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Do you carry a lock?

Old 03-11-24, 09:14 PM
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Do you carry a lock?

I'm thinking of doing the Empire State Trail from Buffalo to NYC this summer, and just getting details together again and it occurred to me that I never gave any thought to carrying a lock. I tend not to carry one when I ride because I'm usually just out to ride, not to shop or eat. But on a long road trip, especially a solo one, I know I'll need to make stops. Overnights won't be a problem as I'm staying in hotels, and I'd drop the bike at the hotel for dinner, although I might need it for transportation to get to dinner. I have this picture in my head that I'll be staying in the small towns along the way and be able to walk to some local place, but my experience in car trips is different. The hotel is near some highway interchange and the restaurants are further down the road, even in small towns.

Anyway, do you all carry locks, and if you do, what kind? As a New Yorker I have a Kryptonite U-lock for the frame and a cable that loops through the wheels. It is heavy and I avoid carrying it.
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Old 03-11-24, 09:40 PM
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Absolutely. I use a cable lock to stop the opportunist thief. Anyone who really wants to steal a bike won't be stopped by most, if not all, locks so it is to deter the casual thief.
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Old 03-11-24, 11:06 PM
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With a cable/chain lock, I would also consider an audible alarm. They don't cost much
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Old 03-12-24, 05:53 AM
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For a quick trip into a grocery store or a restaurant, I just use a skier type lock, very fast and very light. In restaurants, I try to find a seat where I can see my bike. Skier lock below, tiny, easy to use, retractable cable makes it very convenient.



Also bring a cable lock for when I am in campgrounds, or in areas where I worry more about theft. A skier lock will only slow a thief by less than a minute, the cable lock is less convenient to use, but it slows a thief for several minutes.
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Old 03-12-24, 07:18 AM
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I figure opportunistic theft is about all I can deter, basically slow them down. I use the velcro on brake level trick to lock the brakes, this makes the hop & ride type of theft take a little longer and awkward.
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Old 03-12-24, 07:41 AM
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The answer to your questions are yes and yes. Yes, I carry a cable lock. Yes, you should too. I like the ski lock above because it stops almost any unprepared thief and it is lighter and more convenient than my cable lock. I have been using the same Masterlock cable lock for almost 40 years. I know it can be shimmed with a bit of soda can or clipped with a cable cutter, but i think it stops a lot of less prepared thieves. Because the plastic coating on mine is starting to crack, I'm slowly getting into the market for a new lock.

I would suggest carrying a thin cable lock all the time, It can be handy in a lot of ways. I've even used mine to tie my rear rack in place and get home as well as to secure cargo in place in a pinch.
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Old 03-12-24, 07:43 AM
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Cable lock is cheap and easy; you can lock the bike up to something so it's not vulnerable to snatch-and-run with a pickup truck to haul it off.

Just having a visible lock is often enough to deter casual theft. That's about all that's reasonable.
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Old 03-12-24, 09:08 AM
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I'll have to find a lighter lock then. What I have is pretty heavy duty. But yea, I only need it to stop an opportunistic thief. Even my Kryptonite NYC Fuhgeddaboudit was broken. I had bike parking inside in my office, but they didn't want locks left on the rack so I'd leave the lock outside locked to a public rack. I did it for years. One day I ride up to get my my lock and it was gone. It just showed me how any lock can be broken. My guess is that someone decided to clean up all the dead locks because mine wasn't the only one on the block. Some of them looked like they hadn't been touched in years. Anyway, I bought a new somewhat lighter one since I had to carry it with me now, but it is still heavier than I want to carry 500 miles.
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Old 03-12-24, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb
Cable lock is cheap and easy; you can lock the bike up to something so it's not vulnerable to snatch-and-run with a pickup truck to haul it off.

Just having a visible lock is often enough to deter casual theft. That's about all that's reasonable.
+1. Whether I actually use it depends on the situation. If I’m on the boardwalk in Ocean City, NJ and stop for some fudge to bring back to my bartender friends, I won’t bother with the lock. Same with stays at a campground I frequent. Families leave all sorts of stuff outside unsecured day and night. If theft were common, I would know about it.

