A Closer Look at the DL2 Bike Racks

OT DL2 (2) CAD

A Closer Look at the DL2 Bike Racks

In the world of bike racks, the DL2 is the most widely used transit bike rack on the planet.These racks have been in use on buses throughout North America since 1992.The tried and true design is easy to use, easy to maintain and easy to install.The DL2 is a workhorse of a bike rack that has carried millions of bikes since first hitting the streets over two decades ago.Dl2 racks are synonymous with quality, durability, ease of use and care.Bicycle riders love them for their simplicity in loading and unloading.Transit operators love them for their easy installation and their ability to withstand the tough transit environment. Unique models are available to meet vehicle and rider needs.

Why use a DL2 Bike Rack?

DL2 bike racks are popular for a wide variety of reasons. They're lightweight, depending on the model, they weigh around 19 pounds and they are very easy to install on most any vehicle and simple to remove. Customization options are also available with the DL2. Choose from mild steel to stainless steel, powder coating in many colors or bead blasting for a more classic look. There is even room for advertising opportunities by adding one of our advertising panels which enables your agency to market to your riders. The primary benefit of DL2 racks continues to be the fact that they're simple for bicycle riders to load and unload. Some transit racks can be difficult to operate and loading bikes can be intimidating and complicated, but DL2 racks are quite the opposite. Bicycle riders have been enjoying the use of these innovative bike racks for years, and will continue to use them due to their unparalleled ease of use and durability for years to come. .

The Dl2 Models :

There are two different DL2 models to choose from. The original 2 position DL2 bike rack with spring loaded arms which has been around for decades, and is used by thousands of commercial transit agencies throughout the US, North America, Europe and even Australia! The steel frame is incredibly strong and sturdy and is made out of either mild or stainless steel which is the perfect material for bicyclists and transit vehicle owners alike due to excellent durability. The design features no scratch loading as the spring arm does not contact the bicycle frame. To load a bike, the user simply places the bicycle in the tray then pulls the spring arm out and over the wheel to securely mount the bicycle on the rack. The bike is secure and can then safely be transported to the rider’s ultimate destination.

The newest member of the DL2 family is the DL2 NP or Narrow Profile. The main difference between the DL2 NP rack and the original DL2, is the DL2 NP is smaller and has a narrower profile when mounted on the vehicle. The DL2 NP takes up less space on the vehicle so it is the perfect choice for smaller vehicles. Despite the smaller size, the NP rack can still easily transport two bicycles without giving up independent loading and unloading. Just like the original DL2, the NP is very lightweight, is made of steel, either mild or stainless and has the same ease of use and unparalleled reputation as that of its big brother, the DL2.

When choosing the right rack it comes down to the needs of your vehicle fleet and your ridership. If you need a sleek & lightweight rack for a smaller transit vehicle, the DL2 NP is the perfect choice. If you're looking for the industry standard, you can't go wrong with the tough and durable original DL2. Both DL2 models are synonymous with quality, ease of use and durability.DL2 bike racks started it all and remain the rack of choice for many of our customers today.

Hardware

All Sportworks bumper-mounted bike racks require a Pivot Plate, Brackets and Bolt Kit for proper installation.

Standard Pivot Plate
Standard Pivot Plate

The standard pivot plate measures 26” wide, and provides the mounting and pivot point for the bike rack. The pivot plate is connected to bumper brackets, and enables the bike rack to move between the stowed and deployed positions. The standard pivot plate is compatible with Sportworks DL2, DL3 (Trilogy) and VeloPorter series racks.

Ten Second Bracket
Ten Second Bracket

The Ten Second Bracket™ (TSB) is the result of a joint development effort between Romeo Rim bumpers and Sportworks Bike-Racks-for-Buses™. The TSB offers an integrated pivot plate and bumper bracket assembly that can be installed or removed in 10 seconds or less. Best of all, the bracket is safely secured using hand-knobs so no tools are required.

Some TSB models come with dual mounting points to accomodate both Sportworks standard width and DL2 NP racks.

