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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 11-02-11, 06:11 AM   #1
tarwheel 
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Kryptonite lock technique - does it get any easier?

I'm in my second week of having to use a bike lock the first time commuting. Previously I was able to keep my bike in my office, so locking wasn't necessary. So I bought a heavy-duty Kryptonite NY lock with a 7' cable to run through both wheels. I feel like it's a pretty secure set-up given that the bike rack is right near a door with a security camera.

I leave the lock attached to the rack at night, so I'm not lugging it back and forth. However, I am still fumbling with the lock every morning-afternoon and haven't figured out a way to quickly attach the lock and cable. Does anyone have any tips for making the locking process any quicker? Part of my problem is our rack is not a very good design (and not many are) -- it's a basic upside down U shape -- and the lock just barely clears my frame after fitting around the post. So about half the time, the open portion of the lock falls off while I am looping the cable through the wheels.

I guess it's just a matter of working out a routine, but I haven't succeeded in doing that yet.
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Old 11-02-11, 06:16 AM   #2
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Another Kryptonite question: Is their anti-theft warranty worth the paper it's printed on? The warranty was one of the reasons why I bought a Kryptonite, but you supposedly have to submit the form within 15 days (which have already passed), and they require a form filled out by a bike shop detailing the value of your bike (or a sales receipt). My problem is that my LBS built up my bike with a new frame a bunch of used (but high quality) parts from another bike. The replacement value would be at least $2,000 but I'm not certain that Kryptonite would see it that way if my bike was stolen and I filed a claim. Anyway, it might be a moot point since I've already missed the 15-day cutoff, which is ridiculous in itself.
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Old 11-02-11, 06:24 AM   #3
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I always go through the wheels with the cable first, leaving one end sticking out near the seat tube so I can loop it onto the u-lock, then deal with the u-lock. For me, it also seems easier to put the u-lock around the upright on the rack first rather than starting on the wheel/seat tube side, if that makes any sense. It also gets easier with time/repetition.
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Old 11-02-11, 06:28 AM   #4
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1) Don't use the cable for the wheels. It's always going to be a pain, and isn't really all that secure. Consider pinhead skewers or some other locking skewer for the wheels to secure them.

2) I don't know anyone who has successfully used the kryptonite theft protection guarantee... however, I have spent most of my life in NY (the state, not the city) and that program is unavailable in NYS (although they still print it on the package). I would put the bike on your renters or homeowners insurance policy and deal with a real insurance company if/when the time comes that your bike is taken. If you want to go through with the kryptonite program, see if your LBS will "return and re-sell" the lock to you in order to re-set the 15 day date, otherwise you may be SOL.
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Old 11-02-11, 06:28 AM   #5
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The Kryptonite anti-theft warranty is designed so it is extremely difficult to collect if your bike gets stolen. The NY U-lock is one of the best. I read that it would take up to 10 minutes with an angle grinder to cut through. I have the NY lock and park my bike in downtown Chicago every day & still have my bike. I think your bike will be safe.
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Old 11-02-11, 07:32 AM   #6
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I have a big krypto and a small one. When the bike is going to be parked for more than a half horu or so, I use the big one for the frame and back wheel and the short one to lock the front wheel to the frame. Seems to work, and I don't trust cables.
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Old 11-02-11, 07:44 AM   #7
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On the security cameras. Last year my bike was stolen right under the security camera at the local community college. When I reported it the security guard looked at the recording. My bike was there all the way 'til sunset. Then the cheap camera couldn't pick out details. It was impossible to determine when, let alone who and how after that.

At the time I was just using a cheap cable. The guard told me those were too easy to break. He recommended one of those "U-shaped thingies", "Nobody messes with those." So now I have a good lock. No advice for how to do it fast. It sure ain't as easy as the cheap cable.
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Old 11-02-11, 08:03 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by locolobo13 View Post
On the security cameras. Last year my bike was stolen right under the security camera at the local community college. When I reported it the security guard looked at the recording. My bike was there all the way 'til sunset. Then the cheap camera couldn't pick out details. It was impossible to determine when, let alone who and how after that.

At the time I was just using a cheap cable. The guard told me those were too easy to break. He recommended one of those "U-shaped thingies", "Nobody messes with those." So now I have a good lock. No advice for how to do it fast. It sure ain't as easy as the cheap cable.
Security cameras vary greatly in quality. Most modern systems are excellent in low-light conditions and can have built in IR floods. I'm going to get to play with a FLIR(Forward looking infrared) capable unit sometime in the next few months. The municipal surveillance being installed these days are of the high quality(And very high cost) kind mostly due to flood of DHS money from the feds.

Just something to consider when choosing a place to park your bike. Always try to get it under a city/government camera. They have real storage backing it up, and some freaky facial/pattern recognition software. Private cameras for smaller establishments are often poorly installed, poorly focused, poorly aimed and frequently not even connected to storage/have too little storage(Less than 8 hours).

Try to make the big brother police state work for you.
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Old 11-02-11, 08:50 PM   #9
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I lasoo the front wheel by running the cable through its own end. That means I only have one end of the cable to deal with. A 7-foot cable may even secure your seat if you can squeeze it between the rails and the base. Then just stick the free end of the cable over the U of the U-lock, and now you've just got two pieces of U-lock to deal with.

If I were leaving the bike in a predictable location and timetable, then I'd ante up for the Pitlock wheels/seat collar/Aheadset set. But my lockup is usually outside the grocery store for 20 minutes on a random timetable, so I'm using a cable with a U-lock for now.

Last edited by mechBgon; 11-02-11 at 08:53 PM.
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Old 11-03-11, 08:47 AM   #10
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I've been using a u-lock and two cables for over a year now and carrying all that extra weight bothers me more than the time I take locking (less than a minute maybe).

Frame and back wheel, u-lock.

U-lock is open, lasso front wheel, free end of cable through arm of u-lock.

Smaller cable through underside of seat then both ends of seat cable to other arm of u-lock.

Apply key to lock, walk away.

Here is a crappy picture I took to show a friend my "locking system".

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Old 11-03-11, 09:58 AM   #11
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I think part of the problem I am having is that they installed our bike racks too close to the wall, so you can't move the bike frame back far enough to lock the downtube and wheel to the rack, as pictured above. My only option is to lock the frame and wheel through the rear seat stays.
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Old 11-03-11, 08:33 PM   #12
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I think part of the problem I am having is that they installed our bike racks too close to the wall, so you can't move the bike frame back far enough to lock the downtube and wheel to the rack, as pictured above. My only option is to lock the frame and wheel through the rear seat stays.
That isn't necessarily a bad thing, if it results in the shackle of the U-lock being occupied so there's no room for a jack to be inserted.
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Old 11-03-11, 09:34 PM   #13
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If I were you, and leaving the lock at work like that and felt the main problem was the chain wasn't quite long enough, I'd get another half foot of chain and a nice padlock and basically lengthen your chain.
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Old 11-05-11, 10:56 AM   #14
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I think part of the problem I am having is that they installed our bike racks too close to the wall, so you can't move the bike frame back far enough to lock the downtube and wheel to the rack, as pictured above. My only option is to lock the frame and wheel through the rear seat stays.
I deal with those sort of problems all the time. I use two U-locks; in those cases I lock my back tire to the rack, then use the other to lock my back tire to the bike frame. When I get a better rack, I lock Sheldon-style to the rack, then use the other lock to lock the side of my front basket to the frame, so that the wheel can't be straightened out.
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Old 11-05-11, 12:33 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by BridgeNotTunnel View Post
I've been using a u-lock and two cables for over a year now and carrying all that extra weight bothers me more than the time I take locking (less than a minute maybe).

Frame and back wheel, u-lock.

U-lock is open, lasso front wheel, free end of cable through arm of u-lock.

Smaller cable through underside of seat then both ends of seat cable to other arm of u-lock.

Apply key to lock, walk away.

Here is a crappy picture I took to show a friend my "locking system".

what brand of u-lock is that ??
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Old 11-05-11, 12:48 PM   #16
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Right now, I'm using an OnGuard U-lock with a 9' Brinks coated cable, 12mm thick (I frequently have to lock up multiple bikes, kids'), and have for four years now. Haven't decided whether it's gonna be a replacement or relegate the OG to auxiliary, but I'm going to pick up a MONSTER MasterLock U-Lock soon.

The advantage I have is bringing my bike into my workplace; it's the only place I frequent for more than a couple hours.

Few places in my town have bike racks to lock to, although the pro-cycling mayor has added a number of them; it's just not a priority in this car-centric, fat town. I will use a streetlight, road sign, or tree in a minute, though.
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Old 11-05-11, 02:32 PM   #17
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what brand of u-lock is that ??
kryptonite/trek

it came with the reinforced cable you see on my front tire.
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