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Proper Way to Lock Up Your Bike

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Proper Way to Lock Up Your Bike

Old 12-30-11, 04:15 PM
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chefisaac
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Proper Way to Lock Up Your Bike

I have never locked up my bike (because I havent had to) but I want to do errands around town so that will change.

Right now I have a U Lock and a cable. How does one properly lock up the bike?

And does the cable need a separate lock or does it hook into the Ulock?

And what about the saddle? I have a nice Brooks saddle. How would I lock that up?
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Old 12-30-11, 04:22 PM
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The getting a nice bike problem ..

I dont know what the town you live in is like..

ingeneral, a double loop cable would reach around both wheels and the U lock
work like a padlock for the cable, and to attach the bike to a fixed object
like a steel post or bike rack.

you can get High security chain, too rather than the cable, much harder to cut.
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Old 12-30-11, 04:39 PM
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Check out this video from New York, the mecca for bike thieves.

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Old 12-30-11, 04:44 PM
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I do the u-lock/cable combo, although if it's a bike that needs to be locked up for a longer period, (example; I had a "college only" bike, for the summer I'd lock this way) I take the wheels off and put the u-lock through the frame and both wheels. Depends on the area, too. Some areas have crackheads with chainsaws and blowtorches, it seems like.
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Old 12-30-11, 07:14 PM
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This really isn't intended as a smart-ass answer: The best step you can take for security is living someplace decent. In most cities, there are good areas and bad. You can't be totally carefree in the good areas, but you don't have to roll around with the chains of Fort Knox weighing you down. A bike lock is about the heaviest thing you'll tote around--keeping its mass manageable is a good goal to have. If you live in an area with lots of thieves, though, then you'll just have to suck it up and accept the weight as part of the cost of living there.

For the saddle, make sure your seatpost collar isn't a quick-release. In a nice area, you might settle for a normal locking collar that accepts a hex wrench. In a bad area, you might want a collar that requires a special key to loosen it. (This, of course, deprives you of the ability to quickly adjust seat height. But how often do you really do that anyway?) You can also get locking skewers for your wheels. Pitlock and Pinhead Locks make special fittings that require their key to loosen them. This does mean that you have to carry around the key in your toolset. (By "key", I mean a specially shaped wrench.)

Here are links to their products:
https://www.pinheadcomponents.com/
https://www.pitlock.com/

For the saddle in particular, I also think that simply using a seat cover will help. If they don't immediately spot it as a Brooks, then it might simply not attract their eye. If you use the fancy Brooks cover, with their logo, you will have defeated the purpose. The best cover, from a camouflage perspective, would be a simple plastic shopping bag tied over it.

I toured Europe several years ago and visited some areas where I was very worried about my bike getting carted off. In addition to the financial loss of the bike, it also would have left me stuck. I went so far as to take spray paint to the frame to ugly it up a bit. I also painted over the labels of the components. (Many thieves are smart enough to know what XTR means and to recognize it as a better target, but they likely wouldn't identify it as such without the label.)

You've also got to look at what you are locking up to. In my backwoods area, I often see riders locking up to trees. Around here, that works. We don't have hardcore bike thieves; you've just got to stop some drunk guy who would find it funny to take your bike for a joy ride. But in other areas, you'll find more dedicated criminals. A hacksaw might not make it through a Kryptonite lock, but it will make it through the post of a stop sign. If you are locked to that sign, there is a glaringly weak link there.

I hope some of this helped. Ride safe.
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Old 12-30-11, 11:20 PM
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I use a U Lock and a Cable lock. I lock the frame to (something) with the U, and then loop the cable lock through the wheels, frame and the (something). I have three places where I lock my bike regularly, and leave the U-locks on the bike racks - so I have three U-Locks, an old Kryptonite K4, a newer Kryptonite Evolution 4, and a brand new Trek Armored U-Lock LS. The Trek lock is made by Kryptonite. Since I leave my U locks on the bike racks, they get real beat up because people try to break them - but no one has been successful yet. And I don't have to carry them around.

