Advocacy, Dero

Dero Bike Month Round-up

National Bike Month 2015 is coming to a close, but we’ve made the most of it at Dero. Based on our Dero ZAP commuter tracking and wellness program, the staff logged a collective 1,711 miles biked, reduced 1,185 pounds of CO2, and burned over 53,000 calories. Our rides have taken us everywhere, from overnight camping at Afton State Park to cruising around town using the Nice Ride bike share system. See some of our favorite Bike Month memories below.      
Marketing Coordinator Ben H. rode to Afton State Park and camped overnight with his sweetheart. They enjoyed sweeping views of the St. Croix River valley from the bluff tops.
Senior Accountant Helen, who is seven months pregnant, cruised slowly and carefully around Minneapolis on a Nice Ride bike.
Senior Accountant Helen, who is seven months pregnant, cruised slowly and carefully around Minneapolis on a Nice Ride bike. Photo courtesy Flickr user m01229 via CC BY 2.0 license.
Inside Sales Rep Siri spent an entire day exploring Minneapolis, eating at her favorite restaurants and soaking up the warmer weather.
Inside Sales Rep Siri spent an entire day exploring Minneapolis, eating at her favorite restaurants and soaking up the warmer weather.
LA Sales Rep Greg rode over 320 miles down the California coast on the 2015 Climate Ride. His ride helped raise funds for the LA County Bicycle Coalition.
Inside Sales Rep Natalia’s favorite memory from Bike Month was riding her fat bike through the Minnesota River Bottoms with friends. The bottoms offer a bit of wilderness just south of the main Minneapolis metro area and is a favorite escape for local bike riders.
General Manager Andy spent a gorgeous weekend “shredding the red” at the Cuyuna mountain bike trail system in northern Minnesota. The tag line takes its name from the red dirt trails, and it’s considered a badge of honor among riders for the red dirt to linger for weeks on your bike.
Director of Marketing Bri’s favorite Bike Month memory was getting to explore a new city by bike. Thanks for the loaner bike, Atlanta Bicycle Coalition!
Head Engineer Joel got to test out his new mountain bike on the local trails at Theodore Wirth Park. The best part? He built the frame himself! Joel is not only a skilled bike parking designer, he’s a talented framebuilder, too, and owner of Clockwork Bikes.
Inside Sales Rep Ted and his wife Annie (pictured) picked up starters for their garden from a local store.

Dero Through the Years: “By People Who Bike, For People Who Bike”

We continue to celebrate our 20th birthday in 2015! Today we bring you an interview with a Dero employee: Stephanie Beebe. Steph is our fearless Sales Manager and has been slinging racks off and on for over ten years. In her reflections, Steph underscores the motivating principle of Dero’s philosophy: Everything we make is by people who bike, for people who bike.

How long have you been at Dero?

I started in June 2004, part-time until fall of 2008. Came back part-time summer/fall of 2009. Came back again May 2010 full-time.

Where is your favorite place to ride your bike?

Along the river, Greenway/Cedar Lake Trail, random places Andy’s taken folks on his Mystery Trips.

What sets us apart from other bike rack manufacturers?

Most of us here at Dero ride bikes on a regular basis, so we understand the importance of good bike parking. We use the product and take a lot of pride in what we do. At the end of the day, we just want to make a great product that will encourage more and more people to get onto their bikes.

Do you have any funny stories from working at Dero?

Oh, man. I probably have a lot, almost too many to pick a good one. When I first started, our office was the upstairs of a duplex. As a cheap college student, I would bring my laundry to work and use the laundry room while I was working. My second summer at Dero, I spent some time doing local installations. It was pretty great stepping out of the big van and meeting some contractor onsite to do the install. Nothing like a 19-year-old girl holding power tools to confuse the heck out of people.

Favorite rack, and why you like it?

I love the Ultra Space Saver. It’s so clean, organized, and innovative. It’s also one of the easiest ones to park to, in my opinion. You don’t need to bend over to lock up your bike and find the right angle for the lock to fit. When I bike to Seward Co-op, I always choose the USS over the Hitches or other ground mounted racks.

