FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions


WHICH PRODUCT LINE DO YOU HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT?

• BIKE PARKING

• EXTERIOR TRANSIT/VEHICLE RACKS

• EXTERIOR TRANSIT/VEHICLE RACKS IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

• INTERIOR TRANSIT/VEHICLE RACKS

• PERSONAL VEHICLE BIKE RACKS



BIKE PARKING

What is the manufacturing lead time for your bike parking products?

Most are shipped within 2 weeks of order; bike parking accessories approximately 25 days. VelopA Easylift Premium and CapaCITY lead times vary, please contact us for the latest information. If you would like an estimate for your order, please contact a bike parking specialist at sales@sportworks.com or call: 888-661-0555.

Are replacement parts and tools available for your public works stands and pumps?

Yes, contact us directly to order at sales@sportworks.com or call 888-661-0555.

Do you offer installation?

Sportworks is 100% focused on engineering and manufacturing bike racks, however, we have a network of experienced installers that we can recommend for your project. Please contact us at sales@sportworks.com or call 888-661-0555.

What is the warranty on your products?

All Sportworks bike parking products carry a 1-year manufacturer's warranty. Click here for all the details.

Are custom colors or branding available?

Yes. We understand the importance of your brand and offer custom color and logo options for many of our products. If you would like a mock-up for custom bike parking, please email sales@sportworks.com your logo in either a vector or .pdf format. A variety of colors are available in both polyester and thermoplastic powder coat with a three weeks or shorter lead time. All outdoor products with polyester powder coat include either an epoxy primer undercoat or a zinc plating undercoat. Custom undercoats are also available. Custom colors matching RAL or Pantone, as well as anti-graffiti powder coat colors are available, however, extended lead times and/or additional charges may be incurred.

Do you provide layout services?

Our incredible team of engineers are happy to provide free bike parking layouts and mock-ups upon request. You can submit either a CAD formatted drawing, a .PDF, or a simple sketch with space dimensions and measurements. Please include photos of the location, if possible, as it will help us identify any conflicts such as overhead pipes, ductwork, utilities, closets, etc.

Will I need anchoring kits?

Most likely, yes. In most cases, bike parking racks will require an anchor to the ground. Rail mount options are available but may still require rail to ground anchors. Check the product pages on our website to view mounting options for each rack.

What is APBP?

APBP 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. When we design products, we conform to these standards, ensuring that function and style come together to create premium parking solutions.



EXTERIOR TRANSIT/VEHICLE RACKS

Can transit racks fit on smaller "cutaways" or shuttles?

Yes. Sportworks has various mounting systems compatible with most transit vehicles to accommodate up to three bicycles.

Given the vehicle and bumper type, we can provide a quote with compatible brackets for a variety of racks.

Is interference with vehicle safety equipment (such as headlights and turn signals) an issue?

This varies based upon the vehicle type. The design of each rack and bracket is optimized for each vehicle model and most mounting brackets include multiple holes allowing for vertical adjustment to minimize interference with other systems. 

Are bike racks compliant with federal and state regulations?

Sportworks designs all components to meet 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) to clarify FMVSS (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard) 108 as it pertains to bicycle racks on transit buses. The results clarified three important things:

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

“…. 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, so long as lighting requirements are 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.”

3)  NHTSA stated that bicycle racks installed by transit agencies and other end users are not subject to the provision of the federal law.

“…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.”

Some states have adopted the code of FMVSS 108 into state law. Please refer to your state guidelines for clarity on local regulations. To our knowledge, only Pennsylvania, has passed legislation specifically addressing bicycle racks on the front of transit buses regarding lighting. This legislation, Pennsylvania Vehicle Code Title 75 section 4303 a) states:

 “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 stowed and in use, loaded with bicycles. Due to a wide variation of bicycle types and diversity in state, local and federal law, Sportworks does not assure, validate, or otherwise comment or guarantee compliance with regulations.

Are there any requirements to use a transit bike rack? 

Each transit authority has their own policy. Therefore, questions on this topic should be asked directly to the local authority. Some use a permit system, whereby riders must be trained, prior to use. 

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

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. Our extendable arm design creates three points of positive contact with the tire - enabling safe and secure transport.

Are transit racks safe to use?

All Sportworks racks are designed with the safety and convenience of the cyclist in mind and allow loading from either the curbside or the front of the vehicle. The front of vehicle location allows the rack user to be in full view of the bus driver while loading and unloading the bike. 

