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-   -   Why aren't frame locks popular in the U.S.? (https://www.bikeforums.net/general-cycling-discussion/1087579-why-arent-frame-locks-popular-u-s.html)

CityCountry 05-14-21 01:38 PM

I find that my frame lock offers me the most benefit at home, being able to quickly lock it using the plug in chain. Otherwise, it's such a mild form of protection that I'm not sure what good they really do.

rlpfromak 05-18-21 07:57 PM

I’ve also seen frame locks widely used in Europe and Japan as well. However, one major difference is that people use bikes there much more commonly for daily chores and activities (shopping, cycling to the train station, etc.) and these locks are on what could be called their “utility” bikes. They are primarily used to keep honest people honest and preventing a potential thief from jumping on a bike on a whim. I don’t think they would be much of a deterrent for high-quality bikes.

Edward1066 05-18-21 08:16 PM


Originally Posted by Glenn123 (Post 19181396)
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.


Originally Posted by howardv (Post 19181350)
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.

The number 1 reason integral wheel locks aren't more prevalent in the US, is the private ownership of pickup trucks and vans. In the Netherlands and across Europe, petrol is prohibitively expensive, and private auto ownership tends to smaller vehicles. In the US, with gas prices kept artificially low, larger vehicles are more common. And, as bikes are seen as expensive toys, something that only someone with too many DUI's, or as an annoyance, theft is seen as a nuisance, not really a crime to be paid attention to. Just an opinion...

Happy Feet 05-18-21 09:43 PM

I own a frame lock for one bike but also learned that a small padlock between the chainrings and chain itself (crankset area) stops the bike in the same way and is smaller/lighter to carry on the bike.

If commuting to the same place each day (like work) leave the heavy U lock secured at the destination if possible. No need to carry it back and forth.

No lock stops a determined thief but they do reduce the more common crime of opportunity.

I did think it would be funny to sit in a coffee shop and watch someone try to steal my FG bike with small clipless pedals... then walk up beside them and ask if they needed a hand.

kahn 05-19-21 06:54 AM


Originally Posted by Happy Feet (Post 22066144)
I own a frame lock for one bike but also learned that a small padlock between the chainrings and chain itself (crankset area) stops the bike in the same way and is smaller/lighter to carry on the bike.

If commuting to the same place each day (like work) leave the heavy U lock secured at the destination if possible. No need to carry it back and forth.

No lock stops a determined thief but they do reduce the more common crime of opportunity.

I did think it would be funny to sit in a coffee shop and watch someone try to steal my FG bike with small clipless pedals... then walk up beside them and ask if they needed a hand.

I wonder if something so discreet might possibly lead to damage to the chain/rings since a potential thief would not notice it was they quickly and strenuously try to pedal away. Obvious it would stop an opportunist thief.

I looked at disc brake locks and some have a colorful "leash" which might draw attention to the lock/deterrent.

Happy Feet 05-19-21 08:21 AM


Originally Posted by kahn (Post 22066439)
I wonder if something so discreet might possibly lead to damage to the chain/rings since a potential thief would not notice it was they quickly and strenuously try to pedal away. Obvious it would stop an opportunist thief.

I looked at disc brake locks and some have a colorful "leash" which might draw attention to the lock/deterrent.

Perhaps, If you put the lock at the bottom of the chainring where the chain exits there isn't much room for cranking though. Just another lower weight idea. I wouldn't do it on a delicate chainring. One can also use a long neck lock to lock the non drive side crank arm to the chainstay.

I made this for my touring bike some time ago as a DIY bike alarm. It's a personal alarm with the pin attached to a leash that wraps around the tire. Thief tries to make off with the bike, it pulls the pin and emits a loud alarm. Its exposed like that for the pic. IRL I hide it on the frame better.

For short stops, where I can quickly run out, if I don't have a lock I thread my helmet straps through the rear wheels and put my bike in highest gear but usually in the window. I never trust a bike out of sight having had my first "real" racing bike stolen when I ran into a bakery for thirty seconds for a muffin years ago.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...e981ec58_b.jpg

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...f27ed56c_b.jpg

Charlie Ky 05-14-22 02:17 PM


Originally Posted by hankaye (Post 19181510)
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

Hmm, if I were a thief and saw handcuffs on a bike I would assume it belonged to a police officer. Might be a good deterrent.

Charlie Ky 05-14-22 02:19 PM

Double post

Stadjer 05-21-22 07:01 AM


Originally Posted by Edward1066 (Post 22066062)
The number 1 reason integral wheel locks aren't more prevalent in the US, is the private ownership of pickup trucks and vans. In the Netherlands and across Europe, petrol is prohibitively expensive, and private auto ownership tends to smaller vehicles. In the US, with gas prices kept artificially low, larger vehicles are more common. And, as bikes are seen as expensive toys, something that only someone with too many DUI's, or as an annoyance, theft is seen as a nuisance, not really a crime to be paid attention to. Just an opinion...

