Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A comprehensive guide to locking up your bike

Folks often times visit the Newark Bike Project after their bike is stolen. We heard a story recently about bike thieves taking the bus from Wilmington, who tried to rob 3 bikes in front of the Newark Library. When they were refused entry back on, the thieves became enraged and combative. Long story short, the bus driver called 911 resulting in the arrest of 1 adult and 2 juveniles, and the return of the bikes. A huge round of kudos to that bus driver.

If only we could all be that lucky. This article from Baltimore Bike Party says it all when it comes to correctly locking your bike.

Excerpts -

Buy a u-lock.  Just do it.  No, no, no.  I don’t want to hear your reasons or your excuses.  You want to keep your bike?  Buy a u-lock, a good one.  Save your pennies, get a paper route, whatever.  Buy a u-lock.

As said above, the primary tool of bike thieves in our city is a pair of bolt cutters.  Bolt cutters will make quick work of ANY cable lock, or unhardened steel chain (like you can buy from a hardware store).  Seriously, like 5 seconds, if they fumble with it.  Good u-locks are made from a hardened steel that is much more resistant to cutting.

Keep your bike somewhere visible.  If you are grabbing coffee or lunch, lock it where you can watch it from the window.  If that’s not an option, lock it where it has the most eyes on it.

Lock your bike to something sturdy.  Make sure the fence, pole, or other object is securely fastened to the ground.  Also, make sure that what you are locking to is AS STRONG OR STRONGER than your lock.

Locking skewers are an option for keeping both wheels secure.  There are a number of kinds with various methods of locking, but most all of them work well at deterring theft.  They replace your quick release skewers and prevent you from having to carry a second lock.

If you buy a cable lock to go with your u-lock (many companies sell them together in packages now) you can leave your front wheel in place and simply thread the cable through the front wheel, then back through itself and lock the other end inside your u-lock.  Very few thieves would bother to cut a cable just for your front wheel, but it is possible.


Read the entire article HERE, including lots of photos and additional tips.

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