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  1. #1
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    How do you lock your bike to bike racks? mini-U's ok?

    The most standard bike rack in campuses are the ones in the picture. You cannot use it like a pole, where you lock your rear tire through the frame triangle (without the frame) onto a pole, except on the very two ends.

    You can lock your bike lengthwise along the rack but that's not possible in crowded campuses.

    So, how do you lock your bike in the middle portions of the rack? I know most people put the front wheel of their bike over the top tube of the rack and lock their U-lock through the front wheel, rack, and bike frame. But this constant practice will leave your fork and frame all scratched up til bare metal and beyond.

  2. #2
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    I can't answer your question but i'd love to hear the story behind your screen name.
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  3. #3
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    Those "schoolyard" bike racks are useless. Get some photos of good bike racks and take those photos to the head of the plant department.

    The proper way to use a U-lock is to put it around the rear wheel, just behind the seat tube. Do NOT put the U-lock around any part of the frame. A mini U-lock works well on road bikes and hybrids, but can be a tight fit on a mountain bike, locked to a large pole. Your U-lock should then go around a sturdy steel pole, not a thin aluminum pole. Use a cable lock for the front wheel.

    Sometimes you can use a "schoolyard" rack by using the very end postion and locking to the outer frame. But often, the frame of the rack is held together by two bolts, making the rack unsafe to use. So, look around for a light post, or sign post, other sturdy post that is set in concrete.

  4. #4
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misternopants
    So, how do you lock your bike in the middle portions of the rack? I know most people put the front wheel of their bike over the top tube of the rack and lock their U-lock through the front wheel, rack, and bike frame. But this constant practice will leave your fork and frame all scratched up til bare metal and beyond.
    One of the local malls has one of these. There's not much else to lock a bike to with a U lock,and I don't trust my cable lock for extended periods of time. I've gotten into the practice of just carrying a piece of an old t-shirt to pad the rack. It's also useful in general to keep the frame from getting scratched when locking to other objects.

    C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/Super Six/Hooligan8and 3,Kona Dew Deluxe,Novara Buzz/Safari,Surly Big Dummy,Marin Pt Reyes,Giant Defy 1,Schwinn DBX SuperSport/Qualifier,Brompton S6L,Dahon Speed Pro TT

  5. #5
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    Yeah, the problem is those are the only bike racks around most campuses. Especially large campuses because all other bike racks cannot accomodate as many bikes. The standard way people lock their bike up to these bike racks is to put the front of the bike over the top tube of the rack and then lock the front wheel, through the rack's frame, onto your bottom tube of your frame. That's how everyone lock their bikes up in several large campuses that I have seen.

    And all these bikes, you can clearly see worn through paint on the fork and bottom of bottom tube(is it called bottom tube?). A lot have worn into the metal as you can imagine, several times a day, popping your bike over the rack on and off in a hurry will do. The rear wheel is left exposed.

    For my immediate needs, there are no posts nor trees within the vicinity the front of the building i work at. So I have to find someway to work these these racks.

    I noticed that some places on campus they tried to install better or newer racks that lets you lock to it like a pole. But those simply does not accomodate as many bikes are these old style racks because each pole can hold at best 2, 3(if someone has a lonnng U lock), where as these old style racks can have bikes mashed next to each other to the point where it becomes quite an effort to pull your bike out when other late comer's handle bars mushed into trap yours.

    As for Digital Gee's question, I am male, middle initial N. last name opants. I am Mister N. Opants.....right...

  6. #6
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    As poor racks as they may be, they are probably the most efficicent way to pack the bikes in a small space...

  7. #7
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    In that setting, I'd lock the bike to one of those awning poles in the background.

  8. #8
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    Is there a good material to wrap and protect your frame/fork from daily using of these bike racks? I would think some type of plastic or rubber sheet. Or even milk jugs can be cut to protect the fork and frame?

    But for the fork, it looks like the suspension pumping rubber wrap thing is going to take the pressure against the racks.

    Note the picture was taken out of random google search and it shows all the bikes there not secured.

  9. #9
    loves his IRO. eXCeSS's Avatar
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    Take your bike to the end of the rack, and put it pretty much outside the rack.

    That way you can put two locks onto it and everything should be secure that way.

    Or put your bike parallel to the rack, youll take up spaces but itll be secure.