Why do people love Dero racks?

Because they’re designed by people who bike, for people who bike.

BONUS: Check out this old(ish) video of Steph using the Ultra Space Saver rack:


Dero Designs its First Steel Bike Locker for Secure Bike Parking

The Dero Bike Locker™ is ideal for long-term, secure bike parking. Its fully enclosed, all steel construction protects bikes from weather and theft.

Dero is proud to announce the addition of the Dero Bike Locker to its extensive product line of bike parking solutions. The Dero Bike Locker is bike security at its best and is ideal for long-term bike parking applications such as at transit hubs and college campuses.

Whether it’s protection from weather or thieves, the Dero Bike Locker is a solid choice for long-term bicycle parking. Municipalities, governments, universities, and businesses will love the sturdy steel construction with locking options that include a u-lock/padlock compatible handle or a keyed lock, while cyclists will appreciate the enclosed security and gear hooks that come standard.

Customers can choose either a single-sided or double-sided model in a galvanized or powder coat finish. Ventilating windows on the doors allow for easy monitoring of the locker’s contents. Installation is simple, with leveling feet for uneven surfaces. The Dero Bike Locker also ships flat to save on freight.


Dero Through the Years: Highlights from our Designer

On March 21, 1995 Dero Bike Racks was born. Tomorrow is officially our 20th birthday! What started as two University of Minnesota graduates trying to solve the problem of insufficient bike parking, has grown into one of the leading bicycle rack and public bike repair manufacturers in the country (but we don’t take ourselves too seriously). Though Dero has seen its share of ups and downs over the past two decades, our vision has always stayed the same: to design and manufacture the most innovative and high quality bicycling infrastructure to serve people on bikes. This year, we’ll look back at Dero’s history through the eyes of its employees. Below, Colin Klotzbach shares his reflections on his tenure as the Graphic and Web Designer at Dero. He’s been working with Dero the longest, so he has some interesting stories. Enjoy his dry sense of humor – he’s quite a character.

How long have you been at Dero?

Officially 13 years, but my first freelance project with Dero was in 1997.

Where is your favorite place to ride your bike?

I’m hoping Holland will be my favorite place to ride after this summer.

What sets us apart from other bike rack manufacturers?

Our experience in marketing imported model ships and used laptop computers.

Do you have any funny stories from working at Dero?

Life at Dero has always been just a bit different than most employers. For a long time it always felt like we were just scraping by. We didn’t always have enough salvaged university desks for everyone (Andy, our GM, had no desk when he was hired), we often had mice running over our feet at the old warehouse, and dog hair would crash our server a couple times a year. It wasn’t even until we moved into our current place a few years ago that our hands could experience warm water coming out of the taps in the bathroom sinks. But like everyone’s parents say: It builds character.

Favorite rack, and why you like it?

The Bike Bike Rack. What’s not to love about it? It keeps showing up everywhere, even photobombing several news outlets, proving it survives riots and natural disasters.

Why do people love Dero racks?

As useful as bike racks are, it is kind of hard to take them too seriously. I think people appreciate seeing a little extra thought put into something that could otherwise be one of the most mundane features of public life.


Note:  Originally published on January 16th, our friends at the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition posted this insightful interview with Dero VP & General Manager Andy Lageson. Founded in 2009, MBC advocates for a city where bicycling is encouraged and everyone feels comfortable riding.  

By Alex Tsatsoulis, via the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition blog

Getting your bike stolen can be devastating, especially if it’s your primary way of getting around. While you can minimize your risk by using a quality lock, and increase your chance of getting a stolen bike back by registering your bike with the police; where you park your bike matters too. We asked Andy Lageson, VP and General Manager of local company Dero Bike Racks about how they’re working to make bike parking more secure in Minneapolis.

What are the most common reasons bikes get stolen in Minneapolis?

