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lightower 08-17-13 04:06 AM

Securing your bike
Any suggestion on locks to secure your bike ?

Retro Grouch 08-17-13 09:19 AM

The first lock that you put on your bike, regardless how cheesy, is about 90% effective because it requires some kind of tool to defeat. As you progress from 90% to 99% you engage in a progressively higher tech and progressively higher cost game of one-up-man-ship with the thief. Ultimately you will always lose because there is no 100% effective lock.

If you are securing your bike in a high theft risk area, like any college campus, my advice is to ride a POS bike and try to park it next to nicer bikes.

fietsbob 08-17-13 09:26 AM

There is outright theft, and then there is stripping stuff off your bike even if it is secured.

cehowardGS 08-17-13 09:35 AM

I second what Retro has stated. First off, if you can take your bike inside, that is the way to go. I work at a college, and my bike comes inside.. Period. If you do have to lock up a bike outside, make sure it not a prime, a looker, or anykind of way a prize. Most likely a beater off of Craigslist for $50 will do. In high risk areas, IMO, it is just a matter of time before somebody steals your bike.

Seat off, and remove the front will will help too..

On the same subject line, I just won a small battle with a Supermarket Chain. I usually stop at this Supermarket on my way to work or at lunch time to pick up some groceries for lunch and breakfast at work. The clerks were giving me a hard time because I refused to lock my bike up outside, and I always bring it inside the store. They told me I couldn't do it anymore. A quick telephone call to the customer service and explained to them, that I am 73, and I am allowed to bring my wheel chair in the store, but they won't allow me to bring my bicycle in the store for a few minutes to pick up groceries. Two days later, I got a call from the store manager, and told me I could bring my bike inside. I said all that to say, try your damest to bring your bike inside, if shopping, let them tell you that you can't have the bike in the store first. At work/school try your damest again to find a way to bring it on the inside. Might take a little politics of talking to people but believe me, once you get the okay to bring your bike inside, that opens you up to more enjoyment and peace of mind. You can bring your prize bike in this manner..

Just my two cents..

brianogilvie 08-17-13 02:33 PM

The best, strongest lock you can afford. Cable locks keep honest people honest; U-locks are more likely to slow down a thief, or make him go on to a less well secured bike.

If you have expensive, valuable components, secure them properly. I use Pitlock locking skewers to secure generator hubs, and a Pitlock threadless headset cap for the same reason. There are also secure-fastener binder bolts to protect leather saddles.

A low-tech way to secure bolted-on components is to melt some parrafin into the bolt head hexagonal sockets. It's a PITA to scrape out, but you can use a heat gun to melt it if you need to remove the component. (Thieves don't tend to carry heat guns.) It's not high security, but it's cheap.

knobster 08-17-13 03:59 PM

On my bike that I would have a tendency to leave outside, I use pitlocks (wheels, stem and seatpost) along with a TiGr titanium lock. I guess it works. My bike hasn't been stolen, but I don't think anyone has tried either. My expensive road bike I just don't leave it anywhere.

The reason why I went with the expensive titanium lock is it's light so I always have it on the bike. Best lock in the world is worthless if it's left at home because it's too heavy to carry.

bhchdh 08-17-13 04:13 PM

Bicycle locking strategy from Sheldon.

Fargo Wolf 08-17-13 04:13 PM

A couple of good quality U locks. Just loop them between the wheels and frame. That's how I secured my $5.50 bike, when I pedaled around Vancouver, Canada on a nice day.

daihard 08-17-13 07:20 PM

I just bought a Kryptonite U-lock and a cable. I am going to leave them both at work as I plan on biking to the office regularly.

DX-MAN 08-17-13 07:32 PM

Can't remember the last time I got so little info from a Sheldon Brown link. Oh well, even Elvis sang a clinker or two......

My ideal: heavy-duty U-lock through the back wheel, and around the seat tube (FS bikes can have the rear triangle disassembled), and a heavy-duty chain/lock through the mainframe and front wheel, and around the anchor point. Pitlock-style skewer replacements, too.

