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  1. #1
    Member Phil2's Avatar
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    locking strategery for a noob...

    so i just bought the most beautiful bike in the world (black trek 7.3 fx) and i don't want it to get nicked. i'm going to install pitlock skewers (front, rear, and seat) and i live in a big city (DC).

    should i use a u-lock or chain?

    should i just lock the frame or the frame and the rear tire?

    i'm looking at the kryptonite new york STD, but i'm not sure what size will work best.

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    The absolute best, I understand, is the Kryptonite "New YorK" chain. But who wants to lug 20+ extra pounds around? Nice if you can just leave it where your bike will be locked.

    Best method is of course to remove the front wheel, put it alongside the rear, and lock both wheels and the frame to whatever STURDY thing you have for a rack.
    Second best is rear-wheel and frame; with your tamper-resistant skewers this may well be fine.
    We do see thefts of rear-wheel assemblies now and then, and only rarely front wheels. In fact, when we see a front wheel missing we'll usually find a locked-up front wheel on a rack nearby; the thieves will have taken a bike locked only at the front wheel, and found an appropriate wheel to fit....

    Make sure what you're locking the bike to is secure. In many big cities, thieves will rig a street sign by cutting it off a foot or so from street level, then remounting the sign on a piece of larger-diameter tubing.
    Looks normal. All the thief has to do is lift the sign off the stub, and the bike is his.

  3. #3
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    Whoah. Thats pretty interesting.


    I lock my rear wheel/frame, and another lock goes through the frame and front wheel. Makes it a little cumbersome to unlock, but its pretty safe, at least for me. I live in Raleigh, where no one rides bikes anyway.

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    Member Phil2's Avatar
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    i'm amazed that criminals would go to so much effort to steal a bike.

    my concern is with the size of the U-lock i get. i know it shouldn't be too big so that theifs can't use leverage tools, but i also don't want to get one too small. i would think a 5"x8" would be plenty big, no?

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    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil2
    i'm amazed that criminals would go to so much effort to steal a bike.

    my concern is with the size of the U-lock i get. i know it shouldn't be too big so that theifs can't use leverage tools, but i also don't want to get one too small. i would think a 5"x8" would be plenty big, no?
    If you are in the States a high quality U-lock which has been rated Gold by Sold Secure or Four Star by the ART foundation should keep your bike out of criminal hands provided that you lock in to a stout, immovable pole set in concrete.

    http://www.soldsecure.com/Leisure.htm

    http://www.stichtingart.nl/sloten_resultaat.asp

  6. #6
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Only way not to lose a bike is to have your hand or your Butt on the thing.

    If someone wants your bike- then it is going.

    I use a Kryptonite D Lock and Cable in the Bike shed to lock 5 bikes together and the shed is alarmed But if they want my bikes- they will get them.

    Insurance for when it happens.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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    #1 rule, like repeated above. If the bike is outstandingly valuable, a thief can go to a lot of lengths to grab it. That is why most people have low to midrange steeds when in town.

    #2: Carry a good U-lock, the usual Sold Secure Gold.

    #3: If you have the time, and you park your bike in the same areas, you might consider buying and leaving a chain lock on the bike rack. Almost nobody cares if someone leaves a lock on the rack long-term (perhaps ask first.) Then, all you need to keep with you is the U-lock, and when you hit a frequent haunt, you can use both the U lock and the chain.

  8. #8
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    U-locks:
    Kryptnonite New York Fahgettaboudit

    Chain:
    Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit 3.25 ft.
    Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit 5 Ft.

    Some people use one or the other, some use a u-lock and a chain to slow a thief down, some people use 2 u-locks to prevent the thief from using your bike frame to leverage a lock open. The NY U-locks won't leverage like this, your frame will bend first, but 2 u-locks will convince a thief that he's wasting his time trying to leverage the lock open (because you can't leverage a bike locked at 2 separate points.).

    Also, check out these pages:

    Sheldon Brown's Lock Strategy

    MechBgon's Bicycle Locking Ideas
    Last edited by Blue Order; 07-03-07 at 04:58 PM.

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    Member Phil2's Avatar
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    thanks for the tips everyone. i think i'm going with a single krypto fahg. i don't ride every day so it won't be parked in the same place consistently.

    i'm a little skeptical of Sheldon Brown's advice for locking the tire without locking the frame as well. i would think it would be real easy to saw or clip through a tire, no? it's not like it's any more difficult to just lock through the frame and it's much more secure that way.

