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  1. #1
    Newer rider,open to ideas
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    Help me decide which locking strategy is right please

    Hey Everyone,

    My name is Gerry and I live in L.A.

    I just got a 2006 Trek 7100 (but it hasn't been ridden much so it looks new and I love it my first 'real' (entry level) bike. Whoo-hoo!

    I need your help on determining a security strategy for this bike.

    All I have is a cable lock at the moment, so I'm not leaving it anywhere at all.

    I have a Kryptonite (Series 4 Evolution LS U-Lock 4"x11.5") coming in the mail- with my initial idea being, to, when I have to park and lock the bike, remove the front wheel, and shackle the frame, the back wheel, and the front wheel (which is now removed) all together with the long shackle u-lock. But I just read Sheldon Brown's post and he said that removing the front wheel every time you lock up is "bogus."

    So anyway, that strategy (locking the 2 wheels and the frame with a long shackle Evolution) was the first idea that I had. PS I am re-posting this question from another thread in the wrong section of this site. Thanks for the patience.

    Then I started reading about pit-lock security skewers. With almost only one exception on this site, people have good things to say about them.

    Two last pieces of info before you make your decision: I don't have a car-bike rack yet, so when I need to transport my bike in my car, I have to take off the front wheel and throw the bike into my back seat. Also, I bring the bike into my apartment at night where it takes up some room in my kitchen (I would like to come up with a better solution for this too, later)

    Now, here is my question:
    Which of the 4 is the better solution?

    1) Using the Kryptonite Series 4 Evolution LS U-Lock 4"x11.5" as I described above (removing the front wheel's quick-release and locking the front wheel, frame, and back wheel all together with the long-shackle Evolution.

    2) getting a smaller u-lock (like an evolution mini u-lock) for the back wheel/frame and using pit-lock security skewers for the seat (possibly the fork) and the front wheel. (this would be cool, because then I wouldn't have to remove the front wheel every time I lock up the bike.)

    3) Forgetting pit-locks, and using a U-lock for the back/frame and a cable lock (or some other kind of lock) for the front wheel and the frame (if so, what is the best cable lock or security leash? And which is better a lock or a leash?)

    4) Using Pit locks for the wheels (fork) and seat, AND a cable lock/leash for the front, AND a U-lock for back?

    If I go with choice number 2 or 4 (u-lock for the back and pitlock for the front/and seat), removing the wheel will be just a little more cumbersome if I want to transport the bike in my car, so I may want to get a bike rack. (I drive a Toyota Camry 04.)

    Now, if you do use an auto-bike-rack, how do you you try to hedge your bets against someone coming along and taking your bike off of your auto-bike rack? Would any of you recommend an auto-bike rack above other ones? (Specifically for quality, easy of use/installation and theft-prevention)

    I know that I am asking a lot, but you are helping me to create a security strategy that I want to do the right way, the right time, the first time. The places I go are not terribly unsafe, but I just don't want my bike to get stolen (it is a major city and I want to be able to take my bike anywhere.) Therefore, I don't mind spending whatever it takes(within under 200)/is necessary to do it right.

    Thanks for you help,
    LARider1 (Gerry)
    PS I live in Los Angeles, am a new rider, and am open to any helpful suggestions.

    PS Check out this cool video about grading bike-locking http://greenlagirl.com/2009/05/12/gr...e-locking-job/
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Newer rider,open to ideas
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    PS That's a picture of my bike above

  3. #3
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    Sheldon was the man and I have rarely had cause to disagree with him. I'd say, U-lock for the back wheel (with the lock passing over the rim somewhere in the rear triangle) and cable for the front wheel and frame. I seem to recall reading that a shorter U-lock is better because it allows less chance for a thief to get a prybar in there, but of course then you limit your versatility to lock up random places.

    Another option for the seat is to take off the screwer and just use an hex-key bolt. Sure it's not thief proof, but at least then they would need a tool to get it.

    Lastly, you could always coat certain parts of the bike with a potent neurotoxin such that any contact would yield near-immediate temporary paralysis. I'd recommend only putting it places that you wouldn't actually brush while riding.
    The will to win is nothing without the will to prepare. -Juma Ikangaa

  4. #4
    Map maker cbchess's Avatar
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    write down your name and address and slip it inside your seatpost or seat tube. - if it does get stolen and you see it (not so likely in L.A.) you can prove it is yours in a dispute.

  5. #5
    Map maker cbchess's Avatar
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    oh yeah - I like sheldon's advice of a small U-lock around the rear rim through the rear triangle - take the front wheel off and add it to the lock up.

  6. #6
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    I certainly agree with Sturmcrow that replacing the saddle clamp's qr skewer with an allen bolt is a wise move. Qr seat clamps were an idea that had no merit on nearly any bike and certainly not on a road bike.

    BTW, where are you leaving the bike that theft is such a concern? You say you can take it into your apartment at night so where is it going to be during the day?

  7. #7
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    Standard cables are apparently very easily and quickly defeated. I like the U-lock for the back. For the front, consider the following:
    1) A chain with mini-U-lock.
    2) An "armored cable" which has steel links protecting the underlying cable, armadillo style. Some have claimed that this can also be quickly sawed in half, so (1) is more secure, but this style may stump thieves who are unfamiliar with it.

  8. #8
    Fax Transport Specialist black_box's Avatar
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    I wouldnt use a cable lock alone unless its a beefy one. I saw a guy pull a hand-held set of wirecutters out of his coat pocket and snip one of those off, I'd guess it was 1/4" steel cable. An armed guard scared him off, but if he wasn't taking his sweet time he would have been gone. I was stupid with disbelief because this was downtown chicago at lunch time, but I guess it happens.

