Bike Lockers: Structure and¬†Design
Bike lockers will appear in¬†the¬†upcoming years, mainly in¬†every city of¬†Europe. The¬†trend of¬†ecological and¬†healthy transportation comes into our lives. People need to¬†leave a¬†bike or¬†an¬†e-scooter in¬†the¬†place where Locker will protect the¬†transport from rain, thieves, and¬†vandals. Few companies already produce the¬†boxes, but¬†most make mistakes and¬†can‚Äôt take the¬†market over. In¬†this article, I gathered the¬†main features of¬†the¬†bicycle locker structure and¬†design. To¬†make reading clear, I sorted the¬†rules by¬†topics.
Bicycle lockers can be anywhere: near Shopping malls, Offices, Schools, hotels, garages, museums, train and¬†metro stations, public places, homes, garages, etc. It is possible to¬†make different lockers for¬†each location, but¬†the¬†locker price will be overwhelming. For¬†this reason, companies try to¬†make one universal model for¬†any location. Some companies offer additional features, like the¬†Bluetooth locker, a¬†green roof, e-charging, or¬†a¬†different color. These changes are not¬†crucially affecting the¬†construction but¬†help to¬†reach the¬†needs of¬†the¬†customers.
Bicycle lockers should be compact. One rectangle must include two bicycle slots on¬†two sides.
The¬†bicycle should enter the¬†locker starting from the¬†rear wheels.
The¬†basement may be made for¬†each rectangle separately for¬†the¬†ease of¬†transportation or¬†changing the¬†sizes if the¬†amount of¬†boxes does not¬†satisfy the¬†demand. However, you will get the¬†double layer of¬†the¬†inner walls. So, the¬†basement can be made for¬†all of¬†the¬†planned sections.
The¬†walls between slots can be made out of¬†the¬†metallic grid or¬†with patterned or¬†transparent material. It is made for¬†safety reasons. The¬†outer walls can also be patterned or¬†transparent. It depends on¬†the¬†safety requirements from the¬†government or¬†a¬†company. But¬†the¬†box must not¬†lose the¬†primary purpose¬†‚Äď the¬†safety of¬†a¬†bike.
The¬†lock on¬†a¬†box must be covered from the¬†rain. The¬†lock can become rusty soon, and¬†the¬†opening of¬†the¬†door will be a¬†tragedy.
Handles must be comfortable and¬†keep warm temperature. On¬†hot or¬†cold days, the¬†metallic handle can reach an¬†enormous temperature so that it will be uncomfortable or¬†even risky to¬†touch the¬†handle. They can be either made of¬†a¬†material like wood or¬†can be covered by¬†a¬†sunlight.
The¬†locker must be easy to¬†clean. There should not¬†be details that make cleaning impossible, like too sharp angles or¬†too small patterns.
If we want to¬†place the¬†boxes on¬†the¬†street, we should not¬†make them too high; otherwise, boxes can damage the¬†view of¬†a¬†city and¬†can be banned to¬†use in¬†the¬†city.
The¬†size should be well suited for¬†standard e-scooters (like Ninebot or¬†Xiaomi), city bikes, road bikes, and¬†MTBs. Let‚Äôs assume that the¬†max size of¬†Mtb can be XL (22 inches frame) with 29 inches wheels. Don‚Äôt count any unique bikes that are too high or¬†too long, a¬†bike with four wheels, or¬†a¬†bike with too wide handlebars.
For¬†example, I took Cube Stereo Hybrid 160 with a¬†frame length of¬†128,9 cm and¬†73,9cm (29 inches) wheels. That means that the¬†length is 129+74=203cm + 2-5cm. The¬†manufacturer of¬†steel usually uses 2m and¬†2.5m width of¬†a¬†steel sheet. So we must satisfy 2m. In¬†this case, we put the¬†bicycle not¬†straight but¬†under angle.
The¬†height is equal to¬†half of¬†a¬†wheel 37cm + frame and¬†handlebar size 65cm + 7-10cm- + additional space 3-5cm, so it is 115 cm-120. don‚Äôt forget about the¬†height of¬†a¬†basement and¬†the¬†‚Äúfeet‚ÄĚ to¬†make the¬†construction stable.
The¬†width is equal to¬†the¬†size of¬†the¬†handlebar. Mtb handlebar has a¬†maximal of¬†61 cm. Don‚Äôt forget about the¬†real part. The¬†width of¬†tires (excluding fatbikes) and¬†the¬†end of¬†the¬†frame are important. So, the¬†width in¬†the¬†form should be 65-75 cm. The¬†manufacturer uses a¬†1.5m, 2m, 2.5m sizes of¬†the¬†sheet, so we can use 75 cm for¬†2 walls, or¬†67 for¬†3 walls (but¬†it‚Äôs hard to¬†measure it right), or¬†62.5cm for¬†4 walls using 250cm sheet. Don‚Äôt forget about the¬†angled laid bike.
we see that in¬†this example the¬†size of¬†a¬†box is too large and¬†it could be lower if we assume that most of¬†the¬†people use normal-sized bikes, however, don‚Äôt forget that e-scooter must have enough space there too, maybe the¬†scooter can be laid on¬†a¬†wall to¬†save space
The¬†purpose of¬†the¬†box is to¬†protect the¬†bicycle; the¬†design and¬†sustainability come next.
The¬†material used should last long and¬†should be easy to¬†clean and¬†produce. The¬†material should be water, cold, and¬†dirt resistant. However, the¬†price of¬†the¬†material should not¬†be extremely high unless it is corten steel.
Why can corten be a¬†good idea? If we implement corten steel, we don‚Äôt need to¬†care about cleaning it, and¬†through times corten will look better. Corten seems nice with a¬†green roof. However, this is an¬†assumption. Probably due to¬†its size, it will look unpleasant.
Color should be neutral. It is better to¬†use one color. The¬†color may differ due to¬†different surroundings and¬†company styles. If it is a¬†specific material, like corten, we save the¬†initial color.
There can be three types of¬†locks in¬†the¬†locker: no¬†locks, key (password) lock, and¬†Bluetooth (Wifi or¬†cellular) lock. Each type has its scenario of¬†usage:
- No¬†locker can be used, e.¬†g., in¬†schools, shopping malls, or¬†other locations, where lockers are not¬†used for¬†a¬†direct profit. Instead, people can use their locks, then the¬†purpose of¬†the¬†box is to¬†keep safe the¬†details of¬†a¬†bike: wheels, cranks, saddle, or¬†forks. These parts are popular in¬†the¬†darknet.
- A¬†Key or¬†a¬†password lock can be used near houses (e.¬†g., in¬†the¬†courtyard), offices, etc. That means that only members of¬†one community will be able to¬†use the¬†bicycle parking slots. The¬†boxes can also be used for¬†profit by¬†renting out the¬†slots for¬†months or¬†years.
- A¬†Bluetooth (Wifi or¬†cellular) lock can be used for¬†mass usage. These boxes can be placed anywhere and¬†are typically used for¬†profit. The¬†owner can be the¬†shopping mall, business center, University, or¬†even a¬†government.
structural stability and¬†safety
The¬†box must not¬†fall or¬†disassemble due to¬†external forces like vandalism, punching, or¬†obviously¬†‚Äď using a¬†screwdriver.
That means that only an¬†authorized person can disassemble a¬†box, e.¬†g., with special instruments.
By¬†this link, you may find different companies who produce or¬†use bike lockers. I used their photos in¬†this article.
Holy Bike, my project of¬†a¬†bike locker will use all of¬†the¬†rules mentioned above to¬†make the¬†most comfortable and¬†well-looking Bike Box