The 5 Secrets to the Un-Stealable Bike

  • Bike owners have an average of 23 months before their bikes are nicked
  • 26,000 bikes stolen in London last year
  • 4% chance of ever recovering your stolen bike

These headlines make me want to haul up inside my new BMW X6M “Chelsea Tractor” and hide in my secured compound with 24 hour armed guard security.

Except, I don’t have a BMW X6M and I don’t have a secured compound.

What I do have is a bicycle that I’d very much like to keep. Fortunately, for the past three years I’ve managed to achieve just that.

That’s despite the apparent theft epidemic hitting our city.

I’d put that down to a few simple steps that I take to keep my bike safe. If you’d like to copy them and use them, here they are…

London Cyclist 5 step guide to the un-stealable bike

Step 1: Eat my Kryptonite

Bike lock going through the rear wheel of a bike

Choose between the Kryptonite New York 3000 and the Abus Granit X Plus 54 and you’ll have taken the single biggest step in the quest to keep your bike safe.

Both the locks always tend to top the lists of the toughest locks to crack in tests by cycling magazines.

Many thieves will take one look at them and choose an easier target.

However, you can’t use these locks on their own. You also need to use a secondary lock. I’d recommend the Abus Centuro. The combination of two different locking systems should present major problems for most thieves, who are likely to just carry the tools to break one type of system.

Step 2: Don’t lock your bike like an idiot! Sticker placed by the police suggesting how people should lock their bikes

The right way to lock a bike is to lock the frame and both wheels to the bike stand. To do that you pass your d-lock around the rear triangle, the rear wheel and the object you are locking to.

This makes it tough for thieves to remove and steal your wheels and it also makes it hard to leverage the lock for attack, without damaging the bike.

Furthermore, you should avoid locking your bike at the same place for prolonged periods of time. Ideally, your bike should be stored indoors and out of sight. However, if you have to leave it outside, don’t always lock it to the same spot, as thieves can target your bike and wait for the perfect time to strike.

Ideally, leave your bike in a busy location, with CCTV coverage.

Avoiding locking your bike to old Victorian railings, as these can be easy to break and don’t lock your bike to sign posts where the sign could potentially be removed and your bike lifted over.

Step 3: Keep the Piranhas at bay


As thieves become increasingly annoying, they have been to know to “Piranha attack” bikes, whereby they’ll steal components such as seat posts, forks and handlebars.

To protect yourself you could use a system such as the Pinhead Headset lock. You could also get the same system for your wheels and seatpost.

The pinhead system means that you can no longer remove these components with an Allen key or quick release. Instead, you need a key that is specific to your personal Pinhead system.

If you don’t wish to invest in this, at least remove your quick releases and replace them with bolts.

Also, make sure that when you leave your bike you remove any removable components such as bike lights.

Step 4: Get your bike registered

Google “Cycle Marking Events” and head along to the one nearest to you to get your bike marked.

If you can’t get to one of the marking events, order a kit through Bike Register and add it to your bike. Anecdotal evidence suggests that thieves will avoid bikes that have a security tag. This is a simple way to make your bike less attractive to thieves.

Step 5: Insure it!

For the ultimate in piece of mind, you can get your bike insured with a service such as ETA. We recommend good bicycle insurance providers here.

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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.

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67 Responses to The 5 Secrets to the Un-Stealable Bike

  1. markus 09/01/2013 at 8:06 am #

    You can save on lock’s cost/size/weight and use a smaller one by locking only the rear wheel (INSIDE the frame’s rear triangle) to the fixed object. This will automatically secure the bike’s frame as a thief would need to cut and destroy the wheel to nick the bike.

    • Mike 09/01/2013 at 10:12 am #

      The whole point of the two lock system is that if you buy smart you will need two different tools to steal it which a thief is unlikely to have and will draw more attention to themselves with.
      You are right though for the technique if you only have one.

