By Alex Tsatsoulis, via the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition blogGetting 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.
SummaryInside Sales Rep is a member of the Dero sales team. This candidate will focus on increased inside sales performance using the Reed Construction Database to submit quote proposals, find and track new leads and find additional sales opportunities through competitor specifications.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
- Explore project leads in Reed Construction Database
- Find current projects in Reed to prepare detailed sales proposals, quotes and bids to potential customers
- Search competitors’ specified projects to suggest possible alternates
- Track share of projects specified to Dero vs. competitors
- Research projects in planning stages
- Work with marketing department to proactively market to architects
- Analyze market trends including project locations, project types, and common products
- Reach out to potential specifiers through emails, mailings, and cold-calling
- Focus on contacts, sales leads, project bidding via the following:
- Construction databases
- Internal vetted lists
- Prepare CAD layouts of installation locations (training provided)
- Follow-up with customers regarding sales related projects
- Help prepare sales goals and lists for pro-active sales
- Work with production and shipping to make sure timelines and quality goals are met
- Excellent organization skills
- Proficient in Microsoft Office (Outlook, Excel, Word)
- Ability to learn multiple software and account systems
- Self-directed and ambitious
- Highly driven and able to work independently
- Can-do, helpful attitude
- Willing to work in a team/group environment
- Professional verbal and written communication style
- Ability to manage multiple tasks and conflicting deadlines
- Education and/or Experience
- Bachelor degree preferred with 2 years of experience in sales.
TravelNo annual travel
Computer SkillsTo perform this job successfully, an individual should be proficient in Excel, Word, and PowerPoint software. Dero will provide AutoCAD training
- Competitive pay
- 14 days PTO (prorated for the first year, with 1 additional day each year thereafter)
- 11 paid holidays
- Simple IRA (Dero matches up to 4%)
- Health and dental insurance
- Disability insurance
- Bonus plan
- Alternative transportation compensation
By Ben Hovland
It’s our birthday! In 2015, Dero is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Though we’re still not old enough to legally drink, twenty years of distributing bike racks around the world has taught us a few things about bicycle security, innovation, and living bike-centric lifestyles.
Throughout the year, we will bring you several looks back on Dero’s origins and the exciting directions we’re headed into the future. In our first installment, Rolf Scholtz, one of Dero’s founders, takes a moment to share his reflections on this historic milestone.
In 1995, two brothers, Derk and Rolf (De + Ro = DeRo, get it?), identified a need in the existing bicycling infrastructure. “Bike racks weren’t functional for u-locks. There’s gotta be a way to make a bike rack that’s u-lock compatible and somewhat decent,” remembers Rolf. “Believe it or not, no one was doing that back then.”
So the brothers set out to solve this problem, one bicycle rack design at a time. They slowly gained clients and traction, operating from the apartment above Bullwinkle’s Saloon in the Seven Corners district in Minneapolis. “It wasn’t easy,” Rolf says, “We had to ship all our UPS from the bar, and we out grew it pretty quickly. But it was dirt cheap, and we were strapped for cash those first 5 years!”
Given the small scale of their operation, Rolf and Derk were forced to innovate using their everyday experiences riding their bikes around the Twin Cities. “We were all bike people at Dero, in some way or another. I was originally a bike security monitor at the University of Minnesota,” Rolf recalls. “There’s a culture of biking at Dero, and we were always trying something new and different. That’s a big reason why we were so successful.”
The Birchwood Cafe was one of Dero’s first customers. “Back then, I couldn’t even find them,” admits Rolf. But since then, the Birchwood has proven a valuable partner in advancing small business-driven bicycling advocacy and leading the movement to promote on-street bike corrals. Having committed to prioritizing advocacy early in our existence, Dero strengthened its connections with organizations such as Alliance for Biking and Walking and the League of American Bicyclists. Today, our network extends across North America, and we are excited for meeting new partners in the years to come.
In the past 20 years, one of the most significant milestones was bringing manufacturing in-house. “We knew we had to do it ourselves,” Rolf remembered. The process, starting in fall of 2004, “took twice as long and cost twice as much as we anticipated, but the payoff was instantaneous.” After moving powdercoating and shipping in-house, Dero soon acquired their first metal bending equipment, and by 2010 our operation had matured into a full warehouse stocked with locally made bike racks.
