Inverted U rack catalog photo

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Wednesday, September 06, 2006
By Yokota Fritz

This catalog photo comes from Highland Products Group. Just because you manufacture and sell something doesn't mean you know how they're supposed to be used.

The whole point of inverted U racks is to provide two points of contact for the bicycle. This means proper parking is parallel to the rack, not perpendicular as shown in this photo.
Photo info: Bad catalog photo by richardmasoner.

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I can't stand these kinds of racks. The bike is never stable when leaning against the pole and the bike always seems to fall. Then someone leans their bike on the inside of the pole against yours and scratches the whole thing up.

Not sure most people would know that the bike should be leaned parallel against this rack and not perpendicular as shown. I didn't until you said that. I think I'd be upset with the rack hog that "stole" both polls if I was trying to lock my bike on the same rack. Now I know, I guess.
Parking parallel still provides parking for two bikes -- one bike on either side of the rack like in this photo.
Graham is right. The design is not really self-explanatory. Personally, I think that the narrow, rounded top inverted U racks are better than the one shown in the picture with this post.
I've seen some inverted U's (and similar designs) with an instructional illustration on them. Is that a good solution?
I still prefer this type of rack to most others, because it is high off the ground and provides easy access to chaining your frame to it, and also they are bolted into the ground so they are not easy to steal entire racks. That is, if people can figure out how to use them :)
I dunno, Fritz, but I'll take the contrarian position. That inverted U rack could take 4 bikes in a very small space if they were positioned right. The rack I use at work is similar, but it has multiple U's designed for 8 or 10 bikes. Of course, mine is the only one in it.

One other aspect of inverted U racks is that they're pedestrian friendly - at least when no bikes are present. Compared to some of the 'art' bike racks, this is a plus.
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