    • aggi 09/01/2013 at 1:50 pm #

      The trouble with that method is that snipping the back wheel only takes a minute and then you’ve lost the rest of the bike. Plus, all the best locks are big enough to go through the frame and rear wheel, I don’t think there’s a strong lock (16mm+) made where you’d have to employ that technique.

      • m 30/01/2013 at 1:41 pm #

        @aggi: Do you think cutting the rim and tyre takes just a minute?
        When locking through frame and wheel there’s less space left for the post or bike stand to fit in the D-lock.

        I’m talking about MTB or cross bikes, road bikes with it’s thin frames leave plenty of room in each locking option.

  2. Mike 09/01/2013 at 10:13 am #

    Is this article a response to the lengthy discussion on by any chance?

    • Andreas 09/01/2013 at 11:04 am #

      Always keen to drive home message about bike safety!

  3. Liz 09/01/2013 at 10:28 am #

    My bike has to live outside our flat, so far (touch wood!) it’s not been stolen, which I think is mostly good luck, but also:
    – two locks, Kryptonite on the rear wheel and a heavy chain lock through the front wheel and frame. The chain lock is pretty noisy when you move it, which helps.
    – it’s not a very fashionable bike – it’s a non-branded Dutch type with a (slightly tatty) basket on the front. Resale value probably minimal.
    – it’s locked right next to the living room window, so there’s usually a light on. High-traffic areas are less appealing to thieves than quiet places with few people walking by.

    I know there’s a chance that one day my bike might go, but so far, so good.

  4. Nico (@nfanget) 09/01/2013 at 12:20 pm #

    There is another thing everyone can do, do not buy bikes from doubtful sources. If the thieves cannot resell bikes, they move on to stealing something else.

    • David S. 13/01/2013 at 1:49 pm #

      Best piece of advice there. Thieves steals bikes because they know that there is a demand for bikes. If potential cyclists stop buying these bikes from them, they’ll moved on to stealing other things.

  5. Jose Saez 09/01/2013 at 1:53 pm #

    I live in Chile, where the thieving problem is the same if not worst.

    I’ve seen a lot of people using foldable bikes for short travels. They are great because you can fold them and then use the subway without upsetting anyone. The bike goes always with you, therefore the risk of it being stolen is minimal.

  6. Lindsey Haylow 09/01/2013 at 2:24 pm #

    So much fun to carry a lock around the weighs the same as my bike.
    Someone needs to invent a lowjack system for bikes. Just a small bug that could fit inside the stem. Then an app can be designed for a smart phone and we could track our bikes.

    Is this wishful thinking?

    • Will 09/01/2013 at 2:41 pm #

      That’s another advantage to the two lock system. Leave the heavy lock where you normally park your bike and carry light other one for nipping in to the shops.

      I’m a big fan of the Kryptonite Evolution Mini, it’s more secure than the bigger Series 4 yet significantly lighter and small enough to shove in decent sized pocket. The only downside to it is that it’ll only lock frame to rack, rather than protecting the wheels as well but there are plenty of other solutions to that problem.

      • Chris 11/01/2013 at 3:27 pm #

        I’ve got an Evolution Mini, and don’t usually struggle to get at least the back wheel in as well as the frame. I then have a cable to loop through the front wheel.

        Not perfect, but considering it’s usually in a secure bike compound at work, it’ll do!

      • Adam 15/06/2013 at 2:03 pm #

        ” but there are plenty of other solutions to that problem.”

        Yeah carrying yet another lock lol which is why you’re better off getting the bigger one in the first place don’t you think??

    • ray 10/01/2013 at 6:28 pm #

      These already exist just google bike tracker

    • SteveP 11/01/2013 at 1:46 pm #

      This has been done by at least two companies that were at the last NEC bike show. One, Integrated Trackers, was considerably more attractive from a pricing perspective, but not that “together” commercially, where the other (name escapes me) seemed more of a finished product but had gone down the X £/month option which I think is unrealistic for most bicyclists. Neither is a 100% solution (since if you are using the service your bike must be already missing) and the batteries have to be charged and the GPS has to be able to see the sky, plus the mobile phone signal must reach a tower… you can see good but not 100%

      Maybe if you have a very expensive bike, but for normal city bikes not the answer, IMHO.

