Author Topic: How do I secure my bike trailer so it won't be stolen?  (Read 21191 times)

CPalmini

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How do I secure my bike trailer so it won't be stolen?
« on: December 25, 2012, 08:04:33 PM »
I was gifted a trailer that isn't convertible to a stroller. I guess that means it has to stay parked outside wherever I go. Is there a way to secure it? Should I just ask to exchange it for the convertible type? What do y'all think?

directionseeker

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Re: How do I secure my bike trailer so it won't be stolen?
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2012, 09:25:52 PM »
I was gifted a trailer that isn't convertible to a stroller. I guess that means it has to stay parked outside wherever I go. Is there a way to secure it? Should I just ask to exchange it for the convertible type? What do y'all think?

I will definitely get the convertible type after 2 bicycle theft case happened on me. Better be safe than sorry.

TheDude

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Re: How do I secure my bike trailer so it won't be stolen?
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2012, 10:00:15 PM »
I have a pretty nice bike (TreK 5.2) and a pretty nice trailer (Chariot) When I have to park outside I just use a long cable. I can get it through the back triangle (and hence the wheel) then through something secure and finally through the front bar on the trailer. Its a pretty wimpy cable if someone really wanted it they could get it but it keeps people honest. I figure if someone really wants my shit they are going to get it so I am just keep people from walking away with it. Thus far (knock on wood) I've been ok.

CPalmini

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Re: How do I secure my bike trailer so it won't be stolen?
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2012, 02:39:12 PM »
Thank you both for the advice. The more I look at trailers the more questions I have. Is the convertible feature intended to allow you to convert from trailer to jogger when the destination is reached? If so, is the front wheel always on or do I have to stow it and the handlebar somewhere? I would be so disappointed if the conversion is just meant to happen at home with tools or something.

capital

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Re: How do I secure my bike trailer so it won't be stolen?
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2012, 12:11:10 PM »
No matter where you are, you should be using a u-lock to secure your bike.

For the trailer, the level of security you need probably depends on your threat environment. If you're in a placid suburb or town, get a cable and loop it around one of the trailer's tubes. Like this:
http://www.amazon.com/Avenir-Tightrope-Cables-12mm-feet/dp/B00165Q9C6/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1356721383&sr=8-3&keywords=bike+security+cable
Note that you can pass one end of the cable through the other to make it into a "noose," so you can use the full length of the cable rather than passing both ends through the lock. A cable like that will resist casual thieves but is easily cut by a bolt cutter.

If you're in a city with a bike theft problem, get a second u-lock and lock the trailer to the rack, your bike frame, or your other u-lock.

However you lock the trailer, make sure you don't lock on a tube you can detach with a wrench, then slip the lock off.

zug

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Re: How do I secure my bike trailer so it won't be stolen?
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2012, 04:46:04 PM »
Cable locks are extremely easy to defeat. U-lock it to your bike frame.

TheDude

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Re: How do I secure my bike trailer so it won't be stolen?
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2012, 11:03:32 PM »
Cable locks are extremely easy to defeat. U-lock it to your bike frame.

of course if you have an old kyrptonite you can open it with a ball point pin. 90% of all locks can be defeated easily. IMHO you should either invest in a really expensive lock or one that just keeps honest people honest. Probably depends on the town you live in and the threat level.

zug

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Re: How do I secure my bike trailer so it won't be stolen?
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2013, 01:54:30 PM »
Saying that "one faulty brand/model of U-lock exists" does NOT mean that U-locks aren't better in almost every way.  I used to buy bikes from salvage that often still had various kinds of locks attached. Getting off cable locks, even thick ones, took less than 10 seconds with a pair of bolt cutters.

Getting off U-locks was considerably harder. If they're big enough, you can fit a car jack into them and break them that way, but sometimes the way they are locked or their size requires an angle grinder. Either of these methods takes about ~5 minutes, and the angle grinder is really loud. Cable locks stop nobody with a $10 tool and 10 seconds where people aren't looking, U-locks stop all but the most determined thieves. Not too many thieves want to be so openly stealing a bike for such a long period of time, the risk of getting caught is so much greater.

