Many people make it easy for criminals to steal their bikes, because they dont know how to lock a bike correctly. They practically put a sign on it that says TAKE ME. There are a number of steps you should take to properly secure your bike, and with the help of the team from Kryptonite Locks we will outline them in this article.
Firstly, the rule of thumb for buying a lock is to spend ten per cent of the value of the bike. If it cost 100 euro, spend ten euro on the lock, if it cost 1000, you would need a higher quality lock to secure it from a more determined thief.
The amount of money you spend on the lock also depends on where you are locking it. If you are mainly using it for recreational purposes and locking the bike at home, you could spend less than if you regularly lock the bike in the city.
So, lets get to the detail. This is the correct way to secure your bike:
- Place your bike against an immovable object such as a railing, long pole, or a designated bike locking area with the chain facing out.
- Remove the front wheel if possible and place it by the rear wheel.
- Place the shackle through the rear wheel, front wheel and frame, fill up as much of the shackle as possible. (see Fig 1)
- If you are not too mechanically minded and the thoughts of removing the front wheel and replacing it safely after locking your bike is a bit daunting, you can use a secondary cable (see Fig 2) that has two loops on the end to attach to the shackle. A good idea is to have any quick release mechanisms removed at the time of sale with an Allen key or security skewer to make the removal of the wheels more difficult for a potential thief.
- Depending on where the bike is to be parked, a secondary shackle can be used to lock the front wheel and downtube to the same immoveable object as the rear of the bike.
Bike locking Dos and Donts:
- DO: Lock your bike whenever you leave it unattended. Many bikes have been stolen when running into the local shop for a minute. Lock your bike at home even if it is in a locked garden shed or garage. I have heard of a bike being stolen from a second floor apartment so always lock it.
- DO: If you are out and about and locking your bike, think of what the area will be like when it is dark. This is especially true in the winter time, when there are less daylight hours. Is the area well lit when shops or offices are closed and what about street lighting?
- DON’T: Try not to lock your bike in the same place. Thieves might notice a good brand of bike and target it.
- DO: Make sure the immoveable object is just that. The railing you are locking your bike to must be secure. The pole you might lock your bike to may be secure on the ground, but is it possible for the thief to lift it over the pole? Check for this.
- DON’T: Never lock your saddle pillar or stem to an immoveable object. A quick turn of an Allen key or spanner will have the saddle pillar or stem quickly removed, and replaced, and the thief will walk away with your bike.