I have been biking since about the age of 14. Since the time that I started pedaling around the mountains I had never had a bike stolen. That is, until I began commuting. In fact, the first day of a new job I walked out of my house to take my bike to work and it was not there. They had even taken the cable lock that had evidently been cut. Honestly, I felt very angry and vulnerable and spent the next several weeks checking out every single person on a bike, to see if it was mine. Having a bike stolen is disheartening, and discouraging. I didn’t get a new bike for about a year after that incident.
After seeing several badly locked bikes, and a few not even locked, at UVU, I decided to do a relatively quick post on the proper way to lock up your bike.
First, this is how to not lock up your bike. (And this bike was the original inspiration to this post.)
Really? I may not be able to easily get the front tire, but really, the only thing needed to steal this bike is the understanding of how to use a quick release . . . which in and of itself is basically self explanatory. Now, maybe this person doesn’t really care about their bike, I get it. It’s just a means of transportation because they cannot afford a car, or something like this. But regardless, you’re going to be stranded and you lost some amount of money that you’d spent on the bike. Needless to say, this is probably the worst locking job I’ve ever seen. (The only one worse that I can think of was a guy who rode his bike to the bike parking area at Utah Valley University and simply parked it and left it. No lock). Let’s not encourage thieves with these haphazard lock jobs.
In fact, getting the wheel may not be that hard either. Bike thieves know what they’re doing and most of the time they bring plenty of stuff for many different locking methods.
Now, here is my bike. Because I am required to bring school stuff to school, I tend to pack as light as possible. Here you see my small, but tough lock. One thing to note is not so much the lock but the way the bike is locked up. U-locks, I would argue are the best bike locks out there. They are much harder for someone to cut off as they are not only made out of stiff metal’s, but typically have several layers of cable wrapped around the hard metal interior. This makes it difficult for even a hack saw to break it in half. Notice, however, what is locked: the bike frame and the rear wheel. I tend to lock the rear wheel rather than the front because it is more expensive–having both the cassette, and rear hub. For me, I think this is perfect. It isn’t over the top (which admittedly, isn’t a bad thing) but locks, securely, everything that needs to be locked. The bike isn’t going anywhere.
Finally, there is this guy. There is pretty much no part of this bike that is getting taken without considerable effort. And I mean, considerable effort. Notice first, the frame and rear wheel locked as I had mine, with a U-lock–the most important parts of a bike. Second, he has a thick cable lock wrapping around the U-lock, front wheel and bike stall. The bike frame and wheels are now secure. I did not notice, until posting the picture here, the small cable lock that wraps around the frame and loops through his seat. Not even the seat can be taken. Bravo, Man! It may be a lot to carry around with you, or on your bike, but that thing is going no where.