TheDude

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Re: How do I secure my bike trailer so it won't be stolen?
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2013, 05:24:13 PM »
One faulty brand! Kyrptonite is hands down the largest supplier of locks in bicycling. I also dont discount all Ulocks but people think just using a ulock will keep you bike from getting stolen. Of course I have seen a million ulocks on just the front wheel or just the back wheel. Being smart about where/how and what your bike is locked to is just as important as the type of lock you use. It makes me sad when I see someones front wheel missing and Ulock securing the frame.

GuitarStv

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Re: How do I secure my bike trailer so it won't be stolen?
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2013, 06:34:52 AM »
The ball point pen thing with Kryptonite happened quite a while ago . . . and they replaced all the locks sold with that kind of tumbler for free with their newer locking mechanism.  I think they still will replace your old lock with a newer one if you have the bic pen type mechanism.

No bike lock is perfect . . . but if you use a U-lock and cable properly you'll be better than 90% of the bikes that I usually see.  Something like this works really well:



If you want to secure your trailer as well, I'd carry a second cable and secure it the same way that the front wheel is in this pic.

BlueMR2

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Re: How do I secure my bike trailer so it won't be stolen?
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2013, 07:30:55 AM »
How do you guys transport the u-locks when you don't have a trailer?  It looks like it would hard to find a way to attach it to the bike without it banging around while in motion.  When I'm just riding out for lunch it'd work as I could throw it in my backpack, but at the places I shop at, I can't just take a backpack as they don't want you coming in with packages/bags.

zug

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Re: How do I secure my bike trailer so it won't be stolen?
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2013, 07:54:43 AM »
I throw mine in my pannier. If you have a bike rack, you can strap it to the top with a bungee cord as well. If neither are options, buy one of the U-locks that comes with a bike mount and use that.

Bakari

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Re: How do I secure my bike trailer so it won't be stolen?
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2013, 09:52:12 AM »
I am in a high bike theft area, and always use a U lock on the bike itself (locked as in the picture above)

However, the trailer I lock with a cable, and a thin one at that:

A trailer is not worth as much as a bike, nor is it as easy to sell
A trailer is not its own built in get-away vehicle... in fact, there really is no easy way to transport it without a bike
It will take extra time for most people to even figure out how the hitch works and disattach it from your bike, and bike thieves want to work as fast as possible.
I think having a trailer attached in the first place is likely a theft deterrent.


Is the convertible feature intended to allow you to convert from trailer to jogger when the destination is reached? If so, is the front wheel always on or do I have to stow it and the handlebar somewhere? I would be so disappointed if the conversion is just meant to happen at home with tools or something.

I believe most stroller conversions can be done with no tools (or at most a bike multi-tool), in the field, but you would have to remove / attach the front wheel every time as part of the conversion.

of course if you have an old kyrptonite you can open it with a ball point pin. 90% of all locks can be defeated easily. IMHO you should either invest in a really expensive lock or one that just keeps honest people honest. Probably depends on the town you live in and the threat level.

I can pick a standard front door deadbolt lock with a $5 set of lock picks, but I spent hours trying to open a cylindrical kyrptonite lock with a pen and made zero progress.  I don't doubt it was possible but the threat was totally overblown.  I upgraded to the new key style anyway, because Kryptonite did the upgrade for free.  As a former bike messenger, current bike mechanic and commuting advocate, I say in no uncertain terms that kryptonite makes the strongest bike locks available - just be aware that they have multiple levels of lock at different price points.  Their cheapest locks are not all that hard to defeat.  There best lock comes with a $4500 guarantee for a reason.  I've never heard of anyone breaking it, not even in controlled lab tests, never mind in the field.

How do you guys transport the u-locks when you don't have a trailer?  It looks like it would hard to find a way to attach it to the bike without it banging around while in motion.  When I'm just riding out for lunch it'd work as I could throw it in my backpack, but at the places I shop at, I can't just take a backpack as they don't want you coming in with packages/bags.

They usually come with a bracket, but if yours didn't you can get a braket at a bike shop or online, and attack it to the bike.  Or bungee it onto a rack, or slide it in the slot in some racks, or possibly even hang it on your handlebar (IF it won't get in the way of steering).
When I was a messenger I used a kryptonite chain, and wore it around my waist.

ellevendollarbill

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Re: How do I secure my bike trailer so it won't be stolen?
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2013, 01:03:19 PM »
How do you guys transport the u-locks when you don't have a trailer?  It looks like it would hard to find a way to attach it to the bike without it banging around while in motion.  When I'm just riding out for lunch it'd work as I could throw it in my backpack, but at the places I shop at, I can't just take a backpack as they don't want you coming in with packages/bags.

