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Utility Cycling Want to haul groceries, beer, maybe even your kids? You don't have to live car free to put your bike to use as a workhorse. Here's the place to share and learn about the bicycle as a utility vehicle.

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Old 02-14-13, 11:05 AM   #1
tpolley
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how do you secure a trailer when parked?

how do you all secure a bike/trailer when you park it at a business? do you use a big long cable and wrap it around the whole set up?

what do you do in situations where securing a bike/trailer combo to a bike rack would take up an entire sidewalk? what if the rig is too long to even fit?

most of the bike racks i see at public places have room enough for just a normal length bike. anything longer would stick out.
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Old 02-14-13, 03:21 PM   #2
turbo1889
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First of all, I rarely actually park in a bike rack. At least around here bike racks when they exist are usually flimsy peices of junk that are more easily broken then the lock or the bike and some could be torn apart to free a bike to steal it with the bare hands of a strong person in addition they are often tucked into dark corners which invites vandalism and theft since a deviant can go to work on your bike without having to do it right out in the open. I lock up to parking lot light poles. Much sturdier and more secure. Usually they are located on little raised concrete islands at intervals throughout the parking lot of most places and I can often pull the bike up onto the island which also protects it from being hit by some numb-skull on four wheels trying to park their heavy vehicle. With a trailer I often jack-knife the trailer to get it to fit kind of wrapping the bike and trailer around the pole up on the raised island. That is my preferred way to park and lock up my bike. I will lock to other sturdy immovable stuff when a light pole is not available trying to keep it in plain sight of the main flow of customers in and out of the store and in the light (lots of night biking for me). There are a few bike racks I will use that are set-up properly and are sturdy and not tucked away in some corner but out in the open but that is the exception not the norm. In addition if you use a simple trailer hitch that uses a pin or bolt as the hitch coupler then you can substitute a padlock of appropriate size for that pin or bolt to lock the bike and trailer together to each other and then you need only lock one or the other to the pole to secure both reasonably well without having to loop a long cable through both.
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Old 02-23-13, 04:13 PM   #3
Juha
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I've pondered this question a bit with my kayak trailer. When I go paddling, I leave bike and trailer behind, sometimes for several days. My solution: find secure parking.

The trailer is a relatively long and clumsy looking affair, without the kayak it's not even obvious what it actually is. Number one concern for me is vandalism rather than theft, but there's not much one can do about that. In all I have three locks: a ring lock for bike's rear tyre, a U-lock to connect bike frame to a solid object, and finally a flimsy chain to immobilize the trailer and connect it to bike frame. When I park the combo, I first lock my bike into something solid, then disconnect the trailer from the hitch and park it next to bike so I can run the flimsy chain lock through the bike frame.

In my case, getting heavy and expensive locking hardware for the trailer doesn't make sense, as the trailer disassembles into manageable parts for storage with just one common size hex key (frame) and a spanner (wheels). From what I've seen, many utility trailers are equally easy to disassemble. Replacing the hex bolts with something more exotic doesn't help with vandalism. So I concentrate on trying to find safe parking instead. So far it has worked for me.

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Last edited by Juha; 02-23-13 at 04:17 PM.
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Old 02-25-13, 06:25 PM   #4
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I got a suitably length of double looped cable . slipped one end over the axle then put wheel back on. looks like its rubbing but wheel spins with no problems. I feed the cable along its frame up the tow arm to to the axle hitch. I got a nice cut out in frame that works well with a small padlock. locks trailer to bike as well if my hitch pin were to come out the ball and socket can't separate. (pic not super close but you can see the ends of the cable).

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Old 03-02-13, 07:42 PM   #5
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my Burly Flatbed between the folding tongue and 2 QR wheels , It can fold up and lean against the wall ,
once I get to somplace and un load the cargo.. often, it's My Amp & Electric string thingie.
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Old 03-03-13, 08:26 PM   #6
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With the trailers I make I offer a locking cable as an accessory. It's a simple 3/16" steel cable looped at both ends. You choke one end around the frame of the trailer and send the other one through whatever bike lock you're using. It's a mild deterrent but then again the trailer doesn't cost that much so I don't think people would be highly motivated to steal it.
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Old 03-14-13, 11:56 PM   #7
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After reading what others have posted I have to say I use all or a combination of them all. My trailer is able to be jackknifed and a cable lock runs through the trailer and bike. I often times carry two locks one is a cable lock with a U-lock, and the other is a cable lock. One keyed one combo.

If I am not going to be long and the area has nothing to lock to I just lock it all together in an inconvenient manner so that if you tried to carry it off you could not really do it easily. I have left a bike for two hours like this in an area that people would know I am gone for at least an hour.

I try to always lock them together while they are attached. There are some extenuating circumstances they have to be unhitched.
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Old 03-15-13, 04:19 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by pennyfarmer View Post
After reading what others have posted I have to say I use all or a combination of them all. My trailer is able to be jackknifed and a cable lock runs through the trailer and bike. I often times carry two locks one is a cable lock with a U-lock, and the other is a cable lock. One keyed one combo.

If I am not going to be long and the area has nothing to lock to I just lock it all together in an inconvenient manner so that if you tried to carry it off you could not really do it easily. I have left a bike for two hours like this in an area that people would know I am gone for at least an hour.

I try to always lock them together while they are attached. There are some extenuating circumstances they have to be unhitched.
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