The advantage of using both a U and a cable, is people with the tools to break the U will usually have a hard time with the cable; and people that can cut the cable don't have the tools to break the U.
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Old 12-31-11, 03:24 AM
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I use this method (pinched from Sheldon Brown) along with a cable to secure the front wheel.
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Old 12-31-11, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by commo_soulja View Post
I use this method (pinched from Sheldon Brown) along with a cable to secure the front wheel.
Not knocking the method; but couldn't a thief with a big bolt cutter chop through the chain and the back rim, and, having sacrificed only those two parts, walk away with the rest of the bike?
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Old 12-31-11, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by old's'cool View Post
Not knocking the method; but couldn't a thief with a big bolt cutter chop through the chain and the back rim, and, having sacrificed only those two parts, walk away with the rest of the bike?
I've never tried it but, apparently, cutting through a rim and a tire is no easy task.
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Old 12-31-11, 05:52 PM
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I've never tried it either, but I can't see a decent bolt cutter having any difficulty.
I've never had or needed a U-lock so I don't know the flexibility, but is it possible to get one chainstay inside the U in addition to the chain and the wheel?
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Old 12-31-11, 05:59 PM
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just saying...

if you mess up the rear tire on a bike like commo_soulja's, you will just have thrown out about 1/3 of the value of the bike...even a cheap rear tire and rim is $60...and with that frame and non-standard chain...I bet that would be more trouble than it is worth to deal with it...

anyway...I can't remember who or when it was...but some locksmith on this forum posted a thread about his point of view on locking bikes. his take was:

If it is there and somebody wants it, they can get it. Period.

The best bet for keeping your bike safe is to have multiple and different kinds of protection. Having multiple locks takes more time to get through than a cable and a single lock. I use a Kryptonite NYC chain and a U-lock. NYC chain through the back wheel and frame, U-lock on the front wheel and frame. I figure at that point, they will have to take out what it is locked to, as that would be easier...but chances are there is a bike with a lock through the front wheel somewhere nearby, and that is getting stolen first. After that, well...that is what renters/homeowners insurance is for.

Cheers,

Josh
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Old 12-31-11, 08:22 PM
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Recently got Abus locks, a steel-O-chain, and a link lock , and some long allen bolt skewers.

AXA is on the other, a ring lock secures the wheel by the rim, and a lock-up chain
secures the front wheel and the bike to the rack or post, and snaps into a catch in the lock.
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Old 12-31-11, 08:23 PM
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I use a cable and a pad lock to lock my Brooks saddle to the frame. I also put a seat cover over it to make it to look like a cheap gel seat this also helps keep the rain off it. If I need to park it outside for the night I just take the seat post off and take it inside.
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Old 12-31-11, 09:05 PM
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Yep, you definitely want to make sure your bike is not attractive, and offers a path greater than the least resistance, to theft. I've been fortunate, in not living & riding in theft-prone areas, at least since I left Winnipeg!
jsohn, your thesis is undoubtably valid, but does it register on a crackhead?
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Old 01-01-12, 02:33 AM
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Originally Posted by old's'cool View Post
Not knocking the method; but couldn't a thief with a big bolt cutter chop through the chain and the back rim, and, having sacrificed only those two parts, walk away with the rest of the bike?
Yes, a thief could do that. My bikes, however, have much shorter chainstays than the bike in the pic posted (again, not mine). In addition, my u lock is bigger so I wrap the lock around the seat tube AND wheel rim and an available rack/pole. I also live in a low bike crime area (compared with the States) with a lot of bicycle use. When I park my bike in a public place there's usually many other bikes parked in the area, mostly city bikes. I think a city bike would be more of a target for theft than an old mtb.
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Old 01-01-12, 03:06 AM
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Hello everyone and Happy New Year,

I would also recommend the following type of lock which really helps if you need to turn your back for a few seconds like when entering a shop.
If you combine this with a good U-Lock, I think most thieves* won't bother going to the trouble of trying to hack through both of them

* In my opinion there are two types of bicycle thieves; the pro who will have all the equipment needed and will have already spotted your bike beforehand, and the opportunist thief who will probably have portable small tools and will try to steal the least protected bike available. This lock of course is for the second thief, especially if he fails to notice it (partially hidden by panniers, etc)... he might cut through the U-lock/cable lock, but he won't be able to ride it away.




Edit: You could also use a long-stem padlock like the one below to lock the spokes to the seat-stay... cheap simple protection from having someone ride off with your bike.


