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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 11-27-07, 08:24 PM   #1
mbologna
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Enough Security?

I will be commuting from Northern VA into DC and am wondering if an OnGuard PitBull U-lock and cable is sufficient to secure my bike (recognizing no lock guarantees security), or whether I should order one of the strongest Kryptonite locks or chains. The U-lock I found at the local REI is 13mm thick and has the 4-way locking mechanism. It comes with a 10mm cable as well.

I can park my bike either just inside the parking garage in my building, or on the bike racks outside a large office building across the street. The racks inside the garage are old and pretty banged up; one looks stronger than the other, and there seem to be too many bikes for the space (not including me). The good thing is the gate is closed about half the day and there is a guard at each gate. Alternatively, I can lock up outside. There are many bikes locked across the street, the racks are new, and there is a guard relatively close to the racks pretty much all day. I also intend to use the bike and lock for short errands, grocery shopping, and coffee stops.

My bike is an '08 Jamis Coda. At home, the bike will be stored in a 'bike room' in the building where I live.

Thanks!
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Old 11-27-07, 08:47 PM   #2
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A good rule of thimb for buying a lock is to spend a minimum of 10% of what you spent on your bike. Since I don't know which Coda you got, I can't say for sure. Assuming you got the just plain Coda, you should maybe spend $40 - $50. I wouldn't buy a U/cable combo, personally. I always lock my bike with 2 separate locks - one U (Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit) and one cable (Some Master Lock thingy), each with their own lock.
As far as parking goes - when the weather's crappy (cold, rainy, etc), I park in the ramp lot 1/2 block from work. When it's nice, I just lock up right outside the door to the building. Maybe a strategy like this would work for you, too?
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Old 11-27-07, 09:35 PM   #3
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I would never leave a nice bike locked up on the street in any urban area of the U.S, especially along the east or west coasts. I'm originally from the mid-Atlantic part of the U.S., and would not trust ANY bike lock ALL DAY LONG, while I was at work. You could get away with it a few times, and I would not hesitate to use a great lock to go inside a store or something that did not take very long.

I've personally had a couple of bikes ripped off back east, once away long enough to see a movie, and know many others that have as well. The theives that go for decent bikes steal them for the money, and know what they are doing. No lock is going to stop them. None. Keep the bike with you, even to the point of taking into your office and planting it beside your desk/work-station. In bigger or more public buildings, I would even suggest that you lock it to a desk or something inside your office whenever you are away from your desk for more than a few minutes (lunch, meetings, etc.).

Or you can do what I do, and commute on a really decent, but beat-up looking old race bike that has the same geometry as your "go fast" bike. You can lock something with flaking paint, downtube shifters, and a luggage rack (carry work clothes too).

Last edited by Pinyon; 11-27-07 at 09:40 PM.
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Old 11-28-07, 08:32 AM   #4
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Damn...thought this was going to be another gun thread! Just tuning in for the entertainment value!
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Old 11-28-07, 09:21 AM   #5
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If the appeals on Craigslist for help finding stolen bikes are any indication, bikes in DC basically grow wings and fly away. Get a good lock. Don't bother with a chain, you might as well put gift wrap on the bike.
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Old 11-28-07, 08:22 PM   #6
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Park in the garage. Limited access and guards and out of the weather beats the nice rack outside. See if you can leave the heavy lock on the rack instead of carrying it back and forth. If building management and your office will allow (they probably will not), bring it up to your office area. See if you can make friends with the guards (especially if it is usually the same two people each day). At a minimum, wave, say hello, and don't blind them with a bike light.
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Old 11-28-07, 09:34 PM   #7
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Lock both the frame and back wheel to the bike rack. Perhaps you could take the front wheel inside?
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Old 11-28-07, 09:47 PM   #8
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Make it a deal to bring bike INSIDE!
Even with multiple locks, bike will be canibalized.
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Old 11-28-07, 09:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madfiNch View Post
A good rule of thimb for buying a lock is to spend a minimum of 10% of what you spent on your bike. Since I don't know which Coda you got, I can't say for sure. Assuming you got the just plain Coda, you should maybe spend $40 - $50. I wouldn't buy a U/cable combo, personally. I always lock my bike with 2 separate locks - one U (Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit) and one cable (Some Master Lock thingy), each with their own lock.
As far as parking goes - when the weather's crappy (cold, rainy, etc), I park in the ramp lot 1/2 block from work. When it's nice, I just lock up right outside the door to the building. Maybe a strategy like this would work for you, too?
This is a good rule to always go by. However if this is your only bike and you rely on it a lot for transportation then spend the extra or pay the preimium (sp) for the top of the line lock. You're basically buying a longer defeat time as anything is defeatable given enough time. You could carry one good Ulock and a second lower grade Ulock or a good Ulock and a armored cable lock. A thick accessory cable is very light weight and flexible to noose the wheels or a larger object should you need to go on an errand for a quick moment. However they require the support of a lock to secure them. http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_d...=1196308575378

I think you're better off locking inside the garage to a secure object with two Ulocks to the front/back wheel and wave to the guard and make friends with him. Hey get the poor guard some snacks on the cold days.
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Old 11-28-07, 10:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbologna View Post
The racks inside the garage are old and pretty banged up; one looks stronger than the other, and there seem to be too many bikes for the space (not including me). The good thing is the gate is closed about half the day and there is a guard at each gate.
Even though there's a guard across the street, too (another guard? ), I'd park it right here inside the garage because of the manned guard post. All those other bike owners are thinking the same thing. I'd also get a pair of U-locks instead of a cable, or maybe one of the bigass chains with a U-lock; I got tired of threading cable locks quite a while ago.

That is, of course, if you just can't take it inside.
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