I think it has more to do with the bike in the Netherlands being a very utilitarian mode of transport in a dense country. I ride my bike to a shop in 5 minutes and have it locked before I'm entirely off. Using a chain lock or an U-lock would seriously impact the ease and the time the visit costs, especially in a rack. Because of this utilitarian nature, the most used bike was and is the coaster brake single speed. I prefer the 3-speed but the frame lock is somewhat in the way of the cable, and I don't even have cable brakes. Frame locks are not as self evident with rim brakes, different geometries and cables.

Only after frame locks were already common, bike theft became a problem that could not be prevented by a frame lock. That had to do with a heroin epidemic and some weird post 60's idea that (old regular) bikes were somehow not subjected to ownership and stealing one or buying a stolen one was not the same as with other goods. Among large groups of university students for example it was not frowned upon to have stolen a bike, despite it still being a privileged group in the sense of the best students and on average richer parents. That has normalized for the large part but there's still a lot of bike theft and that is and was mostly at night, it's generally safe to have just the frame lock or getting groceries or something. If you just load one in a van, very affordable, in the day time you would get caught.

So most poeple single lock for quick daytime visits where there's people around, and double or even triple lock at places and times where a thief could take his time or the bike could be thrown in a van without getting caught. Locks are not to prevent bike theft in general but to prevent your bike getting stolen. So it's a matter of someone else's bike to have a better trouble/value ratio than yours for different categories of thiefs. The modern frame locks are quite a power tool job so it's about defending against picking up the bike and brining it to a place where someone can cut the lock safely. There are very good insert cables for frame locks but I mostly use a very flimsy ligth cable lock because it's easier and is enough to have the pick up artist look for another bike. The power tool thief would prefer a less time consuming lock than my frame lock. If a thief was determined to steal my bike and brought the tools to do it, it would get stolen but that's simply not how bike thiefs operate. Know your enemy.

tcs 05-21-22 07:37 AM

About one out of every 30 adults in the Netherlands got their bike stolen last year.

Can you recommend a lock style common in a country where the rate of bike theft is lower? ;)

Bald Paul 05-23-22 09:06 AM

For quick stops at a convenience store, I just pick my bike up, hold it on my shoulder, and walk in with it. If the store objects, I'll find another a bit further down the road.
I've rolled my bike into public restrooms before. Just have to remember to shut off the GoPro first! :lol:

rydabent 05-24-22 11:44 AM

I have gone electric on my trike. It now has only one chain ring in front, and the spokes to the sprocket have large open spaces between them.. I have found a padlock that the U is quite wide, and it fits right thru the chain ring. With that padlock in place the grab and runners are going now where, and unless there would be a couple of quys with a pickup close by, the trike is sure to be there when I come out of a store or restroom.

philbob57 05-24-22 03:34 PM

How do you protect QR wheels when using a thru-the-chainwheel lock? I like the idea, but ... maybe Pitlock + chainwheel lock is the way to go.

I'd lossen the QR completely, but a thief would probably be able to sue me if they rode off and crashed....:)

Stadjer 05-25-22 06:56 AM


Originally Posted by tcs (Post 22514318)
About one out of every 30 adults in the Netherlands got their bike stolen last year.

Can you recommend a lock style common in a country where the rate of bike theft is lower? ;)

It still is a regular inconvenience indeed, but I haven't had a bike stolen in about twenty years, don't know exactly because the last one I couldn't remember where I parked it. My recommendation is to know your enemy and then get the appropriate gear to defend against your local thieves.

SkinGriz 05-26-22 01:48 PM


Originally Posted by philbob57 (Post 22518549)
How do you protect QR wheels when using a thru-the-chainwheel lock? I like the idea, but ... maybe Pitlock + chainwheel lock is the way to go.

I'd lossen the QR completely, but a thief would probably be able to sue me if they rode off and crashed....:)


A thought could be to have an errand bike without QR skewers and a sporty bike with?

Obviously only if you have space or funds to own 2 bikes. I think carrying a 15mm would not be detrimental at all if someone was already carrying a pump and tube.

Just thoughts.

Polaris OBark 05-26-22 03:55 PM

I just set the bike alarm on my Garmin, knowing that if someone tries to take the bike, the alarm will deter them, and passers-by will instantly spring into action, restraining the perpetrator and immediately alerting the police, just like they do with car alarms.

Bald Paul 05-26-22 08:06 PM


Originally Posted by Polaris OBark (Post 22521091)
I just set the bike alarm on my Garmin, knowing that if someone tries to take the bike, the alarm will deter them, and passers-by will instantly spring into action, restraining the perpetrator and immediately alerting the police, just like they do with car alarms.

https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...d4707e2c89.jpg

murphyqin 09-01-22 12:37 AM

Bike Parking Rack
 
Many cities are building more bike parking racks so that we will use cars less for getting around towns and cities,you can put a U-lock in your bag each time.Like this:
https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...dcb30c9eb9.jpg
u bike rack

c0urt 09-01-22 01:04 AM

yeah, in cities that are trying to become bike friendly, if you show up to store in even partial kit, or looking like you are living the lifestyle, they let you just bring it in with you, or will ask you to bring it in out of the rain. wal mart watches them if you are nice.


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