Consider these essential factors to ensure your bike room is ready for E-bikes
Between 2020 and 2023, upwards of 130 million electric bicycles are expected to be sold worldwide*. How can bike rooms be designed or modified to handle this influx of larger, heavier, expensive bikes that require charging? We’ve outlined the top challenges, and tips on how to tackle them:
E-bikes are often heavier and larger than their non-electric counterparts making them more cumbersome to navigate through doorways and narrow hallways. For this reason, wide aisles and automatic doors are a welcome feature for riders and will help keep walls intact and looking like new for longer. Ground floor bike rooms are ideal for easy E-bike parking but if that isn’t feasible, be sure that ramps and spacious elevators are incorporated.
Some riders may not be able to safely lift their heavy E-bike onto a vertical rack. For this reason, we recommend a minimum of 25% of total rack space be allocated to roll-in horizontal racks. Staple-style or inverted-U racks are ideal when space is abundant. If density is the goal, a two-tier solution, such as the VelopA® Easylift Premium has a lift-assist feature that helps riders park their bike on the upper tier without lifting the full weight of the bike, with roll-in parking for the lower tier.
E-bikes can be very expensive, making them more prone to theft than standard bicycles. Securing access through keycards or locks, and a video surveillance system should be considered when budget allows. Specifying a U-lock compatible bike rack is a budget-neutral option that adds security. Round tube racks should be avoided, as they are easily cut with pipe cutters allowing thieves easy access. Sportworks line of horizontal No Scratch® bike racks features rectangular tubing for this very reason. The shape and robust stainless-steel frame enhance the vandal-resistance.
4. Reduce Damage to Bikes
Providing safe and damage-free parking is crucial to ensuring bike rooms are a trusted amenity and therefore, fully utilized. Sportworks No Scratch® feature provides protection for vertical and horizontal racks. A proprietary bumper helps protect bikes from getting scratched or dinged. Because bike damage can also be caused by bike-to-bike entanglement be sure to plan for proper spacing between racks and specify racks designed to prevent pedal interference and entanglement. Reducing the likelihood of complaints and claims will be appreciated by building and property owners.
Bike rooms that address the needs and comfort of riders are also more likely to be used. Consider benches, lockers, a bike repair stand, and a floor pump for filling tires. Showers are also a favorite feature for riders who bike to work, as are glove and boot driers in wet and cold climates. Many of the “VIP” bike rooms” we help design for mixed use projects incorporate assigned spaces so residents are assured their designated bike parking spot. Incorporating guest parking located in an area that doesn’t require card-key access is a coveted feature for projects of all types.
Finally, and perhaps the most obvious priority for E-bikes is the ability to charge. Helping riders keep their bikes charged and ready for the next ride is easy when racks are located near power outlets. Bikes Make Life Better suggests that 25%-40% of bike parking spaces have easy access to outlets. Placing horizontal racks near the outlets in conducive to special E-bike specific parking areas.
With these success factors in mind, you can easily design a future-proof bike room that can successfully accommodate the unique characterizes of E-bikes. For more design and layout ideas and assistance with planning, please contact one of our bike parking specialists. We offer complimentary layout services to help make sure your bike room project is a success.