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Thread: Bike Locks

  1. #1
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    Bike Locks

    Hi,

    My commuter bike is worth about $300, it's a 1997 Trek 6000, what is a good lock that can protect against opportunistic theft? I'm at a loss of what to get, I've come to the conclusion that no bicycle lock can keep a determined thief from stealing a bike. Watching videos on youtube I see that cable locks can be cut through with common wire cutters in seconds. Regular sized U-locks and chains can be cut with bolt cutters in seconds, and super sized ones can be cut with an angle grinder in seconds. Also apparent in the videos I've watched is that people don't seem to care if they see someone stealing a bike, they just keep walking or look the other way.


  2. #2
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    It's the nature of the beast and a lot of that depends on where you live and where the bike will be locked most of the time.

    Where I live in MN I do not have too many worries about someone stealing my bike but also at my office I park inside the parking garage that has a camera pointing right at it, at my house I keep it in my apartment hallway locked to itself. If you look at my commuter with a frame bag, IGH and big tires it seems to scare people off by just seeing how specialized and complicated it is. Plus I removed all Surly stickers so its plain black, I have also registered it with 311 in case it is stolen.

    For locks if you're that concerned, one that requires an angle grinder would be your best bet, that takes the most time and not everyone has a angle grinder cordless or otherwise.
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  3. #3
    since 4/10/2009
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    The bigger/more expensive the tools required to defeat the lock, the fewer attempts will be made. Also, if you use multiple types of locks that require different tools, you add time to the thief's attempt.

    The key, though, is not to be stupid. The vast majority of bike thefts I know of occurred because someone was stupid, at least for the moment they were locking up the bike.
    1. Always lock the wheels and frame together and to the rack.
    2. Don't lock up in hidden places - lock up in highly visible locations with lots of people around.
    3. Don't lock your bike up outside overnight. Bring it inside with you at every opportunity.
    4. Avoid predictable routines. If a potential thief sees that you lock your bike up for 8 hours on a specific day, they know they will have time to work on defeating your locks.
    5. If you lock your bike to a rack with other bikes, make your bike look like it's the most difficult to steal.
    6. Make sure you have insurance that covers replacement of your bike if it is stolen, and make sure your deductible is low enough that it's worth using if your bike is stolen. Or make sure your bike is cheap enough that you can replace it easily when it's stolen.

    The last one is important, because there ARE professional bike thieves out there who have any number of power tools. If THEY want your bike, they will get it. The key is to stop the lowlifes who hide a pair of cutters in a pocket or in their baggy pants or something.

    As for me, I lock my bike up outside RARELY. Yet I commute on it frequently. My bike goes inside both at home and at work, and honestly, it's more protected at work than at home. When I do lock my bike up outside, my locking strategy depends on how long it'll be locked, and where. For high theft risk areas, I have a u-lock as well as a cable. I always have the u-lock with me, so I can lock up quickly for very short periods of time, but I don't always haul all of my locks.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by nbritton View Post
    My commuter bike is worth about $300, it's a 1997 Trek 6000, what is a good lock that can protect against opportunistic theft?
    Just get a basic U-lock.

    Your bike isn't worth a pro's time/effort, and just about any U-lock will deter casual bike thieves...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bimmer74 View Post
    Your bike isn't worth a pro's time/effort
    That's what I was shooting for. The bike still works great, but everyone else will think it's junk.

  6. #6
    since 4/10/2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bimmer74 View Post
    Just get a basic U-lock.

    Your bike isn't worth a pro's time/effort, and just about any U-lock will deter casual bike thieves...
    I wouldn't bank on that. Ensure that both wheels and the seat are secured, also. Anything with a quick release should be locked down. Opportunistic thieves are known for flipping QR's and walking off with parts. If the bike is locked up for long, they'll strip the parts off with simple tools that can be kept in a pocket and purchased pretty much anywhere. The bike doesn't have to be expensive for that. A lot of people where I live make the false assumption that because they have a cheap bike, they don't have to worry about theft. And imagine that, cheap bikes that aren't adequately secured are the ones most commonly targeted.

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