Author Topic: Best Bike Lock and Bike Locking Technique  (Read 16892 times)

cdttmm

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Best Bike Lock and Bike Locking Technique
« on: April 16, 2012, 08:34:01 AM »
Hello fellow Mustachians!  I want to start riding my bike to run errands, but need to buy a bike lock.  My fear of having my bike stolen is my number one reason for not using my bike for errands already.  I'd love to hear everyone's recommendations on bike locks as well as bike locking techniques.  Thanks!

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napalminator

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Re: Best Bike Lock and Bike Locking Technique
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2012, 10:16:56 AM »
here's a non-video article: http://thurstonbcc.blogspot.com/2008/05/how-to-lock-your-bike.html

key takeaway:


you can also buy replacement skewers for your wheels and seat if you have quick-releases that require a wrench instead of the lever.  not a huge deterrent, but enough to stop casual theft. 


where do you live? bike locking in Manhattan is one thing, bike locking in the suburbs of Des Moines is another.

Mrs MM

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Re: Best Bike Lock and Bike Locking Technique
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2012, 10:31:54 AM »
Bike locking technique: http://lifehacker.com/5847276/properly-lock-your-bicycle-by-knowing-which-parts-are-easy-to-remove

Haha!  Excellent video!  He didn't address how to lock a bike trailer though.  Luckily our town is really safe, so I just lock the frame and the front wheel.  I figure the back wheel is harder to remove and my seat requires a tool to remove, so I'm not too worried about it.  Also, my bike is old.  Our bike trailer though could easily be removed, yet I never lock it.  It's interesting to see how well people lock their bikes in a big city!

Bakari

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Re: Best Bike Lock and Bike Locking Technique
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2012, 10:59:06 AM »
The best bike lock is the Kryptonite Fahgettaboudit New York Lock, however, at $100 and almost 5 lbs, it is overkill unless you live in a very high theft area and/or have a very expensive bike. http://www.kryptonitelock.com/products/ProductDetail.aspx?cid=1001&scid=1000&pid=1095

Using a cable or locking skewers is ok for low theft risk, I prefer the 2nd method in this picture:


With quick release skewers it takes about the same amount of time it would take to attach a cable, but is much more secure.
Secure the seat with a short length of old bike chain run through a piece old road tube:

James

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Re: Best Bike Lock and Bike Locking Technique
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2012, 11:15:58 AM »
I live in northern WI and really don't have to worry much.  As long as there is a visible deterrent the bike is quite safe.  My son often doesn't lock his bike at the library and is riding a very nice Trek, which I then yell at him about...  :)  If it's stolen he will be saving for a while just to get an old junker to ride.  Wouldn't be a bad lesson though.

I usually just use a cheap cable lock that goes through the frame and front wheel.  A simple wire cutter would remove it in 3 seconds, but it's enough for my small town.

windawake

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Re: Best Bike Lock and Bike Locking Technique
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2012, 10:05:10 PM »
I live in Minneapolis where bike theft is a fair concern.  I use a Kryptonite U-lock to lock up my front wheel and frame.  My new (used) bike does not have a quick release back wheel so I feel safe not locking it up, and my old bike wasn't very nice at all so I never worried about it getting messed with. 

One recommendation is that if you're planning on just using a U-lock to secure your front wheel and frame, make sure you get one that's regular size or a bit longer than usual.  The new lock I got after my old one broke is much nicer because it's longer, which means I don't have to get my bike perfectly aligned with a perfectly skinny pole in order to be able to lock both the tire and frame.

Rich M

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Re: Best Bike Lock and Bike Locking Technique
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2012, 10:30:56 PM »
Ride the cheapest and ugliest bike you can when you have to leave it for a bit.   Nobody will steal it and if they do, you really didn't lose anything.  Lock it by high priced bikes when you can.


I'm lucky where I live because the herd survival works.  I get to park among a lot of bikes that are way expensive.






