excuses not to. It could save your life.

4. Freshen up on arrival

Try to leave your house an extra 10-15 minutes earlier than you usually do to ensure you have enough time to cool off and freshen up after your commute.

Many offices now include showers and changing rooms to accommodate your busy commute. Still, if this isn’t something currently available, a good option is always joining a gym or leisure centre near your office. Membership will allow you to use the facilities there before you head into work—of course, it helps if you also use the gyms other facilities!

Bringing a change of clothes is also an option, especially if you’re going to be cycling long distances. It makes sense to cycle in breathable exercise wear, then change on arrival.

If you’re lucky, you may find that after a leisurely-paced ride, all you need to do is whip off your helmet, smooth down your hair and you’ll be ready to start the day.

Ultimately, the best way to know what will work for you on your active morning commute is to try it out for yourself.

 

Whatever you choose to do, remember to slow down, stay safe and enjoy! A workspace that includes a secure cycle shelter or compound will put your mind at rest when you’re locking up your bike. For any questions you have concerning your cycle security – feel free to contact us today.

Dutch Cycle Lanes – Why We Should Be Inspired By Their Cycle Paths

When it comes to cycling, the Dutch are kilometres ahead of the rest of us, quite literally. The average Dutch person cycles around 1,000 km annually, and in 2017, there were 22.5 million bicycles in the Netherlands – more than the 17.1 million people who live there.

A country with most cyclists, but the safest. How did their cycling infrastructure get so good? And what can we learn from them?

Most of us, including some dutch people, believe that all the incredible cycling infrastructure, including vast interconnected cycle paths, have always been there. But while cycle paths in the country’s cities had existed pre-WW2, they were much narrower, unlevel and disconnected.

There also wasn’t such a concern for separate cycle paths because there weren’t so many cars.

Their current infrastructure and policies came about through a series of changes that took place post-WW2 and came to a head in the 1970s.

After WW2 the Netherland got richer – which changed their roads

While before the war, bicycles far outnumbered their motorised, four-wheeled, counterparts, that changed in the late 40s and 50s. Car purchases went through the roof as the average wage continued to increase.

With this growth of cars on city streets that weren’t built to cope with it all brought about change. Buildings were knocked down. Infrastructure was uprooted to create more roads, car parks and other space for the motorcar.

These changes also caused a decrease in cycling, a 6% decrease per year.

More cars and roads brought more traffic collisions, and deaths

In 1971, things were set to change. In that year alone there were over 3,000 deaths on Dutch roads, with 400 of those deaths being children 14 and under.

The Dutch were not going to stand for this. I cities especially, the public came out in their masses to protest against “child murder”. They called for safer streets for their children, pedestrians and cyclists.

Then, the 1973 oil crisis came

This oil crisis took a toll on energy consumption. Gas was exceptionally pricey, and a lot of roads started to empty.

Due to the country having to be careful with its energy use, the Dutch had a perfect opportunity to heed the call from protesters, and they took it. The then president of the Netherlands, Joop den Uyl, bega to promote cycling policies such as “car-free Sundays” to save on the country’s oil.

Every Sunday became a time to see was their cities used to look like before the advent and domination of cars. And it wasn’t long before the first city centres were made car-free, permanently. More followed.

But the protests didn’t stop

Even though more city centres and beyond were becoming car-free, the protests continued. The Dutch people argued that mass motorisation killed their cities, their people and their environment.

Cycle tours, the painting of cycle routes on their cities streets and mass peaceful protests outside major landmarks like the Museumplein.

And the central government listened

In the mid-1970s, municipalities were funded by the national government in building brand new cycling infrastructure, including safe cycle paths and connected routes. Some of these routes were born straight out of the hand painted ways that earlier protesters had created.

Hague and Tilburg were the first municipalities to complete their cycling infrastructure. Their completion saw a 60-70% increase in cycling across them.

Other municipalities followed, and from the 70s until recently in 2010, child deaths were down to 14 across the country—a resounding victory.

So, what have all these changes achieved?

Less road traffic accidents

It makes sense that the more Dutch cycle paths there are, the fewer people there will be using cars as an everyday mode of transport.

The Dutch continue to encourage people to cycle rather than drive in city centres. Promoting more cycle-friendly cities could have a positive impact on the number of road traffic collisions there are in the UK, and help to normalise cycling as a means of transport.

A healthier, easier commute

More than a quarter of people living in the Netherlands cycle to work.

Unfortunately, this is far from the case in British cities. In Manchester, for example, two-thirds of people currently use their car as their primary mode of transport.

