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Best way to lock a bike....

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Best way to lock a bike....

Old 08-31-16, 10:57 PM
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IndianaRecRider
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Best way to lock a bike....

....when there's nothing to lock it to.

Earlier this morning, I had to go to a local auto parts store to pick up a couple things, and since it's only about a mile from my house, I decided to ride instead of drive and so I took my lock/cable with me. When I got there, I couldn't find anything to lock it to. All the handicap parking spaces had the markings painted on the pavement rather than on a sign attached to a pole. No racks or any kind of signage poles in sight. The only thing remotely possible was a couple of stone support pillars by the front door, but found out those were too big around for my cable.

In the end, I just ran the cable thru both wheels and leaned the bike up against one of the pillars. At least I was able to see it for almost the entire time I was in the store. While locking it up like that would prevent someone from riding off with bike, it would not prevent someone from picking it up and tossing it in the back of an SUV or pickup truck.

So I guess I'm wondering if that was the best solution, or was there something else I could have done, short of asking a store associate if I could bring the bike in with me?

Thanks in advance for any comments/tips/other solutions.


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Old 09-01-16, 01:30 AM
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Any overhead lamps in the parking lot?
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Old 09-01-16, 02:56 AM
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Originally Posted by General Geoff View Post
Any overhead lamps in the parking lot?
D'oh!! You know, I didn't really notice. I guess I was more focused on looking for something right by the entrance.

Now that you mention it, there almost would have to have been at least a couple of light poles. Don't want an unlit parking lot during those dark hours.


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Old 09-01-16, 03:14 AM
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I've brought my bike in a number of times - most places don't mind - I just say there is no bike rack or other place to lock it. Worst they can do is say no.
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Old 09-01-16, 04:11 AM
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It really depends on your location, and perhaps the value of the bike.

I'll regularly just lock a wheel and lean the bike against the wall if there is no suitable bike rack or pole.

While there is a risk of someone picking up a locked bike and walking off with it, I think it is a very rare event in all but the highest risk areas. Especially when only locking the bike for a few minutes.
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Old 09-01-16, 08:36 AM
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My local AutoZone at least has a trash can in front that I can lock to. If there's nothing available, I bring the bike in. If told to take it outside, I'd ask if they would add a bike rack. Instead, I get a cheery "Hello" or "You can leave that up front if you'd like!".
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Old 09-01-16, 09:33 AM
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Best? Indoors, behind a locked door. Or in the case of my Local Bar, they're used to me bringing it in ..

My Brompton in summer , now the other bike when its wetter..

Restricting to Auto Parts.. I just put the KS down inside the local NAPA franchise store..





./.

Last edited by fietsbob; 09-01-16 at 09:39 AM.
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Old 09-01-16, 09:53 AM
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IN addition to using the cable lock..... Open the rear brake quick release, then tighten the adjustment so when closed the brake is on pretty hard. Then remove the front wheel, and just carefully put the front fork balanced on the front axle and not in the dropouts.

Edit... tighten the front skewer so it can not drop onto the front axle.

Last edited by 2manybikes; 09-01-16 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 09-01-16, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by General Geoff View Post
Any overhead lamps in the parking lot?
Depends on the design, but they don't always work the best. I stopped off at a WalMart Pharmacy that was right next to the trail one night, and ran into the same problem. Even with a cable lock, the concrete base went up high enough that the front wheel was off the ground when I actually got the cable to a part where it would go around.

But, to answer the question: a light pole
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Old 09-01-16, 01:52 PM
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Just take it in. If they question you, ask if they have a tool to remove, say, this bottom bracket. They'll want to take a look, and then you can ask about the parts you actually came in to get. It's an auto parts store, so they're used to much dirtier stuff being wagged around their environment.
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Old 09-01-16, 01:57 PM
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Agreed, take it in.

I've taken mine into grocery stores, drug stores, 7-11s, etc. and nobody has ever said a word.

