StyrUpp: Bringing Order to Bike Parking Chaos


Nola recently took to the streets, putting our StyrUpp bicycle parking system to the test. Installed where it will make the most impact, the new product will be used by urban cyclists for twelve months. As the pilot project test-drives Nola’s know-how, it’s keeping the city of Stockholm at the forefront of intercity cycling.

When you get to Stockholm’s Bergsgatan street, wheel along the curb. Hit the brakes as you approach the red steel enclosure, then jump off and check out at the metal holders inside. This addition to the street is brand new, so local residents haven’t had time to get used to it. Passers-by are eyeballing the product with curiosity, with some coming over to get a closer look. Others just keep walking, appearing to ignore the installation altogether. 

Architect and designer Ralf Lindberg is one of those peering over the steel panels. He’s there to inspect the assembly of the steel parts, and he points out some of the features they offer. Lindberg is talking to Anders Åkesson and Ulf Hansson, two product developers from Nola, and Henrik Edlund, the company’s CEO. The four of them are standing around StyrUpp, the new bicycle parking system Lindberg recently designed. Satisfied with the assembly, the four men green-light the installation, and StyrUpp is officially ready to end the cycle-parking chaos surrounding it. That is exactly what StyrUpp was designed to do.

“The city of Stockholm has an ambition to become a cycling city on a par with Copenhagen,” explains Lindberg. “We still have a long way to go, and if we're ever going to reach that goal, one of the problems we need to solve is bicycle parking.”

Lindberg recalls how the original idea came with a mandate to eliminate the messy overview created by bicycles parked randomly, and a mission to gather them in a designated area. In turn, urban dwellers would be provided with a safe and secure place to park their bicycles, electric bikes and electric scooters. While StyrUpp encourages cyclists to park in an organised system, it simultaneously eliminates the clusters of bicycles that accumulate along the city’s main thoroughfares. 

“Bicycle parking needs to be systematic in order to work effectively,” says Lindberg. “Preferably without taking parking spaces designated for vehicles. The idea is to make use of the ten square metre ‘no-stopping’ zones found at many pedestrian crossings. By making that space available for bicycle parking, cyclists would know that they can always find parking areas at street crossings.” 

“The city of Stockholm has an am­bi­tion to be­come a cycling city on a par with Copenhagen”

Ralf Lindberg, architect and designer

As simple as this solution sounds, there are complexities to be resolved before urban planners can transform crossing zones into the new norm for cycle parking. StyrUpp was designed to meet those challenges and provide the solutions that urban planners are looking for. In the meantime, StyrUpp will remain in the Bergsgatan site for a year, and hopefully contribute to better bicycle parking and better organisation of the street.

StyrUpp is made of robust, galvanised steel, the bike rack is designed with a suspension system that secures the handlebars of both electric scooters and regular bicycles. The bike rack is made with a metal loop that provides additional security when locking the bike frame to the rack.

This initial installation of StyrUpp enables Nola to see how the product will work in practice. StyrUpp quickly passed the street-cleaning test, allowing maintenance vehicles to sweep and scrub the pavements around it without hindering them in any way. Åkesson and Lindberg were also pleased to see how easily bicycles can be slotted into the holders and locked in place. Åkesson points out how StyrUpp’s design makes use of the pavement’s edge, providing space for cyclists to bounce their bike’s tyres upwards to push the handlebars towards the holder. Whether the bikes are heavy or light, big or small, this feature gives all users an ergonomic advantage when securing the bikes in the holders.  

“In terms of production, it has been important to think about using simple and cost-effective methods and materials,” Åkesson explains. “We use metal tubes with standard dimensions and choose bends that are readily available. Hot-dip galvanisation of the metal parts ensures that the racks are protected against the Nordic climate and that rust stays away. Added to that, we covered the holders with a soft plastic coating that protects the bikes’ frames and handlebars.”

The bike racks are usually bolted to the street but can also be attached to concrete foundations cast beneath the ground. The attachment points can be adapted for different ground levels and surface types and extended laterally across several sections. In every case, the bike racks are quick and easy to install, a crucial factor in ensuring the success of the product.

While Lindberg and Åkesson were talking, Henrik Edlund has been sweeping the surrounding pavement in preparation for photography and filming. He looks satisfied with the result, and it’s clear that Nola’s determination to be at the centre of Stockholm's cycle traffic discourse has resulted from a genuine dialogue with city officials.

“It’s important for us to be able to evaluate new products like StyrUpp with the municipality,” says Edlund. “Of course, in this case, it’s the city of Stockholm. Their role in creating healthier cities is important. We’re grateful to be able to use this test area and look forward to further discussions about StyrUpp. Together, we will find the best way to bring order to the chaos of bike parking.”

“It’s im­port­ant for us to be able to eval­uate new pro­ducts like StyrUpp with the muni­cip­ality”

Henrik Edlund, Nola's CEO

The ambition is to provided a safe and secure place to park bicycles, electric bikes and electric scooters. While StyrUpp encourages cyclists to park in an organised system, it simultaneously eliminates the clusters of bicycles that accumulate along the city’s main thoroughfares.