  10. #10
    crotchety young dude el twe's Avatar
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    How about a U-lock for the frame to the rack, and then put a long chain through both wheels?
    Quote Originally Posted by CardiacKid View Post
    I explained that he could never pay me enough cash for the amount of work I had put into that bike and the only way to compensate me for it was to ride the hell out of it.
    IRO Angus Casati Gold Line

  11. #11
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by el twe
    How about a U-lock for the frame to the rack, and then put a long chain through both wheels?
    thats what i was thinking.
    get an armored cable and run it through the wheels and the frame. Then lock the frame to the rack itself
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  12. #12
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    That's what I am thinking now. Seems like the only way to have the frame secured as well is to bring the front of the bike over the top tube of the rack. Like the bikes on the right in photo. Then use additional cable/chain/second Ulock to lock the back wheel. Ok so, 2 U locks and some frame protecting milk jugs it is for me.

    Unless someone think of something better

  13. #13
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misternopants
    Is there a good material to wrap and protect your frame/fork from daily using of these bike racks? I would think some type of plastic or rubber sheet.
    Back when I worked on the flightline,we had what was called F4 tape. It was heavy-duty rubber electrical tape,but the cool thing was it only stuck to itself with no glue residue,and it lasted forever without drying out or falling off. They still make it,I saw a bike at an LBS that had it's entire frame wrapped in it. Also saw it at a motorcycle show this winter,but can't remember the company. It comes in black,red,and white and has a stripe down the center to show you where to wrap it. This stuff would be perfect for protecting your frame. Or you can use a t-shirt like I do.

    C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/Super Six/Hooligan8and 3,Kona Dew Deluxe,Novara Buzz/Safari,Surly Big Dummy,Marin Pt Reyes,Giant Defy 1,Schwinn DBX SuperSport/Qualifier,Brompton S6L,Dahon Speed Pro TT

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by el twe
    How about a U-lock for the frame to the rack, and then put a long chain through both wheels?

    So the only way I guess to get the frame close enough to the rack is to drop the front of the bike over the top tube of the rack right? So 1 U lock for that. And then a cable or U lock for the back wheel.

    There are so many bikes on the rack right now with missing back wheels.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynaryder
    Back when I worked on the flightline,we had what was called F4 tape. It was heavy-duty rubber electrical tape,but the cool thing was it only stuck to itself with no glue residue,and it lasted forever without drying out or falling off. They still make it,I saw a bike at an LBS that had it's entire frame wrapped in it. Also saw it at a motorcycle show this winter,but can't remember the company. It comes in black,red,and white and has a stripe down the center to show you where to wrap it. This stuff would be perfect for protecting your frame. Or you can use a t-shirt like I do.

    Great! I will look for this tape tonight. A lot of bikes I have seen in manhattan are all taped up. I just assumed it was some type of duct tape or electrical tape.

  16. #16
    crotchety young dude el twe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misternopants
    So the only way I guess to get the frame close enough to the rack is to drop the front of the bike over the top tube of the rack right? So 1 U lock for that. And then a cable or U lock for the back wheel.

    There are so many bikes on the rack right now with missing back wheels.
    Yeah. My school has an enclosed bike "cage" with similar racks. I hoist the front wheel over the top bar and do a U-lock through the frame. The cage gets locked and the thieves have only gone after whole bikes, so I leave the rear wheel as a freebie. Not a great idea, but so far, so good...
    Quote Originally Posted by CardiacKid View Post
    I explained that he could never pay me enough cash for the amount of work I had put into that bike and the only way to compensate me for it was to ride the hell out of it.
    IRO Angus Casati Gold Line

  17. #17
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    It is NOT correct that the traditional "schoolyard" rack permits locking the most bikes in the smallest space. The design of the rack puts the handlebars of each bike up against the handlebars of the next bike. That means there needs to be at least a foot of empty space between each bike.

    The most space effective and strongest rack is a "hoop" of steel with three inch wide tubes. The hoop is set in concrete. Two bikes can be locked to each hoop, back to front, so bikes can be placed about six inches apart. A variation is the "snake", which is the undulating series of "U's" and upside down "U's". A snake rack can be as long as necessary, three bikes, five bikes, ten bikes. And, because the bikes can be locked "back to front", the snake rakes are very space effective.

    It is sad that universities search the world to buy the VERY best equipment for the 100 "students" who play football, but always buy the very cheapest and shoddiest equipment for the thousands of students who ride bikes on campus.

  18. #18
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    "It is sad that universities search the world to buy the VERY best equipment for the 100 "students" who play football, but always buy the very cheapest and shoddiest equipment for the thousands of students who ride bikes on campus. "

    They are taking care of their "cash cow" football players.

  19. #19
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Ah-ha! Found my tape. I thought I had picked up some. It's called X-Treme Tape. Don't remember where I got it,but Duluth carries it. You could also do a Google search for more options.

    http://www.duluthtrading.com/items/9...tape&ovtac=PPC

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  20. #20
    Leo
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    Those are the most prevalent racks here at UK also. I use a long cable lock, and usually just lock the frame. I always take it in at night, that's when the vast majority of thefts occur.
    Leo

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