The phrase “how to lock your bike” may inspire an impression among the readers that the article would and should deal merely with the mechanical process of locking a bicycle. But mere common sense will say that closing a bike means securing it from being theft and locking in a way that can make the owner rest assured that stealing the bike won’t be an easy task now.
If locking only stands for the technicality to ensure the lock is bolted correctly, the process is half done. The lock can be snipped and being a lightweight vehicle; the locked bike can be carried away. The smart ways of securing a bike may not make stealing impossible, but these will make theft the most difficult for sure. That is where this post will act instrumentally as it will cover the smart ways to deter the thieves from stealing your bike.
How to select the most efficient lock?
Two things should come under your consideration to select the efficient bike lock successfully.
The Efficient lock May Worth The price
When you search for the excellent bike locks, you will have two alternatives available – smart bike locks worth the price and the cheap locks worth the risk of losing the bike. The point I want to make is that bikes are the most vulnerable prey to theft and you must take robust protection against it even at the cost paying higher than you think. You should ponder over the affordability issue while taking the bike not while buying a lock. Having said that let me inspire you that good bike locks don’t necessarily mean to be expensive.
What to lock your bike to?
Given the most efficient bike lock in your hand, it’s the turn to decide wisely what to lock the bike too. To your utter disgust and despair, you will not find in the neighborhoods sufficient dedicated spaces to park your bike. To make things worse, you will see the bike racks and the locking rails are not sturdy enough to fight the theft. So the lamp posts and posts carrying street signs are the only options in this regard. These are the safest option to lock your bike to. Streetlamps and street signs are usually firmly put on the pavement. There is another option that can provide you with relief that is the small meter with a buck at the top barring any tall thief to pull the bike over it.
The course will complete only when you can learn what you should avoid while locking your bike to. They are:
- The removable poles and street posts that are not cemented in, cables and metal wire fence that can be snipped easily.
- Tampered bike rails or locking post. Check if they are cut through and tampered or not. Thieves are smart enough to reduce the very post and rail you lock your bike to at night. You can’t trace the cut as they will be sticker covered.
- The trees as a frequent bike locking opting post. It may harm the bulk or break any branch.
- Any private properties, seek permission in advance to avoid fine or facing legal harassment.
How To lock your bike?
With the right lock available and the right locking location selected, now it is the most crucial part to know the best method of locking your bike. Here are the best bike locking methods put down in bullet points.
- There is an easy and simple line to make the crucial point simple, “Make the lock tame, through the frame”. Every time you lock your bike, you have to be careful to fasten the frame and the post. It is very common to commit the bonehead mistake while in a hurry. You can miss the position to lock or to spare the bike frame while securing. To avoid that unwilling blunder, you should tug on your bike before leaving it to ensure that both the locking post and the bike frame is coiled correctly.
- If you use a single lock, you should snake your bolt through the back wheel rim in the triangle and round the locking post. You know the most crucial part of your rider is the rear wheel of the triangle.
- The best locking methodologist Sheldon Brown told that the safest and strongest locking is to use two locks at a time. You will require a U-lock, a cable lock or a frame lock to do locking with effect. If you use two locks, you may lock the front tier to the post or the frame. Better to use one U-lock and one cable lock or a thick heavy chain with a padlock.
- If you have a longer cable lock, you can lock both the tiers pushing the one end of the cable through the rail of the saddle. Thus how an easy to steal component will be safer.
- Never bolt the bike crossbar with the post to make it easier for a leverage-based attack on the bolt or apply crowbar or a jack to pry it open.
Where to lock the bike to?
You must know about the space where the theft is frequent. The most authentic sources to provide you with the ground reality are the police station, the bike store, and the garage nearby your house or office.
