Click on a section below for our most frequently asked questions. If your question is not answered here, feel free to contact us.
- + Does the rack only take two bikes?
Some do, but a three bike version is now proving popular!
The original model only takes two bikes but due to the overwhelming success and popularity of the B.O.B racks, Sportsworks developed a three rack model. This has also been a great success, leading to most buses in Seattle and other cities switching to the three rack model. If the B.O.B rack is full when approached, the user must wait for the next bus or find an existing user that may choose to disembark with their bike. Cyclists will usually cooperate and help one another.
- + Do you have to remove the outer bike to access the inner one?
No, this is not necessary.
The innovative design means the cyclist does not need to remove the inner bike (nearest the driver) without removing the outer one. This can be done from the kerb-side/footpath by dragging the bike backwards off of the rack.
- + What does the driver do?
Nothing! The driver remains seated.
If the user wishes to let the bus driver know they are wanting to attach their bike to the front of the bus, they must hail them in a friendly manner to gain their attention before walking in front of the bus. The driver simply remains stationary in their seat and watches to make sure the user has placed the bike correctly. The bus driver should wait until the cyclist is out of the way and in the bus before driving off. If the bus rack is located at the back of the bus, the driver may assist.
- + Does the rack or bike obscure the driver’s vision?
No. It does not obscure the driver’s vision.
The rack sits below the bus driver’s level of eyesight and is actually very easy for them to see over the front and judge the distance between the rack and what lies ahead of it, even when fitted with two or three bicycles.
- + Does the rack obscure the bus headlights?
No, not normally.
However, a bike with panniers or similar features may reduce the headlight strength. This depends on the bike, its size, type or model, the pannier position and the position of the B.O.B rack on the bus. For further information on whether the buses in your area will be able to fit the bike racks onto them, please contact us with pictures of the bus and its measurements and we will get back to you.
- + How long does it take to load a bike?
Typically less than 30 seconds.
The racks are quick and easy to use. The 30 second time frame allows for those who may be more frail or who may have heavier bikes. Generally any loose items should be removed before mounting the bike onto the bus rack. When a new scheme is introduced, sample racks are often taken to cycling or other large events so people can practice loading a bike with a stationary rack.
- + Can these racks be mounted on the back of buses?
Yes, but there are a few things to consider.
The racks have been designed for the front of buses. It is possible to install them on the back, but this is clearly not the ideal place. On the back they will be:
- Out of sight of the driver, and user (cyclists usually stay next to the driver)
- Much more liable to theft
- Loading and unloading will be much slower
- Probably more dangerous – driver cannot see if the user is still taking bike off
- Once taken off, the user is in the middle of the road, so in a very vulnerable position.
- They are much more vulnerable if the bus reverses.
- Also, on the front, the bike and bus combination is also much more visible, bringing great PR benefits.
- + Why have these racks not yet been adopted on the front of buses in Europe?
There are two principle reasons:
1) Safety concerns – mainly that of the additional risk to pedestrians in the event of a collision
2) Type-Approval issues – racks not conforming to current vehicle design regulations (such as lengths of overhang, position of lighting etcetera
The safety argument is a contentious area. Experience of operating racks in the US, over many years, has raised no concerns about pedestrian accident increases. However, studies in Europe have predicted that increased pedestrian injury would be a likely result. This needs to be considered in proportion to the very low level of pedestrian/bus collision accidents which occur annually anyway. Balanced against this are the great health benefits generated by cycling and by reduction in pollution. European transport authorities have traditionally adopted a more conservative approach to these kinds of issues than in the US.
The Type-Approval issues can be addressed by suitable engineering solutions, if the legislative will is there to progress with them. Type-Approval provisions have always changed to accommodate changes in the usage and design of vehicles as transport needs have evolved. Political will is required from those within the legislature to drive the necessary changes.
The argument comes down to winning hearts and minds and to making the case for introduction of these racks overwhelmingly compelling. There was initial resistance too in the US, but key individuals in positions of influence and authority were able to over-rule the objectors and get programmes implemented. History has shown that they were right to do so and no one in the US seriously questions their use today. Europe requires people with similar courage and far sightedness to achieve the benefits which use of these racks will bring.