How is bike theft prevented?

Racks are typically mounted to the front of the vehicle, so that bicycles are visible to the vehicle operator, reducing the risk of theft. 

Can the rack interfere with, or damage bus washing equipment?

Sportworks designs racks with rounded edges and the design also allows the rack to pass through the bus wash without damage to the rack, the bus wash, or the bus. 

Racks have been mounted on thousands of public transit buses throughout North America and only occasionally wash bristles catch on the rack.

We have additional information about bus wash compatibility by product type in the Operators Manual.

Can the bus washer effectively clean the bus when the rack installed?

Typically, the bus wash successfully cleans the front of the bus with the rack installed, however, the type of bus and bus wash, the densities of the bus wash brush, and the slope of the bus front can affect results.

Do bike racks interfere with towing?

Towing method and the bus type will determine this, here are some tips:

- The optional 10-Second Bracket is the ideal solution for fast and easy removal of the rack for vehicle towing purposes.

- Many of our customers tow their vehicles without removing the bike rack. Sometimes towing can be facilitated by deploying the rack.

- Towing can often be accommodated by removing the rack but not the mounting hardware. The rack can be removed by one person in less than one minute using simple tools to remove the two pivot fasteners, or with the optional quick release pivot hardware no tools are required.

Will racks fit any bus?

Sportworks has various mounting systems compatible with most transit vehicles to accommodate up to three bicycles. We work with vehicle manufacturers to build new brackets as new model vehicles are released. 

With the vehicle and bumper type, we can provide a quote with compatible brackets for a variety of racks.

What type and size of bikes does the rack carry?

Our racks are designed to carry a wide variety of bicycles, and our latest racks, the Apex, also accommodates fat bikes with optional fat tire trays. Compatibility varies based upon the rack, so please review the specifications for each rack to determine the wheelbase, tire size, diameter, and weight limits.

Can racks be mounted on the back of buses?

All of Sportworks’ exterior racks are designed to mount on the front of the vehicle and we do not recommend mounting these racks to the rear. Further, rear-mounting may void the warranty.

We are aware of customers who have installed Sportworks exterior racks on the rear of buses. We encourage you to review your state DOT vehicle length requirements and other state regulations before proceeding with a rear installation.

Sportworks also supplies a complete line of interior bike racks as an alternative. Interior racks are also easy to use, are designed specifically for transit applications, and offer an additional benefit to riders as their bicycle won’t be exposed to the elements during transport. 

What is the space impact of garage parking with a rack installed?

Most exterior racks have a stowed position, whereby the bicycle rack folds up against the face of the bus. The amount of protrusion in this position varies by bus and rack type. Please refer to the specifications for dimensions. If space is a problem, please consider quick release accessories and brackets facilitating the quick removal of the rack and/or brackets for parking, storage and/or seasonal configurations.

What are the costs of purchasing and maintaining racks?

Perhaps best summarized by our customer, Keith Martin, general manager of Yuba-Sutter Transit: 

“Low cost, high impact enhancement to the [transit] system.” “Provides increased system visibility, better multi-modal convenience, and increased system productivity by attracting new riders”. 

Sportworks designs and manufacturers exterior racks to last the entire life of the bus. With a modular design, we can supply spare parts to accommodate the immediate repair needs if there is damage caused by a collision. 

How are the racks mounted? Can my maintenance staff do the installation?

For most installations, the rack interfaces directly with the bumper, requiring no body panel removal or modification. 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.  Standoff bracket installation can be easily performed by maintenance personnel with no additional special skills or training.

What is the lead time to purchase a transit rack?

All racks are built to order; therefore, we do not typically stock large quantities of vehicle racks. Shipment of most of exterior racks are within 8 business days after receipt of order. 

Small quantities for replacement, spare parts, etc. are typically readily available. 

What is the best finish and material?

Racks are constructed of stainless steel or powder coated mild steel. We see increasing demand for stainless steel, as it offers superior corrosion resistance and maintains its appearance considerably longer than powder coated mild steel. For customers who would like the durability of stainless steel as well as a black finish or custom colors we use a multi-step undercoat process to assure excellent powder adhesion. Please contact our sales department for more information on these and other finishes we offer.



EXTERIOR TRANSIT/VEHICLE RACKS IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

Does the standard Apex 3 comply with the length requirements of California Vehicle Code 35400?