Hardware

Sportworks offers two primary types of Brackets that secure the Pivot Plate and Bike Rack to a vehicle bumper.

Stand-Off
Stand-Off

The Stand-Off is the most common bracket type, and attaches through holes drilled into the front of the vehicle bumper. Stand-Off brackets are available in a variety of lengths, and do not require removal of the bumper for installation. The following information may be required to determine the proper fit for your vehicle: vehicle make and model, vehicle year, bumper manufacturer and type.

C-Bracket
C-Bracket

The C-Bracket fits around the bumper by attaching to the frame, and alleviates the need to drill holes through the front of the vehicle bumper. C-Brackets come in a variety of sizes, and require removal of the bumper for installation. The following information may be required to determine the proper fit for your vehicle: vehicle make and model, vehicle year, bumper manufacturer and type.

Accessories


Advertising Panel
Advertising Panel
  • Maximize advertising space and create a new stream of revenue
  • Heavy-duty construction is bus washer safe
  • 13” x 32”, 14” x 44” and custom frame sizes available
  • Quickly and easily attaches to most Sportworks racks
Deployment Indicator Kit
Deployment Indicator Kit
  • Dashboard mounted light notifies driver when rack is deployed
  • Increased safety feature
  • Attaches to most Sportworks racks
Torsion Spring Kit
Torsion Spring Kit
  • Reduces the lifting weight when stowing and deploying the rack
  • Corrosion resistant design with stainless steel spring
  • Easily attaches to most Sportworks pivot plates
Display Stand
Display Stand
  • Easily demonstrate bike rack loading/unloading without a bus
  • Excellent for public education and training purposes
  • Heavy-duty construction can support rack with bikes loaded
  • Fast and easy to assemble, disassemble and transport
Turn Signal Kit
Turn Signal Kit
  • Aftermarket turn signals mount directly to rack for increased visibility
  • Increased safety feature
  • Available for select Sportworks racks
  • Excellent for addressing vehicle light source interference issues
Quick-Release Pivot Bolts
Quick-Release Pivot Bolts
  • Quick-release hand knob allows tool-less removal of bike rack from pivot plate
  • Provides fast and easy access to bus-front for maintenance and towing
  • Highly corrosion resistant stainless steel, zinc and copper construction

How to Use

Sportworks Transit Racks - Quick, Easy and Intuitive!


Secure Wheel
Secure Wheel

To secure the bike, simply pull the unique self-storing support arm out and over the front tire. The handle should be placed as close to the front brake and head tube as possible to ensure safety and security of the bike, and in all cases the handle must be closer to the head tube than the highest point of the tire.

Load Bike
Load Bike

After lowering the rack, the rider places the bike into one of the rack’s open wheel trays. All bike positions are completely independent of each other, making it easy to load or unload bikes with others already loaded in the rack.

Lower Rack
Lower Rack

Approaching from the curbside, the rider lowers the rack with one hand while supporting the bike with the other hand. This durable rack is as easy to raise as it is to lower.

Frequently Asked Question

  • The new Apex 3™ bike rack sounds like a very compact layout. Is it safe to use on smaller transit vehicles like cutaways and paratransit vehicles?

    Measuring 82” wide, the new Apex 3™ offers the most compact, maneuverable, and unobstructed layout of any 3-position bike rack available today. One of the key design objectives was to create a highly-compact footprint that provides minimal impact on vehicle turn-radius and headlight/turn signal interference. Sportworks recommends using the Apex 3™ on any transit vehicles measuring at least 96” wide (excluding mirrors). Online vehicle data suggests that most cutaways measure 96” in width. For more information about the width of your vehicles, please contact the OEM vehicle manufacturer or reseller directly.

  • Can transit racks fit on smaller community "cutaway" shuttles?


    Yes. We pay close attention to this market, and have designed various mounting systems that accommodate the existing features of these vehicles. Whether you have a Ford or Chevy cutaway, or larger International Navistar, we likely have a bracket to fit.