    • bob cbr1000rr fireblade 30/03/2017 at 11:02 am #

      you can already purchase gps tracker units that fit on the bike now,us google search or ebay to search for them ..they are available matey

  7. Kevin Morice 09/01/2013 at 2:36 pm #

    3 of the 5 are bad advice.

    Pinhead system is great. But the now-pissed-off bike thief is going to get annoyed and kick your wheels in frustration. New wheels are more expensive than new small components. Also QR is there for a reason. If I wanted bolts I would have bought bolts in the first place. Take the saddle with you, and you have already locked up your wheels under item 1! Any thief who just wants your skewers is pointless to defend against.

    Marking up. Doesn’t change whether your bike gets stolen in the first place, therefore not advice on being unstealable. Still only 4% get recovered and you even admit your own evidence is “anecdotal”, not factual!

    Insurance for bikes is flat out robbery. Better to put the premiums straight into a savings account and spend it on a new bike after theft. Supporting your local bike shop and pocketing the insurance company profit for yourself. Also doesn’t change whether your bike gets stolen in the first place, therefore not advice on being unstealable.

    • Jason 10/01/2013 at 9:52 am #

      Insurance – realistically you’d have to hope to not have your bike nicked for 5-10 years in order to save enough premium to replace a low/mid range (£500) bike.

      So I have insurance 😉

      And more than 4% would get recovered if more people would have them marked surely?

      • Andreas 10/01/2013 at 11:42 am #

        Definitely – the bike marking thing is a long term thing – if enough people had bike registered, they’d be easier to recover and tougher for thieves to get away with theft.

      • Kevin Morice 10/01/2013 at 12:32 pm #

        Have you read the fine print on your insurance? Insurance companies exist to make a profit. They are not going to pay out on average more than they take in. Therefore someone (i.e. you) is funding their profit margins.

        As I said above it is only anecdotal evidence that bikes aren’t stolen if they are marked, there is no real evidence to support this, or to support that marked bikes are more likely to be recovered. And as I stated above, neither marking nor insurance are making your bike “unstealable” as the article claims.

        For info: The one bike I have had stolen was marked and locked to a metal ring on a granite block in a bike parking area. The metal ring was cut, probaly using an angle grinder from the look of the cuts. The insurers refused to pay out because the fine print required me to prove that I had locked it securely, to a fixed object using an approved locking system. Note that the requirement was not to lock it up, but to PROVE that I had locked it up. When I asked them what proof they wanted their example was that I should have taken a photograph of it every time I locked it or parked it where CCTV would be able to verify it.

      • Hannah C 04/11/2015 at 12:42 pm #

        Dedicated bike insurance is a rip off – £100 a year plus £100 excess to insure a £500 bike, probably not replaced as new, and impossible to actually make a claim if stored in a shed, shared hallway, or if the thief takes the cut lock with them.

        However, if you have home insurance, it costs only about £50-100 a year to add accidental damage and personal items. Covers as many bikes as you like, with no exemptions for locking conditions (as long as you make an effort!), and also covers your phone and laptop.

  8. David 09/01/2013 at 4:29 pm #

    I never get the idea of using two types of locks. Sure it may discourage some thieves, but surely someone with a good pair of expendable/long-armed bolt cutters could go through D locks and cable locks with equal ease? A local thief in my area even went through a motorbike chain with ease according to a witness I talked to.

    • Will 10/01/2013 at 3:32 pm #

      While nothing will stop a thief with an angle-grinder, my understanding is that most D-locks are burst open rather than cut, hence the advice to “fill the shackle” and how a cable lock can protect against some tools that a D-lock won’t.

  9. David 09/01/2013 at 4:42 pm #

    Regarding the tracking system mentioned earlier, i believe that there is such a device in Holland. I saw a video on this site recently where a tv crew trace their bike right to the thief’s door!

    • Gizmo 10/01/2013 at 1:00 pm #

      Yes, that exists here too.