  9. #9
    Newer rider,open to ideas
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    cool thanks guys. Any thoughts on car bike racks that are "locked" and secure? Most of the stuff I have seen looks like they have straps that could be easily cut. HillRider, I don't know where I'll be leaving it. But since I need to buy locks, I thought I would ask for the best advice. It seems like people are pretty unanimous in their recommendation of a small-ish kryptonite U-lock for the back. And everyone also says that cable locks (which are pretty easy to open) should be used for the front. If anyone has any recommendation (specifically for the best cable lock and the best locking auto trunk rack) or about anything else. Let me know.

  10. #10
    Newer rider,open to ideas
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    ps probably leaving it at the market 30 mins. At a restaurant while inside having breakfast. On errands. And possibly at the nature trail. If I go shopping after a ride then maybe (not sure if one should do this) on the car's bike rack?

    Thanks

  11. #11
    Your mom
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    The fork mounts of all manufacturers have locking skewers. Don't get one of the goofy "leave the wheel on" mounts.

  12. #12
    Newer rider,open to ideas
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    I'm confused. What does that mean Tellyho? What's a "leave the wheel on" mount and what's the opposite? What do I have? Thanks

  13. #13
    Senior Member johnknappcc's Avatar
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    I think he's talking about a locking skewer set . . . my LBS was trying like mad to sell my wife a set at 45 bucks. To me it seems like an awl and a hammer could break those in a second. I don't know what you guys think, but I'm ulock and cable lock in addition to front wheel off of bike, seat posts . . . just use a bolt, I don't get qr for seatposts anyway.

  14. #14
    Newer rider,open to ideas
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    so I guess he means "say no to pitlocks.."

  15. #15
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    Sorry, I was talking about roof mount bike racks for cars. I realize I wasn't specific enough. I hate the mounts that hold the whole bike up there; I especially hate driving behind them while they wag to and fro. Ditto for hitch-mount racks.

    As for pitlocks, I have no experience. I have no bikes I consider really desirable and live nowhere where anyone else would consider them desirable. I think they sound like a good idea, though.

  16. #16
    Senior Member johnknappcc's Avatar
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    The other big thing, lock it up somewhere that gets a lot of traffic. Some of the city lock places in Chicago are in the stupidest places, under viaducts, etc, where a potential thief could work on a lock without being seen. Also, when I lock my bike up, I do it in between other bikes (not on the ends of the rack). I don't know if it matters, but it would seem harder to try to pry a lock in a spot that wouldn't give someone proper leverage.

  17. #17
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    Yes, rely on real locks, not weird skewers, to keep your stuff secure.
    As for U and cable locks, do some comparison shopping. OnGuard is comparable to Kryptonite.
    Here are the two armored cable locks I would consider:
    1) OnGuard 5026 20mm diameter, 3.3 feet long; shorter, lighter, less stiff, not as strong: http://www.amazon.com/OnGuard-Rottwe...2266317&sr=8-4
    2) OnGuard 5024 25mm diameter, 4 feet long; http://www.amazon.com/OnGuard-Rottwe...266359&sr=8-22

    I carry a U-lock and an armored cable lock; I put each in one of those $1 re-usable grocery shopping bags to protect them from rain and dirt, and strap the pair of folded shopping bags/locks to my rear bike rack with a couple of bungee cords. That way, the locks are handy and don't bang around as I ride over bumps.
    Last edited by Mondoman; 05-13-09 at 09:13 PM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by tellyho View Post
    ; I especially hate driving behind them while they wag to and fro. Ditto for hitch-mount racks.
    If your are refering to the entire rack wagging to and fro, Nashbar sells (so do trailer and hitch dealers) a collar that goes around the drawbar and has a tab with a bolt that tightens against the hitch's receiver. That takes all of the play out of the rack itself. Tie the bike down with decent bungy cords and nothing moves where it shouldn't.

  19. #19
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    For locking my bike in the hospital parking garage where I work, I use a medium-duty Kryptonite U-Lock and a medium-strength cable with medium-large padlock. The cable goes thru the front wheel, thru the frame, thru the bike rack, and is secured with the padlock and the U-Lock. The U-Lock also secures the frame to the bike parking rack. I don't carry the locks - they stay there all the time. The most important piece of securing my bike is that the bike rack is right by the cashiers, who have a good view of the rack, cars are constantly going by entering and leaving the garage, and, also, hospital security drive by on a regular basis.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  20. #20
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    first off, just know that if a thief wants your bike, it doesn't really matter what kind of lock(s) you have. sure, replacing your QR's with bolts might work but then again, most thieves in LA carry tools. theft in LA is crazy these days, as people have had their bikes stolen from inside their apartment. it's mostly the fixed gear bikes that are targeted, though.

    second, i have found the U-lock + cable to be most practical. actually i usually just lock up with a U lock through the rear wheel and seat stay, but if i was really worried, i'd loop a cable through the front. i mainly ride for sport/fun and not for utility but if i really needed a bike to get around town on, i'd get the crappiest looking beater.
    i won't deny it i'm a straight ridah

  21. #21
    Your mom
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    Yeah, for my umpteenth post, no locking strategy is as good as a totally undesirable bike. It's very liberating. And actually, you could probably get one for the price of all the locking hardware.

  22. #22
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    cool

  23. #23
    Real Men Ride Ordinaries fuzz2050's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tellyho View Post
    Yeah, for my umpteenth post, no locking strategy is as good as a totally undesirable bike. It's very liberating. And actually, you could probably get one for the price of all the locking hardware.
    Just about any bike with two wheels is desirable to someone, the only bike I've had stolen from me was my cheap beater that I figured wasn't worth locking properly.

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