Now if I’m on the GAP in Connellsville, PA or somewhere like North Beach in Burlington, VT, the lock always gets used. At night, I’ll secure the rear wheel to the frame and put the bike behind the tent inside the shelter.
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Old 03-12-24, 10:51 AM
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I carry a basic lock that looks like below

Otherwise it really depends on the situation when/how I use it.
In downtown Syracuse I even wheeled my bicycle inside a pharmacy to an Amazon locker to pick something up. However, enough other situations where I also don't lock up the bike.
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Old 03-12-24, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by zacster
... Anyway, I bought a new somewhat lighter one since I had to carry it with me now, but it is still heavier than I want to carry 500 miles.
As I noted above in a previous post, for daytime when I am only in a store for a few minutes, the skier lock is most convenient. Or a cable lock for overnight in campgrounds.

But, for my titanium bike, that bike is not my most expensive bike but it does look like my most expensive bike. So, I bought a Bordo 6100 link type lock. Over $100 USD. Not as good as a U lock and still quite heavy, it is the lock I use for most purposes when I ride that bike. And it came with a nice bracket that I attached to the bottom of the top tube to carry it. Occasionally, I heard some vibration noise on the lock, but a velcro strap solves that.

If you bring a key type lock, you must be better than I am at making sure you do not lose your key. I only bring combination locks anywhere.

On a bike tour I often use bolt on skewers instead of quick release, any 5mm allen wrench will open them. That is because my cables are often too short to go around both wheels. I keep a spare 5mm allen wrench with my spare tubes. The special skewers that take a special key, I know I would lose the key.
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Old 03-12-24, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by mev
I carry a basic lock…it really depends on the situation when/how I use it.
‘Xactly.
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Old 03-12-24, 03:55 PM
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Even here in Brooklyn, not exactly the safest place to leave a bike outside, I'll go inside with the bike locked only by the straps of my helmet. Anybody that thinks they can jump on and ride it off is in for a surprise when the wheel locks up. A person that knows bike helmets could of course just unsnap it, but he'd have to assess the situation before he could do that and that would take just long enough for me to notice.
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Old 03-12-24, 07:00 PM
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"Any of those U-Locks available in alloy?" As a matter of fact...

Looks the business. Some miscreant EDCing a Leatherman* is not going to snip it.





* "I heard from victims through local cycling email lists. In almost every instance, they told me a cable lock was cut. Cable locks are not security and I even question if they are worth bothering with as a secondary lock. They can be cut so quickly, without noise, and with small hand tools that they should never be used." - Josh Ross writing for Bike Portland and Cycling News

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Old 03-12-24, 07:12 PM
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14.5 pounds of bicycle and 22 pounds of lock and chain...

Rats! Its hopeless...

And dont think using an old beater is any better. In Galveston they steal bikes just to stay in practice...
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Old 03-12-24, 07:15 PM
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I like my lightweight Abus 6055 Bordo, it is lightweight enough and higher security than a cable. That particular lock also fits in a jersey pocket nicely and doesn't take up space. I have a variant on that which is a little longer and does have the holder but that was won in a contest I would probably have gone with the smaller one but this one doesn't weigh a ton and the holder is nice so it can live on one of my bikes and not get lost in the house.
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Old 03-12-24, 07:26 PM
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Other thoughtful security links:

https://keys.abus.com/eng/bike/produ...onent-security
https://www.bicyclebolts.com/
https://hexlox.com/
https://www.kryptonitelock.com/en/pr...ey/001768.html
https://pinheadlocks.com/
https://www.pitlock.de/en/
hmmm. Don't seem to be available anymore ---> Sphyke Combination Skewwer Lock
https://www.amazon.com/SUNLITE-Locki.../dp/B002K2IYPY

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Old 03-12-24, 09:45 PM
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Kyrptonite

I have an older Kryptonite U-lock that I use. I have been fortunate to have lived in or travel to or from high theft areas but I guess anywhere could be the place so I tend to use the lock fairly often. I just have it in my backpack when I'm riding along with snacks, etc.
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Old 03-12-24, 10:39 PM
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I once noted a front wheel, a seat and a water bottle, propped against a wall next to the receptionist at my wife's cardiologists office... Yep...
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Old 03-13-24, 05:32 AM
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When I was in college, a friend had a small wheel single speed child's bike. He was small but the bike was still too small for him. It was a VERY old, coaster brake bike, more rust than paint or chrome on the rims. He never locked it anywhere. Rode it for over a year. Then, a tire blew out. He bought and installed a cheap new tire. That gave it value, was stolen within a week.

