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Securing your bike on a bike rack

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Securing your bike on a bike rack

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Old 09-20-07, 02:46 AM
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flliggie
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Securing your bike on a bike rack

Hello--

My husband and I recently began recreational biking and very much enjoy it. I purchased a bike rack for the back of my car, and was wondering if folks use any type of specialized "locking" mechanism to secure the bikes for times when you may have them on the back of the car but have other things to do besides bike...ie, stop and do some grocery shopping after riding.

It may sound like a silly question, but I am clueless and don't wish to have the bikes stolen. Any suggestions? I used my regular bike lock the other day to secure the bicycle to the rack, but wondered if there were other methods?

Thanks.
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Old 09-20-07, 04:29 AM
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In a perfect world the bikes would be secured inside the vehicle, alas it's not a perfect world. If your rack is like most, it's held in place by from four to six nylon web straps that would be quickly dispatched with a marginally sharp knife. So, any steps you take to secure them is only giong to deter an honest person and provide alternatives for a pro.

In this scenario, you best solution is to leave one person to babysit the bikes.
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Old 09-20-07, 04:33 AM
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I take a bike lock and wrap it around both bikes and then secure both bikes to the rack. When I attach them to the frame of the roof rack, I think it is more difficult for crooks to take off the whole roof rack system. It's just a a quick get away , it's easier to put the bikes on my rear rack.
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Old 09-21-07, 03:46 AM
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Thanks, that's helpful--I just wasn't sure. We do have a Honda Element and it does fit both bikes in without taking the seats out; however, the manuevering it takes to get them in and out can be cumbersome at times. Also, if we are wanting to take our bikes out for a weekend trip, it takes up space that I'd otherwise be able to use to pack food and supplies. A bike rack seems like a good alternative, but does cause me worry regarding theft.

Anyway--thanks for the responses!
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Old 09-21-07, 01:56 PM
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The locks on racks are really keyed safety catches and offer little security. Do not rely on them for anything more than brief stops on the road.

On my roof rack (fork mount) I use my u-lock through the rear wheel and frame with a cable wrapped around both cross bars and snaked through the crankset into the u-lock. On a trunk rack--which is far more vulnerable-- I would route the cable to the car's tow/recovery loop under the bumper.

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Old 09-22-07, 07:19 PM
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When you park, and plan to both be away from the car, back the car into the space with a wall, bush, or steep dropoff behind the car. This makes the rear of the car less conspicuous and potential thieves will have a harder time trying to remove your bikes.
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Old 09-24-07, 11:26 AM
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I lock my bikes to the trunk rack with either a cable lock, U-lock, or both, depending on where we are going, etc.

I also lock my trunk rack to my car.

The trick is to make sure that you are locking any and all of your locks to a part of the rack and/or car where the lock can't be slipped off.

I probably missed something like usual, but I am confused about the question: why would it be any different than locking a bike to anything else?
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Old 09-25-07, 03:27 AM
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Well, you hit the nail on the head--how do you lock the rack to the car? I don't think I can do that with mine.
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Old 09-25-07, 05:38 AM
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my theory to not getting a bike nicked is fairly simple, don't leave it unattended anywhere where it is a possibility it could get nick, simple but highly effective....
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Old 09-25-07, 08:55 AM
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see posts on locks and thefts. Inparticular remove parts like the seatposts. Wrap the bike in tape to hide brand names. ect For a car rack you might deflate the tires or store the wheels inside.
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Old 09-25-07, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by flliggie View Post
Hello--

My husband and I recently began recreational biking and very much enjoy it. I purchased a bike rack for the back of my car, and was wondering if folks use any type of specialized "locking" mechanism to secure the bikes for times when you may have them on the back of the car but have other things to do besides bike...ie, stop and do some grocery shopping after riding.

It may sound like a silly question, but I am clueless and don't wish to have the bikes stolen. Any suggestions? I used my regular bike lock the other day to secure the bicycle to the rack, but wondered if there were other methods?

Thanks.

Bike locks are a theft deterrant, not theft prevention. If someone really wants your bike he can get it one way or another. The best lock is the one you use as a club against a would-be thief. In other words, being in the presence of your bike whenever you are on the road is a very good deterrant. If you do have to lock it, use a quality lock for only a short time. Place it where you can see it. If, for example you are going into a store lock the bike on the car rack and park the car in such a manner that you can see everything from the store window/door. Be sure to secure both wheels. Don't just be content to wrap the frame and rear wheel. Remove the front and lock it with the rest of the bike. Making it more difficult for thief gives you more time to react.
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Old 09-25-07, 11:24 AM
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I take off the seat post and wrap the heavy duty 6' braided cable in between both wheels and the frame and wrap twice around bike rack frame so it can't be slipped off. I of course take off all gauges etc, etc.

I go to Venice Beach a lot and there are some real scum bags in that area, also when eating there, bike is in full view and the saddle and stem are with me !


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Old 09-25-07, 08:06 PM
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I added hitch receivers to both vehicles. I made up a long cable and lock set that I wind thru the frame, then thru the safety chain loop that is part of the receiver hitch assembly.

If you use a web strap type of rack and don't have a hitch safety chain loop, look under your car for one of the tie-down hooks that is used during towing and car carrier transport. There will usually be at least one in the back.

Remember that a cable set of the type typically used for casual security can still be cut thru with a decent 24" bolt cutter. Short of one of those NYC "Fagetaboutit" chains, almost nothing is really theft proof.
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