The Spotters’ Guide to Cambridge Cycle Parking


The good

Cycle parking example as described adjacent

Simple Sheffield Stand. This is the preferred style of cycle parking of the majority of cyclists. Two vertical supports mean that the bike is well-supported and unlikely to fall over. It is easy to lock the bike frame and a wheel to one of the vertical supports. It is economical, as two bikes are parked at one stand.

(These ones, on East Road, are remnants of Cambridge’s Green Bike loan scheme. The middle stand, which supported instructions, has since been removed, hence the rather wide spacing.)

Its main features are:

  • Two vertical supports mean that the bike is well-supported and unlikely to fall over.
  • It is easy to lock the bike frame and a wheel to one of the vertical supports.
  • It is economical, as two bikes can be parked per stand.
Cycle parking example as described adjacent Downing Site, University of Cambridge. These older stands have all the benefits of Sheffield stands (2 vertical supports, and easy to lock te frame and rear wheel to an immovable object), but they also offer separation, so that when two bikes are parked, handlebars and baskets don’t get tangled. (We don’t know whether these are still made any more.)
Cycle parking example as described adjacent Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge. This is one of the highest-quality cycle parks in Cambridge. Sheffield-style stands provide two vertical supports, and good locking points. (People with baskets seem to like the 45 degree angle, too). The stands are under cover, protecting bikes from the elements. Good lighting is provided. And the location (right outside the main entrance) is ideal.

The mediocre

Cycle parking example as described adjacent These racks, variously known as ‘nappy pins’, or ‘curly racks’, were chosen for their appearance. They are fine if you have a bike with a cross-bar, and a rigid lock. Otherwise, your bike is quite likely to fall over. And if you want to place a child in a seat on your bike, you’ll struggle.
Cycle parking example as described adjacent Judge Institute for Management Studies, University of Cambridge
Cycle parking example as described adjacent Judge Institute for Management Studies, University of Cambridge. Aesthetically pleasing – but because there is only one support, bikes with women’s frames, and those locked with cable locks, tend to fall over.
Cycle parking example as described adjacent Judge Institute for Management Studies, University of Cambridge again. But some of the racks a partially covered, which is always welcome.
Cycle parking example as described adjacent If cyclists can’t find an official parking space, they’ll make use of what’s available
Cycle parking example as described adjacent

Cycle parking example as described adjacent

Pedalo bike racks, Sidgwick Site, University of Cambridge. These are becoming more common in Cambridge, and they do seem popular with cyclists. The rubber attachment holds the frame securely, and there is a ring through which a lock can be placed.

However, there are many sizes and shapes of bike where the frame cannot fit into the rubber bung (due to frame size and shape – e.g. small women’s bikes, water bottle cage, lock bracket, etc.)

The absolutely appalling

Cycle parking example as described adjacent These are the widest wheelbenders we know of in Cambridge. Only mountain bikes with the fattest tyres (i.e. the sort you need for all the mountains in Cambridge) really stand up securely in them.
Cycle parking example as described adjacent To be avoided at all costs… These concrete slots on Carlton Way are so little used that they provided a small patch of greenery amonst the concrete.

Variations on the theme of a Sheffield Stand

Cycle parking example as described adjacent Rather short Sheffield Stands at Lucy Cavendish College. Bikes with women’s frames, and those locked with flexible locks, tend to fall over.

Wall-mounted cycle parking

Cycle parking example as described adjacent Wall-mounted bolts, Engineering Department, University of Cambridge. These work well in locations where there is insufficient room for Sheffield stands. The height at which they are mounted seems critical. Howes’ Cycles, in Cambridge, sell these ones.
Cycle parking example as described adjacent This clever use of pipework at the Portland Arms pub, on Mitcham’s Corner, works very well, in an area that would be too narrow for Sheffield stands.
Cycle parking example as described adjacent It is now possible to buy ready-made wall brackets specifically for attaching bikes using a D-Lock for your own house.

The unusual

Cycle parking example as described adjacent Wooden cycle parking at a Cambridge College
Cycle parking example as described adjacent Cycle Parking in Cambridge, Massachusetts