Bike locks

Consider this one a poll, if you want. I didn’t want to make everyone write their answers in tiny boxes, so I didn’t use the poll feature to do it.

How do you lock up your bike? Why do you do it that way? Why not something more convenient and less secure, or less convenient and more secure? What do you think of this strategy? How much did your lock(s) cost as a percentage of what your bike cost?

I’m trying to figure out what I can get by with here in Ottawa for general urban riding and maybe later commuting to Kanata.

10 responses to “Bike locks”

  1. I had my bike encased in lucite and the huge glimmering cube shipped to Antarctica where it is used to confuse archaeologists.

  2. I don’t spend anything locking up the bike: at work, it goes into the office, and at home, it goes into the garage (or just stays in the yard: our yard faces the alleyway, and we don’t see any crime going on back there).

    When I was riding at UIUC, I locked up with a thick kryptonite cable, through the frame, rack, and front wheel. There were enough unlocked bikes (and always enough people around) that no one bothered with the locked bikes, if the lock was worthwhile at all.

    I’ve never used a U-Lock, and I don’t think I would, even if I had one: as the article mentions, it’s too bulky to carry around.

    I did take my bike seat with me when I used to park outside of the main campus areas: it stayed a quickrelease because I wanted to be able to put it on/off when packing for mountain biking trips, rather than an allen wrench.

    However, in general the strategy seems sound, it’s just not something I’ve ever found myself in need of.

  3. My bike is in the yard between my garage and the family’s house, so secured by the lock on my door/the other half of the garage and the various locks on their gate, front door, back door and their barbed wire fence. I don’t own a lock and am not allowed to take it to school anyway because Kamilla’s afraid it will be stolen. When I move out, I’ll take my bike and we’ll keep it in our flat. I don’t know how much my bike was, because it was free. I imagine I’ll buy an inexpensive lock or two and store it in the middle of the bike lack (theives tend to go for the edges). The strategy of using two seperate types of locks is interesting. But I don’t ride the bike much anyway, I’m faster with my rollerblades, tire out less easily, and have much better balance. I can rollerblade for hours but can only ride a bike for about 10 minutes. So I might just use the bike for biking excursions, and then I wouldn’t need to lock it, I’d just bring it back in our flat.

  4. I got one of those U Kryptonite loks at the Dollar Store.

    Seriously, I always just used a Steel Cable or Chain lock as Theft isn’t real prevalent here and there are lots of other unlocked bicycles around.

    As I was once told, Any lock can eventually be defeated, the trick is to make yours a less inviting than every else.

  5. I don’t have a bike anymore, but I used to just use a smaller U-lock. Two locks would be nice if you were paranoid or putting your bike in a high-theft area or something, I guess, but I figure if it’s gonna get stolen, it’s gonna get stolen, and one lock is enough to keep me from worrying.

  6. (This is based on the last couple of bikes I’ve had, one in Ottawa and one in Melbourne.)

    I generally have an intentionally fairly shitty bike (secondhand, around $100-$150 seems to be normal for me), so I figure it’s not a huge theft target. I also don’t tend to leave it out of sight for long — I ride more for pleasure than commuting or anything, so the bike might stand outside a shop for 15 minutes but it won’t stand on the street for 8 hours or anything.

    I usually get something kinda halfway decent, bike-lock wise, but not a Kryptonite. My last lock was a pseudo-Kryptonite (solid metal D-shaped, but a different brand) and the one before that was some kind of chain type lock, I forget what.

    I put the lock through the front wheel and the triangle of the frame, and attach it to some relatively permanent object: bike rack, fence, at a pinch a tree or rubbish bin.

    My bike’s never been stolen, but I attribute that more to the fact that I don’t ride it much and don’t leave it standing around for long and never at night, than to the fact that I lock it well.

  7. I just basically have a kit that came with a [Bic pen openable] U-lock and a cable. I use a strategy sort of like what he describes with a separate U-lock and cable lock, but with just the U as the locking device. It goes around the frame and rear wheel. One end of the cable goes around the front wheel, looped into itself–a sort of slip-knot noose around the wheel. The other end of the cable gets looped onto the U-lock before it gets closed. I cannot seem to find a good picture of this, so I hope I have sufficiently described the way the cable knots arond the front wheel.

    Since I have not used the bike since summer, the Bic pen thing has not been an issue, but I need to ship it back for a new one soon.

  8. I haven’t yet done the Krypto lock exchange. I really should.

    I typically lock my front wheel and frame to a post with a U-lock. I have a QR rear wheel, but I don’t typically lock it with a krypto-cable (attached to the lock, which I own) unless I’m feeling really paranoid.

    I don’t leave my bike overnight near train stations if I can avoid it. In the suburbs, near a bus stop, sure, because the theft risk is lower.