Rich M

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Re: Best Bike Lock and Bike Locking Technique
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2012, 10:33:39 PM »

Secure the seat with a short length of old bike chain run through a piece old road tube:


You wouldn't need to leash the saddle if it wasn't a Brooks! ;)

cdttmm

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Re: Best Bike Lock and Bike Locking Technique
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2012, 08:52:38 AM »
Thanks for the great advice, everyone -- much appreciated!  Both of my bikes are more expensive than your typical commuter bike and I'd be locking them up in college towns so theft is a definite concern.  I could buy a cheap, beater bike except that I'm not talking about riding a few miles to run errands.  I live in a pretty rural area so my rides would be between 20 and 30 miles roundtrip.

velocistar237

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Re: Best Bike Lock and Bike Locking Technique
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2012, 09:22:10 AM »

napalminator

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Re: Best Bike Lock and Bike Locking Technique
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2012, 11:03:44 AM »
Thanks for the great advice, everyone -- much appreciated!  Both of my bikes are more expensive than your typical commuter bike and I'd be locking them up in college towns so theft is a definite concern.  I could buy a cheap, beater bike except that I'm not talking about riding a few miles to run errands.  I live in a pretty rural area so my rides would be between 20 and 30 miles roundtrip.
definitely a u-lock or monster chain lock then.  Make sure to swap all your quick release skewers for non-QR too.

Bakari

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Re: Best Bike Lock and Bike Locking Technique
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2012, 08:45:59 PM »
not only a U-lock, but a GOOD U-lock.
They aren't all the same.  I have opened a couple without a key (as a bike mechanic, not a bike thief!)
Mostly stick to Kryptonite or OnGuard (I personally prefer kryptonite) - and there mid to high level locks, they sell some cheap crappy ones too.

But I disagree about the skewers - you can't lock your wheel if you can't get it off.  In a college town, with nice wheels, thieves sometimes carry tools, and they will remove your non-QR skewers and take your wheels.
I've seen it happen many times.  Even happened to me once (when I worked as a bike messenger no less)

napalminator

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Re: Best Bike Lock and Bike Locking Technique
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2012, 12:39:10 AM »
not only a U-lock, but a GOOD U-lock.
They aren't all the same.  I have opened a couple without a key (as a bike mechanic, not a bike thief!)
Mostly stick to Kryptonite or OnGuard (I personally prefer kryptonite) - and there mid to high level locks, they sell some cheap crappy ones too.

But I disagree about the skewers - you can't lock your wheel if you can't get it off.  In a college town, with nice wheels, thieves sometimes carry tools, and they will remove your non-QR skewers and take your wheels.
I've seen it happen many times.  Even happened to me once (when I worked as a bike messenger no less)
yeah, the thugs can carry tools.  so then why do the saddle leash at all?  a pair of pliers (or chain tool , for the chain trick) and that cable is gone.  and  they can carry car jacks too and pop that u-lock, eh?   no security method is perfect.  better a mild impediment than no impediment at all.

really, the best solution to wheel/seat theft is to take them off and take them inside with you.  if that's an option for your workplace, something to think about.


snarking aside, if you're going to be popping the front wheel off, make sure to get a sufficiently long u-lock.  two mountain bike wheels and a frame might be a little much for some of the smaller ones out there.  although i kind of hope you're not commuting 20 miles (of road, i assume) on fat tires.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2012, 12:46:01 AM by napalminator »

napalminator

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Re: Best Bike Lock and Bike Locking Technique
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2012, 12:44:20 AM »
btw, here's how you can pop some u-locks with a bic pen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bosEh5PUNs

so, don't get a u-lock that uses a key that's just a little cylindrical thing on the end.  better ones use a key that looks like, well, a key. 

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Re: Best Bike Lock and Bike Locking Technique
« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2012, 10:43:26 AM »
btw, here's how you can pop some u-locks with a bic pen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bosEh5PUNs

so, don't get a u-lock that uses a key that's just a little cylindrical thing on the end.  better ones use a key that looks like, well, a key.

That's rather surprising, as well designed Ace style barrel locks are usually some of the most secure locks out there. I used to do work on machines secured with high-end Ace locks, it was never pretty when the owners lost the keys as we'd have to drill for a half hour per lock (set of 16 - though we only needed to bust 8 and could remove the others once inside). One of those all-day job sorts of calls. Apparently the ones being used on those u-locks are shoddy with shallow tumblers.

napalminator

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Re: Best Bike Lock and Bike Locking Technique
« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2012, 10:57:43 AM »
hey, somebody already made the perfect image!


Rich M

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Re: Best Bike Lock and Bike Locking Technique
« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2012, 11:11:00 PM »
btw, here's how you can pop some u-locks with a bic pen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bosEh5PUNs

so, don't get a u-lock that uses a key that's just a little cylindrical thing on the end.  better ones use a key that looks like, well, a key.