      But good luck trying to convince the police to act on its information: I had a phone stolen recently and thanks to Find My iPhone I knew exactly where it was – there was only one house within a significant distance of the GPS location. But still the case was closed “because of insufficient evidence to investigate”.

  10. George 09/01/2013 at 5:05 pm #

    Nice compilation.

    Alongside Pinhead there is also the German Pitlock system with special skewers for nearly every part. The UK distributor is:

    After my last bike got stolen I’m rather paranoid now and in addition to using two locks (one D, one fat cable), I’ve also registered with all reg services. Besides bikeregister, there is: datatag (also available from the bikeregister service, and

    So: D-lock, cable lock, proper locking, coded skewers (soon), deterrent stickers for many registration services, cycle insurance by ETA … and I’m still nervous to lock my bike in public areas. Ah well.

    • Andreas 10/01/2013 at 11:40 am #

      From my discussions with officers not all of the use the BikeShepherd database, hence suggesting alternatives.

      • John Moss 16/04/2013 at 1:04 am #

        Not all of them use Bike Register either, best bet is to use the free registration on each one, and then if you like go premium on one of them.

  11. Tom 09/01/2013 at 9:37 pm #

    Manhattan D lock + Cable + sensible locking locations.

    Been cycling in central London for nearly 20 years and am yet to have a bike nicked using this tactic. Also if possible, lock your bike next to a more expensive looking/less securely locked bike.

    ps: I am aware that the smugness of my 20 year no nicking claim, has pretty much cursed me to have my bike stolen in the next few days, lucky it’s insured.

    • Andreas 10/01/2013 at 11:40 am #

      I couldn’t help but think by writing the article I was cursing myself too! Let’s hope not Tom!

  12. Pete, Rat Race Cycles 10/01/2013 at 8:47 am #

    All good points – I often tell our customers that it’s better in the long run to buy an expensive lock once than to keep buying cheap locks every time the bikes get nicked.

    There is at least one GPS tracking system available, it’s called Spybike and it hides inside the fork steerer. You arm it with a key fob and it sends you a text and starts transmitting its location once it detects ‘unauthorised’ movement. It’s around £100:

    Another un-mentioned point is simply to make your bike unattractive to thieves. Thieves target shiny, pretty bikes because they can sell them easily for more money. If you can overcome your bike vanity and cover it with stickers, reflective tape or any other disfigurement, or if you embrace utility and fit mudguards, these things swiftly make it stand out less to thieves. Of course it’s important to make sure all the moving parts are working properly and are kept well-maintained, but if you do have to lock your bike up alongside other bikes, if yours looks scruffier it will attract less attention.

    It’s not a nice way of thinking about it, but like the old adage about running away from a lion (you don’t have to run faster than the lion, you just have to run faster than the other people running from the lion!), you only have to make your bike less attractive or harder to steal than others in the bike rack. Inexplicably, there are always plenty of examples of nice bikes poorly locked with just a cable lock through a quick-release wheel, and these fuel the rise in bicycle theft…

    • Andreas 10/01/2013 at 11:39 am #

      Pete – all very strong suggestions. Thanks for adding.

    • Gizmo 10/01/2013 at 1:02 pm #

      This is all very well, but part of the reason I like my bike is that it’s so very, very pretty.

      • Will 10/01/2013 at 3:33 pm #

        This is why you need two bikes – a shiny one and a utility one!

  13. Howard 11/01/2013 at 11:16 am #

    What a minefield! There are lots of good tactics for making your bike less nickable. Some better than others.

    As you say a quality lock is always a good start but using it properly is almost as important – through the down tube, rear rim and if there’s space fill it with a crank arm. Rear triangle looks OK but there’s a lot of room in there…

    Locking skewers and bolts…well both the systems mentioned above – Pitlock and Pinhead – can be cracked with easy to acquire tools. They are in the deterrent category – I wouldn’t lock up a tasty wheelset using them in the belief that they are fully secure – they aren’t. But they are fine for everyday wheels and components and will certainly put off the casual component thief. There’s also the Atomic22 system but the bolts are more expensive than most wheels used to commute on so that’s a bit of non-starter for 90% of us.

