The only line of defense against bike thieves is a bike lock. If you’re going to actively use your bicycle and leave it on the streets, you have to lock it properly. If you lock it, but not the right way, it will get stolen. If you lock it the right way, even still it could get stolen, but at least you tried your best!
The Principles of Bike Locking
- Your bike should be more secure than the bike parked next to it.
- Never ever ever ever rely solely on a cable lock to secure your bike. Ever.
- The smaller the u-lock the better.
- Use multiple locking mechanisms.
- Make your bike ugly. Well, not too ugly, you still want to to love your bike!
How to Lock Your Bike the Right Way
The method is adapted from the Sheldon Brown bike locking strategy. The late Sheldon Brown was an authority on nearly all things bicycling related and we are lucky that he left us a corpus of his knowledge on his website. According to Sheldon, almost everyone you see locking their bike is doing it wrong!
The primary component in this strategy is a mini u-lock. This u-lock goes through the back wheel (inside the rear triangle of the frame), securing the bike to something solid.
The beauty of this approach is it locks the rear wheel and the frame, even though you’re not technically not even locking the frame! It turns out, according to Sheldon, it’s impossible to pull the frame away from the wheel when the lock is positioned in the triangle of the bike frame.
Is there a weakness in this method? Well, you could cut the rear wheel to pull out the bicycle. In practice, Sheldon argues, this doesn’t happen because cutting the wheel is very hard to do and you’d be destroying a very valuable part of the bike. If you are worried about this issue, you could use a slightly larger u-lock that can go through the rear wheel and part of the frame.
The second component of this strategy is to secure the front wheel via cable look, skewer, or even a second u-lock. This is to make sure your front wheel is secure. Front wheels aren’t that expensive so it’s unlikely a thief will break out tools to only steal a front wheel (they will steal it if the front wheel is not secured at all though).
Want extra protection? Try the double u-lock method:
Use the double u-lock method only when leaving the bike in bike theft prone areas for extended periods of time. It’s heavy to carry around 2 locks!
You can watch this video also: