Have you ever wondered where simple but useful everyday items come from? Well, Sheffield bike stands have a remarkable origin story.
Bike stands come in all shapes and sizes, but we see them everywhere; on school campuses, around office buildings and other public buildings. They are so common in day to day life that they are often overlooked. However, different designs can make a big difference in securing bicycles and fitting in with the design of an area. Sheffield bikes, upon the first inspection, couldn’t be simpler. A U-shaped steel bar that is cemented into the ground doesn’t seem like an industry breaking idea, but if you look closely it is quite impressive!
This article will answer three interesting questions about Sheffield bike stands:
- Why are they different than other bike stand designs?
- What makes them so ingenious?
- Where did they come from and why are they called Sheffield?
Where Did They Come From?
If you had one try to guess where Sheffield bike stands came from, I bet you would get it right. This unique and modern design were first introduced in Sheffield, England where they were not invented to be a new and effective design, but to use some extra materials. As the story goes, the city had some additional gas piping that wasn’t being used. Some cyclists that were also citizens of Sheffield suggested that the pipes be used to make bike stands. With that, the simple notion of recycling led to a significant advance in bicycling. They may not have realised that they were creating a groundbreaking new stand, but that’s exactly what they did.
Why it is Genius
Until Sheffield citizens created a cost effective way to use some excess materials, most bike racks only allowed for a single tire to be locked to the rack. However, a Sheffield rack is shaped like a square U and each of the vertical supporting sections are spaced in order to go from one bike tire to another. That means you have the option to secure both tires to the rack frame. The Sheffield rack is also high enough for the part of the bar that is parallel to the ground to reach the top bar on a bike which means you also have the option to lock the bike’s frame to the rack.
Sheffield racks were later cemented into the ground presumably because the original racks were made using bent pipes and didn’t have a way to be free-standing. This is also a very solid way to secure a bike stand so that they are even more difficult for thieves to break and remove.
Today, Sheffield racks are made of heavy-duty galvanised stainless steel and built to endure years of wear. They can be fixed to the surface of the street or cemented in below the surface.