Can't imagine them being too prissy at an auto parts store...
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Old 09-01-16, 03:36 PM
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I took mine into the bank once ... but that is the only place I have ever been when there wasn't a bench, lightpole, trash can ... something .... They never said a word, which i still find amazing.
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Old 09-01-16, 10:12 PM
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I was at a strip mall today and couldnt find a place I could get my chain around. Ended up locking it through the door handles of a shut down store. Figured if anyone messed with it they likely set off an alarm.
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Old 09-02-16, 11:11 AM
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Thanks for all the comments and suggestions.

I drove past the parts store on the way home from work this morning and it does indeed have three light poles out in the parking lot. There's a concrete base around each one, but they looked to be, at most, maybe three feet high. Should be easy enough to lock a bike to the pole portion if I have to ride there again.


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Old 09-02-16, 11:59 AM
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I use a dog leash.
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Old 09-02-16, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
I use a dog leash.
someone could easily cut it
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Old 09-02-16, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveQ24 View Post
I've brought my bike in a number of times - most places don't mind - I just say there is no bike rack or other place to lock it. Worst they can do is say no.
This is what I would do.
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Old 09-12-16, 11:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Jean3n16 View Post
someone could easily cut it
Maybe there was a German Shepard on the other end?
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Old 09-13-16, 02:58 AM
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Best way--Lock it it something immobile inside your house.
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Old 09-13-16, 03:26 AM
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In places where there's only a sign nearest the most publicly visible front door I'll just wrap the cable around the frame, wheels and sign post enough to make it impossible to lift the bike over the sign without removing the sign or cutting the cable. It's just enough to deter casual thieves, not determined thieves. But my bikes cost $200 or less, hardly worth the bother.

A few times I've left the cable and lock at home, not planning to stop anywhere. Then I'll change my mind and stop for a beer or coffee. I'll do the wrap trick with a bungee cord or long velcro strap, which I always have wrapped around the seat post or rear rack. It's just enough to keep honest folks honest, because they'd need to fiddle with the bike for a few moments in full view of the front door or window, where I'm watching the bike.

Best theft deterrent when a bike must be left alone? Ride only bikes that aren't worth stealing, or won't cost much to replace. There are tons of perfectly serviceable bikes on craigslist and other used sites every week.
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Old 09-13-16, 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post

Best theft deterrent when a bike must be left alone? Ride only bikes that aren't worth stealing, or won't cost much to replace. There are tons of perfectly serviceable bikes on craigslist and other used sites every week.
To add to that, also, I always ask myself, "Is this a sketchy area?" Nice bike + Sketchy area = greater chance of theft versus an Average bike + Nicer area.

It's all about lessening the odds.
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Old 09-13-16, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
I took mine into the bank once ... but that is the only place I have ever been when there wasn't a bench, lightpole, trash can ... something .... They never said a word, which i still find amazing.
You mean, "They never said a word while you were there..."
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Old 09-13-16, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Joferd View Post
Maybe there was a German Shepard on the other end?
this this case, no.
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Old 09-13-16, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by SkunkWerX View Post
To add to that, also, I always ask myself, "Is this a sketchy area?" Nice bike + Sketchy area = greater chance of theft versus an Average bike + Nicer area.

It's all about lessening the odds.
but does the avg thief know about "nice" bikes? I know before i started cycling, i had no idea there was a difference between a walmart bike vs LBS bike other than they marked up the price.
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Old 09-13-16, 12:35 PM
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Bike thieves know what is valuable. What can be parted out and/or what can be unloaded quickly for some bucks.
They are the ones who wouldn't risk an arrest for a basic model that isn't going to fetch them a decent sum.

Then there are the "I'll take this bike cuz I can" thieves. delinquents and such.
They are merely opportunists, and are the ones who will ride off on a WallyWorld bike because it was not locked and was easy to grab and go.

The "average" thief probably knows enough to pick a better bike over a clunker, or, at least we have to assume that, as we try to guard our belongings. It's a game of mousetrap combined with odds.
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