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Old 01-29-12, 02:16 AM   #1
jaslynn
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What kind of lock to carry around and how many?

I think I'd consider my area a medium crime area. Seems like if you leave your expensive bike parked at any public place for even just a couple of hours, it's gonna get stolen.

I don't really plan on leaving my bike around much, but I figure there'll be times where I need to leave my bike to use the toilet or something and I'd definitely want something good to secure it. Heard of the following options:

U-Locks
I've heard U-Locks are good but I held one and it's pretty heavy and I can't really imagine how to carry one around other than getting a U-Lock mount, so I doubt I'd get this.

Chain + Padlock
Looks pretty good and sturdy and I heard it's the second best alternative to a U-Lock. But it still looks pretty heavy to me. Maybe I could get a thinner one like this one? http://img825.imageshack.us/img825/9620/img0364p.jpg

Cable Lock
I think this is the most common form of locks that people use. Unfortunately I heard most people tend to use cheap cable locks that get cut very quickly and very easily. Does anyone have any cable locks to recommend? How much of a deterrence are they? I don't mind forking out money for a good quality one.

Wheel lock
Doesn't prevent actual theft of the bike, but it might deter or foil a potential thief from simply jumping onto the bike and riding off. Looks light and convenient enough to carry one around.


By the way, a friend told me that I should carry 2 different types of locks around as most thieves would only walk around with one type of cutter. Is this true? I'm thinking if let's say I carry a Steel Chain and a Cable lock, if someone can cut through the steel chain, they would be able to cut through the cable lock too, right?

Last edited by jaslynn; 01-29-12 at 02:39 AM.
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Old 01-29-12, 08:02 AM   #2
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I'd go with the chain you have pictured , in conjunction with a cable . It's gonna be a little heavy to lug around, but it may keep your bike safe. Also, yes, bolt cutters will cut through the cable, too.
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Old 01-29-12, 08:10 AM   #3
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How risk averse are you?

The first lock that you put on your bike, no matter how cheesy, is about 90% effective because it forces the thief to have some kind of tool with him. I don't ride in high risk places but when I lock my bike (rarely) that's all that I use.

As you go from 90% effective to 99% effective you engage in a progressively high tech, more expensive and more weightly game of oneupmanship with the thief. There is no 100% effective, thieves given the time and technology can break into anything. If you park a bike that a thief wants in the same place every day, they'll figure out what they need to bring along to steal it.

Whatever kind of lock you settle on, try to park next to bikes that are nicer than yours. To commute to work or to a college campus, use a semi-expendable beater so you won't feel too bad when it gets stolen.
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Old 01-29-12, 08:30 AM   #4
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One advantage to riding with groups is that you don't have to leave your bike abandoned to go use a restroom.

I normally don't need to make a potty break on my daily rides (20-35 miles) and am with a group the rest of the time. In times past, I used just a cable lock for quick stops, though. And for grocery-getting a good U-lock on a not-too-expensive bike.
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Old 01-29-12, 10:52 AM   #5
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I have a variety of locks depending on the bike and where it is getting locked up. On my main city bike I have the rear wheel lock with an optional plug in chain. I use the Axa Defender with the 140cm chain. I lock up in observable areas and the bike is seldom left alone for more than an hour. I have a beat up old Raleigh Sports that I used to ride to the not so good side of town, that one got locked up with a Kryptonite NY Fahgettaboudit, I DID NOT want to have to walk home. A U-lock is usually my last choice. Two different style locks are going to be better than one. You can only slow a thief down, if they want the bike bad enough they will get it.

The reason I prefer my wheel locks (I have them on 4 bikes) ease of use, it is ALWAYS on the bike and if it is unlocked the key is kept captive in it. On more than one occasion when I used U-locks I would get where I was going and would either have the keys and no lock, or the lock and no keys.

Also important is what you lock the bike to, small trees and short meter posts don't work as well as steel hoops imbedded in concrete.

Lock up next to someone else who has a nicer bike or a crappy lock helps too.

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Old 01-29-12, 03:29 PM   #6
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I gave up carrying locks. Even with locks my bike kept getting stolen (in London). Now I just never leave it outside.
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Old 02-02-12, 03:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaslynn View Post
I think I'd consider my area a medium crime area. Seems like if you leave your expensive bike parked at any public place for even just a couple of hours, it's gonna get stolen.
Maybe I'm na´ve, but I would call that a high-crime area!

In the city (mostly Paris and Oxford) I carry a U lock on my bike, and not just any one, but an ABUS Granit X Plus. I also have Pitlock skewers on my bike so the wheels can't be easily removed. I'll often carry a cable--not a cable lock, just a cable that can be used in conjunction with the U lock if I can't find anything narrow enough to lock the bike to. I try not to leave my bike unattended in an unsecured place for more than 15 minutes, and not to park regularly in the same place.

