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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I am interested in hearing about the best locks & chains, and the best practices and procedures for securing your prized bike in a major metropolitan area, especially when you are out and about during the day. What would you do if you wanted to break for lunch or needed to run in to store for 30-40 minutes to buy something? Of course one option is just not to do those things, but what if you needed to?

I understand that a determined thief given a little time will be able to defeat any locking mechanism, but what is the best that we can do without becoming prohibitively inconvenient? I'd also like to hear people's recommendations from a social engineering point of view, for example parking under a light or parking near other bikes that are nicer and and less secure than your own.

Thank you in advance for the feedback!

Cheers,
Pete
 

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My prized, expensive, baby of a bike does not EVER leave my sight. I don't use it to run errands or go into town for lunch.

Even if I wanted to carry the 5lbs of locks and trusted them, I wouldn't be comfortable leaving it in a bike rack. I've seen the way people treat their own (and other people's) bikes, and I just wouldn't trust that my carbon racing tubes would remain in one piece.

The commuter is locked with a Kryptonite U-lock (mid-range price wise) and a cable lock (cheapish, but still a 1/2" diameter roughly). The U-lock goes through the bike rack, rear wheel, and frame. The cable goes though the bike rack, rear wheel, frame, and front wheel. And it never gets left anywhere overnight.
 

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^^ Two great replies so far. Yeah, I think most of us would never, ever lock up our spiffy road bikes - don't want to scratch them, don't carry locks when we are on them, too expensive to chance getting stolen.

As for my commuter bike, yep, like the others I use a u-lock + a cable lock. Kryptonite mini-u around rear wheel, cable lock around front wheel, frame and to the rack. If it is a short stay or I can see the bike, just the u-lock around the top tube. (this is a locking technique with the U that I learned reading Sheldon Brown. Protects your frame from leverage break attempts (maybe) and should work just fine, as cutting a wheel is pretty hard. Then again, I don't think anyone wants my commuter that badly. And then again, the frame isn't worth that much. Some people probably see faults with it, but been using it for years)

Oh...and please don't just lock up a wheel with a quick release; I've seen this too many times and it bugs me out. You'll return to find just your front wheel.
 

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Squirrel Hunter
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Protecting Value

Yamabushi said:
I understand that a determined thief given a little time will be able to defeat any locking mechanism...
Heck, with an allen wrench you can steal a third of the bikes value without even messing with the locking mechanism. Think about it, the lock secures your frame and if done properly your wheels. With an allen wrench you can strip a bike of its components pretty fast and start pricing the replacement cost for your groupo and the sticker shock will cure you of riding your good bike for errands.
 

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If it's your prize bike, it's probably a pretty nice one, and it won't last long out of your view in a major city. If you ride fairly often in the situation you describe, find a comfortable, plain, I can lose it without tears, kind of bike. When you lock it up, look for other bikes. Put it near one that is a bit nicer than yours and not locked up as well.
 

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Steaming piles of opinion
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Notwithstanding the 'good bike, utility bike' tangent, I have two locks I like.

One is a forged chain just long enough to get through the front wheel, back through the rear triangle and wheel, and around a post. Not "overnight downtown" secure, but plenty to commute or errands.

The other is a Master Street Cuff. Cuff a pole, pass through the (removed) front wheel, and cuff the rear wheel inside the triangle. Pulling the wheel every time is kind of a pain, but is very secure and a compact / light (as locks go) carry. I use it when I'm in less comfortable parking areas, and am not doing a lot of on/off. If I am doing a lot of on/off, locking skewers for the front and thru-triangle on the rear are 'good enough' for anywhere I'll use that mode.

Note: My town isn't the safest, but it's not the sort of place where having your bike stolen is an expectation, either. Thefts of reasonably secured bikes are rare.


Social engineering: The goal shouldn't be to make the bike theft-proof; that's impossiblle. It only has to be more securely locked than the one next to it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Good input so far, thank you!

Just to clarify, I will definitely be utilizing the two bike strategy and will primarily be doing my errands (grocery shopping and such) on my 2nd tier bike. That being said, when I want to go all the way across town to several bike shops, I'd like to be able to ride my nicer steed. It's primarily that type of situation that I am referring to.

Basically there is a trade off between weight and strength of security. I am trying to find the right balance for my situation. Does anyone have experience with something like this: http://www.abus-bordo.de/gb/das_beste.htm

Of course, any tips, pointers, advice, guidance, or relevant first hand experience is appreciated.

Cheers,
Pete
 

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Inside = Insight

Yamabushi said:
...when I want to go all the way across town to several bike shops...
Well if your destination is a bike shop then simply roll it inside the shop where it will be in sight while shopping. It is polite to ask permission but I cannot imagine shopping at a LBS that would not let me roll my bike inside. They may ask you to park it in the maintenance area but that should not be a big deal.
 