I've been transporting my u-lock by stuffing it in the back of my pants.  Works great. 
I read somewhere that if you are always simply going to and from point A-B, it's worth it to just leave your lock locked to a post at point B, rather than carry the several pounds of bike lock with you every day. This seems like good advice, since 5lbs weight difference can equal hundreds of dollars in price difference for bikes.  That said, I have yet to do this, even though my daily commute is there and back again...

StarswirlTheMustached

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Re: How do I secure my bike trailer so it won't be stolen?
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2013, 05:51:49 PM »
Any lock can be defeated. Any.
A perhaps extreme example: A fellow left his overly-privy road bike overnight downtown, and rather than go after breaking his doubtlessly very good lock, the thieves sawed through the stand he'd locked up to.

The key isn't to have an unbreakable lock; the key is to make your bike/lock combo has to be more trouble than it's worth. If your bike is worth 7k, no lock will hold it very long. If your bike is a POS you picked up at a yard sale for 20$, you can tie it up with string and it's not likely to anywhere. It's all about the ROI.
Like the old saying goes, you don't have to outrun the bear; you just have to outrun the other guy.

Bakari

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Re: How do I secure my bike trailer so it won't be stolen?
« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2013, 09:14:41 PM »
True enough.
My carbon bike was inside a locked shed, and for a little extra protection, I locked it and my steel touring bike together with a kryptonite evolution.

While I was at Coast Guard school, they got into the shed, and cut the steel bike in half in order to get the carbon bike (with the lock still on it).
Once they get it back to their secret villain headquarters, they can go at it with power tools at their leisure.

The key isn't to have an unbreakable lock; the key is to make your bike/lock combo has to be more trouble than it's worth. ... It's all about the ROI.

exactly why I feel comfortable locking my trailer with just a cable.  Stealing a trailer is a lot of trouble for something that you cant sell as quickly or for as much, so a cable is enough of a deterrent - at least, its worked for me so far...

GuitarStv

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Re: How do I secure my bike trailer so it won't be stolen?
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2013, 06:53:12 AM »
How do you guys transport the u-locks when you don't have a trailer?  It looks like it would hard to find a way to attach it to the bike without it banging around while in motion.  When I'm just riding out for lunch it'd work as I could throw it in my backpack, but at the places I shop at, I can't just take a backpack as they don't want you coming in with packages/bags.

I keep a heavy u-lock and cable at the rack at work (so I don't need to carry one on my morning commute).  We have a second u-lock and cable that we keep at home for running errands, and it either gets strapped to the front or rear bike rack with bungee cords, goes in a basket, backpack, or pannier.

jnik

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Re: How do I secure my bike trailer so it won't be stolen?
« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2013, 08:21:20 AM »
How do you guys transport the u-locks when you don't have a trailer?
My Kryptonite lock came with a bracket to attach it to the top tube or seat tube. You can easily wrap a cable lock around the seatpost. In Boston, I always locked rear wheel to post with mini-U (inside the rear triangle, then you do NOT need to lock the frame) and used a separate cable lock through both wheels (again, inside the triangle). Someone mentioned Sheldon's "leave the lock" trick, so good time to link his lock page.

JessieImproved

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Re: How do I secure my bike trailer so it won't be stolen?
« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2013, 01:49:56 PM »
Solution: Cheap-ass bike and cheap-ass trailer.  I have a cable lock but half the time I don't even click it completely shut.  I figure if someone steals my piece of crap that they needed it more than me.

abhe8

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Re: How do I secure my bike trailer so it won't be stolen?
« Reply #19 on: November 08, 2013, 02:15:48 PM »
op, what brand/model trailer do you have? there are several different "stroller conversion" options. some have the option for a single "walking/strolling" wheel that may or may not stay attached all the time and just pivot down when needed. some have 2 of these small wheels. some have an additional frame piece and a single, fixed front jogging/running wheel. that conversion would require some tools (and carring around the bulky extra parts).

i would just invest in some locks/cables to secure the trailer when you park the bike. plus, the trailer is so bulky...i cant' imagine where i would want to take it to when the bike is parked?