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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone use just a small padlock on the chain of the bike to discourage theft?
I'm tired of messing with a cable and finding a place to lock it to. My bike isn't that valuable but I wouldn't want to lose it.

I can't imagine too many thieves would lug my 30 lb hybrid home on their shoulders.

I don't live in a really high crime area, or leave it out of sight all day, but you never know.
 

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Burnum Upus Quadricepus
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No, I don't. But last week a guy who came into the library where I work did.

I warned him that bike thieves were active in the neighborhood. He said that no one could ride off on his bike with the padlock through the chainring, and that nobody would want it anyway.

His bike was gone when he left.

It was a 35 or 40 pound 30-year-old Huffy.

YMMV.

EDIT: I recently rode with a library management to each of the ten neighborhood branches in the city. Everyone else used a cable lock. I used my U-lock.

I was amazed at how difficult cable locks were to use. They had to be untangled, threaded through this, that and the other thing, then enough slack left to lock the silly thing. It typically took them a minute or two and a couple of tries to lock their bikes. My U-lock was secure in a couple of seconds.

If it's the cable lock's time-consuming fussiness that's your problem, get a U-lock.
 

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brucew said:
If it's the cable lock's time-consuming fussiness that's your problem, get a U-lock.
Get a small u-lock. It's much easier to handle, fits all but the craziest things to lock too, and is tougher than a big U-lock. Cable locks are almost worthless.

ps - Bruce, do you cross the 205 bridge?
 

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Burnum Upus Quadricepus
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PdxMark said:
ps - Bruce, do you cross the 205 bridge?
Nope, wrong city. I'm in Rochester, NY. I do cross the Genesee River on my commute, if not on one of the bike bridges then on the Ford Street bridge.
 

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I combine U-Lock and Cable Lock for better protection. Hopefully the thief that has a bolt cutter will not have a jack or vice versa. Then lock the bike inside a secured finger-print ID room... with security cameras of course. And hourly patrols by security and their German Shepherds.
 
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I've got a cable lock. It is a bit fussy. I park in a secure area, so the lock is pretty much an afterthought.

Someone stole a Huffy? Who would have thought.

I wonder what they did with it ... a pawn shop would just laugh.
 

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Burnum Upus Quadricepus
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Slim Again said:
Someone stole a Huffy? Who would have thought.

I wonder what they did with it ... a pawn shop would just laugh.
You have to remember that I work in the 'hood. They'll steal anything there, sometimes only because they can. They steal pencils off the desk at the library, and not to write with. Just because they can swipe it on the way out the door. There are piles of pencils outside in the bushes.

There are those who don't own bikes, but steal a fresh one whenever they need one. This, despite two active bike missions in town. All you have to do is show up, and they'll give you a bike. For some people that's too much like work.

Hell, we let people take books, DVDs and stuff for free, as long as they bring it back. That's not good enough. Every day we stop people trying to steal books. They're free, so why steal them?

So a stolen Huffy? Doesn't surprise me at all.

Did I ever mention that back in May they tore the bike rack right out of the concrete?
 

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Are you thinking of putting a little lock through one of the links of your chain? That seems like a bad idea, since someone could jump on the bike and start pedaling, putting the little lock into one of the derailleurs and ruining it. The only worse scenario would be if you forgot about the lock and did it yourself.

I have considered getting a snowboard lock (with a slim retractable cable and a combonation in a plastic case) that would fit in a jersey pocket and discourage opportunistic thieves while I run in the store.

Velo Orange sells a ring lock that looks easy to use, and would function well for the needs you describe.
 

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My town isn't as bad as some places I hear with bike theft so I tend to use a cable lock but I also use a mini U-lock when I can remember to throw it into the bag. What I normally do is wrap the cable around the frame, rear wheel and whatever I'm locking it to and wrap it a couple times. For the front wheel I use one of those cheesy locks that came with one of my guns to lock the front wheel to the frame. I guess the "Beretta" stamp on the lock has been a good enough deterrent so far.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Chexcaliber said:
Are you thinking of putting a little lock through one of the links of your chain? That seems like a bad idea, since someone could jump on the bike and start pedaling, putting the little lock....
Indeed, the evil part of my brain silently hopes some bike thief will jump on, take half a pedal stroke, and fly over the bars.:p
But, around here, if that happened I'd be the one arrested and sued. So I'm having second thoughts.

The little snowboard cable or just a shorter cable should be enough for my area and bike.
Thanks.
 

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getting older
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When the undergrads and their nice possessions are home for the summer, I'm sure the bar drops significantly on what's worth stealing.

brucew said:
You have to remember that I work in the 'hood. They'll steal anything there, sometimes only because they can. They steal pencils off the desk at the library, and not to write with. Just because they can swipe it on the way out the door. There are piles of pencils outside in the bushes.

There are those who don't own bikes, but steal a fresh one whenever they need one. This, despite two active bike missions in town. All you have to do is show up, and they'll give you a bike. For some people that's too much like work.

Hell, we let people take books, DVDs and stuff for free, as long as they bring it back. That's not good enough. Every day we stop people trying to steal books. They're free, so why steal them?

So a stolen Huffy? Doesn't surprise me at all.

Did I ever mention that back in May they tore the bike rack right out of the concrete?
 

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brucew said:
You have to remember that I work in the 'hood. They'll steal anything there, sometimes only because they can.
It is sad how screwed up our culture has become that these kind of actions are commonplace. The vast majority don't do it out of need, instead they do it out of spite and/or boredom. There are also some that have just learned taking is the way they get things. Bad for us, good for the lock companies.
 

