Cycle hubs offer versatile and creative storage potential

Posted on 16th October 2023

Cycle hubs offer versatile and creative storage potential

The cycle hub concept is becoming increasingly popular in the UK with local authorities, major organisations and transport providers because of the way they can be configured to provide a range of secure, high-quality cycling facilities that encourage cycle use. But what are the possibilities for cycle hub design and how can these be achieved?

Cyclepods – a division of Bailey Street Furniture Group – has been a leader in cycle hub design, manufacture and installation for more than 11 years, which means the company has a wealth of experience, skills and technical knowledge to benefit any project. Clients can take advantage of a full turnkey solution that ensures the design vision for the cycle hub can be brought to life by a single supplier without compromising the range of equipment and features available.

The first step in delivering a cycle hub is to consider the cycle hub’s proposed use and its design. A variety of cycle hub models are emerging around the world, but these all start with a handful of key questions – most notably whether the hub will be manned or unmanned, open or closed, what services and facilities will be offered to hub users and what will it look like?

As every Cyclepods cycle hub is bespoke designed and manufactured, clients are able to specify exactly what they require, including the material choices for its construction. The creative freedom this provides is evident in the cycle hub projects that Cyclepods has successfully delivered across the UK.

Open or closed cycle hubs?

An open cycle hub is designed for easy access for users, enabling them to drop in to use the facility whenever they require – this could be daily or just occasionally. This type of hub is ideal for locations such as railway stations and university campuses, and through the range of secure, highly durable features available from Cyclepods as well as the robust materials used in its construction, they can provide a valued facility with easy accessibility.

A good example of an open Cyclepods cycle hub is the type provided for eight railway stations across southwest England. These were built on a modular concept to allow for easy future expansion, with each hub providing bike storage using a two-tier system and benefiting from CCTV, 24-hour usage and a range of maintenance tools, including bike pumps and repair stands.

Closed cycle hubs allow clients to create more feature-packed facilities because access and use can be closely controlled. They enable a high level of security to be provided to give users total peace of mind because many will require users to register and subscribe to use the facility – as a result only authorised users can gain access to the hub. Some closed cycle hubs may be staffed, but all will have comprehensive CCTV monitoring in addition to Cyclepods’ high-security bike storage equipment.

An excellent example of the closed cycle hub concept is a project delivered recently by Cyclepods for Hammersmith and Fulham Council close to Hammersmith tube station. This was developed to provide an all-new secure cycle hub for residents and commuters in the borough as part of the council’s strategy to encourage cleaner and more sustainable travel to benefit the environment, air quality and people’s health.

It provides over 80 cycle parking spaces, as well as additional bays for larger cargo bikes, with the highest level of security provided through the Diamond Sold Secure accredited Streetpods installed inside. Peace of mind is provided through the hub’s CCTV, which is linked to the council’s main CCTV network for 24/7 monitoring, and only users who have registered and downloaded an app can access the facility.

Security is not the only consideration at the Hammersmith cycle hub, however. With a focus on what will be of most benefit to cyclists, the hub also includes a bike repair station so minor repairs can be made to bikes on the go, a bike tyre pump, a cycle lock rack and a facility to store bulky bike locks.

Design, materials and aesthetics 

Cycle hubs can be developed to suit virtually any site or location with a choice of highly durable materials available for the construction to maximise longevity with minimal maintenance. When thinking about the exterior, it is important to consider how material choices will impact on the hub’s accessibility, usage and sustainability.

For example, the hub exterior could incorporate large areas of glass, such as in the Leyton Super Hub and Lewes Cycle Hub, both delivered by Cyclepods. This would optimise transparency which is good from a security perspective and reduce reliance on artificial lighting inside. Choosing timber cladding for the exterior is a great way to meet aesthetic and environmental goals, and many cycle hubs are constructed using steel because it has secure, robust properties which do not compromise visual appeal.

A further consideration is to incorporate clear signage and graphics around the cycle hub to encourage usage and make it easy to find. The great creative potential for large wraps around hub means powerful artwork and branding can draw attention to the hub and contribute to its long-term success.

To find out more about the scope for creating high-quality cycle hubs, visit www.cyclepods.co.uk.