This over-reliance on the petrol and diesel-guzzling vehicles we have all come to know is harmful. Not only is it dangerous to our health and our children’s health, but our local environments too.

There’s an abundance of cycle infrastructure and parking

Of course, if we want the uptake of cyclists to increase in the UK dramatically, adequate bicycle parking facilities would have to be provided to accommodate the influx. These facilities are yet another thing that the Dutch do well.

The space under Utrecht’s train station can hold up to 12,500 bikes – the largest in the world of its kind. By offering these sorts of premium facilities in the UK, more people would be likely to take up cycling as a means of transport to and from public places, such as train stations.

Taking up cycling on a mass scale will have a beneficial impact on almost all aspects of life – from the economy to the environment, public health to mental wellbeing.

We’re ready and waiting to embrace any Dutch-inspired changes

More infrastructure will lead to more secure cycle storage, and that’s where we come in.

If you’ve any projects you’d like our help with, we’d be more than happy to help. Contact us today and tell us about your projects—we offer two-tier bike racks to bike lockers.

11 Wellesley – Canadian Distributor Announcement

Turvec are pleased to announce our partnership with Urban Art & Metal Works Inc who are acting as Turvec’s exclusive distributor in Canada. Our first joint project is 11 Wellesley Toronto. Turvec are supplying 642 2ParkUp two-tier racks for this building, serving the residential units and commercial space at ground level. This is the first 2ParkUp installation in North America, and the 642 bike spaces for residents are located across three cycle stores on the lower levels of the 60 floor building.

The Top 4 Benefits of Installing School Cycle Storage

Installing easily accessible cycle storage in your school is a key component in encouraging pupils to make their daily journey to and from school by bike. Although it may seem like a massive project, the benefits of installing school cycle storage far outweigh the cost.

It will encourage pupils to cycle to school

Although this may sound obvious, installing places to store bikes will actively encourage pupils to dust off their bikes, oil up their gears and get cycling to school. With no incentive to do so, pupils will be less inclined to make this decision of their own accord. However, with a little encouragement and nudge in the right direction, you’ll be surprised at how many of your pupils latch on to the idea. It really could prove to be a snowball effect!

It promotes exercise as part of a healthy, active lifestyle

With an NHS survey estimating that 28% of children aged 2 to 15 in England were overweight or obese in 2016, and in June of 2018, an update to an earlier action plan was published, setting a national ambition to “halve childhood obesity and reduce the gap in obesity between children from the most and least deprived areas by 2030”. So, now really is the time to promote the benefits of exercise as part of a healthy, active lifestyle. In opposition to sitting stationary in a parent or carer’s car, cycling to school will not only burn calories and increase energy expenditure but also help to boost students’ cardiovascular fitness and overall health. Even for students who struggle most with their cardiovascular fitness, or may have another issue which proves to a barrier to cycling, electric bikes are becoming ever more available.

Embedding the fundamental importance of daily physical activity into your school’s pupils will serve them well for a long time to come, and help to ensure that the adults of our future are conscious of their decisions when it comes to their health and wellbeing.

It will reduce traffic at the school gates

A huge issue in schools across the nation is the number of cars that amass at the school gates during drop-off and pick-up times; this is not only unhealthy for our pupils, but it also causes unnecessary stress for parents who struggle to find a place to park and commuters who become agitated at the increased traffic. By encouraging pupils to cycle to school, the need for parents to drive to school will be negated, and thus, the amount of traffic at the school gates reduces, benefitting pupils, parents, the community and the environment.

It is a safe and secure way to store bikes during the school day

Without a safe cycle storage solution, parents may be wary of sending their children to school on a bike that could become vandalised, lost or stolen. However, by choosing the right cycle storage, your pupils’ bikes will be kept safe and secure throughout the school day and be ready and waiting for them on their ride home. For more information about the range of bike cycle storage solutions that we can offer your school, take a look at our handy bike storage guide today.

What You Can Include On An Outdoor Bike Repair Station

Outside (or public) bike pumps and repair stations are a common installation in new developments and public spaces. 

They’re designed to provide an opportunity for cyclists within your community to perform on the go repairs. Here are some features you can include which you could consider. 

These cyclist-friendly stations are suitable for continuous public use. With that in mind, including the most immediately needed features should be top of your list of priorities.

Include a pressure gauge

Not all outside bike repair stations will include a pressure gauge as standard. This feature ensures cyclists do not over or under inflate their tyres – a lifesaver on longer journeys where tyre pressure can be more affected.

Think about a steel pump piston as standard

Unfortunately, when something is left outdoors in a public space, it can befall damage or vandalism.

