Tuesday, November 12, 2013

How To Lock Your Bike

That's my lovely wife's lovely bike in the picture above. Because she's a smart woman, she knows the importance of proper locking technique. Christine uses the Sheldon Brown Lock Strategy to secure the rear wheel within the frame of her bicycle and to a sturdy immovable object. A supplemental cable loops through the front wheel, the straps of her helmet and the shackle of the U-lock. Of course, some well-equipped thief could snip the helmet straps or the cable and if given enough time and proper tools cut through the lock, but by locking her bike up as shown, Christine has made her bike more secure than 95% of the bikes I see locked up on the streets around here. As the saying goes, you don't have to out run the bear, you just have to outrun your slowest companion. When advising customers I tell them to get a good U-lock and a cable and "lock your bike near a nicer bike that's not locked as well."

The folks at Kryptonite Locks have a nice page discussing locking technique and here's a great video where Hal Ruzal explains how he locks his bike in New York City. The important thing is to have a good lock and to use it well. Every time.


SingletrackM1nd said...

And, in about four seconds, a determined thief with a hacksaw could have the whole thing.


Kent Peterson said...

Cool video. That guy has the sharpest hacksaw I've ever seen. I still think most thieves will opt for an easier target.

Steve A said...

The "Sheldon Method" is a lot less effective than we might believe. See the video at http://dfwptp.blogspot.com/2011/08/locking-like-arizona.html

Anonymous said...

I never left a bike locked up all day until the mall a mile from my home and 80 yards from bus stop installed many bike lockers in a prominent lighted place with security a Starbucks nearby (which cops all around) and cameras (we assume there are working cameras in the camera enclosures). Even so I use a great padlock and a somewhat beater bike as the cycling distance of this multimodal effort is only 1 mile each way. So far no problem Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 1 p.m.

So, aside from proper locks and technique, I suggest that a lot of it is situational and infrastructure and matching the bike to the task.

Big E said...

After taking a close look at the picture of your wife's bike locked to the bike rack it appears to me that she just has the u-lock wrapped around the rear wheel, fender and possibly the chain. Is it just my eyes?

Thanks for the lovely blog. I have been an avid reader for a long time and enjoy it very much. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

I glue my bum to seat, that way I never leave the bike alone for a moment (poor thing!).