What Are the Bike Rack Dimensions?

Bike Rack Dimensions

Bike racks, also known as bike stands, are permanent fixtures in publicly accessible places, such as city parks, school campuses, and commercial establishments. If you’ve been out lately, then you probably know that bike racks come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes.

A typical in-ground bike rack is made of 1.5-gauge steel pipes that stand 33 inches high and measure 27 inches wide. The tallest in-ground bike rack will usually measure 35 inches high and 30 inches wide. The exact dimensions will vary between bike rack styles.

Typical bike rack sizes

So, what are the various bike rack styles and their measurements? How far should you space bike racks from other objects? You can find the answers to these questions and much more in this guide.

Types of Bike Racks

Types of Bike Racks

Bike racks can be categorized into different types based on their installation. There are five main types: in-ground, surface, rail, wall mount, and freestanding bike racks.

In-Ground Bike Rack

An in-ground bike rack has a significant portion built into the ground. This is done by placing the bottom portion of the bike rack into wet concrete or asphalt.

As the material dries, the legs of the bike rack will remain firmly in place, preventing thieves from lifting the rack in order to release bicycles from their chains. In-ground bike racks are, by far, the most secure type.

Surface Bike Rack

A surface bike rack is installed by fastening a rack or flanges into a pre-existing concrete or asphalt surface.

After placing the rack or flange where you want it, you should drive a double-ended bolt into the ground. The top is usually secured with a nut that you can weld into place, preventing thieves from unscrewing the bolt to remove locked bikes.

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Rail Bike Rack

A rail isn’t a bike rack on its own. A rail is simply a metallic object with slots for surface bike racks that you fasten into concrete or asphalt with multiple bolts.

Like surface bike racks, you will need to use bolts or double-ended bolts with welded nuts to keep the rail rack in place. After the rail rack is secured to the ground, you can begin installing surface bike racks onto the rail using the same bolt and welding process.

Wall Mount Bike Rack

These bike racks are anchored onto the vertical walls of buildings rather than onto the horizontal concrete or asphalt ground. They use similar rack or flange systems as surface bike racks. You will typically find wall-mount bike racks in places where floor space is limited.

Freestanding Bike Rack

A freestanding bike rack is a bike rack that is not secured to the ground. It usually has legs that keep the rack upright, but with enough people, you can lift and relocate the rack without much effort. This type of bike rack will need to be anchored with a chain or another locking system.

Bike Rack Dimensions

Whare Are the Bike Rack Dimensions

If you take a look at a hundred different bike rack systems, you might find that they have a hundred different measurements. This is because all of the aforementioned bike rack types can be further split into different subtypes.

However, the most common bike rack is a rectangular in-ground bike rack that usually measures 33 inches tall and 27 inches wide. It will usually be made of a 1.5-gauge steel pipe.

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Other common variations of in-ground bike racks include:

Bike Rack Size Shape Height Width
Small Rectangular 30 in. 24 in.
Big Rectangular 30 in. 35 in.
Tall and Skinny Rectangular 35 in. 24 in.
Standard Triangle 24 in. 35 in.
Standard Circular 30 in. 30 in.

Choosing a Bike Rack Type

The key takeaway should be that in-ground bike racks—i.e., bike racks that are embedded in concrete or asphalt—are the safest of them all. However, if you want to install a bike rack on pre-existing concrete or asphalt, you can use surface or rail bike racks. Avoid freestanding bike racks when possible.

Wall-mount bike racks can be a great option for places with limited floor space, such as a building sandwiched between 2 full bike racks. Make sure that the cyclists can lock their bikes in more than one point when using a wall-mount bike rack.

There are certain bike racks you want to avoid at all times, such as a schoolyard, coathanger, spiral, and swing arm. These bike racks may not be allowed in public areas, but they’re also not very secure.

Bike Rack Spacing

Overcrowding the bicycle parking lot can make it unappealing to visitors. To prevent overcrowding, make sure your bike racks are spaced far enough away from other objects, such as parked vehicles or lampposts.

If your bike rack is parallel to your building, follow these layout points:

Minimum Distance Recommended Distance Notes
4 in. 6 in. Between bikes in the same bike rack
36 in. 48 in. Between the bike rack to fixed objects (lampposts, benches, etc.)
24 in. 24 in. Between bike racks and parked vehicles and curbs
96 in. 96 in. Between bike racks and the entrance to a building
48 in. 72 in. Between bike racks
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For bike racks oriented perpendicularly to a building, stick to these layout points:

Minimum Distance Recommended Distance Notes
4 in. 6 in. Between bikes in the same bike rack
36 in. 48 in. Between the bike rack to fixed objects (lampposts, benches, etc.)
24 in. 36 in. Between bike racks and parked vehicles and curbs
132 in. 132 in. Between bike racks and the entrance to a building
36 in. 48 in. Between bike racks

Other Bike Parking Systems

Bike racks may be the most common type of bike parking system, but it’s not the only one worth considering.

Bike Shelters—A roofed structure that protects bikes from precipitation and sunlight. It will usually have in-ground bike racks built underneath the ceiling.

Bike Corral—A part of the road used exclusively for parking cars. A single corral can take up the same amount of space as a parallel parking spot. It will usually have in-ground inverted U racks and accommodate 12 to 24 bikes at a time.

Bike Locker—A box that is used to store bicycles. A single box will be just large enough to accommodate two bikes.


Baron Cooke has been writing and editing for 7 years. He grew up with an aptitude for geometry, statistics, and dimensions. He has a BA in construction management and also has studied civil infrastructure, engineering, and measurements. He is the head writer of measuringknowhow.com

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