Rolf shared several entertaining memories from Dero’s early days, but one of his favorites involved Moka, the office dog. Dogs are a longstanding fixture in Dero’s workplace. From the first time Rolf and Derk started hiring new employees, Rolf recalled one particular incident when, “Moka was underneath the table and farting up a storm, and they were silent! They just reeked. And this poor person was trying to ignore the wafts of this horrible gas while I’m interviewing them.” Did they get the job? “We didn’t end up hiring them. They probably thought we were full of it, blaming the farts on the dog!”
While dog farts still occasionally plague the office, Dero’s drive to innovate and provide the best possible bike parking and transit solutions remains as strong as ever. When Dero first began, Rolf and Derk started with the goal to design the most secure and best looking racks possible, all while accommodating both customers and end-users’ needs. This central tenet still holds true in our work twenty years later. We invite you to celebrate our achievements over the past two decades, and to join us as we continue to develop attractive and functional bicycle infrastructure.
Since 1995, Dero has introduced innovative bike parking to the world and continues this tradition with the new Ultra Space Saver Squared, Cycle Dock™, Type Rider™, and Alley Rack™. The new website highlights these bike racks, and features design guides, how-to videos, product galleries, a robust online store, and more.
Minneapolis, MN – Since 1995, Dero has introduced innovative bike parking to the world. Now entering its 20th year, Dero continues this tradition with the new Ultra Space Saver Squared, Cycle Dock™, Type Rider™, and Alley Rack™. A redesigned website highlights these bike racks, and features design guides, how-to videos, product galleries, a robust online store, and more. These new online resources will help customers find the best bicycle parking solutions for their project.
Ultra Space Saver Squared: Dero’s Ultra Space Saver Squared builds on its popular predecessor, the original Ultra Space Saver. Both provide vertical bike parking that maximizes space efficiency, but the Squared goes even further:
- Sliding Arm System: Adjustable sliding arms make it easy for customers to best utilize their space. It also creates flexibility to make sure spacing follows city requirements as they evolve.
- Square Tube Arm: Pipe-cutter resistant squared steel tubing makes the Ultra Space Saver Squared more secure than the original.
- Angled Arm (optional): This option provides an extra six inches of aisle space.
Like the original, the Squared is u-lock compatible and accommodates bikes with fenders; features an easy to install, modular system; and can fit in nearly any space. Additional options include: wall-mount, floor-mount, and double-sided.
Cycle Dock™: The Dero Cycle Dock™ is a solid laser cut steel plated bike rack, providing high security that is pleasing to the eye. With unassuming wheel stops at its base, the Cycle Dock™ offers three points of contact for extra bike stability, while the wide-spacing between its two arms decreases handle bar conflicts when parking two bikes.
Type Rider™ Racks: The line of Type Rider™ Racks offers customers the chance to have fun with letters and symbols. These laser cut, hand welded bike racks can be made to spell out a word, brand name, and even hashtag. They are available in a wide array of finishes and colors to create eye-catching bike parking.
Alley Rack™: One of the first Dero racks created in the mid-1990s, the Alley Rack™ has been reincarnated, redesigned, and reengineered to be better than ever. The Alley Rack’s™ arm swings a full 180º, offering a variety of locking positions to accommodate for limited space, and its 5/8″ thick steel construction provides a strong deterrent to would-be thieves.
Dero is proud to introduce customers to a new and improved www.dero.com. Beyond the stunning design and images, the website offers new features to make it easier for customers to find the perfect bike parking solutions for their project. A large selection of Dero products are now available to purchase via the online store, as long as quantities can be shipped via FedEx. For more complex orders, quantity discounts, quotes and general questions, customers will now have the option to chat with our friendly and informative sales team online.
Customers can also find ideas and inspiration from the new Dero Design Project Guides, starting with Streetscapes, Bike Rooms, Campus Settings, and Park and Rec. All product pages now feature more photos than ever before and how-to videos have started to pop-up, plus the Dero Blog has been redesigned. Be sure to visit the website to keep up-to-date with the newest bike parking resources and Dero news.
Since 1995, Dero has been supplying innovative bike parking and bicycle transit solutions to architects, contractors, municipalities, higher education, and parks and rec. Its bike racks, repair stands and pumps, shelters, and lockers are high quality, thoughtfully designed and secure. Dero also offers the award winning Dero ZAP, an automatic system to track bike commuters. Dero is located in Minneapolis and is proud to support biking locally and nationally.