    Insurance… well, as above, bit of a hiding to nothing.

    Ultimately though if someone wants your shiny crabon geared ride, they’ll have it, and you are on borrowed time. The ultimate tactic, as mentioned by Pete, is simply not to lock up a bike that is desirable to thieves. This means having your ride look a bit scruffy, nondescript and utilitarian; not necessarily a ‘beater’ but at least a bit nerdy and less shiny. Mud guards, a rack, fixed / single speed, tapped up, stickers, logo-less – all make a bike less desirable and makes it less likely you’ll come back to find someone has pinched your shifters (as you don’t have any).

    TL:DR – if you feel you need two heavy duty locks to secure your bike, you are locking up the wrong bike.

  14. Ed 11/01/2013 at 11:52 am #

    I think the main reason you have held on to your bike for 3 years is because it looks like something that has come from the tip – absolutely nothing to do with how you are locking it up!!

    The 1st thing I do with my bikes is get rid of the QRs. Have never had enough to spend on Pinhead locks – let alone headset ones which your link goes to.

    I have used the hollowed out Allen Key ones and am currently using PNZ racing skewers that use an ingenious little tool that also connects to your keyring. Cost about £11 for both front and rear wheels. Bought from CRC but can’t seem to get on their site now.

    Remember CASHBACK from TCB when you use them – don’t bother with Quidco as they charge you £5 for the “privelige” – takes a lot of spending to even get to a fiver!!

    Also some Locktite thread lock on things like saddles and seatpost helps – but probably helps the thieves out now.

    Just a warning to thieves – if I ever catch anyone touching my bike when I return to it I will hit you as hard as I can and trust me, you won’t be getting up. I’ve caught a thief who was riding round on one of my stolen bikes and he started crying after I hit him.

    This was AFTER phoning the police and telling them that I had found my stolen bike, them not being bothered, me waiting and watching the bike for 40 minutes until he emerged and attempted to ride off on it!

    Make of that what you will – the Police don’t give a toss about bike theft and the punishment is negligible. If someone stole someones main mode of transport, their car, would you not expect a prison sentence?

  15. SteveP 11/01/2013 at 2:05 pm #

    All good info – what is never mentioned in detail is HOW bikes are stolen – I think there is the sense that we don’t want to “educate” thieves but that’s the wrong approach, IMHO. Better to learn how thieves actually work in detail. We know they use bolt cutters, car jacks and angle grinders (in extreme cases). What does this mean? I think it means a kid with some expanding bolt cutters goes out and looks for shiny bikes with cable locks to cut. It means more professional thieves take the D-lock-cracking car jack approach and look for nicer bikes that are poorly locked (space for the jack inside the D, so a shorter D-lock may be safer). These guys probably also have bolt cutters so the “second cable lock” is probably not such a deterrent).

    Finally, the real pros spot the high-value bikes, study them and make a plan to get that particular bike (hard to beat them, but being inconsistent helps). They will use a battery-powered angle grinder, wear a hi-viz vest so they look like tradesmen, work in pairs plus a spotter – you know, the way real crooks work. Still cheaper than boosting cars and almost unpunished by The Law.

    I think if you are reasonably careful, you can ride a nice, cheap bike in London or a ratty expensive bike and survive the crooks. And ANY lock – even a piece of rope, is better than no lock at all. I suspect many stolen bikes were never locked up at all.

    Also – check out – looks promising and the more variety of locks in use the harder it makes it for thieves. Which reminds me – what about the “ring” rear-wheel locks on Dutch bikes? Doesn’t secure the bike (but a cable can be used) but is damn convenient and always with you, and makes it impossible for the bike to be ridden off.

  16. Steve in New York 11/01/2013 at 2:08 pm #

    Here in New York City recently there has been a rash of bikes having their rear spokes cut and the hub stolen. Recently a friend of mine using a D lock and chain and pit-locks returned (being gone less than 15 minutes) to find his USD $ 1,700.00 rohloff hub cut from the rear wheel. There is a spoke cutting tool you can pick up in any hardware store for just a few dollars. How do you prevent that?