At present, I have a monster Masterlock U-lock, and an Oxford chain/padlock; I would add, as an alternative for one or the other, a thick RV/trailer cable lock with the integrated lock mechanism. All 3 can be had for under $100. Yes, cables can be cut with bolt cutters, some easier than others; but who would go to the trouble of cutting a cable before noticing the 2nd lock that they're not equipped for? (Just the LAME amateur bike thief.)

lightower 08-18-13 10:53 PM

I have my 20 year old Bianchi bike that I will use for general purposes and I think the combination of the Ulock should do the trick and chain lock for my new bike. Thanks for the suggestions.

loneviking61 08-19-13 07:22 AM

Not all U-Locks are the same though. That Kryptonite Fuggidaboutit is what you want if you are in areas with lots of bike thieves. Lock the frame to something solid with the U-lock, and run cable thorugh the tires and lock the ends onto the U-Lock.

I was in Sacramento this last week and saw first hand that a bike thief will go for:
1. A cable lock--only takes about 20 seconds to hack through with bolt cutters..
2. They will go for the nicer bike first--this guy went for the Gray Fisher tied up next to my old Schwinn. Unfortunately for him, I caught him at it, and then the owner showed up. The thief got run off with some lumps for his trouble.

lightower 08-19-13 11:32 PM

any thoughts on Titanium Bike Lock ?

Nihilum 08-20-13 02:31 AM

If you live in a high risk a $50 bike.

If you don't live in a high risk area...several companies make high quality cable/chain locks, but remember, you get what you pay for.

Personally, I use a 1/4" chro-moly chain (anchor chain), and a Brinks Home Security lock. People laugh about the lock, but it's still going strong after 10 years of abuse and neglect. I have never oiled it, never cleaned it except to rinse it off, and I have put it through abuses that no padlock will ever go through. It has literally been shot, exposed to close range explosions, and left out in every weather condition this world has to offer from -40 degrees in Norway to 140 degrees in Iraq. As a Marine vet, I never dropped the habit of testing things until they break...this lock is the only thing I've ever owned that I couldn't manage to break on my own.

Nihilum 08-20-13 02:37 AM

Titanium is a lot stronger than steel, but it also carries a hefty HEFTY price tag. Also, titanium cable cuts almost as easily as steel cable. If you go titanium, I'd suggest a titanium chain...and those start off at a several hundred dollars...once you move to semi-precious metals you're not paying for a length of metal, your paying by the gram.

Large diameter chro-moly chain will break most common bike thief's harbor freight bolt cutters before they even scratch the finish. Remember, unless they're professionals, they not likely to carry big time gear.

Edit: If you're not familiar with chro-moly, it's one of the strongest types of steel out there. NASCAR, NHRA drag, Monster Jam, and International Rally Racing all use roll cages made of chro-moly. It's strong and it's fairly cheap. It's also used to produce most car frames these days.

Northwestrider 08-20-13 08:35 AM

All good suggestions. Someone tried to steal ( unsuccessfully ) my unlocked bike, but I now try to slow them down with a cable lock. I always have my bike in view when stopping for coffee, but even so the fellow almost got away. Things happen very fast.

RaleighSport 08-20-13 08:38 AM

My theory is, a real bike thief will get your bike no matter what if they decide they want it. So your best bet is to remove crimes of opportunity my current setup at this involves security skewers instead of QR fasteners, and a 9 link masterlock cufflock. I no longer sweat my bike being out of site etc since I've done all that I can.

RaleighSport 08-20-13 08:39 AM


Originally Posted by Northwestrider (Post 15980318)
All good suggestions. Someone tried to steal ( unsuccessfully ) my unlocked bike, but I now try to slow them down with a cable lock. I always have my bike in view when stopping for coffee, but even so the fellow almost got away. Things happen very fast.

That's my usual method too, but that's with my bikes that are "ugly" to begin with. No attempted thefts yet, knocking on wood now.

softreset 08-20-13 09:36 AM

Here's an interesting two part video series about bike locks, theft and their effectiveness. I thought it interesting to see how easy some of the locks were destroyed and bypassed.

Relevant? Maybe. But an interesting watch if you've got 20 minutes nonetheless.

Part I -
Part II -

Astrozombie 08-20-13 03:13 PM

They say the cable locks are pointless and just to keep drunks/opportunists from taking your stuff so i was wondering about the chain locks i saw at Harbor Freight, the padlock looks useless so that's probably the weak point but the chain looks to be heat treated. Can't be any worse than a cable lock so i'll get one some day.
(TBH i kind of want mine to get stolen so i could try a hybrid)

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