Securing a parked tandem
I was wondering what devices other tandem riders are using to lock their bikes when parked in public places or mounted to the auto's mobile transport rack.
I haven't found a cable long enough to loop through the frame and both QR equipped wheels. I would like something that could be stowed on the bike if possible.
I have a cable lock I got at Lowe's which is intended for construction equipment. It weighs a ton, has a decent lock and can be caried it one is willing to add about 5 pounds to the bike.
Locks/chains only keep honest people from stealing or going for a joyride on your tandem.
Having said that, we carry a cheapy and short plastic coated cable lock that uses a coded credit card to unpop the lock. Bought it years ago when one of the catalogs was having a clearance sale.
Lock the bike to something (post, bikerack, fence) . . . and loop cable through back wheel/frame. This is only a deterrent and not a guarantee that someone will not or can not steal it. Most locks/cables can be cut/busted; pros use cable cutters; some use freon to chill the lock and shatter it. If they want it bad enough and are good enough, consider it GONE!
OK, now you say what about my front wheel? If you feel so inclined use a separate cable/lock for that wheel/frame lock up. That way prospective thief has to bust 2 locks/cables to steal the bike. No need to get a super long cable with one lock; 2 locks and 2 shorter cables are more of a deterrent.
Given opportunity and time and tools, any lock/cable/chain can eventually be busted.
Homeowners insurance will sometimes cover the cost of theft if bike was locked properly.
Now lets go out and ride . . .
Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
I pretty much agree with zonatandem. I read an article in the paper this week about a bank vault that was broken into in Brazil. New York chains and Forgetaboutit locks seem like they'd be easy to defeat by comparison. If I were inclined to steal, the locksets that come on Thule and Yakima racks, for example, certainly wouldn't slow me down very much. Most of the time I don't bother to lock our tandem. I sometimes use a cable lock and I take it into the motel with me when I travel.
Having said all of that you might try a garage door service company to see if they will make you a custom length coated cable with a loop on each end.
I use one or two u-locks to secure the frame to something rigid and cables for the wheels.
Home improvement stores usually have serveral different lenghts coated steel cable for sale. BUT cables just have a very low safety rating and can easily be cut. Therefore use at least one heavy duty u-lock to secure the frame.
SO pull the front wheel off and set it down next to the rear, run the cable through the frame, rear wheel and front wheel. That's why you have QRs...
Conversely, it takes a 5mm allen wrench to remove the 8 bolts securing our 20mm thru-axle front wheel. No worries about theft there, it takes forever just to change a flat.
Originally Posted by ElRey
As a commute/shopping bike during the week, our tandem is locked up alone outside during the day every weekday. Here on the university campus where I work, cable locks are routinely cut in the middle of the afternoon in broad daylight with people around -- even to steal $80-when-new department store bikes.
I use one U lock to lock the front wheel & frame to a bike rack. I use a second U lock to lock the rear wheel to the bike's frame. I also do run a cable through both seat rails, the Burley Moose rack, and the one grocery bag pannier and attach it to one of the U locks -- just to stop casual walk-away theft of those components.
Still, I am thankful for each day that ends with me finding a whole, complete bike... haven't had any trouble yet. (Perhaps tandems are also odd and unusual enough that the lowlife scum who steal bikes just avoid them.)
If it's that bad, bring the bike into your office.
HAHAHA, as if! (You haven't seen my office, so I'll forgive you. )
Originally Posted by ElRey
It's an office built for one or two people, and it is currently seating four of us. Can't even bring a single in without blocking something.
I do appreciate the suggestion, but space is at a massive premium, unfortunately, and there aren't really any suitable out-of-the-way places for the bike.
I couldn't disagree more! I hate the attitude that goes something like this, "Man, my bikes are TOO GOOD to be locked anywhere!"* If you own a tandem, you've made a considerable investment in a nice bike. Why risk losing that investment? Even getting the best lock, like a New York Lock, pales, price-wise in comparison to the cost of the bike. Buy a great lock and use it! My tandems & singles sit securely locked to the garage wall in a locked (and soon to be alarmed) garage. And when I travel, I put the u-lock through the boom tube to the Yakima rack to discourage thieves. No lock is invulnerable - but most bike thieves will go for the easy pickings. An accidentally left open garage is an invitation to a thief to steal your tandem(s) and/or bike(s). Don't make it easy for 'em!
Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
By the way, I use a mini u-lock to lock both wheels to a pole between the stays on our road tandem. Works great. Search for "Alanbikehouston" on this site for all the lock advice you'll ever need. (Even though he disagrees with locking the front wheel with the rear, but that's another story!)
*These people may learn the hard way if their house is ever burglarized and the thief uses their sweet ride as a convenient get-away vehicle. Happened to customers of mine all the time.