    NOTE: Due to the narrow size and stiffer suspension typically found on cutaway’s, Sportworks does not recommend using most 3-position bike racks (excluding the new Apex 3™) with these vehicles. Doing so may present safety issues related to bicycle retention, headlight blockage, vehicle turn radius, and lead to pre-mature failure of the bike rack.

  • Will the racks interfere with vehicle safety equipment including headlights and turn signals?


    The amount of potential interference will vary from vehicle to vehicle. Sportworks works diligently to optimize the position of bike racks on current and new model buses. We can also customize almost any portion of the mounting bracket to adjust how and where the rack sits on the front of the vehicle. The majority of Sportworks mounting brackets include multiple holes allowing the rack to be adjusted vertically to identify the most ideal location. This vertical adjustment alone overcomes the majority of interference concerns that may be attributed to the bike rack.

  • Are bike racks on transit vehicles compliant with federal and state regulations regarding vehicle lighting?

    FEDERAL: Sportworks has designed our transit racks and mounting brackets for transit vehicles to satisfy the requirements of the U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARDS AND REGULATIONS, No. 108 (FMVSS 108). FMVSS 108 covers vehicle lamps, reflective devices, and associated equipment, as they pertain to new motor vehicles and new motor vehicle equipment. In 2008, Sportworks submitted several questions to NHTSA (National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration) in an attempt to clarify FMVSS (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard) 108 as it pertains to bicycle racks on transit buses. These interpretive efforts clarified three important things:

    1) NHTSA stated that bicycles in racks are temporary loads and not subject to NHTSA requirements:

    “1. Neither bicycles, passengers, nor other temporary loads carried by a motor vehicle constitute “motor vehicle equipment” as that term is used in 49 U.S.C. § 30102(a)(7) and the NHTSA regulatory scheme.”

    2) NHTSA stated that presence of a rack in and of itself does not violate FMVSS 108, as long as lighting requirements could be met with the rack in place:

    “it would not be a violation of 49 U.S.C. §30122 for a manufacturer, distributor, dealer, or motor vehicle repair business to install a bicycle rack in a way that, when used, does not render required lamps or reflectors, or any other item required by a Federal motor vehicle safety standard, inoperative.”

    “You state in your current letter that “Sportworks’ racks have many installation configurations, and they are intended to be selected and installed by the manufacturer or operator so that the rack itself does not render any devices inoperative.” If this is so, and your client’s bicycle rack were installed so that a bicycle can be placed on it in such a way that, with or without a bike placed on it in the normally anticipated position, the rack and the bike do not block a required lamp, then installation of the rack would not violate the make inoperative provision.”

    3) NHTSA stated that bicycle racks installed by transit agencies and other end users are not subject to FMVSS 108, and instead subject to state law:

    “Your understanding is correct that the “make inoperative” provision of §30122 would not apply to a vehicle owner, such as a transit agency, that installs the bicycle rack in its own buses in its own repair and maintenance facility. However, please see our answer to question 5 for a more expansive discussion of §30122. In addition, there may be applicable Federal or State operational requirements relating to transit buses.”

    STATE: We have found that some states have adopted FMVSS 108 verbatim into state law to apply to vehicle operation within the state, while others have not. Sportworks does not know which states may have augmented or deleted any portions of FMVSS 108 as adopted into state law. To our knowledge only one state, Pennsylvania, has passed legislation specifically addressing bicycle racks on the front of transit buses with regard to lighting. This legislation, Pennsylvania Vehicle Code Title 75 section 4303 a) states:

    Head Lamps – “Every vehicle, except trailers, operated on a highway shall be equipped with a head lamp system in conformance with regulations of the department. The regulations shall not prohibit a bus from being equipped with devices used to carry pedal-cycles on the front of the bus.”

    In conclusion, Sportworks designs bicycle racks with many design constraints, both functional and legal, in mind. We are confident our transit rack products, when installed properly, meet federal law. Our intent when configuring a rack is to minimize any effect on installed vehicle safety equipment, including lighting, when the rack is both stowed and loaded with bicycles. Due to the variation of bicycle types and diversity in state law, Sportworks is not in a position to assure, validate or otherwise comment on compliance with state law. Our customers have found that local authorities are amenable to working with transit agencies in resolving any differences of opinion or interpretation of state regulations regarding lighting.

