John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
It supposedly prevents your frame paint from chipping.
Imagine locking your bike not against a tough metal pole but in a soft, bendy forest of batons. That’s the vision of designer Margus Triibmann at Estonia’s KEHA3, who’s dreamed up a cycle rack that looks like a row of peeping snail eye stalks.
The prototype, called Grazz, is meant to offer multi-position locking and protect the paint of a bike frame from scratching. Its ability to twist low to the ground also allows for the locking of children’s bikes, strollers, and other small vehicles, according to Triibmann. Here’s more:
Bicycle rack consists of plastic-covered metal wires with metal loops at the ends for fastening the bicycle [lock]. Plastic surface cover and elastic structure protect the bicycle from scratches. The bicycle stands upright thanks to rigid metal bars, and a small-size padlock can be used besides an ordinary bicycle locker. Grazz bicycle racks can be positioned side by side and hence create articulations, artificial barriers to the city space. There are two options for fastening the bicycle racks: bolted or fastened with wedge anchors to the ground or cast into the concrete.
It’s a nifty idea, and might just fly in certain European cities with low rates of bike theft. But the cable locks used in Grazz’s promo pictures would stand for all of 3 seconds against a dude with a bolt cutter. Triibmann proposes a solution in fastening two stalks together with a hefty padlock; even better would be a U-lock. Presumably, it would then be up to a thief to wrestle the stalks from the pavement or attack them with a grinder.