In recent years, robbery evils have become a controversial topic, especially bike thieves. Due to the report, about 300,000 bicycles, especially road bikes, are stolen every year in England and Wales. So it is REALLY significant to locking your bike correctly.
Are you confused about the way to protect your bike from many evils out there? You are choosing the right blog since I’ll help you to know how to lock a bike from A to Z.
Let’s get started!
The Four Types of Bike Locks
Bike locks are an essential factor to assist you to fight against being stolen. That’s why you should consider and choose it CAREFULLY from quality to type that is appropriate with your bike.
Generally, there are four types, including U-lock, chain lock, lightweight lock, folding lock. I will consider each type in details with the following explanation:
Are you wondering why its name is U-lock? Well, it’s simply because the shape of the lock is similar to letter U. If you rotate the lock, you can realize that it is also in the shape of the letter D. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it?
U-lock is evaluated more securely than other types of locking mechanisms since it’s not easy to cut and break. U-lock can be used to loop around a bike’s frame. It also has a cable to loop through your quick release wheels.
How about the advantages and disadvantages of U-lock?
- A unique design with a great deterrent
- Lighter and easy to carry in comparison with chains
- High cutting resistance such as bolt cutters
- Provide a bracket that is used for mounting the bike’s frame
- With additional cable
- With the proven design and small size, sometimes it’s pretty hard to loop through bigger objects or frames
- It may be troublesome carrying in some cases since the weight is heavy
- Because of the stiffness and length limitation, it is hard to secure your bike and anchor to a fixed point
- If there is ample space left inside the U, it can be a great chance for bike thieves to use the jack to leverage to R.I.P the lock if the locking mechanism is not firm and strong enough
- Moreover, U-lock can be destroyed by using angle grinders or extended lengths of pipe
Due to some dark sides of U-locks, I’ll recommend you some tips when purchasing them:
- Buy a good quality one to get rid of many potential risks.
- We should lock a bike with other parts like a bike rack, pole, railing or some sort of that. If you close your bike frame to the wheel, it can’t be ridden, but it can be lifted away.
- Do not leave open space inside the U. As I have mentioned, it’s DANGEROUS as the evils can activate the levers or jacks to unlock.
- With extra cable provided, it is a good idea to fasten numerous parts of the bike or use it to hold the bike to a fixed point, increasing the security of your vehicle.
- “Thicker equals better”. In terms of that, you should choose a 16 mm U-lock that provides you a comfortable length to secure your bike
Watch a video for a better look:
Chain lock is a steel link and covered with a nylon, vinyl, or fabric sleeve to save the coating material and reduce the injury of the bike’s paintwork. It is also a unique way to decorate your lock to express your “artist” tastes and strong personalities as well.
A chain always locks in pairs with a padlock, mini u-lock,… With the long-chain design (up to 2 meters) , chain lock covers through the frame, both wheels, and pole on the parking meter, which can be YOUR security keeping your bike away from thefts.
Chain locks have rigid, thick, and firm links to ensure the unbreakable and avoid cutting by a lever, increasing security measures. However, with many links, chain lock has become one of the heaviest locks.
Let have a look at the bright and dark sides of the chain lock:
- It can easily loop through any bikes or objects with the desired size of length and flexibility. Plus, it can cover two wheels, so you do not have to remove your front wheel and either rear wheel
- No chance for bike thieves using any power cutting tools to break or damage the lock
- Quite awkward and heavy to carry
- If the chain has poor quality (basic iron or steel), it can be simply cut with bolt croppers
- Chain links might be damaged the coating of the bike with NO protect sleeve
Here is some of my advice for U:
- Be careful when you lock your bike, which I mean do not leave any gaps between the stands and the cycle as it can create a potential chance for crimes using leverage.
- ALWAYS dress your bike with a sleeve if you don’t want your bike’s outlook to become a nightmare
- Because of the heaviness of the lock, you can’t carry it on the bike. Nevertheless, you can put it in your backpack, wear it over your shoulder or across your chest as a FASHIONABLE belt, which can attract many eyes!
Reference video for best chain lock:
Due to the name, the folding lock is designed with a fold motion, lightweight and portable, which provides bikers a stronger lock to protect their bike when shopping or doing their business.
Folding lock is made from a series of steel plates with an INCREDIBLE outlook as same as a piece of assembler. With the idea invented to solve some problems with U-lock and chain, the folding lock offers a massive locking option for all bike lovers.
How about the pros and cons?
