Department Of Transportation NYC_Hoop Rack

Helping to transform NYC into a cycle friendly city

The new standard bicycle rack for NYC

The Hoop Rack designed by Ian Mahaffy and Maarten de Greeve is the new standard bicycle rack for the streets of New York City. There are over 5000 racks installed throughout the city, as part of a larger initiative that is helping transform New York into a cycle-friendly city — designed for the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT).

Robust, functional and safe

The circular shape of the Hoop Rack provides accessible locking points all around its profile for all sizes of bicycle frames and wheels. An intersecting horizontal bar is at an optimal height for locking the bicycle frame. Moreover, the slimline design profile allows it to be easily installed on the crowded NYC sidewalks while consuming a minimum space and preventing congestion. As a whole and in its details, there are sharp or protruding edges or parts that could cause harm to pedestrians or bicycles.

In search of a street icon

Our aim for the design was twofold, to create a simple yet symbolic design for NYC and improved functionality over the existing installed racks. The circular and wheel like form is the symbol and expresses a strong relationship with the bicycle, helping with functional communication.
Though the form, materials and manufacturing process we considered how well it should fit into different urban environments from the more modern and new build areas of Manhattan to the classic and historic neighbourhoods like the brownstones around Brooklyn.

Considered life span and material

Creating a design that could stand the test of time, survive harsh weather and treatment on the streets of NYC was critical. The pure form of the circle has inert strength as well as a simplicity to being timeless.
We considered a permanent look in the NYC urban environment, and material choice and production methods helped achieve this. We also wanted a good fit with other street features such as utility hole covers and quality park benches. For strength (tried and tested), character, permanence and solidity cast iron was selected.

Working with repetition

The simple pared down form allows for multiple racks to be placed close together without becoming an ‘eyesore,’ crude looking, attention seeking or overbearing. The clean and simple design makes this possible.
“Mahaffy and DeGreeve have created a bike rack that works beautifully in a variety of contexts: in historic districts and newly built environments. The form of the rack-a wheel-is ‘product semantics’ in motion!
Mahaffy and De Greeve’s design reflects a modern simplicity that will greatly enhance the City’s streetscape. The rack is round with a horizontal crossbar, evoking an abstracted bicycle tire. Constructed of cast-metal, the design is elegant yet sturdy enough to withstand New York cyclists’ harsh treatment.”
Cooper-Hewitt Director, Paul Warwick Thompson



Book: 1000 Product Designs, Flexibound, by Eric Chan, 2010

Book: Urban furniture for a new city life, ICI Consultants, By Sophie Barbaux, 2010

Book: Velo City, Prestel by Gavin Blyth, 2014


Why Design Now, National Design Triennial @ Cooper Hewitt Design Museum, NYC, 2010

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