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Have a bicycle? now you need to know how to lock a bike
If you live in an area with a low crime rate, you may not even know how to lock a bike. In many areas, bicycles are generally safe left unlocked, or they're protected with minor locking systems.
Unfortunately, there are many areas where bike theft is a major problem. While police forces and coalitions work to improve this problem, the best way to prevent bicycle theft is a personal responsibility.
If you think you can buy a simple bicycle lock and leave your bike chained to anything, this article is for you. It will teach you how to lock a bike properly, so your bike is where you left it when you return.
So, How to Lock a Bike?
- First, it's important to verify the sturdiness of what you're locking your bike to.
Things like street signs often have only one bolt and can easily be removed and your bike with its secure lock is easily slipped off. Insecure poles and parking meters usually aren't a good idea either because they're easily removed. If you're learning how to lock a bike look for sturdy structures that are not easily removable. If it would take you a long time to remove the structure, it would take a thief a long time to remove the structure.
- Remove and take with you anything removable from the bike, like lights, water bottles, saddle bags, etc. If you can easily remove the item in a few seconds, so could a thief.
- Invest in a quality U-lock. If you travel by bicycle every day to the same place, like work, you may want to consider leaving your U-Lock locked to whatever you normally lock your bike to if it is big and bulky or heavy and you don't want to transport it everywhere you go. If you choose to do this, you may want to invest in a smaller, lighter U-lock or cable lock for really quick errands or emergencies.
- If you don't know how to lock a bike, it's important to understand where to place a U-lock. A U-lock should go around the rear rim and tire, somewhere inside the rear triangle of the frame. There is no need to loop it around the seat tube as well because the wheel cannot be pulled through the rear triangle.
- Cable locks is easily cut and highly discouraged for bicycle protection unless you're using them in addition to a secure U-lock. Many people will use a U-lock for the primary protection of a bicycle, and use cable locks to secure their wheels and seat.
- Part of knowing how to lock a bike is knowing what thieves look for. If you have an extremely expensive seat, thieves will remove the seat and/or seat and post, and leave the rest of your bicycle securely attached.
To protect your seat, you can buy a mini-cable to attach the seat and post the rest of the bike frame. If you are unsure how to do this, a bike shop can attach it for you.
- If at all possible, protect your wheels. A rim is nearly impossible to cut through, so attach your U-lock through the rim and frame of your wheels, and when you have to choose one wheel over the other, choose the protect the rear wheel. Rear wheels have special gears, and they are much more expensive than front wheels. They're near twice the cost, so if you can only choose to protect one of your wheels, choose the rear wheel.
- Even if you have done everything you can to prevent a thief from stealing your bicycle, they may still try to dismantle your bike. If you live in a particularly problematic area, check out the following video where you can learn a few modifications when locking your bike to prevent thieves from dismantling it.
Did you know...?
Did you know that contrary to popular belief, it is almost impossible for a bicycle thief to cut through your wheel rim and tire to remove a U-lock once it's been fastened?
It would require a powerful hacksaw and the thief would end up with a next-to-useless bicycle without a functional rear wheel. Thus, U-locks are a much safer option than cable locks which are easily cut through.
Where to Buy Bicycle Locks?
If you are interested in buying bicycle locks you can buy them in one of these trusted online stores:
Selected Bicycle Locks Online
Last Word on How to Lock a Bike
Now you know how to lock a bike, you can ride to any destination knowing your bike will be safe and secure. Invest in the proper locking tools, and you won't have to constantly think about whether your bike is safe or not.