    • SteveP 11/01/2013 at 2:22 pm #

      Well, your buddy still had the parts he locked up…. titanium spokes? (harder to cut) It takes quite a while to cut 32 spokes (or whatever number his hub had) and I would suggest this falls into the “pro” category. No kid is probably going to expend all that effort on an item he then can only sell on to a small market. More likely this is someone experienced with bikes who has gone over to the Dark Side. As to prevention – engrave your name and some other ID on the hub and pick it out with some bright paint so it can be spotted before any spokes are sacrificed.

      BTW – I also think this can help for those nice Brooks saddles that last for five minutes in London – take a permanent marker and write your name inside, at least. Works better on brown than black, but you get the idea. How about having a “custom” leather engraving done with your name?

    • Joe 20/06/2014 at 3:56 pm #

      Your friend is an idiot for riding around a $1500+ bike (let alone $400+) in NYC and expecting it to not get stolen/ripped off in some way. Tell him to ride a beater.

  17. Cal 11/01/2013 at 3:13 pm #

    Another thought for those allen head bolts which, once set, do not need further adjustment on a regular basis (stem, seatpost, etc.) – fill the openings in the bolt head with solder. With no opening to work with the thief cannot use a standard allen key to remove, and you can always use a soldering iron to remove the solder on the rare occasion you may need to adjust.

    • Ed 11/01/2013 at 3:42 pm #

      Great tip Cal – thanks. Never even crossed my mind but almost perfect + cheap solution.

      Instead of the stupid pit lock link for a headset!

      Never had the need to adjust my seatpost or headset once fitted – apart from to change.

      I’m quite a tall guy so my bike looks like it is for a big guy. However that means nothing. Some of the best MMA fighters are 10 stone and 5’5″”.

      Just a warning to bike thieves. If I ever come back to my bike whilst you are mid steal you will get a steel toe cap or cycling shoe to the head or a keyed punch to the head or body.

      Don’t worry – I will worry about the consequences afterwards. If you died whilst trying to steal my bike, and I went to prison for manslaughter, I couldn’t care less.

      Steal at your peril bike thieves!!!

  18. DAVID 11/01/2013 at 6:15 pm #

    It would help if cycle stands had suitable chains welded to them. One could then thread them through the frame wheels etc and then use your own padlock to secure them. Not a perfect answer but would help

  19. D McG 11/01/2013 at 7:21 pm #

    wow….keeping a bike safe even when locked up in London (or other big cities) certainly seems to be a big problem.
    i would forget all the locks and invest in a brompton.
    take it everywhere including putting under your desk at work……..this seems to be the only good solution for daily cycling in London and other high density areas.


    • Angus 11/01/2013 at 8:53 pm #

      Exactly, no need to carry locks with a Brompton 🙂

      • Chris 11/01/2013 at 9:06 pm #

        No, but on the other hand you do have to carry a Brompton!

        I saw a guy doing some shopping in Waitrose in Clapham a couple of months ago with a basket in one hand and a Brompton in the other. It didn’t look like the easiest shop he’d ever done!!!

        • D McG 12/01/2013 at 10:56 am #

          carrying the folded bike can of course sometimes be a hassle but on balance probably worth it for the security aspect.
          for supermarket…..brompton folded will actually fit balanced under a wheeled shopping trolley……….or if you speak nicely to girl on cigarette counter or customer service they will usually let you park it behind counter especially if you have the cover on…….
          have also seen people use the brompton as a ‘trolley’ by half folding it and running on its support wheels but this looks quite tricky !!!!!

          would rather have the hassle than come out to find the normal bike has gone…….weighs about 12 or 13 kg……even lighter in the titanium (expensive) model……..also can fit the huge ‘c’ bag for a good few days shop.

