Beyond The Lock: Making It Secure and Safe

I’m surprised by how often I see a poorly locked bike. I have even seen bikes with nothing more than a lock securing the rear wheel to the frame (as though a thief couldn’t simply pick it up). The largest and most unbreakable bike lock in the world won’t save your bike if it’s not secured properly.

Don’t lock it up in an alley. If you don’t want your bike to be stolen, don’t leave it somewhere where it can be easily tampered with. Choose a busy place with lots of foot traffic and it will be much safer. People tend to notice things like angle grinder sparks.

Leaving it somewhere tucked away is trouble. It gives a potential thief time and space.

Don’t give thieves room to work. As a rule of thumb, don’t give thieves a lot of room to work on your lock. You want the smallest possible lock that works. That way, they can’t reposition it to make things easier to cut.

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Make it more trouble than it’s worth. A thief is going to go for low hanging fruit first. If you make your bike seem like a lot of trouble to steal, they’ll probably move on to easier pickings.

How can you do this? Use a small, effective, hardened lock that’s difficult to cut. Secure all your removable components (like the wheels). Lock it up in a conspicuous area. All these things will help.

Learn how to lock it up properly. A lot of people don’t know how to properly lock up their bicycle. I see cables looped around the wrong places, or nothing but the wheel secured. Sometimes it’s more than just to get quality lock and keys, but also to learn how to properly use them.

Ever see a rusty bike lock with just a wheel attached? That happens because the thief simply detached the front wheel and made off with the rest of the frame!

Here’s how you want to do it:

  • Place your lock around the rim of your rear wheel, inside your rear triangle, then around your seat post or through one of your chainstays or seatstays. The secure it around the stand or post. That’s all you need to do!
  • In one go, this secures your frame and rear wheel, with one lock. It also allows you to have a much smaller and lighter lock.
  • To secure your front wheel from being removed, simply remove the front wheel and place it next to the rear. Run the lock around the rims of both wheels, through the rear triangle and frame, and around a secure object. This works best with a chain, or a larger U-lock.

It’s actually really quick to attach your bike lock in this way, and it’s very effective!

Have a bike theft story to share? I’d love to hear about your experiences, feel free to comment below. Thanks for reading!