Is locking bike a bad idea? Best lock?



Powderfinger

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Feb 11, 2003
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Hey, I've got a Trek 5200, which is uninsured and I have no means to replace it if it gets stolen as I'm a poor graduate student. Therefore, I've never taken my bike anywhere if I couldn't be with it the whole time. This kind of cramps my style, however, as it prevents me from riding to the gym, and to a certain extent from commuting. In short, I'd get in a lot more miles every week if I could just lock it up during pit stops.

Given that I live in New York City and Washington, D.C., I'm wondering if I should just forget about leaving this bike locked up outside anywhere, or if you guys can tell me which locks you trust.

Thanks
 

gubaguba

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Aug 7, 2003
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Bike theft is a crime of opportunity, if its easily taken its gone. Locks are for honest people any lock can be broken by a persistent theif. The better the lock the more persistent a theif must be. The more persistent they have to work at it the greater chance they have of getting caught. You live in NYC check out what most bike messengers are using they lock their bike s up all the time. Maybe stop and talk to a couple they like their bikes too. If you have an expensive bike find a junker that you can ride around town while on errands. Ugly bike big lock no one looks at. Shiney bike flimsy lock no one sees because they're gone in a flash.
 

Yojimbo_

Well-Known Member
Apr 17, 2005
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I think you are asking for trouble if you lock that bike up and leave it. Get a less expensive bike for riding around town, and save the good bike for training and longer rides when you don't have to leave it alone.
 

spacelord

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Feb 6, 2005
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when I lock my bike up while in class, I use 4 locks. so far I haven't had any problems. but even so, I am thinking of increasing my security level. to do this, my next plan is to take my wheels off and lock them up on the other side of campus.
 

JTE83

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Jan 28, 2004
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Powderfinger said:
Hey, I've got a Trek 5200, which is uninsured and I have no means to replace it if it gets stolen as I'm a poor graduate student. Therefore, I've never taken my bike anywhere if I couldn't be with it the whole time.

Insurance is cheap - I insured $15,000 worth of bike for $35 at Allstate. They'll pay me up to $3000 per bike. So just get insurance - it's cheaper than buying a 2nd bike for commuting.
 

gubaguba

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Aug 7, 2003
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spacelord said:
when I lock my bike up while in class, I use 4 locks. so far I haven't had any problems. but even so, I am thinking of increasing my security level. to do this, my next plan is to take my wheels off and lock them up on the other side of campus.
Thats a good idea you can never be to carefull. If its a big campus you might want to ride you bike to the other side to save time.
 

shannons dad

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Jul 10, 2005
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Don't buy a lock because you'll be temped to take it somewhere and lock it up, thinking it safe. Wrong. Some worthless thieving scumbag will find a way to break the lock and your bike will be gone forever. If they can't break it off, they'll get annoyed for failing, and break your bike instead. Trust me, I know.
 

artmichalek

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Sep 15, 2004
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shannons dad said:
Some worthless thieving scumbag will find a way to break the lock and your bike will be gone forever. If they can't break it off, they'll get annoyed for failing, and break your bike instead. Trust me, I know.
The best lock in the world won't protect your bike from vanadalism or even just accidental damage. Insurance is great, but it's still a big inconvenience to have to replace a bike. Take a cue from your local bike messangers. Get the cheapest beater bike you can find. Lock it up with a couple feet of heavy chain and a big padlock. Save your good bike for the weekends.
 

eddie_eds

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Jul 11, 2005
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Powderfinger said:
Hey, I've got a Trek 5200, which is uninsured and I have no means to replace it if it gets stolen as I'm a poor graduate student. Therefore, I've never taken my bike anywhere if I couldn't be with it the whole time. This kind of cramps my style, however, as it prevents me from riding to the gym, and to a certain extent from commuting. In short, I'd get in a lot more miles every week if I could just lock it up during pit stops.

Given that I live in New York City and Washington, D.C., I'm wondering if I should just forget about leaving this bike locked up outside anywhere, or if you guys can tell me which locks you trust.

Thanks
This is all good advice. I was just a totally naive girl with what I thought was a great bike lock, then my boyfriend picked my kryptonite lock in about 5 minutes right in front of me with a bic pen to show me how worthless they are.
 

astroluc

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Jun 20, 2005
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shannons dad said:
Don't buy a lock because you'll be temped to take it somewhere and lock it up, thinking it safe. Wrong. Some worthless thieving scumbag will find a way to break the lock and your bike will be gone forever. If they can't break it off, they'll get annoyed for failing, and break your bike instead. Trust me, I know.
yes! this!! Listen to this man^^^
 

gubaguba

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Aug 7, 2003
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artmichalek said:
The best lock in the world won't protect your bike from vanadalism or even just accidental damage. Insurance is great, but it's still a big inconvenience to have to replace a bike. Take a cue from your local bike messangers. Get the cheapest beater bike you can find. Lock it up with a couple feet of heavy chain and a big padlock. Save your good bike for the weekends.


Though I agree with the beater bike, plus you can never have to many bikes IMHO. I will not live in fear that someone will do something that I have no control over. The idea that there are some sort of bike terrorist waiting to steal or vandalize my bike the moment I let my guard down is insanity. Me buying into it and not riding because of that fear is even greater insanity. Yes there are thieves and yes my bike has been vandalized tires slashed, wheels bent. This is about twice in the over twenty years of riding and locking my bike up at all sorts of neighborhoods and locations day and night. I think common sense is needed in all thing. You just don't leave a bag filled with $5000 cash locked to a pole. I wouldn't do that with a $5000 bike either. Nor would I lock it where it is hard to see or no light after dark. Your brain is the best weapon you have againsit a theif, use it wisely.
 

tvanhuisen

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Oct 2, 2004
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What do you guys do when you are on training rides? I like to stop once in a while for a coffee or to relieve my kidneys, usually on the way back in from a weekend ride. I imagine most people on this board are like me and don't carry a lock. What do you guys do?

I usually try to bring my bike into the cafe. Once in a while, I'll ask someone to watch my bike for me and then I watch through the window as best as I can. I figure if a thief comes along, he will not be wearing cleats so I will be able to catch him. Then again, I probably would not be able to run too fast in my cleats...
 

shannons dad

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Jul 10, 2005
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All my training (yeah, right!) happens in the countryside where these immoral, lower than low life forms don't usually visit. Although we're never completely safe. If the cafe, pub, whatever is iscolated (did I spell that right?) enough, I'll just leave it outside while I get a brew and then return to it so I look lovingly at it while I gulp down my bevy. If not, bring your beer and sweeties with you.:p

Bill.
 

JTE83

Member
Jan 28, 2004
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I live in Chicago, and I lock up my $3500 bikes all the time. They're insured so I don't care. But I always bring a U lock and a backpack when I ride. I never trust anyone to watch my bike for me. I used to use Kryptonite but they didn't replace my lock yet so I'm using the On Guard Bulldog lock. Works well but the key plastic breaks if you drop the lock on the key.

See the pic on how to lock your bike. Use a small cable for the front wheel. People never steal water bottles. Yes, that's an all Dura Ace bike with Ksyrium SL's. Never been stripped yet, but I don't leave it overnight anywhere.