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Advice on a lock for quick errands

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Advice on a lock for quick errands

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Old 09-11-09, 12:24 PM
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mczolton
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Advice on a lock for quick errands

I have recently started commuting to work. I am fortunate in that I can keep my bike outside of my cube while I am at work. However, I like to run quick errands after work such as stopping at the drug store, or picking up a days worth of groceries. Therefore, I would like to solicit advice on a lock suitable for this situation.

I have read many threads that suggest a U-lock and a cable lock, or simply two U-locks, but this seems like a bit of overkill if I am only in the grocery store for 20 minutes. It should be noted that I live in a relatively low-crime area with few other bicycle commuters. My bicycle's MSRP is $720, so I don't mind investing in a decent lock(s). Also, the seat-post is not the quick release type; it requires an Allen wrench. Finally, the front and rear rims are the quick release type.

I appreciate the advice. The commuter forums has been a great benefit to me thus far.
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Old 09-11-09, 12:43 PM
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I use a light combination lock for what you're describing. In and out with no fumbling for a key. It will prevent ride-away thefts which is all I'm looking for with quick store runs.
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Old 09-11-09, 12:45 PM
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Bicycle theft is a crime of opportunity. It has no demographics and it can happen even in "low crime" areas. Make your bike harder to steal than other bikes on the rack and you will have your bike when you come out of the supermarket. Don't skimp out on locks. Buy quality locks and use them religiously. You may find yourself in a less than "safe" area someday and having good locks will give you peace of mind.

Are you comfortable leaving your bicycle outside the store unlocked? If you answer no then you need a good lock/locks.
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Old 09-11-09, 01:31 PM
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I use a Kryptonite Evolution for serious locking (leave it on the rack at school) but also keep a light Trek combo/cable lock in my trunk pack for errands just like you describe. Yes, a combo/cable lock is effectively meaningless to a thief but this area is pretty low-crime and most bikes are locked much worse than mine.
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Old 09-11-09, 03:04 PM
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This is what I have with me all of the time. Depending on where I'm at. I'll sometimes use both, or for a quick stop I'll use the U-lock.
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Old 09-11-09, 03:11 PM
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Velo Orange has a ring lock for $25.00 that mounts to the frame and immobilizes the rear wheel, making the bike unrideable. I have a similar one on my shopping bike the AXA Defender. The handiest form of bike lock I have found and very common in Europe. It does not prevent carrying the bike off but they are not going to ride it or wheel it away.
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Old 09-11-09, 04:19 PM
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Last night I went to the pharmacy and forgot to bring a lock, so I just wrapped the strap of my seat bag around the bike rack. That was with my rusty old '77 Gitane. If I'd had my Jake, I'd have probably skipped the stop and headed straight home.

A cable lock takes about 10 seconds to clip with the right tool, and it's not just serious bike thieves that can do it. A U-lock takes less than a minute to sever with the right tools, but typical only serious bike thieves will do that.
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Old 09-11-09, 06:25 PM
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I have an Onguard Bulldog mini 7: http://www.amazon.com/Guard-Bulldog-...dp/B001C6BHMQ/

It looks just like the picture scoatw posted (maybe I stole his idea ). I like it because it is a lot lighter than the Bulldog Brute I used to have.

I was going to add just get a cheap chain or cable lock for quick errands to stop opportunity theft but I stopped myself. I think a decent U lock would be better since they would weigh about the same and you never know how long you would be in the store. There always seems to be that one person who has to dig all over thier purse or pockets for exact change, or another person who wants to write a check .
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Old 09-11-09, 07:06 PM
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Get a Kryptonite Evolution Mini. It will fit in your back pocket if necessary and offers enough protection when needed. I usually lock my bike to a sign or a pole.
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Old 09-12-09, 08:23 AM
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Thank you for the advice. I am definitely going to take a look at a U-lock. Do you think I should go for a cable to secure the front tire, or another U-lock?

Thanks!
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Old 09-12-09, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by mczolton View Post
Thank you for the advice. I am definitely going to take a look at a U-lock. Do you think I should go for a cable to secure the front tire, or another U-lock?

Thanks!
Take the front wheel off, put it next to your rear wheel, and use the same U-Lock that goes through your frame and rear wheel.
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Old 09-12-09, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by mczolton View Post
Thank you for the advice. I am definitely going to take a look at a U-lock. Do you think I should go for a cable to secure the front tire, or another U-lock?

Thanks!
Replace your QR skewer with either a allen bolt type skewer, or a Pitlock security skewer and I wouldn't worry about the extra cable or lock.
I know that theft is typically a crime of opportunity, and demographics have little to do, etc. but at the same time, if you really do live in a low-crime area and there's not much issue with bike theft, a double U-lock is some massive overkill.