  10. #10
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil2
    thanks for the tips everyone. i think i'm going with a single krypto fahg. i don't ride every day so it won't be parked in the same place consistently.

    i'm a little skeptical of Sheldon Brown's advice for locking the tire without locking the frame as well. i would think it would be real easy to saw or clip through a tire, no?
    No, it's not for exactly the reasons he stated. I've tried it on a POS Huffy wheel which if anything should have cut like butter, and it went exactly like Sheldon said it would. I attacked it with a hacksaw and yeah the tire cut easy, but the bead didn't (I had to cut it with a cable snip) then the rim grabbed the blade when I got into it. I even attacked it in a new spot with a compressor driven cut off wheel (DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME) The rim clamped down on the cutoff wheel breaking it violently ( I wrecked a perfectly good face shield this way).

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    Member Phil2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raiyn
    No, it's not for exactly the reasons he stated. I've tried it on a POS Huffy wheel which if anything should have cut like butter, and it went exactly like Sheldon said it would. I attacked it with a hacksaw and yeah the tire cut easy, but the bead didn't (I had to cut it with a cable snip) then the rim grabbed the blade when I got into it. I even attacked it in a new spot with a compressor driven cut off wheel (DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME) The rim clamped down on the cutoff wheel breaking it violently ( I wrecked a perfectly good face shield this way).
    good lord. glad you were wearing the shield.

    does anyone know the difference between the new york STD and the new york 3000? they appear to be the same, but i don't see the 3000 on the krypto web site. is the 3000 the old model?

  12. #12
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil2
    good lord. glad you were wearing the shield.
    Me too. I was a skeptic too, not anymore.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil2
    good lord. glad you were wearing the shield.

    does anyone know the difference between the new york STD and the new york 3000? they appear to be the same, but i don't see the 3000 on the krypto web site. is the 3000 the old model?
    I'm not sure, but I think the STD is either the 3000, or its replacement. It's a full size u-lock, the fahgettaboudit is a "mini." A pretty hefty mini. Anyway, the Fahgettaboudit has Kryptonite's highest security rating-- a 12-- while the STD has an 11. The Fahgettaboudit is more secure, if only somewhat, probably because it's a mini.

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    Member Phil2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order
    I'm not sure, but I think the STD is either the 3000, or its replacement. It's a full size u-lock, the fahgettaboudit is a "mini." A pretty hefty mini. Anyway, the Fahgettaboudit has Kryptonite's highest security rating-- a 12-- while the STD has an 11. The Fahgettaboudit is more secure, if only somewhat, probably because it's a mini.
    hmmm. i'm just not sure about the mini because it might not be big enough to lock both the frame and rear tire to a post. seems like the Fahg is best with a chain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil2
    hmmm. i'm just not sure about the mini because it might not be big enough to lock both the frame and rear tire to a post. seems like the Fahg is best with a chain.
    I think it's big enough. Check it out in person-- it's not as small as you think. And it's a REALLY hefty u-lock.

  16. #16
    Member Phil2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order
    I think it's big enough. Check it out in person-- it's not as small as you think. And it's a REALLY hefty u-lock.
    cool. will do.

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    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil2
    cool. will do.
    I know where I live the Fahgettaboudit U-lock is too small to fit around most poles, but the NY (which is almost as strong, still small, and is very secure) will fit around a much larger variety of poles due to the fact that it is a little wider. If I were you I'd go with the NY.

    Also checkout Pitlock locking skewers for your wheels and seatpost. Both my wife and I use them and are quite happy with them.

    http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/pitlock.asp

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order
    I think it's big enough. Check it out in person-- it's not as small as you think. And it's a REALLY hefty u-lock.
    A good LBS with a desire to not see bikes stolen will let you do some experimenting with floor models.
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

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    I don't see the point of chain locks. A chain lock that is as good or better than the five pound Kryptonite Fahgettaboudit U-lock weighs eight, ten, or twelve pounds.

    The best security comes from using the SMALLEST u-lock that will fit around both your rear wheel and a beefy steel pole set in concrete (such as a traditional parking meter). If the u-lock forms a tight fit around the rear wheel and the locking post, there is no room to insert effective prying and leverage tools.

    Place the Fahgettboudit u-lock around the rear wheel, right behind the seat post. That makes it impossible to take either the frame or the rear wheel, and prevents using the frame as a lever to attempt to break the lock.

    Use a light lock to attach the front wheel to the downtube, such as the Kryptonite Evolution mini u-lock or the OnGuard TC mini u-lock. Try to park next to $2,000 bikes that have only a cable lock. Guess which bike a crook will take?

    Select a locking location that has a high amount of foot traffic. At Houston Astro games, I park against a steel fence that is between a busy box office and a busy sidewalk cafe, NOT at the "official" bike rack, which is in a more isolated location.

  20. #20
    "Per Ardua ad Surly" nelson249's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam
    Only way not to lose a bike is to have your hand or your Butt on the thing.

    .

    And sometimes not even then. Someone in the park down the street from here was bike-jacked. Fortunately, he was able to fight them off though.
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    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
    I don't see the point of chain locks. A chain lock that is as good or better than the five pound Kryptonite Fahgettaboudit U-lock weighs eight, ten, or twelve pounds.

    The best security comes from using the SMALLEST u-lock that will fit around both your rear wheel and a beefy steel pole set in concrete (such as a traditional parking meter). If the u-lock forms a tight fit around the rear wheel and the locking post, there is no room to insert effective prying and leverage tools.

    Place the Fahgettboudit u-lock around the rear wheel, right behind the seat post. That makes it impossible to take either the frame or the rear wheel, and prevents using the frame as a lever to attempt to break the lock.

    Use a light lock to attach the front wheel to the downtube, such as the Kryptonite Evolution mini u-lock or the OnGuard TC mini u-lock. Try to park next to $2,000 bikes that have only a cable lock. Guess which bike a crook will take?

    Select a locking location that has a high amount of foot traffic. At Houston Astro games, I park against a steel fence that is between a busy box office and a busy sidewalk cafe, NOT at the "official" bike rack, which is in a more isolated location.
    Chains are good for places which don't have bike racks, parking meters, or other thin steel poles. There are several places I go in Riga where you can only lock up with a chain to a wide pole.

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    I just bought a Fahgettaboudit, but haven't used it yet. I'll lock up today to see if it's "too small" (I really don't think it is) and post tomorrow about the results.

  23. #23
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    " I wrecked a perfectly good face shield this way" You coulda been a YouTube Hero.

    As to bike theft. Start with a less valuable bike. Reduce value by taking the seat post and other stuff, perhaps wrap the frame in old tubes. Use 2 locks, U+cable, to reduce chances you screw up.

    BTW, for some mysterious reason the NYPD seems to be 'removing' bicycles in Williamsburg Brooklyn with grinders. So no matter what you do the fates may conspire against you. If you cannot afford to lose it, don't ride it.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
    Try to park next to $2,000 bikes that have only a cable lock. Guess which bike a crook will take?
    Thats one of my favorite tactics. Lets see, $600 Specialized Sirrus hybrid locked with a Kryptonite U-lock and cable lock or the expensive Lemond parked right by it with a chintsy cable?

  25. #25
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    Test results:

    Lock:
    Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit U-lock.

    Bikes:
    Touring bike, 42" wheelbase
    Mountain bike, 41.25" wheelbase
    Sport touring bike, 40.25" wheelbase

    The lock shackles are not wide enough to fit both the seat tube and wheel between the shackles on the touring bike and the mountain bike. On the sport touring bike, the shackles were *almost* wide enough to fit both the seat tube and wheel between the shackles, but not when locked to a pole. Almost, but not quite. In the end, I could choose to lock the seat tube to a pole, or the rear wheel to a pole, but not both.

    And I think that is what the lock is designed to do-- it's designed to give as little purchase as possible to a thief seeking to leverage the lock open, which means you can only lock your seat tube, or your rear wheel, but not both. And that design is why it has a Kryptonite security rating of 12, while the Kryptonite STD, which has wider and longer shackles, has a security rating of 11.

    If you want to lock both your seat tube and rear wheel to a pole with a u-lock, the STD is the way to go. If you want the most secure U-lock, the Fahgettaboudit has the edge.

    I'd recommend the pitlock skewers, in addition to your U-lock; you can lock your wheels, seatpost, stem, and even your brakes, all with one key.
    Last edited by Blue Order; 07-05-07 at 04:20 PM.

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