***

The bike in the photo below was stored outside for over a decade. I paid $5 USD for it at a garage sale. Took the photo of it when I got it home before I spent two days and $50 in parts to make it rideable. At the time I bought it, it was 17 years old, that was 13 years ago.



That became a great errand bike. If I have to go to the nearby campus for anything, that is the bike I use. It looks much nicer now, but those rusty steel handlebars still show the history of how much time that bike has been rode hard and put away wet.

Since that is the bike I ride when I ride to a high theft area, I used bolt on skewers, needs a 5mm allen wrench to remove a wheel. I do not bother to run the lock cable through the wheels when I lock it up.
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Old 03-13-24, 05:34 AM
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Originally Posted by zandoval
14.5 pounds of bicycle and 22 pounds of lock and chain...
......
That is the rule for light weight bikes. The weight of your lock is inversely proportional to the weight of the bike.
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Old 03-13-24, 07:10 AM
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My daughter had a department store bike at college that she'd leave on the porch of her house. It was just used to get around campus and town since she didn't have a car, but only when the weather of her campus near the Canadian border wasn't frigid. One day she sees it is missing and calls, she's already a senior, and I tell her to just forget it, besides now she has a car. That spring she's walking to campus and sees a bike ditched on a lawn somewhere and sure enough it was hers. At that point though she didn't even want it anymore and just left it. Anyway, she now has a nice Cannondale that I fixed up for her and she doesn't ever leave it anywhere, especially here in NYC.
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Old 03-13-24, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by tcs
* "I heard from victims through local cycling email lists. In almost every instance, they told me a cable lock was cut. Cable locks are not security and I even question if they are worth bothering with as a secondary lock. They can be cut so quickly, without noise, and with small hand tools that they should never be used." - Josh Ross writing for Bike Portland and Cycling News
We should probably add a disclaimer to most of our recommendations. In a university town, your bike is not safe, period. Such towns often have well established criminal enterprises to steal bicycles and re-sell them, sometimes in pawn shops 50 miles out of town. That caveat probably extends to Portland, OR, Seattle, and Manhattan. But when I'm thinking of touring, I'm thinking about wondering whether I want to overnight in a small town, population 567, or ride another 20 miles to the big town, population 1,600.
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Old 03-13-24, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb
We should probably add a disclaimer to most of our recommendations. In a university town, your bike is not safe, period. Such towns often have well established criminal enterprises to steal bicycles and re-sell them, sometimes in pawn shops 50 miles out of town. That caveat probably extends to Portland, OR, Seattle, and Manhattan. But when I'm thinking of touring, I'm thinking about wondering whether I want to overnight in a small town, population 567, or ride another 20 miles to the big town, population 1,600.
A neighbor is a bike mechanic at a campus bike shop. Thus the vast majority of customers are students that live near or on campus. Many years ago he was telling me that there was a rash of thefts. Not bike thefts, parts thefts. A thief would use a cable cutter to cut the two shift and two brake cables, remove the stem cap bolt, and loosen the two stem bolts. Within seconds they could slide the stem off of the steerer tube and steal the handlebars, stem, and brifters as a complete unit. This occurred in the early days of brifters and there was a high demand for used brifters to install on older bikes that had downtube shifters.

When I ride my bike through campus, I am often surprised how many of the bikes I see in bike racks are 20, 30, 40 years old. A new nice bike is unusual. The bike shop my neighbor works at has a really good inventory of 27 X 1 1/4 inch tires because so many of the campus bikes use them.
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Old 03-14-24, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
A thief would use a cable cutter to cut the two shift and two brake cables, remove the stem cap bolt, and loosen the two stem bolts. Within seconds they could slide the stem off of the steerer tube and steal the handlebars, stem, and brifters as a complete unit.
A couple of the links I posted up in no. 17 are for products that make parts theft more difficult. At the very least, adding a layer of resistance from hex-key snatch and grab for the seatpost and that broken-in leather saddle seems prudent.

I did this ↓ oh, some ~20 years ago, I guess. Threat/response moves on; these days I'd probably use a penta bolt instead of what has become a fairly common security Torx.


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