Steel pump pistons are far less vulnerable than plastic alternatives. If you want your installation to stand the test of time, look for this as a standard feature.

Steel cables keep your outdoor repair station tools safe

A concern for repair stations in public spaces is theft of the tools.

Steel cables, ideally plastic coated, is a simple solution to this. For added security, include a lockable door to limit access out of hours.

While steel cables are a deterrent, a determined individual with lock clippers could still cause damage—the addition of a lockable steel door prevents this.

Don’t forget about how-to guides

A simple guide, QR code or link to YouTube videos is a great help to cyclists looking to make simple repairs on the move.

Outdoor repair stations, in particular, require simple instructions or guidance for first-time users to ensure proper use.

You can include your branding

You have the option to brand a station. Branding can identify the purpose of the unit, which may not be apparent to all members of the public.

Branding communicates the brand or identity of a building, or where funding for a repair station may have come from.

If you’re a local council or business looking to install an outdoor bike repair station, then we can help. Give us a call or an email to discuss your project.

Bradwell Street student accommodation cycle racks

Turvec are installing 206 bike parking spaces to new student accommodation on Bradwell Street in East London. Serving Queen Mary University, the development comprises of 412 student rooms in a series of 8-10 storey towers, the bike stores have direct ground level access and are broken into two secure rooms. Turvec’s 2ParkUp two-tier rack was selected for this project as our double-tier solution, within the parking we have also incorporated a mix of Sheffield stands to provide accessible parking for all bike types.

Cycling in Winter: Top Tips for Busy Commuters

The cold winter months often bring icy roads and harsh weather conditions that can deter cyclists from riding their bikes. And it’s important to be careful: in 2016, 18,477 cyclists were injured in reported road accidents, including 3,499 who were killed or seriously injured. Yet, with the right preparation and mindset, the beginning of winter shouldn’t impact your daily commute. Here are our top tips for busy commuters to keep up their cycling year-round – whatever the weather!

Choose the right clothing

The winter months are not as easy as summer when it comes to clothing. Think about swapping your vests and shorts for windproof thermals, gloves, overshoes and clear or lightly tinted glasses.

It’s essential to choose a kit that not only keeps you warm against the elements but also ensures sweat is absorbed and evaporated quickly. If you don’t choose cycle-specific clothing, it’s likely that built-up sweat will make you feel damp and clammy, which is not a good start to anyone’s working day.

Although the best bike clothing can be expensive, it’s a worthwhile investment if it means you can comfortably keep cycling throughout winter.

Prepare for punctures

Punctures – a cyclist’s worst nightmare!

As the weather gets increasingly worse, the greater your chances are of obtaining punctures. Wet, uneven roads can create difficult conditions to cycle on. And no one wants to get caught out by a pesky puncture – especially not on the way to work.

Prepare for punctures by including at least two tubes and a pump in your backpack. Make sure to check that your pump still works if you haven’t used it in a while. If you’re cycling with friends or in a group, remember to remind them to bring their pumps before you head out – it could make all the difference to your ride. We also recommend purchasing tyres that are durable and include some element of puncture protection to avoid bicycle punctures and gain some peace of mind.

Remember to eat and drink

Fuelling your body before, during and after a ride is key to keeping on the bike during winter. Some energy bars can become hard during cold weather so softer food, or even gels might be your best bet.

Even though it’s likely you won’t be sweating as much because of the low temperatures, it’s also important to still keep hydrated. A good way to warm up and get some food and drink is by taking a mid-ride cafe stop that will help to replenish your energy levels if it’s a long ride. If you live in London there’s sure to be plenty of stops along the way, especially along some of the most well-known, popular routes. Alternatively, if you’re just on your daily commute, warm up with a hot drink and snack when you get to, and home from, work.

Be safe, be seen

It’s a sad fact that during winter, the commute to and from work oftentimes will be in the dark. Making sure you have a working light on your bike will ensure that drivers and other road users are able to see you from a distance, as well as you being able to clearly guide your way. And the good news is, there’s no need to spend a fortune – rechargeable LED lights can be bought in your local hardware shop and will work a treat.

Lock it or Lose it

Of course, a lost or stolen bike is no use for the commuter, no matter the weather – we previously wrote an article on how to keep your bike safe. One of the best ways is to keep it locked up in a safe and secure cycle compound.

For any information or advice about the range of bike storage solutions we offer at Turvec, get in touch with us today.