I usually just bring my bike into the store and prop it near the grocery carts, unlocked if I'm running an errand on the way home from work. SON hub, Supernova lights, Carradice bag, Brooks, handbuilt wheels, just leaned against a wall. I take my wallet and phone out of the bag, but that's it.
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Old 09-12-09, 09:33 AM
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You might be interested in one of these ring locks for your rear tire.
http://www.velo-orange.com/ringlock.html

They are really common in Europe and in combination with a u-lock through your front tire and frame should be a deterrent to theft. Since ring locks are mounted to your frame they are much more convenient than having to carry around an extra cable lock.
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Old 09-12-09, 11:29 AM
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As an alternative for the long-term, you might keep your eyes out for a half-decent, sturdy commuter bike for under $200, and leave your nice bike at home. This way, you have a back-up bike, a rain bike, less wear-and-tear on your baby, and a little more peace-of-mind when you run into the store after work.
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Old 09-12-09, 11:46 AM
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Excellent recommendations all around! I appreciate it.
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Old 09-12-09, 11:49 AM
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I try to bring my bike into the store and lean it just inside the front door somewhere--a surprising (to me) number of stores are ok with that; when I find one that isn't I just keep looking. If I'm really just darting in and out (another bottle of water at the am/pm, or a bottle of wine on the way home from work) I'll leave the bike just outside and tighten the front brake with an elastic or velcro band, making it hard for the opportunist to roll away.
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Old 09-12-09, 12:30 PM
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I usually take my bike in with me wherever I go, but if I can't, I'll just take the 2 minutes it takes to remove the front wheel and lock it to the frame and the rear wheel and of course, the rack or light post I'm locking at. I use an OnGuard Ulock STD...odd name for a lock.
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Old 09-12-09, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by tatfiend View Post
Velo Orange has a ring lock for $25.00 that mounts to the frame and immobilizes the rear wheel, making the bike unrideable. I have a similar one on my shopping bike the AXA Defender. The handiest form of bike lock I have found and very common in Europe. It does not prevent carrying the bike off but they are not going to ride it or wheel it away.
I have the AXA Defender on my two utility bikes. I find it perfect for exactly the sort of circumstance that you describe. Leaving the bike in for a little while in a low crime area. If I am leaving the bike longer, or in a more sketchy area, I use a cable lock, or a chain, or both.
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Old 09-12-09, 04:14 PM
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$720 is a lot of money in my books, my bike only cost $320. I'm getting a almost 20 year old kuwahara MTB fixed up to be my B bike currently. I sometimes double lock my $320 "cheap" hybrid. At school, I use the more secure underground bike parking (it's in a cage) and double lock down there. Nothing on that bike is quick release. I use a U lock and a cable lock.

I sometimes just use the cable lock if my instincts tell me my bike is in less danger of being stolen. I had a crappy old bike before that a crackhead was able to saw through the cable lock with GARDEN SHEARS in a short amount of time. My dog freaked out and alerted me to the fact the crackhead was in my backyard. He ran away before stealing my bike. Cable locks are fail, but better than nothing.
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Old 09-13-09, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Fenway View Post
You might be interested in one of these ring locks for your rear tire.
http://www.velo-orange.com/ringlock.html
Forgot about those -- it would be pretty neat to have.

I've begun taking a chain instead of a U-lock. There's no guarantee that I'd find a spot where a U-lock would work, but a chain will let me lock to a 12" diameter light pole if I have to. If I take a second lock, it's a small U-lock that secures whichever wheel didn't get locked by the chain.

FWIW, my chain is an OnGuard Beast, and the small U-lock is a Kryptonite Evolution Mini. Between those and a New York STD, the chain gets used the most. I carry it either slung over my shoulder or wrapped around the seatpost of my city bike (it's got a rack, too, so I also lock it to the rack, which keeps it away from the wheel rear wheel).

*edit* Just wanted to add that I wouldn't use a cable lock as the main lock -- in other words, the lock that keeps the bike from going anywhere. A big chain, apart from being a lot heavier, is just as handy and quick to use. I even think that most chains' nylon fabric casing is easier to slide around objects than the vinyl coating of most cable locks.

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Old 09-13-09, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by mczolton View Post
I have read many threads that suggest a U-lock and a cable lock, or simply two U-locks, but this seems like a bit of overkill if I am only in the grocery store for 20 minutes.
20 minutes is enough time to steal your bike 40 times over. I'd want my front wheel locked if I were leaving the bike for 20 minutes, or I'd take the wheel with me (not very convenient if you're shopping. I agree with the suggestion for a u-lock, but I don't agree with the automatic selection of a mini-U, because they simply can't be used to lock a lot of bikes to a lot of the things that bikes are locked to. A rack like this or this is probably not going to work with a mini-u because of the thickness of the rack. It might work if your frame has ultra-skinny tubes, but...it might not. My bike does not have ultra-skinny tubes, and a full-sized u-lock will just work with these types of racks. Bottom line, you need to see what types of locks can secure your bike to the racks where you'll be locking it, before you can start picking and choosing based on other criteria. The lightest, smallest lock in the world isn't worth a bent paper clip if you can't use it.
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Old 09-13-09, 04:20 PM
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I just lasso my front wheel with a cable and secure that through the U. Hopefully it's not worth the risk of getting caught cutting the cable to get just a wheel.

Besides, having a cable handy is nice in case you get somewhere that the U can't conveniently lock your bike. Between a U and a cable, you should be able to secure your bike at least somewhat if there's ANYTHING around that you can secure to.
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Old 09-13-09, 04:54 PM
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As I did elsewhere, I'll keep it simple.

Whether you're locking it up for 20 minutes or 8 hours, lock it up the same way. A minute of your time isn't worth the risk.
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Old 09-13-09, 05:06 PM
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anyone online stores that you guys know of that I can go to to buy a onguard ulock for cheap?
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Old 09-13-09, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by jl.1212 View Post
anyone online stores that you guys know of that I can go to to buy a onguard ulock for cheap?
Dude. Google.
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