Bike Parking

5 Reasons to Invest in Commercial Bike Racks

A young male happily cycling while listening to music about to park his bike

Bicycle racks provide secure parking for people, while adding value to businesses

A young male happily cycling while listening to music about to park his bike
Having public outdoor bicycle parking can bring you more customers and make riders happy.

You’d think public bike racks would be an obvious solution for fighting bike theft. Yet when you look at it from a business perspective, there are a host of advantages to investing in outdoor bike racks. Here are 5 concrete reasons you should consider investing in commercial bike racks and why.

  1. Soaring bike sales resulting in rising bike theft

The pandemic effect

The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in an unprecedented boom in bike sales across North America. As car-clogged streets became less noisy, more bike lanes were installed to encourage cycling and outdoor exercise. Biking allows people a chance to get outside and exercise while observing physical distancing. Bike shops across North America started to feel overwhelmed with increased demand. The biggest spike in bike sales in the United States since the 1970s resulted in empty aisles at mass merchandisers like Walmart and Target, and ultimately led to a nationwide bike shortage. States like New York and D.C. witnessed tremendous growth in new bike registrations amid the pandemic.

Cyclists crossing the street with their bikes during the pandemic
Bicycle racks provide a secure option for riders amid soaring bike theft during the pandemic.

Opportunity for thieves

As bike sales soared, bike theft saw a similar rise. As total bike registrations in the year 2020 across the United States tallied at over 548,000, bike thefts reached a record-number of over 96,000. According to BNN Bloomberg, those numbers represent annual increases of 111% in bike sales, and 56% in bike theft. These numbers only represent thefts which have been reported. It’s estimated that more than 1.7 million bikes are stolen across the United States annually, of which only 15-20% get reported to police. It’s not only a big problem down south, as a similar trend is taking shape across Canadian provinces. Nearly 4,000 bikes were reported stolen in Toronto, Ontario in the year 2020, which represents a three times jump compared to in 2014. Vancouver shows a similar trend and continues to have the highest rate of bicycle theft per capita of any major Canadian city, as in 2020 alone, 334 bikes were stolen per 100,000 people. These worrisome numbers and lack of secure parking options are main contributors as to why people don’t cycle more often, and even when they do, they don’t feel fully safe and secure.

Smiling cyclist poses for a photo while steering her bicycle
Bike racks enable businesses to bring in more money and increase customer satisfaction.
  1. Having secure bike parking can bring in more business

Studies have demonstrated that cyclists bring in more money to street level businesses. Therefore, secure bike parking is a must for physical storefronts. Commercial bike racks can help businesses increase their business value by providing easy and fast bike parking to customers. In addition to increasing their current customers’ level of satisfaction, businesses are able to expand their customer base by providing a parking solution to potential clients. With the increasing number of bike riders across North America, the lack of bike parking can be a tremendous opportunity cost for a lot of small businesses. If cyclists riding by your storefront don’t see adequate parking for their bikes, you will lose out on many potential customers. In addition to bringing in more business, other benefits of providing bicycle parking include: community engagement, cultivating your image, and community support.

Smiling gentleman leaning on his bicycle outside of work
Employers can save money and improve employee satisfaction by encouraging commuting by bike.
  1. Employers can save money and improve employees’ physical and mental health

Providing proper and secure parking space for bicycles not only can expand your customer base and their satisfaction, it can also increase your employees’ satisfaction, and at the same time, save you money.

Bike parking vs car parking

It is much cheaper for employers to build parking space for bikes in comparison to cars. The same standard parking stall for a single vehicle is able to occupy about eight bicycles. There are estimated to be upwards of 3 million curbsides parking spaces for vehicles just in New York. Can you imagine the positive impacts it would bring if you were to convert even a quarter of those into bicycle parking space? Additionally, secure and clean looking commercial bike racks placed outside sounds much better than getting your workplace hallways dirty and filled with a bunch of bicycles.

Health Impact

You might ask how does reduced parking space benefit your employees? The availability and addition of secure bicycle parking will encourage more employees to start commuting to work by bike. Studies over time have shown that getting exercise with cycling leads to an increase in individuals’ mental health, in addition to physical. Cycling to work comes with even greater benefits amid the pandemic we live with today. It gives you the opportunity to get outdoor fresh air and enables you to promptly maintain physical distance compared to taking public transit or carpooling.

Bicycle securely locked to an outdoor bike rack
Lack of secure parking options for cyclists is leading to an increase in bike theft.
  1. Provide a better and more secure parking option

Unusual parking methods

Let’s face it, everyone has come across some sort of odd parking technique in the past. You simply can’t ignore it. Without an adequate and extensive network of accessible public bike racks, people will often tend to use numerous weird ways to find alternatives. These bike parking alternatives can include fences, street posts, gates, railings, and trees, just to name a few. 

Lack of secure parking options

The use of these alternatives is not only insecure and risky for the bike owner as it makes the bike stand out in the forefront, it can also make it unsafe for the public, and potentially cause harmful damage to these objects being used. In some cases, you’ll see riders using these alternatives due to inconvenience of having proper parking placed a bit too far from where they are or going to. However, in most cases it takes place simply due to lack of sufficient better options. It’s quite simple; if you can provide extensive and better-quality secure bike parking alternatives, most cyclists would most likely use them. Secure bike parking solutions are able to provide increased visibility and security to bicycles in order to help prevent bike theft.

Commercial bike rack installed strategically by a sidewalk
The R-8239-SS stainless steel bicycle rack offers high-capacity bike parking with premium aesthetics.
  1. Modern commercial bike racks offer appealing designs, high functionality

Aesthetically pleasing site furnishings

In today’s world of modern landscape architecture, when most people hear ‘bike rack’ they immediately think of complicated, cheap quality, space-occupying, and insecure eyesore pieces of metal. Reliance Foundry’s commercial bike racks are the complete opposite. The bike racks we offer are made with high quality materials; standard steel or premium grade 316 stainless steel. The various shapes and designs of the racks swiftly combine appealing design with security and functionality. From ring bike racks, to inverted u-racks, and the aesthetically pleasing wave racks, you have endless styles to choose from. Our outdoor bike racks offer secure and fast short-term bicycle parking. The security of bike racks depend on three major factors: the quality of the bike rack, the type and quality of the lock, and how the lock is used.

Extensive parking solutions

If you worry about the level of security for your bike as it sits outdoors, you can opt in for our wall bike racks. These vertical racks save space while providing a more secure bike storage option and can be easily mounted to a wall. They can be installed in underground parkades in apartment or condo buildings. Reliance Foundry also offers other bike parking solutions including: post-and-ring style bike bollards, bike storage lockers, and bike parking accessories.

For complete, step-by-step instructions, you can view our detailed installation guide.