Article Eindhovens Dagblad

Ton Kooymans (left) and Stefan Bukkems have designed a bicycle parking that can be used for all modern bicycles. There is a test set-up on the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven.

No more bent wheels due to new bicycle rack by Ton Kooymans from Eindhoven

EINDHOVEN – With a bicycle basket on the handlebars, extra thick tires or an expensive electric bicycle; so many tastes so many bicycle models. But modern bicycles often do not fit in the average bicycle rack. Designer Ton Kooymans from Eindhoven came up with the solution.

The current bicycle racks are no longer of this time because the bicycle has changed over the years. Moreover, according to experts, the parking facilities are real ‘rim killers’. The front wheel is fixed and if the bicycle gets a push from the side, there is an irrevocable bend in your wheel.

‘It must be possible to solve that,’ thought Ton Kooymans and so he developed the new design AXLE. The bicycle is supported by the axle of the front wheel, instead of the wheel itself. And that makes a world of difference.

Kooymans: ,,With this system, the bicycle is stably clamped at the height of the axle in a V-shape between two soft, non-slip plastic surfaces. And then it doesn’t matter whether you have a fat mountain bike tire or whether you ride a racing bike.”

Test set-ups have recently been installed at various places, such as the High Tech Campus Eindhoven and the student rowing association Thêta.

“Swap bikes has a light on the side so they can’t stand in the normal bike rack.”

Kooymans has been working with a small design team for the past five years to develop and improve bicycle parking facilities. Since this year, these have been put on the market under our own management and through distributors. Remarkably enough, Kooymans is known for his Tulip design, the Netherlands’ best-selling bicycle parking model, which can be found at all NS railway stations.

Did he do a good job himself? ,,Yes, because the Tulip is still adequate, but it was already introduced in 1995. Over time, modernization and improvement is necessary. There is a new generation of bicycles; heavier, more expensive and they do not fit in the current parking facilities or they are damaged. Did you know, for example, that Swap bicycles have a luggage carrier and a light on the side of the front fork, so that they cannot be placed in the normal bicycle rack?”

parking not stealing

Parking is one thing, preventing theft is another. To this end, Kooymans, together with designer Stefan Bukkems, devised a flexible cable with a loop that can bend to the rear wheel of the bicycle. Users can also attach their bicycle chains to the rear of the frames. “Simple, we bring the rack to the lock instead of the lock to the rack.”

Sustainability also plays a major role in the design. We work with Corten steel, stainless steel, aluminum, concrete and recycled rubber. The sheds are produced in the region, the parts are transported with compact transport and assembled locally.

The metal parts are made in a local village called Heeze, the concrete for the foot comes from a local village called Eersel. Kooymans: ,,The shed can be built with a limited number of components. The concrete feet no longer need to be anchored in the ground, it is possible, but it is more durable to fix the racks to each other on the paving stones with a series of bolts. That is sturdy enough and you can easily move the racks later if needed. Think of temporary parking facilities, so you are more flexible.”

Mess at school bicycle sheds

There is still a lot to improve in ‘bicycle parking’. Especially the parking facilities at schools are a thorn in Kooymans’ side. “Children nowadays come from Veldhoven to school in Eindhoven on their expensive electric bicycles. When they arrive at school, they cannot properly store them, let alone charge them. Schools are not aware of this. They build new, sustainable buildings but forget to look at the bicycle shed.”

The Fietsparkeur Foundation recently awarded both designs the 2.0 certificate. Fietsparkeur monitors the standard and provides testing for safe bicycle parking and was created by users, manufacturers and providers of public bicycle parking facilities.

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