FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions


WHICH PRODUCT LINE DO YOU HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT?

• BIKE PARKING

• TRANSIT/VEHICLE RACKS

• PERSONAL VEHICLE BIKE RACKS

BIKE PARKING

WHAT IS THE NO SCRATCH® BIKE RACK?

The No Scratch® Bike Rack features a durable, non-abrasive bumper that protects bikes from scratches and dings. In addition to keeping your bike scratch-free, Sportworks bike racks also keep your bike safe, our racks provide the highest level of security, allowing both bike wheel and frame to be locked to the rack. Not only does the No Scratch® feature help protect the cyclist’s bike, it also protects the rack itself from scratches and rust, prolonging the life and appearance of the rack.

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT FINISH OPTIONS?

Sportworks bike parking products are available in a wide variety of finishes and materials. Please contact us for specific details regarding minimum lot size charges on finishes.


TGIC Powder Coat

This polyester-based finish is well suited for bike racks made from mild steel, and is available in a wide variety of colors. Powder coating serves as a protective barrier to the various environment elements that cause corrosion. To further increase corrosion resistance, Sportworks recommends an additional zinc plated undercoat be applied prior to the powder coating process. Zinc acts as a sacrificial anode to protect the base metal from corrosion should the powder coat become chipped.


PPA-571 Thermoplastic Powder Coat

This thermoplastic finish is also well suited for mild steel racks, and Plascoat’s special formulation (PPA-571) produces a more flexible and robust coating. When compared to polyester-based powder coatings, PPA-571 thermoplastic powder coatings are tougher, more resistant to chips, and naturally graffiti resistant. This finish is also available in a wide variety of colors.


Galvanized

If color is not a requirement, this hot dip galvanized finish is a good choice for durability, low cost and corrosion protection on mild steel racks. While a galvanized finish will appear rough when compared to powder coated finishes, galvanizing provides the highest degree of corrosion resistance of all three. Additionally, galvanizing can also be used as an under coating treatment to TGIC and PPA powder coats. All Sportworks galvanized bike racks are finished to ASTM A123. (Galvanized finish is not available for the No-Scratch and Plaza series bike racks).

Mild Steel

Mild steel is a type of steel where the main alloying element is carbon. Having anywhere from .05% to .20% carbon, mild steel can still be bent and formed, but has mechanical properties that will provide a good amount of strength to the part being fabricated. Mild steel rusts and corrodes when exposed to air and moisture, so for outdoor applications, it must be coated with finishes such as galvanizing, plating, powder coating, thermoplastics, and painting. Without one or a combination of these finishes, mild steel can rust and corrode to the point of part failure.


Stainless Steel

Stainless steel does not stain, corrode, or rust as easily as mild steel and is used where both the properties of steel and resistance to corrosion are required. Stainless steel differs from mild steel by the amount of chromium and nickel that is present. Unprotected mild steel rusts readily when exposed to air and moisture. Stainless steels contain sufficient chromium and nickel to form a passive film of oxides, which prevents further surface corrosion and blocks corrosion from spreading into the metal's internal structure. Stainless steel can still corrode and discolor in some conditions, but in general it will retain its strength and appearance when exposed to the outdoors.

Bead Blast

Unlike powder coating and galvanizing, this finish removes material during the application process, and is ideal for stainless steel racks. Small glass particles (media) traveling at high velocities impact the metal removing the outer surface, and resulting in a mildly-textured or matted finish. Similar to galvanizing, there are no color options available for this type of finish. Sportworks stainless steel bike racks represent the highest level of corrosion protection available.

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT MOUNTING OPTIONS?

There are a few ways to mount Sportworks bike rack products, surface mount, in ground mount, or rail mounting. If you’re concerned with the safety and security of your bikers, we recommend in ground mounting as the most secure option.  

View complete installation instructions for all Sportworks bike parking products.

Surface Mount for Bike Parking Rack

Surface Mount

Surface mount uses permanent or removable anchors to secure the bicycle rack mounting flange to concrete.


