Cycling is becoming more and more popular in big cities, as people see riding as a healthy and sustainable way to get around. Yet, as more people take up cycling, the threat of bike thefts increases. In order to promote cycling and keep the public’s bicycles safe, cities across the world have either designed, or are designing, modern bike shelters to keep bikes protected. Below are three examples of shelters from across the world and one from here in the UK. We have also included advice on how to best store your bike at home.
Oonee at Brooklyn, New York
“I’ve had three bikes stolen in five years,” cyclist Shabazz Stuart told Fast Company. This meant he had to leave his prized bike at home and commute by bus. Yet, it got him thinking about how to best protect bikes in the city centre.
And with that, Stuart and architect Manuel Mansylla, created Oonee, which is a modular bike-storage kiosk that can be installed and integrated into public spaces. It’s assembled from a kit of more than 150 parts and is fully customisable and easy to use. Riders can access the kiosk by purchasing an app that costs no more than $11 (£8). At the moment the bike shelter is only for securing bikes, but in the future Stuart wants mechanics to visit the shelters and service any bikes in need of repair.
Minoru Centre for Active Living at Richmond, Canada
Richmond News reports that when the Minoru Centre for Active Living opens, it will be home to an electronic bike rack that has a 34-bike capacity. The city’s projections estimate that the unit will serve more than 20,000 bikes a year at a mere 38 cents per bike. The unit will also feature additional storage space for accessories, along with multi-layer protection from theft and vandalism.
Utrecht Attractive and Accessible at Utrecht, Netherlands
The Dutch city is famous for having the world’s largest bike parking garage. The Utrecht Centraal railway station is where the 12,500 capacity bike shed is located, with 40% of all passengers arriving on a bicycle. The huge bike shed demonstrates how prominent cycling is in Holland, with bikes actually outnumbering people.
Streetpods, Manchester Town Hall
British cycle storage company Cyclepods installed 30 Steetpods in Manchester’s Town Hall in 2013. Each pod can hold two bikes; they are made from eco-friendly materials, and have won awards as the only freestanding cycle parking in the UK. In 2017, the official website for the company said they went back to check on the bike pods and found that they were still being used to maximum capacity.
While cities like Manchester are doing more to protect bikes, there is no doubt that bike theft is a huge issue. Many bike owners are even getting their bikes stolen from their homes, with 1 bike being stolen every 6 minutes. In order to combat this, home bike shelters are becoming much more advanced.
In 2016, specialist metal storage manufacturer Trimetals was awarded the Queen’s Award for their “Protect a CycleTM“. The storage units include generous dimensions that allow up to three adult bikes to be secured. On Spycycle we also reported on how their storage units were the only ones that had been tested and certified by the Loss Prevention Certification Board. While not everyone will want that particular bike shelter, it is vital that you properly protect your bike at home. For one, the shed and the locks you choose matter. The bike sheds listed on Screwfix show how most storage units come with a 3 point lock, which helps make sure the bike is properly secured. Standalone bike shelters are the best choice, especially if you’ve got space. If you don’t have any extra space, then a flat-pack shed or the garage is just as good. It is important that no matter what your storage situation is, you don’t leave your bikes outside.
As more people turn to cycling in the UK hopefully the country will also get more advanced bike shelters like the ones above. In the meantime it is best to make sure that you have a good bike lock if you are parking your bike anywhere outside.