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.