- Portability and compact, easier to carry than U-lock and chain
- Can be connected and covered with many objects or stands
- It just popped up in the market recently, so the popularity is limited and not used by cyclists. For that reason, there are a few start-up companies that make a business of folding lock
- Possibly take longer to lock or unlock your bike as you have to put the plate in its position
- With thin plates and moving parts, folding locks tend to be less secure compared with U-lock
Let’s dive into the tips part:
- Choose the lock wisely
- Purchase it when you know what length and size suitable for your bike
Watch the video for detailed reviews:
You want to possess a security lock that is portable and can protect your bike properly? A lightweight lock is certainly your WONDERFUL answer.
The lightweight lock is a variety of different kinds of bike lock that is small and not considered as a problem to carry around.
- They are light to bring when you’re travelling and easy to store in a pocket.
- Not really a reliable lock to deter bike thieves
Advice for bikers:
- Buy it just in case you want an “additional” lock when you just buy a cup of coffee or a piece of cake. I mean that it wouldn’t take a long time, and you can keep an eye on your bike
Find out interesting things:
How To Lock A Bike In The Street
After going through some types of a security lock, we’ll move to the way to lock it.
In this section, I’ll clarify some ideas that you can lock your bike in the street. Let’s go!
Step 1: Pick a busy place where many people are walking by. If there is any CCTV, it would be AWESOME since it can supervise your bike and the thief wouldn’t have any chance to do their business in such crowded places.
Step 2: Lock a bike in the middle of thousands of bikes that have been locked up. What is it for? Well, it’ll minimize the opportunity for the theft to unlock your bike as they don’t have enough room to use their tools.
Step 3: Lock your frame to the secure object, bike racks, for example.
Step 4: Keep your lock off the ground. The bike thieves can use the floor for added leverage in bolt cutters.
Plus, avoid locking through the top tube as crimes can seize to unlock by twist and pop the whole bike. For an ideal way, you should lock your bike around the down tube or the seat post.
Step 5: Try to make the lock as difficult to crack as possible.
Step 6: Once again, do NOT leave any space in the U-lock if you don’t want your bike stolen.
To increase your bike’s security, there are some recommendations for you about the way to lock a bike:
- Use two locks since it is SAFER.
- Locking your bike with a lock and a cable lock. You can attach a U-lock or chain with a cable lock around the rear wheel, bike rack, and frame. However, this way is NOT for quick release wheels.
- Secure your bike using a lock and a removed front wheel. You do this method the same as the second one, but attach the removed front wheel. This way can secure the front wheel when you have only one lock.
Try out the video here:
How To Lock A Bike At Work
Recently, many big companies and corporations realize the importance of having a parking lot or spaces for their employees to park their vehicles. And there is also installing the camera there so it can literally ease your worries.
As the saying goes: “Prevention is better than cure”, and that’s the reason why we shouldn’t be subjective to the locking problems. In order to that, you should raise your awareness and lock your bike properly to make everything perfect.
You can use some tips that I have noted above to keeping your bike
How To Lock A Bike At Home
At home, it can be more difficult for you to protect your bike since the bike thieves make a big deal without any attention from others. Because of that, you should be 100% take care of your bike whether it is in your garage or inside your house.
If you don’t have any room for your bike inside the house, you can make a DIY stand to secure it. Fill a big bucket of cement, stick the ground anchor in the bucket, wait for the cement to dry and you have an object heavy enough to stay away from thefts.
You can also make a purchase on a bike storage unit that can store your bike securely and safely.
You HAVE TO make sure that you are not letting your bike unlock at home since you think there is a CCTV and the thieves won’t dare to pay a flying visit to your house. ANYTHING can be HAPPEN! Engrave it!
For more info:
Which Objects Are Suitable To Lock A Bike?
Definitely immovable and fixed objects that can not be damaged or broken easily. I’ll provide you some examples:
- “Sheffield” stands are filled by cement on the ground
- Metal railings
- Iron fences
- Lamp posts,…
DO NOT choose the object that can be dismantled or break up
Should I lock a bike anywhere?
Yes, yes, and yes. You should secure your bike EVERYWHERE since you DON’T want any attractions from crimes, DO you? No matter how your house or office or whatever places are private and no one can access, you HAVE to lock your bike.
Is it legal to lock my bike to a sign or traffic light?
From what I’ve found out, it is a “no-no” rule since it may congest the traffic and look quite awkward on the street using a sign or traffic light as an object to lock a bike.
Can my bike be stolen when it is locked?
There are many risks that crimes will use some techniques and tools to destroy the lock, such as cable cutters, hydraulic bottle jacks, hacksaw and to name but a few. So it can be stolen when it is locked but with a low chance percentage.
Should I use two locks on a bike?
Of course! As I have mentioned, you can use a U-lock or chain with cable locks or more combinations that can protect your bike at high security measures. With two locks, your bike will not be noticed by evils.