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It’s gut-wrenching and awful feeling.
You step from the pub, head to where you left your "ride" only to come across empty space and maybe the remains of a lock.
See, bike theft is a nuisance. However, incidences have drastically dropped to what was experienced in the mid-'90s, at the peak of bike theft. But still, hundreds of thousands of bikes go missing every year.
A report by Cycling UK indicates that from April 2015 to March 2016, over 327,000 bikes were reported stolen in the UK and Wales alone.
We can all agree that no one wants to get their bikes stolen.
So, how do you keep your bike safe?
Yes, as simple as they are, bike locks add extra attention to bike security, and will go a long way to deter criminals.
A bike lock will also instill a sense of satisfaction and a sort of self-assurance in knowing that no one will get your hands on your baby.
But what is the correct way to safely lock your bike?
- 1 Recommended Way to Safely Lock a Bike
- 2 How to Lock your Bicycle
- 3 Locking Techniques
Recommended Way to Safely Lock a Bike
Get the Right Lock
First things first, you need to get the right lock. Check out the bike locks reviews on our blog
Some of the locks are sturdy and functional, while others will make you a laughing stock to prospective burglars.
Get a premium lock that will guarantee the safety of your bike. While at it, you would want to avoid the cable locks as they’re not protective enough. Instead, choose pinheads or D-locks.
Though you locality will greatly affect where you lock your bike, there are some general rules that you can follow.
Choose a Busy Street
Try to find a busy, well-lit, and well-trafficked spot to lock your bike.
Preferably, choose a spot well covered by CCTV.
Numerous reports indicate that CCTV makes thieves nervous and they’d prefer working in the hidden spots.
You would also want to choose a spot with other bikes. Ideally, you would want to lock yours in the middle.
The comings and goings of other cyclists might also deter the thieves from stealing your bike. Additionally, the cramming of the bikes will provide less room for maneuvering, and the opportunity to use their tools.
What to Lock your Bike To
A bicycle is only as secure as the object it’s locked to.
While many cities have dedicated parking spots, the bike racks/locking posts aren't as handy. Streetlights, on the other hand, are a decent option. The street lights, however, should be cemented as opposed to screwed.
If you’re to lock your bike on a bike rack, closely examine the rack to ensure it’s not tampered with. In a few extreme cases, we’ve witnessed thieves cutting the rack then sealing the cut with a sticker.
Ideally, the object you lock your bike to should not allow the thieves to lift over the bike.
Again, ensure it cannot be unscrewed or dismantled.
Is it safe to lock my bike on a tree?
No, you can’t; the video below is an illustration why you should never lock your bike on a tree.
In general, you would want to lock your bike on an immovable and sturdy object.
Take Extra Precautions
If you’ve already heard rumors that a location is rampant with bike theft, it makes sense to avoid it completely.
How to Lock your Bicycle
How you lock your bike will depend on various factors such as the type of bike, type of lock, and where you secure it.
However, here are a few tips that you should always follow when locking your bike;
Lock your bike on the frame
When securing your bike, lock it on the frame.
If you lock your bike on the seat or wheels, a thief will simply remove the wheel or the seat and walk away with the rest of the bike.
Keep your Lock of the ground
Having your lock on the ground will give the thief leverage on where to break the lock.
Again, they can use the ground to hammer the lock.
While at it, you would also want to avoid the top tube of your bike as thieves can use the frame to twist the whole bike.
Ideally, you would want to lock your bike in high positions; not at the seat tube, but down.
Make the Lock Difficult to access
Make it challenging for the thief to access the lock. For instance, you can position the key to your lock facing downwards, and this will make it even harder for the thief to break into the lock.
Minimize Space in the U-Lock
If you’re using a lock, minimize the space in between. Make it tight by filing the existing space as much as possible.
An empty U-lock is prone to breaking using a bottle jack. If there’s no room to fit the jack, a thief cannot unlock your bike.
There're plenty of locking techniques out there; some are effective, while others are not.
In the section below, were going to look at the most effective means of bike locking.
D-locks are a common locking technique. Unfortunately, many cyclists don’t know how to use this locking system appropriately.
Rather than use a D-lock to lock through the seat tube and the back wheel, it’s recommended that you lock through your rim at the spot between the rear wheel and the top of the rear triangle.
While at it, the D-lock should be within the rear triangle, as opposed through the Chainstay.
Using this method makes it extremely challenging for thieves to get leverage. And if they did, they would smash the back wheel and won’t be able to get away with the bike.
Using Two Locks
Using two locks is probably the most secure way of locking your bike.
The first lock should be tethered to the frame, front wheel, and probably the bike rack. The second lock should go around the back wheel, the frame and the rack.
This will secure your bike in two places and secure the wheels and the bike rack.
It’s recommended that you use two different types of locks. This is because it will require a thief to carry two different types of tools to break the lock, which is quite bothersome.
Keeping your bike safe is easier than you thought.
By using a bike lock safely, you can now secure your bike and rest easy.