Locking bicycles (1/2)

When one thinks about locking the bike to a cycle parking or a piece of a street furniture, it is always useful to consider three key elements in whatever bike. No matter if you have a folding bike, tandem or mountain bike, all have the same parts. Saddle, front and rear wheels should be properly locked as these elements are the most common target of bike thieves. Of course, they can steal the whole bike, but it is normally faster to just rob one part. Nevertheless, I will write about the whole bike and the ways of locking it right in other time. For now, take into account how your bike elements are secured because it is not the same having fast-open locks, locking skewer or traditional nuts. The last ones make thefts to take more time, because an adjustable wrench is needed. Also, try to use different locks so that you have an indirected advantage: more than one tool is need.

As it comes to bike locks, you can find several types in the market.

  • Chain and padlock: Hardened steel chains are heavy, but flexible. Try to use one with hexagonal profile so that cutters press on a wider area, creating less force per mm. It should be at least 10 mm thick.
  • Cable with lock: Cable locks use to be easy to carry and flexible. However, they are a bit easier to cut and I recommend use them as additional locks.
  • U-lock: Lower weight per level of protection and easy to carry, but it has the lowest flexibility and you need to find a proper post.
  • Folding lock: The best locks joint with the U-locks. The folding locks offer good security and are easy to carry.

Cheap bad locks and poorly locked bicycles are taken within a minute or less with ordinary tools every small thief has. Better use a combination of good locks and lock the bike in secure, crowded places.

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