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Why aren't frame locks popular in the U.S.?

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Why aren't frame locks popular in the U.S.?

Old 11-09-16, 05:59 PM
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howardv
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Why aren't frame locks popular in the U.S.?

Neighbor recently had their bike stolen while they were buying water at 7-11. They had leaned their bike against the glass outside and it was gone. Then I was talking to an employee of an LBS and he went for fast food and leaned his bike against the glass, within eyeshot, and some guy jump and take off with it. He gave chase (running), but couldn't catch up. I've had bikes stolen in the past by leaving it "for just a second" while I run into the store.

As easy as it is to break a lock in seconds, it appears a lot of bikes get stolen that were never locked. And that's because we get lazy. We don't want to carry heavy locks on our rides, find a poll, etc. It seems a frame lock is the perfect solution for that quick in n' out type of situation. And I do see it being used in Europe, but it's very rare in the U.S.

If you've never seen one, this is a frame lock.

I just bought two of these. One for my Sirrus hybrid and another for my cargo bike. I will not be putting one on my full suspension mountain bike (of course), but I just discovered the disc brake lock. This would be easy and light to carry in my backpack for mountain biking (I ride to the trails and love to stop for fast food on my way back).

Of course, none of these will stop anyone from picking up your bike and walking away with it, or throwing it in the back of a truck. But it seems like a lot of thefts are from people just riding it away. I'm really surprised that I don't see these locks at any of the bike shops. It seems that most average folks don't even know these types of locks exist.
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Old 11-09-16, 06:14 PM
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The disc brake lock - I would think that a thief wouldn't notice it and would trash your bike attempting to steal it.
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Old 11-09-16, 06:15 PM
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Don't know why they aren't more prevalent in the US. Seems they would work well for a quick "in and out". I wouldn't use them for overnight on the street.
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Old 11-09-16, 07:17 PM
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Howdy All;

Why not just a simple pair of hand-cuff through the wheel spokes
for a quickly stop at a 7-11 or whatever ... or a small master lock
through one of the holes in the brake disc?

hank
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Old 11-09-16, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by GeneO View Post
The disc brake lock - I would think that a thief wouldn't notice it and would trash your bike attempting to steal it.
Discs are pretty tough. He'll try to roll and jump on and discover it's not "peddle-able" - and quickly take off when he sees you running out of the store. And it is possible that the disc gets damaged - still better than having the bike stolen.

Originally Posted by hankaye View Post
Howdy All;

Why not just a simple pair of hand-cuff through the wheel spokes
for a quickly stop at a 7-11 or whatever ... or a small master lock
through one of the holes in the brake disc?

hank
Hand-cuff would work too! But I still prefer the frame lock since it's part of the bike - nothing extra to carry (only a key). And a really good idea to use a small pad lock for the discs (when you don't want to install a frame-lock). Didn't even think of that. Really great idea! Thanks.
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Old 11-09-16, 07:27 PM
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If I have to go into a convenience store I remove my front wheel so at least the bike can't just be ridden away. Then grab whatever I'm buying, and hurry back out. Not fool proof of course but has worked so far.
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Old 11-09-16, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by howardv View Post
Discs are pretty tough. He'll try to roll and jump on and discover it's not "peddle-able" - and quickly take off when he sees you running out of the store. And it is possible that the disc gets damaged - still better than having the bike stolen. .
I mean the lock will smash into the caliper and trash it for sure, they aren't so tough, and if it is a carbon fork, maybe that too.
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Old 11-09-16, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by howardv View Post
Neighbor recently had their bike stolen while they were buying water at 7-11. They had leaned their bike against the glass outside and it was gone. Then I was talking to an employee of an LBS and he went for fast food and leaned his bike against the glass, within eyeshot, and some guy jump and take off with it. He gave chase (running), but couldn't catch up. I've had bikes stolen in the past by leaving it "for just a second" while I run into the store.

As easy as it is to break a lock in seconds, it appears a lot of bikes get stolen that were never locked. And that's because we get lazy. We don't want to carry heavy locks on our rides, find a poll, etc. It seems a frame lock is the perfect solution for that quick in n' out type of situation. And I do see it being used in Europe, but it's very rare in the U.S.

If you've never seen one, this is a frame lock.

I just bought two of these. One for my Sirrus hybrid and another for my cargo bike. I will not be putting one on my full suspension mountain bike (of course), but I just discovered the disc brake lock. This would be easy and light to carry in my backpack for mountain biking (I ride to the trails and love to stop for fast food on my way back).

Of course, none of these will stop anyone from picking up your bike and walking away with it, or throwing it in the back of a truck. But it seems like a lot of thefts are from people just riding it away. I'm really surprised that I don't see these locks at any of the bike shops. It seems that most average folks don't even know these types of locks exist.

Not only do these frame locks secure your rear wheel, they allow you to add a 6mm square link noose chain of lengths up to 1.5metres to further secure your bike to fixed objects and/or to secure your front wheel or saddle, etc.
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Last edited by ColonelSanders; 11-09-16 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 11-09-16, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by exmechanic89 View Post
If I have to go into a convenience store I remove my front wheel so at least the bike can't just be ridden away. Then grab whatever I'm buying, and hurry back out. Not fool proof of course but has worked so far.
And get your hands dirty right before eating?

