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Thread: Locks

  1. #1
    Senior Moment Litespeed's Avatar
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    Locks

    What is the best method of locking up a tandem. We never leave our tandem out of sight but the other day when my husband had walked back into the restaurant and I was standing outside next to the tandem, three guys came up acting like they were really impressed with the bike (maybe they were). We did have the drum brake on, so unless they would have known about releasing that they couldn't have just rolled it away. With three of them and just one of me, it was a bit intimidating. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Litespeed
    What is the best method of locking up a tandem.
    Something as simple as a retractable ski-lock that you can put in a jersey pocket, a large seat bag or touring baggage will stop the opportunist from an easy grab in public places:

    http://ecom1.sno-ski.com/product180.html

    OR one of these:

    http://www.amazon.com/OnGuard-Terrie.../dp/B000FL1BRK

    Some additional thoughts on tandem & bicycle security in general...

    While it's nice to say, "don't leave your tandem unattended" sometimes that's just not possible or practical.

    We'll usually lock one or two bikes or tandems to a fixed object with a ski-tote lock or perhaps three bikes or tandems together nose-to-tail when there's not something to lock them to. The key is making it difficult for a jerk to pull off a target of opportunity theft. Using a cable lock as a deterrent is just that... a deterrent not a guarantee against a real bike thief with the right cutting tool who is looking for an easy or specific target bike to steal.

    It goes without saying, we pick VERY public areas where there is enough traffic and where we can at least see who's coming or going from the general area. For tours where we know we'll be leaving our tandems while we do tourist stuff, we usually ask the venue operators where we can put our bikes and often times they'll let us put them in a secure place or at least tell us where not to put them. If we have to lock them up we use a lock similar to this one while on tour. It's not superlight, but it isn't super heavy either.

    http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...846&Store=Bike

    Ultimately, it's all about using common sense AND making sure your homeowner's (or renter's) insurance will cover your loss. Don't assume what your policy covers either. For some strange reason our homeowner's insurance covers our bikes and tandems (several of which are very expensive) without a rider while lesser expensive jewelry, antiques, and musical instruments do require a rider. Be sure to keep copies of the receipts or other documentation (invoice, bill of sale) that will prove what your bikes and attached equipment cost in event you have to make a claim.
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 07-08-07 at 06:33 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Lock up that tandem?!

    Howdy from Tucson!
    We always used to figure that nobody would want to steal a tandem; however after 2 tandems had been stolen in the Tucson area, we changed our opinion!
    One tandem was taken (it was not locked) from in front of a restaurant and recovered months later in the nearby desert; apparently someone took it for a joyride and dumped it.
    The other tandem: someone broke into a locked shed and obviously knew what they wanted and stole only the custom tandem. An item like that usually cannot be sold locally but gets peddled out of state.
    Any lock is only a deterrent; an expert bicycle thief has the tools or freon to bust a lock/cable/chain and a nearby van/truck to toss it into.
    Having said that any kind of lock /cable/chain is better than no lock at all, and do lock the tandem to something; and if nothing is available, remove front wheel and lock it to rear triangle.
    We usually run a cablelock thru rear wheel, around rear seattube and through one ot the stoker's non-cliplless pedals, therefore not making it too easy for a crime of opportunity.
    Protect that investment, lock it up!

  4. #4
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    I must admit that When I am out cycling, I am either on the bike riding it, or it is extremelely close to me. Unless I have it in sight, I never leave it unless it is locked with a Very Expensive "D"lock, and a "Kryptonite cable through the wheels and frame and then to a solid object. I even lock the 5 or 6 bikes in the garage with the D Lock and cable through the frames locking them altogether.

    On the odd occasion when I do leave the bike, like when I am in a restaurant and I do not have a lock with me, I do 3 things. First of all I disconnect the brakes. Secondly I completely remove the Quick release on the front wheel, and thirdly, I turn the bike upside down. Iwill also point out that The bike will always be in my sight while I am in the restaurant, so if any one were foolish enough to attempt to steal it, I would have plenty of time to show them how heavy a helmet can be.

    On the lock front, there are some very expensive "D"locks that are almost unbreakable. The one I have has been tested against Bolt croppers, hacksaws and levers, and athough a mess was made of it, it took 30 minutes before it was broken. The weak link is the cable, and that takes 10 minutes to cut with a hacksaw. If it takes that long to damage the lock or cable, then the thief will give up. The garage is also alarmed, and although this is not much good, it does deter the scumbags.
    Last edited by stapfam; 01-31-04 at 02:24 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Litespeed
    What is the best method of locking up a tandem. We never leave our tandem out of sight but the other day when my husband had walked back into the restaurant and I was standing outside next to the tandem, three guys came up acting like they were really impressed with the bike (maybe they were). We did have the drum brake on, so unless they would have known about releasing that they couldn't have just rolled it away. With three of them and just one of me, it was a bit intimidating. Any suggestions?
    My philosophy is that the first lock that you put on your bike, regardless how cheesy, is about 90% effective because it forces the prospective thief to bring some kind of tool. As you go above 90% effectiveness you engage in an expensive game of one-upmanship with the thief which you will eventually lose. People with enough time and technology do occasionally break into bank vaults. I own an assortment of cables, chains and U-locks and I use whatever makes me feel like I've matched the local degree of risk.

    A couple I know who own a very expensive tandem usually feel good with no lock at all. He's 6'7" and she's over six feet too. Their bike is so big that few other people can physically ride it.

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