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Keeping up with Junior said:
Well if your destination is a bike shop then simply roll it inside the shop where it will be in sight while shopping. It is polite to ask permission but I cannot imagine shopping at a LBS that would not let me roll my bike inside. They may ask you to park it in the maintenance area but that should not be a big deal.

Yea, bike shops the bike comes in with me.

For reference, my "second tier" bike is still plenty nice enough to ride across town (and weighs in at about $700). If it's not a high crime area you don't have to ride a complete junker, but spare the $3k race machine the bike racks.
 

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Bike shops for sure let you wheel it in, I do it all the time. Near the start of group rides the LBS bike parking area inside is packed. Everyone does this.

I have the best bike lock ever, which has never failed -- a riding partner. One watches the bikes, the other goes inside. Swap. If stopping to eat during a long ride we tend to pick places that have outdoor seating so we just keep our bikes next to us, or within sight.

I have been nervous about my bike on the back of my car during work on Group Ride night. I have a cable lock going through both wheels, the frame, and the rack, but to add a little security to it I back into a parking space against a cement wall so it would be literally impossible to get the bike off the rack even if I didn't have a lock on it. They'd have to destroy the bike or the rack, or both. I use this tactic anywhere that I park my car with my bike on the back. I just look for solid obstacles or at the very least bushes to back up against.

I can't imagine locking up my bike in downtown Austin for say, a movie, or a bar hop, and expecting it to be there when I got back. I know people do it, I've seen nice bikes locked up, but I'm always amazed that they do. I'd take nothing more than 300.00 bike downtown.
 

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CougarTrek said:
My prized, expensive, baby of a bike does not EVER leave my sight. I don't use it to run errands or go into town for lunch.

Even if I wanted to carry the 5lbs of locks and trusted them, I wouldn't be comfortable leaving it in a bike rack. I've seen the way people treat their own (and other people's) bikes, and I just wouldn't trust that my carbon racing tubes would remain in one piece.
I 100% agree with this man. Theres no way of me leaving my bike out of my sight. Its too much of a risk to leave it for a few seconds.

But what happens when you have to go to the bathroom and you have no choice?
 

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Went to Hawaii a couple of years ago and saw many well secured bike frames that had been stripped of all deraileurs, handlebars etc... But the bike frame was still there :)
No much to do other than ride a beater to the store and watch your precious.
 

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NotZeroSix said:
I 100% agree with this man. Theres no way of me leaving my bike out of my sight. Its too much of a risk to leave it for a few seconds.

But what happens when you have to go to the bathroom and you have no choice?

I'm a chick :smilewinkgrin:

Never had the bathroom problem. It's normally not an issue at all, even on longer rides. If it is I'm so far out 90% of the time that the only option is a tree anyway, otherwise I'm with someone who can watch the bike, or I find somewhere I can walk the bike into.
 

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This, for the wheels:




And this, for the frame to something secure:



It's so damn simple I don't know why everyone doesn't do it.

And if you have a fixed gear, like one of my bikes, then use the wheel skewer on the front wheel and use the u-lock to go through the rear wheel and the rear triangle (MB's tip, from years back).
 

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Sup fellas

In as much as I hate locks because they are so freaking heavy lols. Trek sells a very nice compact lock that is retractable. Not to say that this is the best lock to use if you are talking about leaving the bike for hours and out of your sight. I am talking about when you go to the weekend rides and have to stop for lunch. I love it because it fits on my back pocket jersey and its a combination lock and very practical theft deterent. Otherwise I always lock my bike on top of my car via Yakima Rack.

http://trekstoremadison.com/product/trek-h2o-cage-pocket-lock-51330-1.htm

Midwest Playa:thumbsup:
 

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DrRoebuck said:
This, for the wheels:




And this, for the frame to something secure:



It's so damn simple I don't know why everyone doesn't do it.

And if you have a fixed gear, like one of my bikes, then use the wheel skewer on the front wheel and use the u-lock to go through the rear wheel and the rear triangle (MB's tip, from years back).
Pitlock also makes really nice locking skewers. We use them on our Schmidt dynamo hubs. The OnGuard ones are a far cheaper, and still solid, alternative.

The mini-U is a great way to go. Kryptonite and OnGuard both make good ones. Lighter and very secure. You can pair it with a 4 ft cable to catch both wheels. It is a pretty secure set up in my experience.

The real key with any locking system is to use it all the time. Never leave the bike unlocked. Never forget your lock. You can lock a bike well 98% of the time and then have it nabbed from your open garage.
 

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CougarTrek said:
... The U-lock goes through the bike rack, rear wheel, and frame. The cable goes though the bike rack, rear wheel, frame, and front wheel....
Note that if the U-lock is around the rear rim portion inside the rear triangle , then you don't have to also lock around the frame. Neither the wheel or frame can be removed.

This can be helpful with the more secure, small "U" locks.
 
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