Bike racks

duck-bill bike rack?

A Case for Functional Design

Just finished reading BIY, Bike-It-Yourself: Parking on the dane101 blog, and it referred to “duck-bill” bike racks as an economical and efficient style of rack made in-house at the UW-Madison. I hope that “duck-bill” refers to the style of rack in the photo here. If so, major kudos to the  folks who came up with it! It’s a fabulous rack!Why is it fabulous?

  •  wide and tall slot for wheel
  • “duck bill” (?) sticks out far enough for a U-lock or cable to attach to the frame and wheel. 
  • reverse bike and you can secure the rear wheel and frame.
  • rack does not scratch frame because it doesn’t require frame to lean against it. Also, by holding up bikes other bike won’t fall on my frame.
  • plenty of space to fit between other bikes
  • efficient use of space (double-sided). 

It is not as “pretty” of a rack as the inverted U-style racks that litter the space around the newly renovated Grainger Hall, but those inverted U-style racks don’t hold the bikes up well, so the bikes fall down and the place looks crappy — a perfect example of a committee design where no one was a biker. They look great when they’re empty. It is a design that looks and works much better than the angle racks where only bike wheels are held (unless the bike has fenders — those don’t fit and fall over).  Hopefully, we’ll see more of these “duck-bill” (if that is what they’re called) racks around campus (and the world!). 

One thought on “Bike racks

  1. Sorry it took so long to post a response at Dane101. Glad you like the racks. I don’t know the complete history of the duck-bill…but the mythology that I’ve heard says that UW developed this particular design…and I’ve never seen them made by anyone else.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *