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  1. #1
    Senior Member Zero_Enigma's Avatar
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    How do you lock a folder bike?

    I've been having on/off thoguhts of getting a folder bike for more transportability when I combine the city transit system here.

    The reason for my asking is there are times when you can't take a bike into a store, mall, business, etc and I will be carrying a lock with me to lock the bike up. However does anyone have any photos of how to properly lock up the bike? I know of Sheldon Brown's & I think MechBgone's lock photos but those photos are using 26"/700c bikes that are non folders.

    I may be getting a job where I will have to use transit to get there 80% of the way and also want the bike for local travelling around to get to food places without paying extra for extra transit other then the basic to & from to get to work if I get the job.


    Thanks in advance for the advice.
    Zero_Enigma

  2. #2
    Senior Member Lalato's Avatar
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    On the few times that I have locked my folder. I didn't find it to be any different than locking a non-folding bike. I just leave it unfolded and then lock it as normal.

    That said, I don't normally carry a lock. I just keep the bike with me at all times. Even to go shopping.

  3. #3
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    One method that works well is to fold the bike before locking it. Then use a D lock through both wheels and the frame to something secure. Another little trick that works well on bikes that lock together by pushing the seat post down, (Birdie,mezzo,Brompton ect), is to drill a small hole in the very bottom of the seatpost tube and put a small padlock through it to stop the bike from being unfolded. However small folders are rarely kicked out of shops in my experience,and you can always bag it with a purpose folding bike bag, or a large blue IKEA bag. MKS Detachable pedals could stop the bike being riden off at any speed also.

  4. #4
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    I use one of these for my 20" Downtube.

    To carry the chain and lock:
    I have it looped through the seat rails and lock the ends of the chain together under the chainstays. In addition to marking the seat height, this keeps the chain taut so it doesn't rattle around and allows for quicker deployment.

    To lock:
    First I lower the seat to slacken the chain and I fold the bike in half to bring the wheels together. Then (after undoing the padlock) I wrap the dangling chain ends around the object, both wheels, and the rear triangle. Finally I simply padlock the two end links of the chain (which are the only two links I can fit inside the padlock, which is good because extra space inside a padlock makes it easier to defeat).

    I feel this offers better protection for the same weight than you can get with a nonfolder because the frame, seat, and wheels are all equally protected by a relatively short length of chain. I also feel that thicker chains are superfluous because if the thief can cut through a 5.5mm hardened square link chain then he can simply cut off anything on the bike. A cable+padlock also works well and is lighter if you're only planning to lock your bike in an emergency.

    I never leave the bike outside for more than a few hours unless there is someone to guard it, which is never a problem with a folder because even the most cumbersome folder is flexible enough to squeeze indoors if you're going to be staying for a while. A shower is a good place to store a folder in a small apartment or with a host because they are difficult to scratch or stain and most people only use them once or twice a day.
    Last edited by makeinu; 03-28-09 at 11:07 AM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhkyte View Post
    One method that works well is to fold the bike before locking it. Then use a D lock through both wheels and the frame to something secure.
    Except for the Brompton I don't think the D-lock would be long enough to get around both wheels and an object.

    Quote Originally Posted by bhkyte View Post
    Another little trick that works well on bikes that lock together by pushing the seat post down, (Birdie,mezzo,Brompton ect), is to drill a small hole in the very bottom of the seatpost tube and put a small padlock through it to stop the bike from being unfolded.
    While carrying off a folded Birdie or Brompton is tiring, it's still light work for the money.

    Quote Originally Posted by bhkyte View Post
    However small folders are rarely kicked out of shops in my experience,and you can always bag it with a purpose folding bike bag, or a large blue IKEA bag. MKS Detachable pedals could stop the bike being riden off at any speed also.
    With a bit of determination you can sneak a folder in almost anywhere. IMO, the reason to lock is because it's easier for all but the very smallest folders. I also don't like detachable pedals because they're easier to snatch from the bike and carrying around pedals defeats the purpose of locking.

  6. #6
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zero_Enigma View Post
    I've been having on/off thoguhts of getting a folder bike for more transportability when I combine the city transit system here.

    The reason for my asking is there are times when you can't take a bike into a store, mall, business, etc and I will be carrying a lock with me to lock the bike up. However does anyone have any photos of how to properly lock up the bike? .....I may be getting a job where I will have to use transit to get there 80% of the way and also want the bike for local travelling around to get to food places without paying extra for extra transit other then the basic to & from to get to work if I get the job.


    Thanks in advance for the advice.
    For almost anywhere you might happen to call home, it might prove too dangerous to lock any bike up, especially a folding one. One of the basic and main reasons why I choose to use folding bikes exclusively now is the ability to take the bike everywhere with me with almost no exceptions. I only carry a simple cable lock for locking the bike indoors when my hands and attention are not on the thing constantly. It is like a laptop computer out in public. Someone is sure to palm or nick the thing if you are not on top of it!

    I cover it completely when I go to the store, restaurants, etc. These bags/slipcovers are very easy to make or buy. Almost all of the folding bike makers offer a soft bag. Dahon and Brompton offer a slipcover. Make sure you include a cover of some sort when you get the bike. If the store personnel does not see it, it is luggage! And see my Flickr and Geocities sites below for more information on the purchase and construction of your own bags/slipcovers.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by folder fanatic; 03-29-09 at 01:10 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by makeinu View Post
    Except for the Brompton I don't think the D-lock would be long enough to get around both wheels and an object.
    If you buy a long enought D lock than its fine.

    My "ABUS" D lock will go around any folding bike. If you buy a shortish one then yes, it might not fit. The Giant "halfway" is interesting in this respect.

    My comment about the seatpost lock is an addition to securing the whole bike with a D lock.It also secures the seatpost/seat.

    Personally I only use a lock when I leave my bike is at UNI in a busy area where attemping theives would look obvious. I occasionaly take the bike in to lectures. On the train I fold it and put it in the luggage compartments rather than in the bike spaces.I hardly ever carry a lock, as I leave the lock attached to cycle railings at Uni, as many others do. Consider buying lots of locks!

    Generally the smaller the folded bike the more comfortable you feel about taking it in to shops,cafe,reception areas etc. If you feel comfortable bringing the bike indoors then only a "jobs worth" is likely to try and stop you.

    I never felt competley comforable with my 20" downtube in shops, but I have felt fine with a Brompton,mezzo,Diblasi,merc,,space genie and most other 16" folding bikes, particulary if the bike stood securely in a half folded state.

    Just like having a car you will plan your day differently with a folding bike. I will plan to pick up the odd thing from the city on the way back from the train,in a way that I could not do in a car. I do small shopping trips to local shops that know me and are OK with the bike. If you use a folding bike you will find that you take as few security risks with it as you can, just like you would with a full sized bike ,but you are better able to reduce these risks by keeping it with you ,or closer at hand. Hense the closed half folded option I suggested,or the removing of pedals. These are simply tools availalbe for you to choose from in addition to getting a smaller folded packaged bike.

    I am not being critical of Downtube bikes. My upgraded 8NS was the best riding folding bike I have owned. If you want a little more speed, or use the bike over longer distances then often a comprimise of convience/preformance is reguired.

    Folded bike use has a positive effect on lifesytle, aswell as fitting in with your lifesytle where needed. Welcome, enjoy!
    Last edited by bhkyte; 03-29-09 at 06:59 AM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhkyte View Post
    If you buy a long enought D lock than its fine.

    My "ABUS" D lock will go any folding bike. If you buy a shortish one then yes, it might not fit. The Giant "halfway" is interesting in this respect.

    My comment about the seatpost lock is an addition to securing the whole bike with a D lock.It also secures the seatpost/seat.

    Personally I only use a lock when I leave my bike is at UNI in a busy area where attemping theives would look obvious. I occasionaly take the bike in to lectures. On the train I fold it and put it in the luggage compartments rather than in the bike spaces.I hardly ever carry a lock, as I leave the lock attached to cycle railings at Uni, as many others do. Consider buying lots of locks!

    Generally the smaller the folded bike the more comfortable you feel about taking it in to shops,cafe,reception areas etc. If you feel comfortable bringing the bike indoors then only a "jobs worth" is likely to try and stop you.

    I never felt competley comforable with my 20" downtube in shops, but I have felt fine with a Brompton,mezzo,Diblasi,merc,,space genie and most other 16" folding bikes, particulary if the bike stood securely in a half folded state.

    Just like having a car you will plan your day differently with a folding bike. I will plan to pick up the odd thing from the city on the way back from the train,in a way that I could not do in a car. I do small shopping trips to local shops that know me and are OK with the bike. If you use a folding bike you will find that you take as few security risks with it as you can, just like you would with a full sized bike ,but you are better able to reduce these risks by keeping it with you ,or closer at hand. Hense the closed half folded option I suggested,or the removing of pedals. These are simply tools availalbe for you to choose from in addition to getting a smaller folded packaged bike.

    I am not being critical of Downtube bikes. My upgraded 8NS was the best riding folding bike I have owned. If you want a little more speed, or use the bike over longer distances then often a comprimise of convience/preformance is reguired.

    Folded bike use has a positive effect on lifesytle, aswell as fitting in with your lifesytle where needed. Welcome, enjoy!
    The longest D-locks I've found are 14" or so and while I can fit them through both wheels it's not easy to fit most street furniture in the remaining space, especially without hoisting the bike around at weird angles. I like the chain because it's more versatile and I can lock everything together in one step (instead of a separate seatpost lock, for example).

    I'm not trying to disagree with your advice, but I'm just reporting what works for me.

    Cheers!

  9. #9
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    I also use a chain most of the time, but if I find I can't take a bike in with me, or its less secure than my usuall lock up area then I can use the D lock in addition to the chain. But as folder fanatic and yourself states, try to plan around not leaving the bike anywhere if you can. Its is the most secure method.

  10. #10
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    The main problem seems to be that there are a lot of quick releases and easily stolen parts.

    Carrying a lock with the bike makes it more cumbersome to carry around, and hence you end up locking it outside just like a non-folding bike. Not carrying a lock makes it impossible to leave alone, which means you have to carry it everywhere: fine for a coffee shop, not fine for long trips to the mall where you will walk around a lot.

    There is no ideal solution for that problem, except to know in advance what the bike policies are like where you are going.

  11. #11
    smallwheelsonly
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    I take my bike with me Inside all the time if possible and then I still lock it using Kryptonite U lock going to the frame/wheels and into something where no one can run off with it.

    If i take it in my car[no trunk] i lock it with a cable through the door handle if im not lazy so that if they break the windows to steal it they will find that its locked. most of the time i just cover it with black plastic bag and no one can see what i have inside. see thats the nice part of small bikes no one would think you have a bike in there and no expensive roof racks either where it sits out in the open. Another thing to worry about.

    When im out biking on the beach or park let say...I also take the bike with me inside restrooms if im too lazy to lock it outside

    and when i exit it causes amazement, nods, raised eyebrows looks from strangers that i often do this for my amusement ;-)

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