Don’t lock your bike to old iron railings

Picture showing iron railings that have been cut by thieves to remove a bike

Many of the railings outside old Victorian homes are made of weak wrought iron. Even if you’ve got one of the best bike locks, the thief can easily get to your bike by cutting the iron.

Special thank you to London Cyclist reader Daniel for allowing me to share his picture.

See also: Safe locking tips

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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.


5 Responses to Don’t lock your bike to old iron railings

  1. Country_Cyclist 11/07/2012 at 11:24 am #

    I should think that a section of Victorian iron railing is pretty valuable these days; and that it would sometimes be better financially for the thief to steal the railings and leave the bike.

  2. Big Softy 11/07/2012 at 4:05 pm #

    Cast iron, like some old railings and metal drainpipes, is extremely brittle, and can easily be shattered with a good tap from a hammer or other bit of steel.
    It’s hard to tell the difference between cast and steel for the unwary, but generally, if the railings have a flouncy fleur de lys finial, or intricate scrollwork as you show, then it’s usually cast, and should be avoided.

  3. Alistair 12/07/2012 at 1:59 pm #

    Cast Iron railings don’t even need to be cut, a hammer will do it. country cyclist, Cast Iron isn’t all that valuable..

    The other reason not to lock to the railings is the damage to some great railings and architectural features.

  4. Dave H 13/07/2012 at 2:44 pm #

    Cast iron as noted – brittle and very costly to replace as many early pieces no longer have wood patterns to form the sand to recast them – using another old casting can make something similar but it will be slightly smaller and the pattern piece will need to be cleaned of paint etc. Old castings can have a value but tend to be most valued in their original location.

  5. ted 18/07/2012 at 10:47 am #

    That is not wrought iron, but cast iron – neither of which would be a good way to secure a bike. But I have had thiefs chisel steel bars out of concrete…so where there is a will there is a way.

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