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Meet 4 of the best indoor bike racks on the market (videos)

Posted by on August 27th, 2013 at 10:26 am

Mad scientist Scott Mizée outside
his bike parking laboratory.
(photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Indoor bike parking rooms are becoming standard in Portland’s offices and apartment buildings. But when square footage is scarce, sometimes plastic-coated hooks just won’t do.

That’s where hanging horizontal racks come in. These two-level metal models cost hundreds of dollars per bike space — but they also make a bike parking area 50 to 100 percent more efficient per square foot.

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Their systems of shocks and hinges also make it easy for someone with a smaller frame or less muscular arms to hoist a bike into place. To get a better look at the state of the industry in bike parking, I visited local expert Scott Mizée of Alta Planning and Design. Alta’s employee bike parking room — a.k.a. “Bike SPA” — on Portland’s inner eastside doubles as Mizée’s test lab for the industry’s best bike parking products.

I asked Mizée to give a brief introduction to each of the main horizontal rack products he’s testing.

First, here’s the one Mizée describes as his own favorite, the $475 Dero Decker. (He couldn’t recall the price in the video clip below.) It stands out, he says, for its elegant operation and durable craftsmanship.

Next, here’s the Saris Stack Rack, which goes for $350 to $375 per bike. It’s the one used by TriMet’s paid bike-and-ride structures, for which Mizée led the design:

Here’s the Urban Racks Double Stacker, which costs $300 per bike and has a nifty automated lifting mechanism:

Finally, here’s the most spectacular solution, the Urban Racks Wheely-it, which takes up more wallspace and is marketed more to individual consumers than to businesses:

“I’m really anxious to see where this goes in the next few years,” Mizée said. “They’ve been doing it in Europe for decades already, and we’re just now getting it to appear in North America.”

Expect to see more about the deployment of this hardware in future Real Estate Beat coverage. For more stories like this, browse our archives.

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  • scott August 27, 2013 at 10:55 am

    The Alta Bike SPA is a great platform for testing and comparing these racks. I’m not sure if its open to the public? Rack Attack on SW Morrison St (my shop) is the Saris distributor and we have a test unit of the Stack Rack on site if there are any potential testers/buyers out there…

    Great videos Scott & Mike!

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  • Bjorn August 27, 2013 at 11:03 am

    This is how my company, SIGMA Design solved our bike parking problem: http://www.sigmadzn.com/bombarded-by-bikes/

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  • Anne Hawley August 27, 2013 at 11:24 am

    As more people choose heavier, longer, non-“standard” bikes for commuting, bike parking gets more complicated. My big Dutch Workcycles Oma would tax a couple of those solutions (assuming it would fit at all), or else it would tax *me* to get it onto the rack. I have terrific bike parking where I work, but the fact is, it was conceived for light, narrow road bikes. Those of us commuting on other kinds of bikes really have to scramble to find a spot. It can be a bit of a free-for-all

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    • Jeff P August 27, 2013 at 12:07 pm

      Kind of like SUV’s is compact spaces in parking garages! Certainly a good ‘problem’ to have. Obviously one size does not fit all and should be a consideration.

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      • Anne Hawley August 27, 2013 at 1:44 pm

        Kind of, and bike commuters with smaller bikes have left me snotty notes on occasion, too, when I blocked a hanging hook with my non-hanging bike. I’ve had to work not to feel guilty and over-consumerish for having chosen an SUV among bikes, because there’s really very little value in the metaphor.

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    • Mary Stewart August 27, 2013 at 4:40 pm

      Hi Anne – I work at Alta too, I’m the one Scott is talking about with a bike similar to yours. It’s even too long for a Trimet bus rack and it hangs over the edge of some of the double-stack racks, but the Wheely-it is pretty awesome for larger/heavier bikes. If you ever want to try it out, let me know. – Mary

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      • Anne Hawley August 27, 2013 at 5:27 pm

        I’d love to! Thank you! annehawley at comcast dot net will find me. Let me know what we could arrange.

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    • Peanut Butter August 28, 2013 at 8:43 am

      I wish busses had racks that worked with more utilitarian bicycles. Even without the big basket on the front of my bike, the wheelbase is almost too long for LTD’s bike racks…and it’s not even a cargo bike!

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  • CarlB August 27, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    I’m pretty sure epoxy-coated steel hooks aren’t “plastic hooks” any more than my powder coated steel frame is a “plastic bike”. I’ve never tried the hooks in question and have no opinion about their usefulness, but I don’t understand the motivation for the blatant, deliberate misrepresentation. It makes it hard to know when what’s reported in Bike Portland is supposed to be believed.

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  • Scott Mizée August 27, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Scott from Rack Attack, That is great that you have a Stack Rack on site! I’ll be sure and let people know about that resource. To answer your question, we do invite the public to the lab by appointment. Feel free to call us at 503.230.9862 or e-mail me directly at scottmizee -at- altaplanning.com

    Bjorn, that is a brilliant solution! Can I come see it in person?

    Anne Hawley, Thanks for bringing up the larger Dutch Workcycles bikes. One of my colleagues rides an Omafiets to work every day. She was out the day of the filming, but the Cycle Lift lifts her 50+ pound bike out of the way high onto the wall no problem. She loves it.

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  • Mark C August 27, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    Check out this solution from Japan:


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  • Chris Sanderson August 27, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    I may get the opportunity to install a pair of those Saris Stack Racks for a client. They are pretty sweet!

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  • John Liu
    John Liu August 29, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    We have a locked bike room in my office building with hanging bike racks. The problem I notice is that there is no way to U-lock the bike to the rack. Most people don’t lock their bikes, but the room is unattended and dozens or a hundred people have access to it, so . . .

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  • Bike Racks For Cars September 1, 2013 at 1:57 am

    That was a great demonstration of the various racks. Appreciate the vids. It would be a great idea for companies who develop new building structures with bicyclists in mind; with these type of “parking” solutions. Going green and promoting good health are always a big plus for big business.

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  • Jason Alcott September 9, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Hi Scott & Michael,

    Thank you for the positive review of both our Urban Racks Double Stacker and the CycleLift!

    We are definitely seeing an increase in interest for both solutions as maximizing space is a constant goal.
    Happy cycling!

    Jason Alcott
    Urban Racks

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