This article was published in 2001, in Newsletter 39.
Cambridge cyclists deserve better bike parking than that made from bent galvanised scaffolding tubes. Around the Guildhall, the world’s biggest ever cycle parking experiment is quietly underway. In May the old wheel benders in that area were ripped out and replaced with eight different types of cycle rack. The new cycle parking ought to reduce cycle theft by making it easier to lock a bike properly, and was reported in Newsletter 35 .
Evaluation of how effective the racks are is now under way, and included the cycle parking survey enclosed with Newsletter 38 . The evaluation of the racks uses four criteria: what people think of the racks, counts of how well bikes are locked to them, counts of levels of use and finally maintenance costs.
Each rack was carefully selected for inclusion in the experiment and had to pass several tests before winning a place on the highway. Cambridge is about to get a lot more cycle parking in the city centre and the choice will largely be made on the results of this experiment.
Below I list some reasons why I thought these cycle racks should be included in the experiment.
This elegant shark’s fin shape was chosen enhance the look of the front of the Guildhall. It provides a range of heights for securing the frame to the rack.
Shape provides a high-up locking point that won’t allow the bike to fall over. Easily accommodates bikes with baskets. These are located at the end of Peas Hill, and at the corner of Drummer Street and Emmanuel Street.
Thicker tubing than normal Sheffields to prevent use of car jacks to break D-locks. This particular model is located alongside the Guildhall in Peas Hill, do not confuse them with other types of Sheffield rack around the city.
Inverted U with crossbar
Crossbar provides more locking options and prevents the rack tubing from being cut and prised apart. The shape provides good support for a wide range of bikes, and those with baskets. These are located alongside the Guildhall in Guildhall Street.
Triangle 10 and 20
This most radical rack designs provide wheel baskets to hold the bikes securely, one in the low position and one high up. This enables the racks to be put close together to give high capacity cycle parking in a small space. The arched stem provides high-up locking points for the bike frame, and differs in style between the two models. These are located in Guildhall Street near the statue of Talos.
The front of a bike slides into the arms of this rack. It provides a high up place to lock the frame and front wheel to the rack. They are a good replacement for the old vee grips as they take up roughly the same amount of room on the ground. These are located opposite the main entrance to the Arts Theatre in Peas Hill.
Like a low Sheffield rack whose ends have been curved round to hold the front wheel of the bike. This stops the bike falling over. The long section provides many places to attach a D-lock to the frame. These are located in Fisher Square near the rear entrance to Lion Yard.