Bike Lock Security: How to Lock a Bike to Keep it Safe
There are many types of locks to choose from for securing a bike while it’s parked. Some, like cable locks, are light weight and easy to transport, but might be easy to break.
Very heavy weight bike locks might be best stored on the rack where the bike is parked the most, such as the rack outside work, a dorm or apartment.
Bicycle Cable Locks: Are They Good Enough?
Cable and chain locks are popular choices, but are actually very flimsy and any serious thief will be able to cut through them with minimal effort.
The best lock to use is a sturdy, solid steel U-Lock. Make sure your lock fits the bike snugly to make it even more difficult for criminals to steal your bike.
How to Lock a Bike
Bikes should be locked whenever they are stored in the open. To confuse a potential thief, lock a bike next to other parked bikes at a popular location. Thieves like an easy target and a place with lots of traffic from bicyclists coming and going won’t give a thief enough time to work.
Also, they’re more likely to steal the easiest bike to get at, like the unlocked bike parked next to yours.
Secure a bike to something study that can’t be moved, like a tree, pole or permanent bike rack. Never lock the bike to something that could be easily cut or broken, like a chain link fence or a young sapling.
Place as much of the bike inside the U part or cable portion of the lock as possible. Place both frame and wheel inside the lock. If using a U-lock with a key, place the keyhole facing the ground so that it will be difficult to pick.
Bicycle Locking Tips
- Check with the local police to see if there are ordinances regarding things bike should not be locked to, such as street signs. Don’t get a ticket while trying to prevent a crime!
- Always lock a new bike—they are more valuable to thieves.
- Never lock the bike to itself, a crook can just cart the whole bike away and work at the lock in private.
Should Kid’s Lock their Bikes?
Children’s bikes shouldn’t be parked out in the open where they would be an easy target for young thieves, or prankster neighbors. Children aren’t likely to take the effort to lock down their bikes when visiting friends, so ask them to store their bikes inside a fenced back yard. This will make the bike more difficult to see and a less tempting target.
Likewise, children’s bikes shouldn’t be left on the front porch or driveway at home without being locked down. Instead, store children’s bikes out of site in a garage, shed, or basement.
Don’t be left without wheels—always use a bike lock to keep a bike safe and secure.