  20. Andy 12/01/2013 at 2:52 am #

    Touch wood, I’ve found a pretty reliable way to keep my bike from being stolen. It doesn’t add any weight, doesn’t cost anything, and has worked for over 24,000 miles of riding…

    Don’t have a lock.

    If you have a lock, you fall into the trap of leaving your bike and making it vulnerable to a thief. No lock means you perceive the bike as being at risk, so don’t let it out of your sight. Never out of sight means doesn’t get stolen.

    Of course, you’ll need accommodating shop keepers / employers / spouse, but buying favour is often cheaper than buying another bike. 🙂

  21. Tom 14/01/2013 at 7:33 pm #

    Hey there,
    did anyone of you ever test these spybike devices you’Ve mentioned above(I found them also on, but I reckon it’s the same system.


  22. Hannah 15/01/2013 at 12:20 pm #

    Another big fan of the kryptonite new york lock here! I have my pashley in a bike shed under my flat. Had an attempted break in recently where they got in to the secure carpark and cut through the metal cage my bike was in. My bike was locked up in there with my lovely lock, and she was left there. I can’t be certain whether the lock put off the thief, or they were interrupted, but they didn’t even bother trying to break through it. It also got me a bit worried that I was a target as my flatmates bike was just left there (unlocked). Be careful…..

  23. ross 15/01/2013 at 5:19 pm #

    There’s a statistic that mentions a ridiculously high percentage of bikes that are stolen from people’s homes, whether it’s sheds, communal hallways, balconies(!), roof terraces, gardens. Never assume that because it’s on your property that they won’t try to nick it.

    Also, avoid using cables (KryptoFlex type) at all costs. Even as a secondary lock for your front wheel it’s only a two second pocket tool job to get through it.

    +1 for solder in Allen bolts

    +1 for making your bike look tatty, and only keeping the bits that matter clean

    +1 for Abus X-Plus 54 & Kryptonite Evolution Mini *TOGETHER*

    Avoid those silver Kryptonite D-Locks.

  24. Zed 17/01/2013 at 1:56 pm #

    Just got the Kryptonite new york fahgettaboudit for my road bike fits very snug on stands and is just a monstrous lock with pitlock wheels, headset and seatpost don’t have to worry about it at all now also insured.

    I got by with one of those silver rated krytonite locks for over a year however I started getting paranoid with all the theft stories.

  25. Eric W 21/01/2013 at 2:42 am #

    There a couple of very ionformative videos on You Tube. They show a guy in NYC leading a tour of locking technique. Short clips. Google and watch if you’ve read this far.

    His idea is that an unsealable bike is a watched bike. Works for me.

    And I lock my bike inside at night. Next, I’ll upgrade with a ring for the D lock to the wall for extra security.

  26. DAVID 21/01/2013 at 8:28 am #

    Another simple idea is to put a small padlock through a hole in the front chain wheel and the outside teeth. This wont stop a bike being picked up and carried away but will prevent it being ridden as the padlock would catch between the cogs and the chain. Or the padlock could go through the chain wheel and around the chain with the same effect. The padlock could be one that gives out a loud noise if moved. On cars these alarms are usually ignored but may help to put off a thief.

  27. Vincent 30/01/2013 at 1:07 pm #

    Thanks for the article.

    > If you can’t get to one of the marking events, order a kit through Bike Register and add it to your bike

    Instead of stickers, which can easily be removed by the thief, they should engrave the number on the frame. Heres’ what the Bicycode looks like in France:

  28. dany 26/07/2013 at 7:07 pm #

    if the bike is the means of your transportation then invest in a good system but there is no unbreakable or unbeatable locking system..

    I was given a s works bike with very expensive components. first thing was striping all decals and sanding all logos, brakes, chainrings, rear mech, seat post etc… from a £4000 bike now looks like £250 even I did scratch thr wheels and spray paint the spokes… 2 years in Islington ( highest bike theft) and mid range kriptonite left alone for two days in row and most of the time poor lit areas..

    nowadays thieves knows locks and they can spot the expensive ones… expensive lock=expensive bike… the bike performance is superb and under the scratchy frame and carbon components and wrongly painted spokes its a hidden beast!!!!