Andy: Making the right bike lock purchase is key to deter bike thieves. Using the wrong type of lock is the most common mistake made by cyclists. We recommend that people only use U-locks or non-cable bike locks, such as Kryptonite chains or the Abus folding locks. Never use just a cable lock; they are quickly and easily cut. A cable lock should only be used in conjunction with a U-lock or chain. It’s also important to be aware of what you’re locking your bike to and how you’re securing your bike. No matter what, always lock your bike – I know it’s tempting to run into your favorite store and leave the bike unlocked for a minute, but it’s just not a good idea…always lock your bike, even if it’s just for 30 seconds. A lot of theft occurs because of this split-second decision.

Recently The Oregonian ran an article about a new trend in bike thieves cutting through bike racks to steal bikes. Has that been an issue you’ve seen with bike racks in Minneapolis? Are the racks Portland uses similar to the Dero racks the City of Minneapolis uses?

Andy: I think we’ve been pretty lucky in the Twin Cities metro area. We haven’t been contacted much at all with these types of issues here. Based on the photo from the article, a pipe cutter was the tool used to steal the bike. (Counter to the article’s assumption, the cut is too smooth to be a saw.) Portland uses a bike rack manufacturer in the Northwest that uses a lighter gauge material for their racks – they probably used this based on cost issues. The bike racks that Dero manufactures use a heavier duty schedule 40 steel pipe. Both racks are susceptible to a pipe cutter, but a heavier duty rack will take longer to cut and may deter bike thieves. Another issue is that the bike racks use round pipe, which can be cut by a pipe cutter. Any racks that are inverted-U racks or hoop racks made with round pipe are at risk to pipe cutting. The Dero Bike Hitch Rack that the City of Minneapolis uses won’t work with pipe cutters, since the pipe cutting tool can’t spin all the way around the locking arms (this is good news).


One of the suggestions in that article is filling bike racks with concrete to make them more secure. Is that something Dero has considered, and what other technologies might work better to stop bike thieves?

Andy: We’ve experimented with filling our Hoop Racks internally with concrete and that was a nightmare. It’s not economical, takes a lot of labor and time, and has to be done onsite at the installation location. A better option is to weld a chain on the inside of an inverted-U bike rack from end to end. We have manufactured a large amount bike racks for the City of Los Angeles and have included a chain welded to the inside of the rack. Pipe cutters can cut the outer pipe, but won’t be able to get through the interior chain. The chain acts as a separate safety feature.

Beyond locking to a secure rack, what other advice would you give people looking to secure their bikes in the best manner possible?

Andy: If a bike rack isn’t available to lock to, make sure the structure you choose is made of steel, is strong and durable, isn’t bolted together (bolts can be removed), and is firmly installed to the ground or a wall. As a rule, remember to make sure your bike doesn’t impede pedestrian right of ways or access to buildings. For short-term parking, lock to a closed steel structure like a bike rack (not a tree or short sign post with no sign). Make sure that you can’t remove your lock from whatever you are locking to and at least one wheel to the bike rack is secured (this might not work for mini U-locks). For long-term parking, we recommend using a U-lock to lock the frame and one wheel (this might not work for mini-U-locks) and a cable lock to secure both wheels in place. Also, if the bicyclist has an expensive seat like a Brooks saddle, we recommend using a short chain to secure the saddle rails to the seat stays.

Do you have any advice for businesses or others installing new secure bike parking on how to place it to minimize theft?

Andy: The best place for exterior bike parking is right next to the front entrance of a business. These locations usually offer window site lines, great lighting, and customer foot traffic, which all helps to keep thieves away. For interior settings like parking garages, bike rooms, and bike shelters, secure bike parking areas are the way to go. These facilities should consist of a fully enclosed room or cage with user key access, great lighting, and cameras. For home garages, locking it at night isn’t enough. Be sure to anchor a bike rack to the wall or ground and then lock your bike to it. Also install motion sensor lighting if you can. Dero along with other local retailers sell these types of products for home users. I highly recommend investing in these measures. It’s the worst when your bike is stolen – I know from personal experience.