There are four important factors to note regarding the current legislation (the complete code can be found here: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=VEH§ionNum=35400)

  1. The legislation defines rack length as measured from “the front body of the bus” which excludes protruding objects such as the bumper and windshield wipers.
  2. Vehicles less than 40 feet in length have no rack length restriction. We recommend the use of the standard Apex 3 on these vehicles, as it provides the best user experience.
  3. For vehicles greater than 40 feet in length, the use of any 3-position rack (including the Apex 3 RL which was designed for use in California) requires establishment of a route review committee.
  4. For vehicles 40 feet in length, the Apex 3 RL can be used without establishing a route review committee.

Some California transit authorities have received approval for the use of the standard Apex 3 on vehicles 40 feet or greater in length, while others have been advised that the standard Apex 3 violates the 40-inch length requirement in the current code. Here is some additional information for consideration:

  • Sportworks has developed the Apex 3 RL (reduced length version) which meets the length requirement with adequate handlebar to windshield clearance. 
  • Many transit agencies prefer the standard Apex 3 and have chosen shorter bumper brackets to conform. Sportworks does not recommend this. Shorter brackets will reduce the amount of clearance between the bicycle closest to the bus and the vehicle windshield. If this method is elected, we recommend a policy that prohibits bicycles with handlebars wider than 44cm (17.5”) from being loaded into the rear tray. Most bicycles with drop bars will fit.
  • Several transportation operators have specific code authorizations which allow use of the standard Apex

We understand the following Sportworks customers have received authorization to use the standard Apex 3 without specific code subdivisions:

  • Gold Coast Transit
  • Napa Valley Transportation Authority
  • Ventura County Transportation Commission
  • North County Transit District

The approval process may vary by city and county; Caltrans supplies a document on their website titled “Extra-Legal Transport Policy Exception Request Checklist” which can be downloaded here: https://dot.ca.gov/-/media/dot-media/programs/traffic-operations/documents/transportation-permits/faq/excreqchk-a11y.pdf The checklist provides an additional link for information on the programs site: https://dot.ca.gov/programs/traffic-operations

Sportworks can help with submissions by providing customized CAD drawings for your specific vehicle type(s). Please email your request to: sales@sportworks.com.



Interior Transit Vehicle Racks

What modes should interior racks be used for?

Interior bicycle racks are used in all types of transit vehicles. Many current installations are on heavy, commuter and light rail applications.  More recently there has been an increased demand for interior installations on buses, streetcars and ferry boats.

Can facility racks (bike parking racks) be used for transit?

No. Bike parking racks installed at stationary locations are not designed to secure the bicycle during normal vehicle motion.  All interior transit vehicle racks are designed specifically for the rigors of on-board transport, ensuring a safe ride for the bicycle, operator, and passengers on the bus or train.

Can interior racks support more bicycles than exterior?

Yes, interior racks are modular in design, and sold as a single position unit. Multiple racks can be installed side by side with vertical spacing as minimal as 10” (spacing varies based upon the model, check the specifications for guidance). 

Are the racks compliant with nfpa-130?

Yes, the Spinlock is recommended if compliance with NFPA-130 (fire protection and life-safety requirements for underground, surface and elevated fixed guideway transit and passenger rail systems) is required. 

In what on-board locations are racks typically placed?

Placement varies based upon the vehicle type, number of positions needed, and the transit authority’s individual preference. For 40’ buses, the area behind the operator is common. For articulated buses, installation at the area just in front of, and behind the articulated joint can maximize underutilized space. Foldaway seating or wheelchair securement areas can also be used to enable versatile, mixed-use space, however dedicated bike areas are preferred to avoid conflict.  Sportworks manufacturers a variety of interior rack models with custom brackets for a wide variety of vehicles and installation spaces.



PERSONAL VEHICLE BIKE RACKS

Where can I purchase a rack or replacement parts for my Sportworks branded personal vehicle rack?

No components or parts for any hitch mount or roof mount consumer bicycle racks are available from Sportworks. 

In 1997, Sportworks developed a bicycle rack for personal vehicles with the name Sportworks TranSport.  A later model was branded the Sportworks T2. These quick-load racks with contact only to the bicycle tires were quite different than other designs in the market at the time. In 2005, Sportworks sold the complete consumer rack line of business to Thule. The sale included designs, tooling, and all inventory. For more information click here: Personal Vehicle Bicycle Racks.