  29. Hubert 06/09/2013 at 7:10 am #

    Hello! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be ok.
    I’m absolutely enjoying your bllog and look forward to new updates.

  30. Keith Brown 11/10/2013 at 2:20 pm #

    I’ve had the same beloved Brooks B66 saddle for 35 years; the reason? On short trips, I use a acable lock running through the rails, extending up from the rear triangle and rack. On longer trips, I take it off and carry it in my back-pack. My vintage Campy-Equipped Peugeot is NEVER left anywhere (I ride it in group rides, and it goes into the Pub, Coffee shop, etc. My Townie is what I ride everywhere else with a Kryptonite D and a cable lock in tandem. I have a Dahon folder (16″ with a carry sholder-bag) to take on the train or bus.

  31. daducky88 25/10/2014 at 8:44 am #

    The approach we now have to take to bike security brings us to the same state we,’ve reached in air travel. It’s turned into a miserable experience from the weight, greasy hands if carrying around heavy security, removing parts or even putting locks on. With cars, the manufacturers took the lead to make their machines harder to steal. Bike manufacturers just ignore the problem.

    I have a £1600 bicycle in London for 14 years.At home it was in a back garden with rear/ side access – admittedly could be lifted out by a neighbour, at work it was either under cctv or pass card gates or at one place 2 guys with rifles! We don’t all have the luxury of that I know. But I,d take it with me stopping off at pubs, s,markets etc. Main thing I tried to do was keep it in line of sight. I removed the qr axles and put in security bolt ones and the carbon fibre cranks unravelled which helped hide its value when I fitted specialite honey comb cranks which are hardly much heavier and much more robust. Also as I don’t wear a bib, have one side only clips on but don’t have the shoes, nor use a helmet mounted light, nor helmet, and have relaxed air circulating baggy canvas shorts, t shirts, plain sandals, I,m not signalling, hey he might have something of value. So opportunist thieves don’t follow. Blending in is a good way to go. The bike burns just about everything in its path off though even with a flaming massive work laptop, my sarnies, flask and work shoes and shirt inside, despite not have the tour de France get up.

  32. Jordibird 23/11/2014 at 7:36 am #

    I bought a new bike in August and it was stolen in September, it was locked up to iron railings with a D lock through the frame and it only took the scum bags the 7 minutes that I was in a local shop to cut right through the lock with what the police think either bolt cutters or an angle grinder. It was on main road in full view with CCTV. Now the best part is the insurance company is trying to get out paying up because I cannot tell them the make of lock as it was bought in Germany a few years back. They have photos and the key but want more, so yes I for one think it is a total waste of money just buy more locks!

  33. Paul 28/11/2014 at 11:31 pm #

    My worst habit helps keep my bike safe; I never clean it. A dirty bike is an invisible bike (just remember where you left it and feel around).

  34. ken 16/03/2016 at 1:30 am #

    I have a dahon vybe folding bike should I want to purchase a lock can anyone advise me the best and most suitable lock

  35. David Robinson 16/03/2016 at 7:53 am #

    It would help if bike stands had suitable chains welded to them which could be threaded through the various parts of a bike and then secured with your own padlock(s)

  36. james 06/07/2017 at 3:40 pm #

    My bike was stolen right outside work. I suspect they we’re waiting for me to leave for lunch. When I returned it was gone. They angle grinded through a good quality Abus D-lock and Hip lock. Took them seconds and no one noticed on a busy road/bike rack. Very ballsy. Needless to say if they want your bike they have it eventually. Now I lock up a ratty, sticker covered roady and I remove the seat post and front wheel. So if you have a nice ride don’t be fooled by gold star ratings on locks, nothing will stop an angle grinder! On the plus side though, the lock companies sent me replacement locks to ease my pain…..

    • SteveP 06/07/2017 at 4:31 pm #

      Sorry to hear. I’m curious about details if you care to share – where, when and what was the bike’s value? Thx

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