Last edited by Telly; 01-01-12 at 03:11 AM.
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Old 01-01-12, 02:07 PM
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Wow, I guess I'm the only one who locks up like Krispistoferson.

My bike has a CLIX quick release system on the front wheel, so I can easily remove the front wheel in a matter of seconds. Then I put the front wheel next to the rear wheel, and lock up both wheels and frame through the rear triangle using a good u lock.

This is how the city of Chicago advocates for bike locking, and it hasn't failed me yet. I also don't lock up in shady neighborhoods, either. Also, I'm never away from the bike for long periods of time and store it indoors at night. I don't think I could stomach leaving the bike out overnight like people do.
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Old 01-01-12, 09:03 PM
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Good info in this thread. I guess we need a thread like this once a year or so just to get the conventional wisdom out to relative newbs (on modern day security) like myself, and for old hands to get caught up on the latest thief-vs-lock developments!
Since I have a bike that is low risk (& low emotional attachment), (i.e. the one that I use for outings where I leave my bike unattended), and have been living in relatively low risk areas, I've been taking the simple, low cost approach of a 6' cable and decent padlock, and lock the frame & both wheels to a secure object, leaving the bike fully assembled.
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Last edited by old's'cool; 01-02-12 at 03:57 PM. Reason: proofreading
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Old 01-01-12, 10:32 PM
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When I lived in NYC I had an old but very nice Peugeot mixte frame with quick release wheels. It was rather neglected-looking, and only had two speeds because the derailleurs didn't work too well. (I knew nothing about bike maintenance back then) I'd lock up the frame and back wheel and take the front wheel with me because it was hard to fit both given the short chain I had. People thought it was strange I'd carry a bicycle wheel around me to classes, but then again, it was an art school. LOL
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Old 01-02-12, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by commo_soulja View Post
I use this method (pinched from Sheldon Brown) along with a cable to secure the front wheel.
I do what is pictured but I also include the frame in the u lock not just the rear wheel. On my bike it's easy to get them both in and secures the wheel and frame. I then run my cable lock through the U and the front wheel.
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Old 03-03-12, 12:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Confederate View Post
Pitlock and Pinhead Locks make special fittings that require their key to loosen them. This does mean that you have to carry around the key in your toolset. (By "key", I mean a specially shaped wrench.)

Here are links to their products:
https://www.pinheadcomponents.com/
https://www.pitlock.com/
The Pinhead skewers are better than nothing, but they can be defeated in seconds using a Gator Grips universal socket, which you can buy for $11 at Home Depot. I was actually glad this was the case, because I lost my own key and couldn't get in touch with Pinhead for several weeks to get a replacement. It was pretty shocking to see how easily they are removed though.
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Old 03-03-12, 12:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
I've never tried it but, apparently, cutting through a rim and a tire is no easy task.
I *have* tried it and it's easier than people think. I lock the frame and rear wheel with the U-lock, and use the cable to lasoo the front wheel, then run the cable through my seat rails and put the free end over the U-lock.

I have a rundown of The Conventional Wisdom compile here, for those interested: https://www.mechbgon.com/lock
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Old 03-03-12, 11:27 AM
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I have a lock like Telly, the hole on the AXA Ring Lock [top] is a catch for a lock-up chain
they make with a pin , held by that catch.

I got AXA's 1.4M long version of that chain. end loop is bigger so pin end passes thru it.
that goes around the front wheel, chain around post or bikerack, then snaps into the catch.

Last edited by fietsbob; 03-03-12 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 03-04-12, 12:36 PM
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mechBgon, great info, thanks for the link. I've been fortunate so far not having to lock my bike in an area where thieves can operate unobserved or with impunity; what is more, none of my vintage rides is particularly attractive or valuable (except possibly to me), so my main concerns are would-be joyriders, or pranksters that might want to make off with one/both of the quick release wheels. So I've been making do with a 6' cable; needless to say, my bike has never been targeted, to my knowledge. A few times I've gotten lucky, when I've either forgot the lock at home (& took a chance leaving the bike unlocked at my destination), or forgot to use it, or even left the key in the padlock after locking the bike! Doh!
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Old 03-04-12, 01:08 PM
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