The Growth in Electric Bikes

Electric bikes have an abundance of benefits. From making your daily commute more pleasant to reducing fuel costs and helping the environment, it’s no wonder Europe has seen recent growth in the usage of e-bikes. Although electric bikes haven’t taken off quite as quickly in the UK as they have in other European countries such as Germany and Switzerland, sales are steadily increasing and are set to grow over the coming years.

So, what is an electric bike?

As the name suggests, an electric bike (or e-bike for short) is similar to a regular bicycle, but it also includes a battery and electric motor that helps to give the rider a little boost while pedalling. In this sense, e-bikes can be more accessible than standard bicycles and a good option for a wide range of people. For example, elderly individuals who may not feel confident riding a standard pushbike on the roads would benefit from an electric bike. Similarly, people with mobility issues or even those with a generally lower level of fitness may find that e-bikes help to make cycling a more enjoyable experience.

Moreover, no matter your fitness level – e-bikes give you a much-needed push when it comes to riding up hills and cycling for long periods; they essentially make life that little bit easier!

What has spiked a growth in electric bikes?

Increasing consumer awareness of the damage fossil fuels cause to the environment have resulted in many people considering alternative methods of transport. Electric bikes are an eco-friendly substitute for cars, making them the perfect choice for people who are actively trying to reduce their carbon footprint.

Aside from their environmental benefits, e-bikes also help people to save money. A survey of 2,000 commuters undertaken by Evans Cycles estimated that by switching from public transport to e-bikes, travellers could save over £7,500 across five years.*

As well as helping to save the environment and helping commuters to save money, e-bikes can also save you valuable time – especially in rush hour. By taking advantage of bicycle paths, you’ll be able to stay on the move and whizz past all the stationary cars – a commuter’s dream!

Is riding an e-bike still exercise?

Of course! Electric bikes still require you to pedal, so riding them is a form of exercise. The electrical assistance will only start once you’ve begun to pedal, and you can choose how much or how little support the bike gives you.

At Turvec, we’re passionate about getting more people cycling: whether that’s using a standard bicycle or an electric bike. Our secure bike storage solutions are perfect for businesses and organisations looking to provide safe spaces for employees and members to store their bikes. Get in touch with us today for any more information.

*Source: The Guardian
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/sep/16/rise-of-the-ebike-how-going-electric-could-revolutionise-your-ride

Nile Street Bike Parking

Turvec have been awarded the contract for all bike storage and shelters at the redevelopment of the New Regents College site on Nile Street in London. The development consists of 175 residential units, commercial space and a new school.

Turvec are delivering 407 bike storage spaces throughout two bespoke sedum roof compounds, public space and a secure basement cycle store for ‘The Makers Shoreditch’, the 28 storey apartment building. We are providing the required spaces with a mix of 2ParkUp two-tier racks, vertical racks and Sheffield stands.

 

Best bike rides in London

Whether you’ve lived in London all your life or have just made the move to the capital, cycling is a brilliant way to take in the city, its sights and surroundings. 

We’ve handpicked three of our favourite bike rides across London to help you discover the city in a new way,

Although London is somewhat infamous in the UK for its heavy traffic and busy streets, there’s actually an array of brilliant bike routes that will take you across the city and provide an appealing alternative to public transport.

Here are some of our favourites.

 The Tamsin Trail – a rite of passage for any keen cyclist living in London

The Tasmin Trial is a 12 km loop that goes to all corners of the park and includes a few short and sharp inclines, as well some longer, more gradual inclines.

The route is ideal for beginners or anyone fancying a nice leisurely ride.

There are also plenty of places to stop for ice cream or a cold drink along the way, making it the perfect route for a warm summers day.

However, if you want to push yourself – three laps of the 12 km route in one hour is a good challenge for any cyclist. Our favourite part about this route is the viewpoint from Richmond Gate; it looks right over central London and gives you a clear view of both the capital and the countryside.

Take in London’s most popular sights and tourist attractions

This 16 km route from Battersea Park to Greenwich, is one of the best ways to take in London’s most popular sights and tourist attractions, so it’s perfect for impressing friends and family who come to visit.

Cycling along the Thames, you’ll ride past the London Eye, the Tate Modern, the Globe and Borough Market, to name just a few highlights.

The route is relatively easy and a great way to see more of London without having to pay taxi or tube fares from one tourist attraction to the next.

The rolling hillsides and peaceful countryside of Surrey awaits

The Westminster Bridge to Box Hill route is not for the faint-hearted.

Cycling just outside of London via Richmond Park and Hampton Court Palace, the rolling hillsides and peaceful countryside of Surrey awaits. The gruelling 42 km route incorporates part of the 2012 Olympic road-cycling route in Box Hill – ‘Zig Zag Road’ – reaching an ascent of over 120m.