I've removed the quick release and replaced it with wheel locks, so it won't be so quick for me.
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Old 11-09-16, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by GeneO View Post
I mean the lock will smash into the caliper and trash it for sure, they aren't so tough, and if it is a carbon fork, maybe that too.
It's always possible, but again, it's better than having the entire bike stolen.
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Old 11-09-16, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by howardv View Post
It's always possible, but again, it's better than having the entire bike stolen.
Better yet a better mechanism to secure the bike.
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Old 11-09-16, 08:14 PM
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because they don't work in America. simple.
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Old 11-09-16, 08:37 PM
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I often use the steer tube lock on my 1972 Raleigh Superbe for quick "in-and-out" trips. So far, it hasn't failed me:

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Old 11-09-16, 08:38 PM
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Simply locking the bike to itself does nothing to prevent someone from simply throwing the bike into the back of a truck or van. The lock can be dealt with later or if it can't be, then all every accessible part removed from the frame.
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Old 11-09-16, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
Simply locking the bike to itself does nothing to prevent someone from simply throwing the bike into the back of a truck or van. The lock can be dealt with later or if it can't be, then all every accessible part removed from the frame.
Yes, I think one difference between the US and european countries is the likelihood that the potential thief has a pickup truck. In addition, far more bikes in Europe are used for short utility trips to the market where a relatively insecure lock is still likely to be adequate.
I've been using a very flimsy cable lock for my grocery and other market trips a few times a week and haven't had a bike stolen in over 30 years. It would be easy to cut but does guard against the guy who carries no tools but might be tempted to hop on an unlocked bike and ride off.
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Old 11-09-16, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by howardv View Post
Hand-cuff would work too! But I still prefer the frame lock since it's part of the bike - nothing extra to carry (only a key).
But handcuffs are a tool of many interesting and exciting uses and can be used in other locations.
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Old 11-09-16, 10:17 PM
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Ditto, the prevalence of vehicles near most places where we'd leave a bike semi-locked. Thieves would just toss the bike into the pickup or trunk and deal with the wheel lock later.

In places where vehicles aren't within immediate reach of the bike, but I'd still like to at least slow down a jump and ride thief, I'll use a long Velcro strap or bungee cord wrapped around the wheel and frame. It'll only slow 'em down for a few moments but that's enough for the few situations where I'd use that trick.
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Old 11-09-16, 11:00 PM
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I went to folding bike that's quicker/easier to fold-up and roll inside, than it is to lock to a pole. Alternatively, I can also unlock one of my frame hinges and just leave it outside and any would be thief would crash and burn if they tried to ride it away.
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Old 11-10-16, 05:54 AM
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I have a frame lock on my utility/commuter bike. As others have noticed, it is useful for a quick step into a shop. There is also the point that the town I work in has very few regular bike racks anyways.

As seen above, the frame lock also supports a cable that latches to it for other, medium length, stops. In all it works well, but it is not an overnight, or high crime area, lock.
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Old 11-10-16, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by ColonelSanders View Post
Not only do these frame locks secure your rear wheel, they allow you to add a 6mm square link noose chain of lengths up to 1.5metres to further secure your bike to fixed objects and/or to secure your front wheel or saddle, etc.
Do they offer a clever way of stowing that chain while you are riding?
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Old 11-10-16, 06:32 AM
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I used a simple cable lock for quick in and out type stops.
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Old 11-10-16, 06:46 AM
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The best defense against ride-offs is being reminded, consistently, of their occurrence. Thanks, howa, for posting and "keeping us honest".
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Old 11-10-16, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by howardv View Post
[...] I'm really surprised that I don't see these locks at any of the bike shops. It seems that most average folks don't even know these types of locks exist.
Same reason as why bikes do not come with tenders, luggage carriers, or lights pre-installed. The olde bike seen just as sports equipment versus bike as a serious and useful means of daily transport conundrum.

How many bikes come with their chains protected against the weather in a standard encasing?
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Old 11-10-16, 07:16 AM
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Lock your bike to a sturdy object if you want to keep it. Use a stout lock to do so. I've had a standard cable cut when a bike was locked to a metal railing at school, and I've had a motorcycle dragged out of my driveway with a disc lock on the rear wheel and a U-lock on the front. If a thief wants your wheels the thief will find a way to get them. Make it more work for him than he'll think it's worth. While I like the idea of the Abus-type wheel lock it is not much of a deterrent in this country and while I might give one a chance in casual circumstances I'd be nervous the whole time.
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Old 11-10-16, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
Do they offer a clever way of stowing that chain while you are riding?
I've attached pics of what I use.
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File Type: jpg
How I carry my locks.jpg (99.0 KB, 698 views)
File Type: jpg
How I carry my locks - 2.jpg (97.3 KB, 694 views)
File Type: jpg
1.5m Snake.jpg (100.3 KB, 693 views)
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