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How to Lock Your Bike

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How to Lock Your Bike

How to Lock Your Bike

Paying a little extra attention to bike security goes a long way; after all, your bike only needs to be harder to steal than the one next to it. Spend the additional time and money to protect your bike and learn what your best options are for recovering it if all else fails.

Locking the Bike Securely

1-Pop off the front wheel. If your bike has a quick-release front wheel, remove it and place it next to the rear wheel for locking.
  • If you can't remove your front wheel, or your U-lock is not large enough to encompass both wheels, secure the rear wheel then continue reading for alternatives.
2-Secure the wheels and frame to an immovable object. Using a "D" or "U" lock, secure the back end of your bike to another object. Place the "U" section of your lock around the rim of your rear wheel, your unattached front wheel, your rear frame, and the immovable object, then attach the straight bar to ends of the "U" to lock it.
  • See Using Decent Locks for advice on U-locks, and Selecting a Lock Location for how to select an object to secure your bike to.
  • If your U-lock is too small to fit around every object, use it on just the rear wheel and stationary object but place it "inside" the triangle made by the three rear sections of the bike's frame. This makes it impossible to pull the frame away from the wheel. This is usually enough to deter a thief, since he would have to destroy the valuable rear wheel to take the bike.
  • Do not attach your U-lock to the crossbar (or "top tube") of the bike. This is the horizontal or down-sloping bar between the seat and the handlebars. This makes it easy for thieves to use the bike frame as leverage to attempt to break the lock
3-Secure the front wheel (if not removed). The front wheel is less valuable than the rear, but some level of security should still be used or even an opportunistic passerby could steal the wheel.
  • You can loop a cable lock around the front wheel and the bike frame, and optionally around the rear wheel as well if the cable is long enough. Lock the cable together using its built in lock or a padlock.
  • For greater security, use a second U-lock instead to secure the front wheel to its frame.
4-Remove or secure any accessories before leaving your bike. Bags, baskets, lights, reflectors, bells, and anything else that can be removed should be taken with you or secured with their own cable lock.
5-Secure the saddle with a long cable. Use a D-lock on rear wheel, through frame and an immovable object. Secure the front wheel using one end of the cable by pushing it through. Push a loop of the cable through the rails of your saddle; secure by passing the free end of the cable through the loop. Secure the free end in the D lock.

 

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  • Christine Jiang
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