In the countryside, I usually just carry a cable lock, to keep honest people honest. Even the most expensive cable lock is easy to defeat with bolt cutters, as I discovered when I locked my bike outside a country store and then realized that the keys were at home, 8 miles away. Fortunately the farmer across the street had bolt cutters, which cut through the cable like butter. I now use locks that require the key to lock as well as to unlock!

Last edited by brianogilvie; 02-02-12 at 03:37 AM. Reason: fixed punctuation
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Old 02-02-12, 04:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
How risk averse are you?

The first lock that you put on your bike, no matter how cheesy, is about 90% effective because it forces the thief to have some kind of tool with him. I don't ride in high risk places but when I lock my bike (rarely) that's all that I use.

As you go from 90% effective to 99% effective you engage in a progressively high tech, more expensive and more weightly game of oneupmanship with the thief. There is no 100% effective, thieves given the time and technology can break into anything. If you park a bike that a thief wants in the same place every day, they'll figure out what they need to bring along to steal it.

Whatever kind of lock you settle on, try to park next to bikes that are nicer than yours. To commute to work or to a college campus, use a semi-expendable beater so you won't feel too bad when it gets stolen.
Sounds good to me. A bike with no lock can just be ridden or pushed away, and nobody is going to challenge someone who approaches a bike, adjusts a backpack, and cycles off on it. On a thread here somewhere I read the idea of just clipping a helmet through the wheel - it only takes a short while to defeat it but if you're just turning your back for a moment could hold up a would-be thief for long enough to make him forget the idea.

I usually carry a U-lock on the frame if I'm expecting to be leaving the bike unattended at all. If I'm leaving it outside and going inside where it's out of sight I'll put a U-lock through the frame and rear wheel, a looped cable through the front wheel and the U-lock and use a padlock to secure the saddle to the cable. If I'm riding with a group I've often combined locks so that every bike is secured by two U-locks and two or three chains coiled around just about everything.
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Old 02-02-12, 10:39 AM   #9
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None, and zero.
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Old 02-02-12, 11:46 AM   #10
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I'll speak of several bikes ..
1, 90s pick.. long distance international tour Specialized armored cable lock,
it coiled up so I could hang it in the main triangle & still have room for water bottles.
I brought extra cables for trees and picnic tables.

2, Koga, NL, ring lock on the frame + a lock-up chain, secures front wheel and bike to fixed object.

3, My Bike Friday, an Abus link folding lock + one of their steel-o-chain locks,
the chain and link lock would require some different tools to defeat each one.

Plus I moved out of a University town that traffics in other people's bikes ..
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Old 02-05-12, 11:09 AM   #11
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I discovered the hard way that the padlock-and-chain style wasn't enough protection when parking in downtown Philadelphia. Since then I've switched over to a Kryptonite U-lock -- plus bringing the bike inside when I need to park at work -- and I've been OK.

(knocks wood.)
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Old 02-05-12, 11:38 AM   #12
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Round link chain or hardened square link security chain?
the first example is cut off the roll with bolt cutters..
A tool sold in the same hardware store..

Last edited by fietsbob; 02-05-12 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 02-05-12, 10:15 PM   #13
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Get a light mini U-lock. I'd get this one if I already didn't have one: http://www.amazon.com/Abus-Granit-Fu.../dp/B005F3GZPG
Inside shackle is 5.9in and weighs 1.6lbs certainly not heavy. Small, light, tough, but a bit expensive.
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Old 02-06-12, 03:35 AM   #14
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I use a D-lock (U-lock) in most situations. I lock the rear wheel to the post inside the rear triangle. This prevents the wheel being removed from the frame, so the bike is secure with no need to lock the frame itself. For more unfriendly places I also have a cable with loops at either end. This can be threaded through the frame and front wheel, then both ends secured with the D-lock.
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Old 02-07-12, 02:04 PM   #15
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You need at a minimum of 2 locks. One a high quality chain and the other a expensive U-lock. The U-lock should be the NY series and the chain a NY series or bikeregistry w/ upgrade padlock chain. It still won't be 100% safe but it will greatly reduce your chances.
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Old 02-08-12, 04:36 AM   #16
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2 guys were out walking in the woods. Suddenly they saw a bear, which started towards them. One guy immediately started running away, while the other pulled off his hiking boots and changed into the running shoes in his bag. 'What are you doing?' asked his companion, 'you still won't be able to outrun the bear.' 'I don't need to,' replied the man, 'I only need to outrun you.'

The moral is, if a thief really wants your bike, they'll have it regardless of what locking strategy you use. All you can do is make your bike harder to steal than someone elses. If you have a good D-lock and a strong cable, parked next to a bike secured with a cheap cable lock that can be cut with a pair of pliers, your bike is pretty safe.
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