Mounting In-Ground Mount

Embedding the bicycle rack into concrete represents the most secure mount for a bicycle rack. An additional 10” of length is included on the bicycle rack post(s) for casting in concrete.


Rail Mount

Rail mounting secures a series of bicycle racks to metal rails. Rail mounts reduce the installation time when multiple bicycle racks are needed in the same location. Additionally, the user can leave the rails unsecured and manipulate the bicycle racks when necessary to support sidewalk clearing or cleaning.

WHAT ARE SHIPPING LEAD TIMES FOR YOUR PRODUCTS?

Most of our bike parking racks are shipped within 2 weeks of placing an order. For bike parking accessories, you can expect a lead time of 25 days and for the Josta® Double and Triple Parker, our lead time is 50 days. If you would like a more accurate estimate, please request a quote or contact a bike parking specialist at salesandsupport@sportworks.com or 888-661-0555. 

ARE REPLACEMENT PARTS AND TOOLS AVAILABLE FOR YOUR PUBLIC WORK STANDS AND PUMPS? 

Yes, you can order them by contacting us directly at salesandsupport@sportworks.com or 888-661-0555.

DO YOU OFFER INSTALLATION FOR YOUR PRODUCTS?

We are 100% focused on engineering and manufacturing Sportworks bike racks and do not offer installation, however, we do have a network of experienced installers that we would happily connect you with. Please contact us at salesandsupport@sportworks.com or 888-661-0555 for more information.

WHAT IS THE WARRANTY ON YOUR PRODUCTS?

All Sportworks bike parking products carry a 1-year manufacturer's warranty. You can find the specifics and fine print on our warranty page.

WHAT CUSTOM OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE, EITHER BRANDING OR COLOR?

At Sportworks we understand the importance of your brand and identity so we offer custom branding options for many of our products. We will mock up your logo so you can see what it would look like. For custom bike parking racks please email us your logo in either a vector format or .pdf. 

For colored racks, we offer a variety of colors and all standard colors in both polyester and thermoplastic powder coat are available in a three week or shorter lead time. All polyester powder coat colors include an epoxy primer undercoat as standard Zinc plating is also available as an undercoat option. Custom colors matching RAL or Pantone, as well as anti-graffiti powder coat colors, are available and may involve extended lead times and/or lot charges. 

WHAT KIND OF LAYOUT SERVICES DO YOU PROVIDE?

Our incredible team of engineers are more than happy to provide free bike parking layouts and mock-ups upon request. You can submit either a CAD formatted drawing, or simply a napkin sketch with space dimensions and measurements. We highly recommend the inclusion of pictures of the location to help us identify any conflicts such as overhead pipes, any ductwork, utilities, closets, etc.

DO I NEED ANCHORING KITS?

More than likely? Yes. In most cases, you will need to anchor the bike parking rack to the ground. Of course, there is often the option for using the rail mount with a rack, but even then, you may want to anchor the rails to the ground. Each product page on our website will list provide you with mounting options. 

WHAT DOES APBP STAND FOR?

The APBP acronym stands for "Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals." APBP is an organization of transportation planners, city coordinators, and industry leaders who have taken the time to create bike parking standards, best practices and recommendations. Sportworks is an active member of APBP so when we design products, we rely heavily on abiding to these standards, ensuring that function and style come together.

TRANSIT/VEHICLE RACKS

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 cutaways, 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 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 headlamp 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 stored 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 USE 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 curbside or the front of the vehicle, well out of harm’s 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 wheelbase, 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.

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 recommended, and may void the manufacturer’s warranty. For additional information about “Warranty Exclusions” please see Sportworks Limited Warranty.

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.

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 mounting the rack.

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 after receipt of order. 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 to 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.

PERSONAL VEHICLE BIKE RACKS

WHERE CAN I PURCHASE A BIKE RACK FOR MY PERSONAL VEHICLE?

We sold off all the rights to our personal vehicle rack business back in 2005 to Thule, if you have any questions regarding this product line please visit Thule's website for more information.