Now you see it. Then you don’t. Disappearing bike rack could declutter cities

Align
As useful as they may be, there’s no denying that public bike racks aren’t exactly an aesthetic boon to a cityscape. Unwieldy, large, and generally in the way, the standard storage solution for our two-wheeled transportation options doesn’t exactly encourage folks to forego cars for bikes. Until now.

Meet Milou Bergs, a graduate of the Design Academy Eindhoven, who has designed a bike rack worthy of the 21st century and beyond. This bicycle holder appears when you need it and disappears when you don’t — the bike rack response to today’s pop-up trend. Called the Align bike rack, Bergs’ creation proves that form and function absolutely can overlap.

During her time as a student in the Netherlands, a nation well known for its biking population, Bergs noted that while cycling was great for the planet, it wasn’t so great for the overall look of a city’s public spaces.

“Bicycle racks are a particular eyesore,” Bergs told Dezeen. “Even when not in use, they get in the way, creating physical and visual noise.” As such, she noted, “I started to think about how I could make a space visually and physically serene while keeping the functionality of storage.”

Enter the pop-up design. The rack is actually activated by the weight of a bicycle’s front wheel. Whenever a panel senses the presence of such a wheel, a bracket emerges and locks the back wheel into place, securing the entire bike. And when you’re ready to pedal away, the rack goes back into the ground from whence it came.

Bergs hopes this design, if widely implemented, will help keep public spaces cleaner, more open, and more accessible. “[It] means that public spaces can once again be open, making room for events, markets or everyday life,” she said. And her hope may come true — apparently, her design has already garnered the interest of a number of Dutch cities.

align bike rack disappears align3 lifestyle

“[Align] can be implemented on a larger scale once I have developed the bicycle rack in collaboration with a production company,” she said. “At the moment I am researching and discussing the possibilities.” Hopefully, her design can cross the ocean and makes its way to the U.S. as well.

Photography

Leica’s new 50mm lens will set you back $4,500, because Leica

Leica's newest lens uses an advanced optical design in a relatively compact form. But when it comes to premium normal focal length lenses, there are several cheaper alternatives. Leica fans, however, probably don't care about those.
Home Theater

HDMI ARC and eARC: What they are, and how they can simplify your home theater

HDMI ARC is one of the coolest TV features at your disposal. But if you're like most folks, you have no idea how it works, if you even know what it is at all. Here's our primer on HDMI ARC, as well as the next-generation technology, eARC.
Home Theater

How to know if you’re actually getting Dolby Atmos sound

Dolby Atmos surround sound has become the holy grail for home theater lovers who want the best possible sound from their systems. But getting it isn't as easy as you might think. Here's how to know if you're getting Dolby Atmos.
Gaming

The best iOS games you can play offline on your iPhone and iPad

Even though we're always glued to our phones, we don't always have access to Wi-Fi or have steady service. Whether you're on a flight, riding the bus, or sitting in a waiting room, you can always play these excellent iOS games.
Deals

Get the Rylo Action Cam at a discounted price of $350 on Best Buy and Amazon now

The usually $500 Rylo Action Camera is now only $350. Order from Best Buy for the option to pay six monthly payments of $58.34. Save an additional $50 if you apply for an Amazon Rewards Visa Card and use the gift card.
Cars

Built-in coolers, tents, and kitchenettes make these the best cars for camping

For a successful camping trip, you’ll need a tent, s’mores, and some quality humans to share them with. A good car can transform the entire experience, though, so we’re counting down 15 of the best cars for camping.
Health & Fitness

Materials in new Nike Joyride running shoes put environmentalists on alert

Nike Joyride is a new type of cushioning designed for use in running shoes, but its reliance on microplastics is already causing some to question its long-term impact on the environment.
Deals

Score a Segway electric scooter for its lowest price with this exclusive deal

For a limited time, tech retailer Wellbots is providing an exclusive discount for Digital Trends readers on both the Ninebot by Segway ES2 and ES4 scooters. All you need to do is enter our exclusive code at checkout to claim the savings.
Health & Fitness

Specialized’s new road ebike will cure your range anxiety for good

Specialized's new road ebike weigh just 26.8 pounds, offers pedal assist speeds of up to 28 miles per hour, and has a range of as far as 120 miles between recharges, virtually eliminating range anxiety altogether.
Deals

The best budget-friendly GoPro alternatives that won’t leave you broke

Warm weather is here, and a good action camera is the perfect way to record your adventures. You don't need to shell out the big bucks for a GoPro: Check out these great GoPro alternatives that won’t leave you broke.
Photography

The best GoPro accessories for 2019, from dive housings to dog harnesses

A GoPro is only as good as the tools you use with it. With so many options on the market, finding the best GoPro accessories can be a hassle, but you'll find our favorites here, from dive housings to dog harnesses.
Outdoors

Lyft pulls its bikes from San Francisco streets after apparent battery fires

Lyft has suspended its bikesharing operation in San Francisco following two fires in the space of a few days. The cause is thought to be faulty batteries that power the electric two-wheelers, though this is yet to be confirmed.
Deals

Under Armour cuts an extra 25% off backpacks for your back-to-school needs

With a new school year around the corner, now’s the time for deals on backpacks. Under Armour is running its own back-to-school sale right now which knocks another 25% off already-discounted backpacks, clothing, and more.
Emerging Tech

Look forward to your morning commute with the best ebikes available

A proper ebike is perfect for commuting or a trek along the trailhead, with most offering pedal assistance and a long-range battery. Here are the best electric bikes available.