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The web site that exdoesit posted at: http://missinglink.org/Pages/bike_locking.html is the correct way to use a U lock, NOT the way Sheldon Brown shows on his website.

Having said that, I don't use a U-lock. I use a simple 3/8th inch thick cable lock with a Disc lock. But I don't park my bikes in high crime areas, or in secluded areas, or at night outside etc. I'm able to bring my commuter bike into the office with me when I work.

But if you don't have those options it's best to use a U-Lock. If you have a $200 bike then you don't need a $100 lock. Something like this is fine: http://www.jensonusa.com/store/product/LK505X00-On+Guard+Bulldog+U+Lock.aspx
But if you have an expensive bike then I would foremost recommend you buy a junker and lock it up at high risk areas because any lock can be defeated. If for some reason that's impossible then get the best U bolt lock you can find like: http://www.jensonusa.com/store/product/LK407B01-Kryptonite+New+York+Fahgettaboudit+Ulock.aspx and combine that with a high quality cable lock like: http://www.jensonusa.com/store/product/LK400A03-Kryptonite+Lighted+Key+Cable+Lock.aspx I realize cable locks are quick to defeat but the purpose of two locks is make it a hassle, two different locks means the would be criminal needs to have two different tools with him to defeat the two...he isn't going to go through the hassle and move onto the next bike.

Keep in mind those anti theft warranties are tricky at best to get a claim paid. You need to have the original receipt and packaging with the UPC code, a police report, pictures of the undisturbed crime scene including of the lock, what the lock was locked to, the destroyed lock needs to be sent back in with all the above, in addition to a sales receipt for the bike from an LBS with your name as owner. If you don't renew your warranty it expires and you can only renew it once then after that you have to buy another lock if you want the protection. You might be better of just putting a claim in to your homeowners or renters insurance and pay the deductible, of course they need a police report and a receipt for the bike.
 

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quattrotom said:
When the undergrads and their nice possessions are home for the summer, I'm sure the bar drops significantly on what's worth stealing.
Maybe down at your end of Genesee St, but the undergrads and their nice stuff rarely venture up to our end.

It's going to be interesting to see how the next ten years pan out with UR driving the gentrification of the southern end of the neighborhood.
 

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froze said:
The web site that exdoesit posted at: http://missinglink.org/Pages/bike_locking.html is the correct way to use a U lock, NOT the way Sheldon Brown shows on his website.
That is one correct way, Sheldon Brown is another. Sheldon's method works well even with mini U-locks, allowing you to secure the rear wheel and indirectly the frame to a fixed object.
Passing the U-lock through the frame and the rear wheels directly and then the fixed object requires normal (non-mini) or even "long shackle" type of U-lock. To me the additional weight/bulk of a long shackle U-lock outweighs the small benefit it brings.
 

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Burnum Upus Quadricepus
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Chexcaliber said:
Velo Orange sells a ring lock that looks easy to use, and would function well for the needs you describe.
Still doesn't prevent the carry-it-away theft. That's what happened at my library. They couldn't ride it, so they carried it away.
 

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mike2g said:
That is one correct way, Sheldon Brown is another. Sheldon's method works well even with mini U-locks, allowing you to secure the rear wheel and indirectly the frame to a fixed object.
Passing the U-lock through the frame and the rear wheels directly and then the fixed object requires normal (non-mini) or even "long shackle" type of U-lock. To me the additional weight/bulk of a long shackle U-lock outweighs the small benefit it brings.
Sheldon Brown is another way, true, but it's not the best way, it leaves the front wheel unprotected by a U-bolt. If your wheels cost $800 a piece is that too small of a benefit to protect? Yes you do have to get a long shackle...so? A long shackle will cost you about 1/4th to 1/2 of a pound...most people carry that at least that much extra weight around their belly!!!! Obviously if you already have a short shackle your going to have to protect the front wheel, how do you propose to that? Carry two short shackle U-bolts? There goes your weight savings, carry a cable lock (you should anyway), there goes your weight again. You could take the wheel with you. Better yet just buy a junker to take to high risk areas and protect it with a cheap lock.
 

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froze said:
Sheldon Brown is another way, true, but it's not the best way, it leaves the front wheel unprotected by a U-bolt. If your wheels cost $800 a piece is that too small of a benefit to protect? Yes you do have to get a long shackle...so? A long shackle will cost you about 1/4th to 1/2 of a pound...most people carry that at least that much extra weight around their belly!!!! Obviously if you already have a short shackle your going to have to protect the front wheel, how do you propose to that? Carry two short shackle U-bolts? There goes your weight savings, carry a cable lock (you should anyway), there goes your weight again. You could take the wheel with you. Better yet just buy a junker to take to high risk areas and protect it with a cheap lock.
Yeah I don't think anyone is talking about locking up their $800 wheels.
I use Sheldon's method on my junker bike with a lighter cable lock for the front wheel.
The weight of the cable lock isn't very much but the advantage with this setup is not having to remove and replace the front wheel and the fork ends don't rest on concrete.
 

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mike2g said:
Yeah I don't think anyone is talking about locking up their $800 wheels.
I use Sheldon's method on my junker bike with a lighter cable lock for the front wheel.
The weight of the cable lock isn't very much but the advantage with this setup is not having to remove and replace the front wheel and the fork ends don't rest on concrete.
And that's all I use is a cable with a disc lock because of exactly as you said; but I don't lock them up in high risk areas so a cable is fine.
 
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