How to Choose A Bike Locker
A Few Key Elements
When learning how to choose a bike locker, keep in mind these qualifications. Bike lockers fall within a classification known as Class 1 bicycle parking. This is defined as, “Facilities, which protect the entire bicycle, its components and accessories against theft and against inclement weather, including wind-driven rain”. Another example of Class I bike parking is enclosed bicycle cages that have a minimum of 4 sides and limited access lockable entry.
Bike lockers are the most secure way to store bicycles for long periods of time. However, lockers should still be located close to entryways, high traffic and visible areas, and be convenient to the cyclists destination.
Bike Locker Styles
Metal Bicycle Vault (MBV): Constructed of solid or mesh metal walls with durable, weather-proof coating. High impact metal coating protects steel from heat, weather and migrating oxidation. MBV can either be shipped fully assembled for more ease of installation or shipped flat as panels to reduce shipping costs/storage space. Easy to replace panels if damage occurs.
Fiberglass Bicycle Lockers: Constructed of reinforced fiberglass – acclimates to harsh weather conditions, but UV radiation weakens the structure causing a lower impact resistance. More heavy duty than plastic, but not as durable as weather-protected, coated metal. Aesthetically appealing and high in security, but not the most cost-effective solution and usually requires 3x the delivery turnaround, when ordering for projects, in comparison to the Metal Bike Vault
Plastic Lockers: Constructed of plastic walls – the least amount of security for bike lockers, highly flammable, a larger footprint, and not recommended for class 1 bicycle parking.
Metal Bike Vault – Highly Recommended
Features to Consider
- These style lockers offer the highest level of security because of the difficulty to intrude through steel metal walls.
- Metal lockers are actually best for locations that may experience a high degree of snow load.
- Be sure all components including hardware are high quality to avoid rusting or environmental damage
- Because of the metal construction, these style lockers are extremely heavy (400 – 500lbs) and are not easily moved or re-located once assembled.
- In hot climates, metal bike lockers will be much hotter than fiberglass or plastic lockers, which may affect bicycle components and may cause harm to users.
- The locking mechanism should have a minimum of two locking points that penetrate into a solid or rigid doorframe to offer the best security.
Metal bike lockers, like our Metal Bike Vault and VisiLockers displayed here, have the option to have transparent view panels, which allow for visibility into the lockers or solid panels to allow for privacy of the contents (theft deterrent by not displaying expensive bikes). This increases the level of safety for owners, riders, and pedestrians. For in-door parking garage projects, hub locations, or other areas of high traffic, this is your best option as locker content control is key to providing a safe environment for everyone.
Overall, metal bike storage lockers are recommended by Ground Control for certain applications, including outdoor projects where heavy snow may be a factor.
Fiberglass Bike Lockers
– Moderately Recommended
Features to Consider
The reinforced fiberglass construction increases the overall level of security while still adding an aesthetic appeal to both the owner and the user.
Fiberglass lockers can either be broke down or fully assembled. Dependent on the size of the project, this may or may not make sense. While break down units will ship more cost effectively, the installation time could be 2 to 3 times longer, which will increase the overall cost of your project.
Unlike metal bike lockers, the finish on fiberglass lockers may fade in the sun or create highly visible marks when scratched. To avoid these issues, make sure the locker you select uses a UV resistant gel coat that is embedded into the surface of the fiberglass, so scratches do not wear away the color. Fiberglass lockers with these specifications will work well in marine or dry environments, outdoor, and in door locations.
The security level is very high on fiberglass lockers that are reinforced with Kevlar or steel.
The locking mechanism should have a minimum of two locking points that penetrate into a solid or rigid door frame to offer the best security. Doors with 3 points of internal locking contact are considered your best option as the door in many cases is the most vulnerable point of entry.
Be sure all components including hardware are high quality to avoid rusting or environmental damage.
Fiberglass bike lockers have optional transparent view panels, which allow for visibility into the lockers. This increases the level of safety for owners, riders, and pedestrians. For in-door parking garage projects, hub locations, or other areas of high traffic, this is your best option as locker content control is key to providing a safe environment for everyone.
Overall, reinforced fiberglass bicycle storage lockers are great tools and recommended for long-term class 1 bicycle parking needs.
Features to Consider
Plastic bike storage lockers are considered highly flammable.
Although the units are considered economical, they are extremely low in security. The walls in many cases may be pried apart, but they still offer a higher level of security compared to bicycle racks.
The plastic construction keeps the bike lockers fairly lightweight and they can be moved or relocated as necessary after assembly and installation.
Aesthetically, plastic bicycle lockers do not look as good as metal or fiberglass lockers and are built with a bulkier design that often takes up a larger footprint.
Be sure all hardware components are high quality to avoid rusting or environmental damage.
Plastic bicycle lockers do not have the option to have transparent panels, and so can raise concern about safety and the possibility of dangerous items being canceled inside.
The locking mechanism should have a minimum of two locking points that penetrate into a solid or rigid door frame to offer the best security.
Overall, plastic storage lockers are not recommended by Ground Control for bicycle parking projects.
For additional questions about bike lockers or choosing the right bike locker for your area, please feel free to contact our bike parking specialists.