With a younger, more urban workforce coming of age, companies are increasingly trying to address their needs and keep them happy. For the last couple of generations, looking after employees’ transport needs might have involved carpools, valet parking, and reserved parking spots. Increasingly, however, it means finding bicycle storage options for office buildings and other workplaces. Especially in America’s West, public investment in bicycle infrastructure has presented many companies with the interesting situation of how to provide support for their cyclist employees. There are many companies that incentivize employees to seek alternatives to cars for their commutes, or go above in beyond in aiding those who cycle. Bike storage is just the beginning. Company cars are being superseded by commuter bicycles, loaner bikes, workplace showers, and health insurance discounts for completing cycling-related challenges. What can your organization do to accommodate and even celebrate its cyclists?
Guide to Bike Rooms
Bike rooms are having their day in the sun. Over two million bikes are stolen each year in North America, with barely two percent ever finding their way back to their owners. Cyclists are four times likelier than automobile owners to have their vehicle stolen. For cyclists looking to protect their investments, and landlords and companies looking to keep their tenants and employees happy, indoor bike storage is the answer. That said, refitting existing space for bikes is considerably more difficult than planning buildings to include indoor bike parking in the first place.
There are additional concerns for those planning indoor bicycle parking. It’s desirable to limit the distance from the entrance that your premises’ bike stands are. First floor locations are, obviously, preferable. Floors and walls are less likely to receive marks from tires or wayward handlebars or pedals the shorter and less convoluted a path to the bike room there is. Another factor that must be considered extensively when setting up a bike room is how to most efficiently use the floor space. What solutions are you going to use?
Space-Saving Indoor Bike Storage Solutions
There are many options on the market for those seeking to outfit their bike rooms with space-efficient bike storage facilities.
Free-standing vertical bike racks: these alternatives to standard bike racks are much more efficient at saving space than the standard horizontal rack. Some models stagger bikes at different elevations to further augment their capacity for high density storage without scratching paintwork or causing other damage. The more secure versions feature locking arms that contact at multiple points to make it significantly harder for a bike to fall off the frame or be stolen.
Reclaimed/recycled wooden bike racks: A wooden pallet can very easily be made to serve as a rough and ready bike rack. They’re easily sourced and customisable, too! They do take up more floor space than many of the other solutions, but if you are less concerned about economy of space and security these can be a good method of expressing your brand’s green values.
Wall-mounted bike racks: like free-standing vertical bike racks, these are useful for saving space in bike rooms. They are secure because since they are mounted they are harder to manipulate. If the hooks are staggered at different heights, your tenants or employees will be able to park bikes closer together.
Bike hooks: instead of a full rack, bike hooks can be cheaper and easier to install in large numbers. Rather than hanging by the handlebars or bike frame, most bike hooks grab the front wheel and allow the rear wheel to rest on the wall. The danger of this is that the rear wheel will leave marks on the wall. You may want to decorate your bike room accordingly, with a vinyl or other wipe-clean material for at least the lower portion of the walls.
Bike lockers: bike lockers are an interesting option in that they are plausible storage options not only for bike rooms but also automobile parking spaces. Several lockers can fit in a single parking space. Your bicycle spaces should be at least 2’ wide and 6’ long, but otherwise you can likely fit at least four in a single space, possibly more.
Best Office Bike Storage
Of course, bicycle storage is the main reason for having a bike room. But a few little quality-of-life extras can massively improve the experience of your bicycle-using employees. It may even encourage more of your staff to use their bikes to commute. Security cameras can make people feel like their expensive road bikes are being taken good care of. Ideally, you can have 24-7 recording, so that you can review the footage when an incident occurs. You may also consider credentials for the bike room, like a card reader or passcode. These methods are easier to update than a traditional key, and can help with seeing who is coming and going. Particularly large facilities with many employees might find several small bicycle rooms more efficient than one large one. It also limits the amount of bicycles that one guest has access to at a time. Another security option is to provide bicycle lockers, or offer them as an optional extra.
Personal lockers and benches for people to change their shoes can also be very convenient. A cyclist may bring a helmet, a change of clothes, a towel, toiletries, and possibly bicycle supplies. On the topic of bicycle supplies, bike repair stations can be extremely helpful. A lot of urban bicycle commuters lack space to maintain their bicycles at home, so an area to repair chains, see to flat tires, or perform other acts of maintenance can be very helpful. Some manufacturers actually produce all-in-one repair stations with in-built wheel pumps, air pressure gauges, chocks to keep bikes upright while cyclists work on them, and tools (connected to the station by wire to stop people accidentally wandering off with them). A hose and drain, either outside your building or in a corner of the bike room, to discreetly wash down dirty bikes will also make a difference. A difference both to your employees and the cleanliness of the area leading to the bike room. On the topic of cleanliness, shower facilities and changing rooms will massively increase the uptake of workers using your bike facilities. It’s worth considering that in combination with bike facilities, changing rooms and showers can help your company and/or building accumulate LEED points (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). LEED certification can go a long way to boosting the environmental image of your brand. One shower per four bicycle spaces is considered a good minimum.
Alpen Bike Capsules for Commercial Bike Storage
Would you like your tenants’ or employees’ bikes to be secure and weatherproofed, regardless of size or configuration? Alpen Storage offers the ultimate solution for bike storage. Our bike capsules are made of an incredibly durable polyethylene that can be used inside a garage, bike room, or building common area. They feature a secure integrated locking system making them difficult for thieves to break into. The capsules’ smooth lines and neutral color mean they fit well anywhere. From mountain bikes to road bikes to BMXes, easy access is available for the bicycle and accessories alike. If you’re interested in using Alpen Bike Capsules in your building’s bicycle facilities, you can learn more here.