  • Are transit racks easy to usen and are there problems with bike theft?

    This has been a concern that has been raised by other agencies prior to a bike-on-bus program. Public transit agencies deal with this potential situation differently. Many agencies put disclaimers on their marketing and instructional information. Others use a permit system, where they have users come to a particular location and learn to use the rack (despite its ease of use), and sign a liability release. Other agencies actually allow users to lock their bike to the rack (most users do not take this option). The rack mounts on the front of the vehicle, with the driver looking down on it acting as a deterrent to a potential theft. Furthermore, use of the rack is so fast, the bus is not sitting idle any longer than it normally would be without a bike on the front.

  • Is there a correct loading method to secure bikes in the rack?


    The support arm assembly is the literal backbone of our system. The support arm handle should be placed as close to the front brake and head tube as possible to ensure safety and security of the bike, and in all cases the handle must be closer to the head tube than the highest point of the tire. The patented design creates three points of positive contact on the tire, affording safe and secure transport.

  • Are transit racks safe to use?


    All of our bicycle racks are designed to be used from either the curb side or the front of the vehicle, well out of harms way. In fact, the front mounted design allows you to be in full view by the bus driver while loading and unloading your bike. Sportworks transit racks were designed with the safety and convenience of the passenger in mind.

  • How is liability handled by the transit agency?


    Our customers typically transfer the liability to the user through disclaimers via signage or within the instructional material.

  • Are there concerns with the bike racks interfering with or damaging the bus washers?

    Sportworks designed the Bike-Rack-for-Buses to pass through the bus washer without damage to the rack, the bus washer, or the bus. Sportworks has racks mounted on thousands of public transit buses throughout North America. Only occasionally a bus washer challenges our engineers. A careful look at the washer or a slight modification to the bike rack typically eliminates the problems. In the recent years, we have become adept at bike rack and bus wash compatibility, and have even added a “Bus Wash” section to our Operators Manual.

  • Does the front of the bus get clean when it goes through the washer with the rack installed?

    This answer is entirely dependent on the type of bus washer and the type of bus. The densities of the bus wash brushes and the slope degree of the bus front both affect how well the front of the bus get cleaned. Typically, the front of the vehicle does not have a problem getting cleaned.

  • Will the bike racks interfere with towing, disabled, or broken down buses?

    The answer to this concern is dependent on the towing method and the bus type. Listed below are the varying towing related options:

    • Many of our customers can tow their vehicles without removing the bike rack.
    • Sometimes, by deploying the rack, one can tow the bus.
    • Sportworks has different mounting brackets available for the same bumper, giving customers the choice of a mounting method. Sportworks Ten Second Bracket is the ideal solution for fast and easy removal of the rack for vehicle towing purposes.
    • By removing the rack but not the mounting hardware, one can tow the bus. One person can remove the rack from the coach in less than one minute the rack weighs less than 30 pounds and simple hand tools can remove the two pivot fasteners.
  • Which buses will the racks fit?

    Sportworks has many different mounting brackets available, and we continue building new brackets as new model vehicles are released. Our design and engineering team has been able to fabricate a bracket for almost every bus our customers have requested.

  • What type and size of bikes does this rack carry?


    Our racks are designed to carry an average size bicycle. We recommend bicycles with no longer than a 44 inch wheel base, 2.3 inch wide tires, wheel diameters of 20 inches or larger and a total weight of 55 pounds or less per bike. However, in many cases we have heard that some agencies stray from this recommendation in order accommodate the needs of their passengers. The rack was not designed to be used with motorized vehicles such as motor scooters, which generally fall outside of the carrying capacity. Coming in early 2006 we will be releasing the VeloPorter 2, this product will accept tires up to 3 inches in width, 16 to 29 inches in diameter and increases the wheel base to 46 inches.