To your utter amusement, you will find the crowded, well-lit areas to be the most theft-prone areas. The teeming crowd of pedestrians or the floodlighted zones most often fails to deter the thief. Because the thieves are expert professionals to saw through a lock remaining unnoticed in a gathering. And practically thinking, nobody in the crowd has any reason to be careful enough to spot a thief snipping your lock cable. Still locking your bike in the Main Street or in the well-lit areas with foot traffic is advisable. That said, avoid parking your bike:
- In the path where cars, street cleaners, and other heavy vehicles frequent
- Right across the busy walking path
- Close to any gate or doorway
- To public infrastructures, other people use – city bench or garbage can
- Being obtrusively enough not leaving space for others
- In the train stations or other commuter stations as the bike will remain unattended despite people mustering strong in and out.
Dosing or deterring techniques
Whatever the location you select to park your rider in or how cleverly you lock your bike, bikes get stolen. Thieves have proved to be the most innovative in breaking, snipping or cutting through a lock, metal bar, and even thick and heavy chain. Some deterrent or dosing tricks may prove smarter in this regard.
- Make your bike looking less appealing to the thugs by folding old wire around the seat post to produce the impression that it requires repair.
- Wrap the frame, seat, and handlebar with removable electric tape so that it seems to bear damage.
- Replace your fancy seat with a tape-covered and ragged one when leaving it locked for a longer period.
Precautions amount to locking
As bike theft is frequent, you must take precautionary measures beforehand. Besides registering your bike in any database providing with real-time information, in the local police station, and attaching a GPS tracker with it, there are other precautionary measures to follow:
- Write your initials on both the wheels and on the crossbar joining those. It will help you find your lost bike late on
- Be smart to keep a proof of your own and have a photograph with the bike holding the serial number written clearly on a sheet of paper. Get the photograph uploaded in the social platform you are active in.
- Remove any release skewers provided as the default component by the company and replace them with the locker skewers.
- Don’t leave the light on and carry other fancy quick release tiny parts with you inside.
Firsthand users’ reviews on bike locking
Outstanding insight can be derived from the experience shared by the bike geeks, racers, and avid cyclists. Some of those may clash a bit with the stated processes but still will be helpful. Here you go:
I devised the most sturdy bike lock by collecting cables from the shark fishing leaders. This is too tough to cut or pry it open with jack or crowbar. It holds a 1000 lbs + tensile strengths. Handy to snake through the seat rails, pannier attachments points, and the vent loops of the helmet. It is inexpensive but not ineffective. —Joe Bienu, Alabama, April 12, 2014.
Never try to make your bike impossible to steal instead make it more difficult to steal than the next one. There goes an adage, “when you are in the jungle for a boot camping, you don’t have to outrun a bear chasing your group, just try to outrun your co-runner closer to you”. —– Kim, June 15, 2012, Alaska.
My best choice is the combo of a U-lock and a cable lock. I lock the front wheel and the frame to the post with the U-lock. And the seat and back seat with the U-lock, contrary to the suggestion of most people to apply the U-lock in the more expensive back part. NYC is my frequent locking location as I very often knock on wood, so far so good. ——- Bud, June 2016.
My favorite is a ¾ inch thick cable lock wrapped up with sturdy plastic. I have used it all over in Wasilla Alaska and Anchorage Alaska in both the theft-prone and less theft-prone areas. It gives the security of a U-lock, but it is pretty much handier to operate and carry. ——-Lorne, April 2015
Locking is only a half done a job. —– Ken Smith, December 2017.
You only can make your bike harder to steal, and you should try it the smartest way. All the steps discussed in detail can’t altogether guarantee that your bike will be theft-proof. But these are the most efficient ways ever suggested by the expert and users. The reviews from the users will give you a newer or deeper insight to customize your bike locking ideas. Whereas there is no ultimate solution how to secure your bike, there is no final method of locking it as well. Use of bicycles is on the rise, so is the vulnerability of it. One more thing you must be careful of is that while contemplating your bike security, you should not forget the essential components. They should not be left uncared and unprotected. You can ride home without a seat but now without a wheel or a saddle.