In Copenhagen, there are many of these parking racks (as shown in the picture), usually people (like me) will just slip the front wheel in and lock the bike. After using them for a while, I happen to notice the front wheel of my bike appears to be slightly bent. I have not crash the bike before and didn't make any modification to it.

bicycle parking rack

Is that using this kind of parking rack to park my bike will cause damage to the wheel? If using these parking rack could harm the bike is there any alternative/safe way to use them?

3 Answers 3


These stands don't hold the bike very well because if the friction grip fails, the bike can roll/move backwards and then fall over as the steering turns.

So, consider backing your bike into one instead of going in frontwards. Downside as ChrisH says is that your lock needs to go from the rack all the way to the front wheel, or use two locks.

Also check the stand is bolted to the ground and that there are no cuts through the metal.

  • 1
    On some of these racks, if you can back in at all, you can get a D-lock onto a seat stay (normally just one but better than going in forwards).
    – Chris H
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 6:19

If your bike is like those pictured then it's highly unlikely unless the wheel gets hit or leant on from the side. That in itself is not implausible in a crowded bike rack.

Lightweight road bike wheels are another matter, they have much less lateral strength. Even they would need some sort of sideways force but much less.

The big problem with these racks is the almost total lack of security. Either luck just the wheel or use a cable lock. They're not common round here, and the ones I know of aren't heavily used, so leaning the bike against them is an option even though it blocks most slots. This also protects your wheels. Blocking most of the track is probably not a fair option in Copenhagen.

  • Why do you say Lightweight road bike wheels are another matter, they have much less lateral strength? It's certainly not my experience, unless you are comparing to steel.
    – andy256
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 7:52
  • @Andy256 a few of the bikes in the picture probably do have steel wheels, but mainly I'm comparing chunky alloy to lightweight alloy. The extra rim width gives some stiffness. I've rarely ridden on carbon road wheels, but IME most people who do would be too worried about scratches and especially theft to use a rack like that.
    – Chris H
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 8:52
  • @ChrisH What are the lightweight road bike wheels? I'm not an expert of bike so could you give some examples?
    – Edison
    Commented May 1, 2016 at 17:25
  • @Edison I'm thinking of drop bar bikes with aluminium wheels - so probably a few years old by now, older if they weren't an entry level model. Designed for thin tyres like 25mm. Built for speed and light weight not strength. Your typical European city bike is built for durability.
    – Chris H
    Commented May 1, 2016 at 17:40

I have a similar rack at home and I find that putting the back wheel in is better (even with derailleur gears the rear wheel is usually stronger), and makes the bike much easier to lock.

IME the most likely time for your bike to get damaged is when someone else is inserting or removing a bike, when they bump your bike and it rolls slightly out of the rack then falls sideways. I often use a strap or cable lock to pull the bike into the rack when using that style in public, but at home I have a chock under my front wheel to hold the bike in place (a small piece of wood from the woodchips covering part of our garden).

One thing to watch for is clearance between your disk rotor and the rack, because the bars are often just the right size to slip between the spokes and the rotor. Disk rotors are very easy to bend and almost impossible to repair.

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