That's rather surprising, as well designed Ace style barrel locks are usually some of the most secure locks out there. I used to do work on machines secured with high-end Ace locks, it was never pretty when the owners lost the keys as we'd have to drill for a half hour per lock (set of 16 - though we only needed to bust 8 and could remove the others once inside). One of those all-day job sorts of calls. Apparently the ones being used on those u-locks are shoddy with shallow tumblers.

I found the bic pen trick more of myth than real. I tried it on many locks with no success.  Either it's a circus trick or a true myth. 

Bakari

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Re: Best Bike Lock and Bike Locking Technique
« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2012, 02:46:28 PM »
btw, here's how you can pop some u-locks with a bic pen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bosEh5PUNs

so, don't get a u-lock that uses a key that's just a little cylindrical thing on the end.  better ones use a key that looks like, well, a key.

That's rather surprising, as well designed Ace style barrel locks are usually some of the most secure locks out there. I used to do work on machines secured with high-end Ace locks, it was never pretty when the owners lost the keys as we'd have to drill for a half hour per lock (set of 16 - though we only needed to bust 8 and could remove the others once inside). One of those all-day job sorts of calls. Apparently the ones being used on those u-locks are shoddy with shallow tumblers.

I found the bic pen trick more of myth than real. I tried it on many locks with no success.  Either it's a circus trick or a true myth.

Same here.  I can pick a standard household deadbolt, but I could not for the life of me get a circular key style U-lock open with a bic pen.
However, they do make special lock picks for circular locks.  Its a moot point, since virtually all modern U-locks use the flat style key.

Bakari

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Re: Best Bike Lock and Bike Locking Technique
« Reply #19 on: April 19, 2012, 02:53:16 PM »
yeah, the thugs can carry tools.  so then why do the saddle leash at all?  a pair of pliers (or chain tool , for the chain trick) and that cable is gone.  and  they can carry car jacks too and pop that u-lock, eh?   no security method is perfect.  better a mild impediment than no impediment at all.

snarking aside, if you're going to be popping the front wheel off, make sure to get a sufficiently long u-lock.  two mountain bike wheels and a frame might be a little much for some of the smaller ones out there.  although i kind of hope you're not commuting 20 miles (of road, i assume) on fat tires.

True enough, but a lot more people have an adjustable wrench in their toolbox than have a bicycle chain tool.
Also, there's the question of the amount of work required vs the value of the item.
Personally, I'm too lazy to take off the seat ad take it with me every time I stop, and the chain trick seems to work pretty consistently, at least around here.

Of course, if you are talking about replacing QR with a keyed locking skewer (not just a hexbolt skewer or solid axles) thats probably the best of all worlds, as it is pretty secure, and more convenient than removing a wheel OR using a cable lock.


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Re: Best Bike Lock and Bike Locking Technique
« Reply #20 on: April 19, 2012, 03:29:54 PM »
btw, here's how you can pop some u-locks with a bic pen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bosEh5PUNs

so, don't get a u-lock that uses a key that's just a little cylindrical thing on the end.  better ones use a key that looks like, well, a key.

That's rather surprising, as well designed Ace style barrel locks are usually some of the most secure locks out there. I used to do work on machines secured with high-end Ace locks, it was never pretty when the owners lost the keys as we'd have to drill for a half hour per lock (set of 16 - though we only needed to bust 8 and could remove the others once inside). One of those all-day job sorts of calls. Apparently the ones being used on those u-locks are shoddy with shallow tumblers.

I found the bic pen trick more of myth than real. I tried it on many locks with no success.  Either it's a circus trick or a true myth.

Same here.  I can pick a standard household deadbolt, but I could not for the life of me get a circular key style U-lock open with a bic pen.
However, they do make special lock picks for circular locks.  Its a moot point, since virtually all modern U-locks use the flat style key.

Glad I wasn't the only one questioning that. I do remember the few times I ever talked with a locksmith on the occasion, they said they could pick 'em, but it takes way too much time and they could still potentially fail at it depending on the design. They, too, preferred just drilling out and replacing Ace locks as a general rule.

It's not that I doubt that some Ace style u-bolt locks are so cheaply and poorly designed that they could potentially be broken by twisting it with a cheap biro tube (I've seen similar on computer chassis that could be broken with a screwdriver), but to claim the locking mechanism as a general rule is less secure than a double side flat key is a bit of a stretch.