  • Can we mount racks on the back of buses?


    The rack was designed to mount on the front of the vehicle; however we do have customers who mount it on the rear. If your needs require mounting the racks on the back of a vehicle, we encourage you to take a careful look at your state DOT vehicle length requirements before ordering.

    NOTE: Installation and use of bike racks on the rear of vehicles is not recommented, and may void the manufactuers warranty. For additional information about “Warranty Exclusions” please see Sportworks Limited Warranty.

  • How long does it take to load and unload bicycles?

    One can load or unload the bicycle from our rack in less than 10 seconds. Some tests have proven an average load/unload time to be approximately 7 seconds. The best way to overcome this barrier is to set up a demonstration and let people try it without any instruction. Nay-sayers will be surprised!

  • What is the impact of garage parking since additional space would be needed?

    In the stowed position, the bicycle rack folds up against the face of the bus. The amount of protrusion in this position varies from bus to bus - however it is minimal, ranging anywhere from 5.5” to 7.5”. For those who do not have even an extra few inches we have designed quick release accessories and brackets facilitating the quick removal of the rack or brackets.

  • What are the costs of purchasing and maintaining racks?

    The costs associated with the initial purchase of the bicycle racks are minimal. Please contact Sportworks Northwest, Inc. for a detailed quote based on the vehicle type. This is less expensive than a standard transit bus tire! Best stated by Keith Martin, General Manager of Yuba-Sutter Transit, the racks are “low cost, high impact enhancement to [their] system, . . provide[s] increased system visibility, better multi-modal convenience and increased system productivity by attracting new riders”. Sportworks designed the Bike-Rack-for-Buses to last the life of the bus. Sportworks always has a full spare parts inventory and our customer service team is ready to respond to immediate needs. Our standard warranty covers parts and labor for one year, and we have yet to see any major bike rack warranty issues.

  • Can the racks be repaired if damaged?


    The racks are designed to last the lifetime of the vehicle. However, there are situations where the rack is involved in a collision and needs repair. We offer the parts necessary to do just about any repair to the rack. From hoop splices to support arm grips, Sportworks offers the parts and services needed to keep your vehicles in service.

  • Should I have concerns about the rack being in my way when working on the front of the vehicle?

    The rack is designed to not interfere with the regular maintenance at the front of the vehicle. In fact, we have heard that in some cases it makes a great work table when performing regular maintenance. In more in depth repair situations the rack can be removed by simply removing two pivot bolts.

  • How are the racks mounted and can my maintenance staff do the job?

    In almost all cases the rack interfaces directly with the bumper. No body panels need to be modified for installation. The stand-off mounting method is the most common and when it is an option, it is preferred, as it provides a secure base for the rack to mount to.

  • How long does it take to get a rack?

    We build to order. What this means is that we do not typically stock large numbers of racks. Therefore, on most racks delivery can take on average 8-10 days ARO. However, in cases where there is a “bus down” or vehicle out of service waiting for a replacement rack we are usually able to respond quite quickly on these smaller quantity emergency orders. In most cases our customers keep one or two replacements on hand in anticipation of such events.

  • What type of material is best for me?


    We currently offer our racks in two types of steel; stainless steel and powder coated mild steel. While the first racks to be shipped out our door were mild steel, we have seen a large shift toward stainless steel. Stainless steel offers superior corrosion resistance and keeps up its appearance considerably longer than powder coated mild steel. We offer our mild steel racks in black but have done other colors upon request. Please contact our sales department for more information on these and other finishes we offer.


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Factoid PeopleforBikes PeopleforBikes

Sportworks has been a long-standing member and active participant in PeopleforBikes formerly the Bikes Belong Coalition. PeopleforBikes is supported by the U.S Bicycle Industry and provides grants to support community biking programs. In addition, PeopleforBikes helps to create safe places to ride and promotes bicycling and the future of biking.

Why Add Transit Racks?

While every city and municipality is unique, as the inventors of the most popular Transit Racks, we've learned that there are common threads.