But its all worth it when you feel the satisfaction of making it to the top and witnessing some incredible views of Surrey’s countryside – it makes it hard to believe you’re just 30 km south-west of London!

Loop around Regent’s Park

If you’re looking for more of a pass time than a way of getting from A to B, this route will work for you.

The loop around Regent’s park also works well as a 4km timed lap track, a place where you can practice race intervals and travel at some speed.

Watch out for pedestrians and traffic, but you’ll be glad to know there aren’t many traffic lights to interrupt your flow.

Start in the corner closest to Regent’s Park underground station and travel anti-clockwise.

It’s not a bad view while you cycle either, the flowers and open spaces are a sight to behold. Oh, you can also stare in envy at some of the houses around the park too—if you’re lucky, you might see a giraffe pop its head above the fencing from London Zoo.

Expereince the sites of the River Lea

The well-documented cycle route that is Tottenham Marshes to Victoria Park gives its riders beautiful sites up the River Lea.

You start at Tottenham Marshes before following the towpath through some of the city’s less known places. Always great for explorers.

Although the river doesn’t find itself mentioned in many tourist guides, it’s a pretty waterway to travel alongside.

By the time you’re at Hackney Wick, you can follow the path that brings you out at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park where this route can conclude exploring the grand building. Or, if you’d prefer, there’s plenty of cafes and other smaller attractions to refresh and continue on.

Want a route a little out of the ordinary?

If you’re looking for a route that covers some of the more peculiar areas central London has to offer, Andreas’ guide is sure to be of interest to you.

The route starts at Leinster Gardens with its fake houses above the London underground before passing pet cemeteries, Cross Bones Graveyard before ending at some of the best small coffee houses and shops at Neal’s Yard.

Something off the beaten track, if that’s what you’re looking for!

We work with local councils to keep your cycle safe

Is there enough cycle parking and security on your route? If there isn’t why not let the local council know? We work with council’s to improve cycle parking facilities across London and further. If you’d like to learn more, give us a call.

Boris Bikes: How Many People Actually Use Them?

Santander Cycles, commonly referred to as ‘Boris Bikes’ after Boris Johnson who was the Mayor of London when the bike scheme was introduced, are growing in popularity. In 2017, record numbers of people used Boris Bikes to get around London, with more than 10.3 million journeys being made. Since its launch in 2010, Boris Bikes have facilitated over 67 million journeys throughout the capital city.

A hot summer of cycling

If you were in England this summer, you’ll know it was the hottest summer on record, marginally beating the temperatures recorded in the summer of 1976. It stayed that way pretty much for the months of June and July.

As the majority of London’s public transport doesn’t have air conditioning, this made for a lot of hot and sweaty trains and buses. According to TfL, this trend of warm weather led to record-breaking numbers of people using Boris Bikes.

July 2018 was the scheme’s most successful month in its eight-year history, with over 1.2 million people hiring the bicycles to get around. Whether it was to ride around London taking in the sites under a shining summer sun, or simply to avoid the hotter methods of traditional public transport, the recent warm weather definitely caused a spike in the number of people using Boris Bikes.

Investing in the future of transport

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said of the bikes that he’s ‘delighted that record numbers of Londoners are using our world-famous Santander Cycles to travel around the capital. Cycling helps to improve our health, air quality and congestion, and that’s why I’m investing record amounts to make it even safer and easier for all Londoners to take to two wheels.

The mayor’s record investment in the scheme hopes to deliver an infrastructure that connects people all across the city, encouraging more Londoners to use the bikes to get around quickly, safely and easily. As riding a bike is great for your health and poses no threat to the environment, Boris Bikes could provide a sustainable solution for reducing the amount of congestion and subsequent pollution in London, whilst also improving peoples’ overall health and wellbeing.

How does the scheme work?

Boris Bikes are so easy to use – and the first half an hour is free! With 11,000 bicycles, there will almost always be a bike waiting for you in any of the 70 docking stations across London. It only costs £2 to use a Boris Bike for 24 hours, with a surplus £2 charge for every additional 30 minutes if you’re using the bike for a longer journey. The bikes can be paid for using your card at the docking station, or even easier, by using the official Santander Cycles app, which sends a release code straight to your phone, allowing you to skip past the terminal and get cycling straight away!

All over the UK, Turvec design and install secure bike storage solutions for businesses, councils, schools and more. Get in touch with us today for any more information about how we can help to keep your bicycles safe!