How to Lock Your Bike

How to Lock Your Bike
Getting your bike stolen can be both frustrating and heartbreaking. As more people use bicycles for transportation, losing a bike can mean losing a sole commuter vehicle. Taking preventative measures will never completely ensure that your bike won't get nabbed by a completely crafty crook, but you can do your best to make it as difficult as possible. The best way to keep thieves away is to properly lock your bike.


Difficulty: Moderate

Step 1
Buy a sturdy lock or better yet, two locks. A regular chain or thin cable will be quick work for a crook with bolt cutters. The best locks are solid steel U-locks or thick, steel chains sheathed in nylon webbing. Small, tight U-locks are best as they will offer the thief less room to leverage a pry bar in an attempt to break the lock. Purchase locks with an anti-theft warranty.
Step 2
Find a sturdy post or bicycle rack to lock your bike to. Make sure a thief can't pull your bike up and over the pole it's locked to. Aluminum racks, sign posts and small trees can be quickly sawed through in order to remove your bike. Look for steel racks that are cemented into the ground as your best option and avoid keeping your bike locked outside at night.
Step 3
Use the U-lock to lock the frame and rear tire to the post. Tires can be made off with quickly, even if they aren't quick release, and these can be expensive to replace. If your front tire has a quick release, pull it off the frame and lock it to the rear wheel, as well. If it doesn't, use an additional U-lock or heavy-chain lock to secure the front tire to the frame and the post. The more work a thief has to do, the less likely they will waste time with your bike.
Step 4
Secure your seat. Bike seats can be removed if they aren't locked down. Thread a sturdy cable underneath the seat and lock to the bike frame.
Step 5
Remove any lights that can be easily picked off by someone cruising down the street.
Step 6
Register your bike with the National Registry. Many new bikes come with a serial number. It won't guarantee you will get your bike back, but if it is recovered, the police can contact you.

Article Written By Nikki Jardin

Nikki Jardin began freelance writing in 2009 and focuses on food and travel articles. She has been a professional cook and caterer for more than 20 years. She holds a degree in environmental science from Humboldt State University.

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